Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oliver at 5 Months

Oliver is finally gaining weight at a decent rate.  He is so tiny compared to Dexter at that age and even though I try not to compare apples and oranges, it's hard not to.  We still are waking up one or two times in the middle of the night *this is getting real old, real quick* and we are still managing to keep his eczema and severe cradle cap at bay.  This is one tough kid!  Feast your eyes on my little man..

Here is my favorite one from Month 5
March 26, 2011

I remind myself each day that "Today is a new day" and that someday I will miss the boys being little.  As hard as it may be, I am trying to enjoy them while they are little!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bare Escentuals RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex

I love finding new products that speak to me.  
Bare Escentuals is a brand I can trust and they are proving this to be true yet again.

Introducing bareMinerals Skincare. A transformative new way of caring for your skin that’s simple, super-effective and incredibly easy to use. Powered by 100% pure RareMinerals Active Soil Complex, enjoy increased cell turnover, fewer fine lines and wrinkles and the famous bareMinerals Naturally Luminous glow. If that’s something you’re looking for, then this might be the revolution for you. 

I got a chance to look at their new products (not test them out yet) and I have to tell you how excited I am to eventually get my hands on their Deep Cleansing Foam!  I need a good, eco-friendly pore minimizer! 

Follow Bare Escentuals on Facebook and/or Twitter to learn more about this revolution.  Check out their new line and tell me which products do you want to try?  Maybe I will grant your wish!

Robyn O'Brien-The UnHealthy Truth

Very rarely do I come across something (on YouTube nonetheless) that stops me dead in my tracks and catches me with my mouth gapped wide open.  That was true until I found Robyn O'Brien.  Robyn is a mother of 4, Founder of the Allergy Kids Foundation and author of The UnHealthy Truth: How Our Food is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About it.

I have often wondered why there is such a great rise in food allergies.  I couldn't tell you one person in my circle of friends that had such an allergy when I was growing up.  No one worried about serving peanuts on airplanes (but then again I remember people being able to smoke in the malls too!) and no one worried about anaphylaxis, especially in their children.  What has happened?  Have you ever known a young child to be plagued by childhood cancer?  I unfortunately have and when my friend told me that her doctor told her it was a case of environmental leukemia, I just about lost it!  This is why I don't allow parabens, phthalates and other known toxins into my home.  I know too much.  Like Robyn says "I can't unlearn it".  I can't wait to get my hands on Robyn's book.  In the meantime I urge you to watch this YouTube video (yes, I know it is 18 minutes long but it feels like 5 minutes).  You will laugh, you will cry but I dare you not to be moved and perhaps a little angry!

I would love you to comment here and tell me how this video has affected you.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Month is Approaching and I am still busy

Busy is an understatement in my house!  It is more like crazy chaotic.  I have two dogs and unfortunately one of them is not good around children.  We are finding him a new home this weekend (cry-fest for me) and I am still working a lot!  If it isn't one thing, it's another.  Dexter got stitches two weeks ago in his knee because he wasn't listening to me and he was running in the house.  I hope he learned a lesson: ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER, SHE KNOWS EVERYTHING!  Tough tough love!

I am busily working on some fun giveaways for Earth Month and I am working on a few tips to share with you about being eco-friendly all the time.  What are some of the things that you would like to see me write about?

Remember last week's post about going through and upcycling/recycling belongings from your past?  Well guess what else I remembered having as a child?  Venetian Masks!  You know whats so funny about them?  I use to have at least 10 of them and they were so pretty.  I had them for years and one day I freaked out and took them off my wall and never looked back.  They completely creeped me out for some reason and my Mom learned not to bring them up because I didn't want to talk about them.  She ended up donating them to Good Will.  

I really really want to start a pimp garden this year and I know I need to start preparing for this.  Do you have any hints/tips for me?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Eco-Friendly Spring Cleaning and Up-Cycling

Being eco-friendly isn't something that I do because it is popular but rather because it is the responsible thing to do.  I want to leave the planet is good shape for my sons.  I want them to love the Earth and everything in and around it.  I want to teach them about being good stewards of the Earth.

I have this box of things from when I was little that contain things that I was saving for my daughter (if I had one).  I have treasures that I have collected over the years including Precious Moments figurines, really nice snow globes and a fantastic Music Box.  Since I am not having any more children I have decided to send these treasures to my niece.  I know she will love them and treat them just right.  This part of my up-cycling efforts makes me happy.

Teaching a newly 3 year old boy about reducing, reusing, recycling and up-cycling isn't all that easy.  He has a love for the moon and the planet so I tell him it helps the moon and the planet to stay healthy.  He seems to get that part of it.  I guess, for now, that is all that matters.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Swanson Health Product Review and Giveaway

As someone who will be 30 years old this year I consider myself lucky to still have grandparents that are living.  My Grama Alice just turned 95 in January and she is pretty lucid and still very hilarious.  She has always been a big proponent of vitamins and I thank her tenacity for vitamin habit.  Every day I take a muli-vitamin *usually prenatal*, an extra C this time of year for immune support, fish oil and Calcium/Vitamin D.  Not only does Vitamin D help support the immune support but it also helps regulate blood pressure and reduce stress.  Read more about the benefits of Vitamin D here.  I am rarely sick and I pride myself on my general health and well being.  I think vitamins help me stay as healthy as I can.  

Remember my post about making my own formula for Oliver?  Well the majority of the ingredients that I use are from Swanson Health Products.  Swanson is always the lowest price for all of the products I buy and their quality is unsurpassed.  Not only does Swanson sell vitamins and minerals but I was also able to buy the Organic Sunflower Oil there that I use in his formula too.  In fact, I had a hard time finding Amla fruit and Swanson carries this product under their own private label!

Ok, so their prices are great but what about their customer service?  I think it is second-to-none.  I was having difficulties with their website (I think it doesn't like Safari) so I had to call and place my last order.  The woman I spoke with was extremely helpful and very patient.  The shipping is always $4.99 (for orders up to $65).  I also love that they offer promo codes to those customers who receive their email newsletter.  First time subscribers will receive special savings.  I have also received a $5 Promo Code in each box that I have ordered.  This pretty much equals free shipping!  

I tweeted about how much I love Swanson and I heard from their team right away.  They were happy that I was so happy.  They even offered to host a giveaway for my readers!  You know that I jumped on that right away because I love you guys so much!  How does a $50 GC to Swanson Heath Products sound?

MANDATORY ENTRY:  Head over to Swanson and let me know a few of the products you would buy with your $50 GC.

*Follow me on GFC
*Follow me on Twitter @royaldixie
*Follow Swanson on Twitter
*Like me on Facebook (2 entries)
*Like Swanson on Facebook
*Become an email subscriber (3 entries)
*How did you find my site? 

*Grab my button and add it to your blogroll 
*TWEET *You must follow me in order to tweet for entries (once daily) Enter to #win a $50 GC from @royaldixie Super Savvy Mommy and @SwansonVitamins

This giveaway will end on April 13th at NOON EST and open anywhere Swanson ships.  GOOD LUCK!

**I was sent a $50 GC for review purposes but I wasn't compensated in any other way.  The opinions are my 100% own.  I was not obligated to write a positive review**

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Solution for an Empty Kitchen Table Giveaway {closed}

Congrats Comment #17

I am all about delicious family meals that are fast, easy and nutritious.  I was recently approached by Scotto to try their new Fresco frozen meals.  Seeing as though I am married to a chef I cannot tell you the last time that I ate a frozen meal.  I can honestly say that in the 10 years that we have been together, I have not eaten one.  I jumped at the chance to try two of the entrees.  Why?  "Fresco by Scotto® is a family owned Italian restaurant in New York City. Their concept is simple: to serve delicious, fresh, seasonally inspired food in a warm atmosphere. We've created six Fresco by Scotto® family favorite meals to enjoy at your own dining room table."  Who wouldn't want to try something that sounds so easy and perfect.  I was given my choice of two items and I chose their lasagna with meatball sauce and eggplant and zucchini pie.

Because of my breastfeeding diet (no dairy, remember) I had to wait to review these items.  They were definitely worth the wait.  When I told my husband one night that I had dinner covered, he was scared.  When I told him it was frozen lasagna he grew even more worried.  I assured him that I thought he would enjoy this particular lasagna because it was similar to his mother's because it had mini meatballs in the sauce.  The cooking couldn't have been any easier.  Pull back the layer of plastic film just enough to vent the entree and bake.  How hard is that?  I made fresh garlic bread and a salad to accompany dinner.  My husband and I instantly agreed that the Fresco Lasagna with Meatball Sauce was by far the best frozen lasagna that we had ever tasted.  Dexter even really enjoyed it.  The flavors were great.  The texture was good considering it is a frozen entree.  

The next item that I reviewed was the Eggplant and Zucchini Pie.  I had extremely high expectations for this entree and I was not disappointed one bit!  WOW it was so delicious.  Jason had a bite (he isn't much of a side dish fan) and he said it was "tasty".  I made it to go along side roasted chicken thighs, quinoa and peas.  I loved the pie so much that I skipped the quinoa altogether.  Dexter is a great eater but I didn't give him any of the pie because I didn't want to hear him complain about it before he tried it (he is soooo 3 years old!).  I was not surprised, however, when he leaned over and forked a bite of mine.  He proceeded to eat the entire helping!  That made me so very happy!  I made this for dinner on Monday night and I finished the rest of it last night (Friday).  The portion is large and the flavors are melty and awesome *yes, I can invent the word melty to be used as an adjective!*  Another thing I love is that a whole cup serving (which seemed very satisfying) was only 340 calories.  That is a great deal considering the amount of cheesy goodness in every bite!

The amazing folks at Scotto want to give two Super Savvy Mommy readers an entree of their choice!  You can choose from Penne Gratin, Eggplant and Zucchini Pie, Fusilli with Seasonal Vegetables and Lasagna with Meatball Sauce.  Take a look at their website and let me know which item you would like to win.

I bet you'd love extra ways to win wouldn't you?

*Follow me on GFC
*Follow me on Twitter @royaldixie
*Follow Fresco on Twitter
*Like me on Facebook (2 entries)
*Like Fresco on Facebook
*Become an email subscriber (3 entries)
*How did you find my site? 

*Grab my button and add it to your blogroll 
*TWEET *You must follow me in order to tweet for entries (once daily) Enter to #win a frozen gourmet entree from @royaldixie Super Savvy Mommy and @FrescoSchwans

This giveaway will end on April 9th at NOON EST and open to US residents.  GOOD LUCK!

**I was sent the above entrees for review but I wasn't compensated in any other way.  The opinions are my 100% own.  I was not obligated to write a positive review**

Thursday, March 10, 2011 Review

Dexter's potty training journey started when he was 19 months old.  He decided that he wanted to use the potty for the first time.  We didn't push him in any way so we just went with it when he showed interest.  We stopped for a little while and about 6 months later he showed interest again.  He loved peeing on the potty but pooping was a whole other story in and of itself.  Once Dexter started pooping on the potty regularly we started naked potty training!  It was fabulous a success.  After a few short weeks we were accident-free and officially out of diapers (except at night).  I had read that night time potty training can take years to master and I got scared.  We started using nighttime diapers and we started realizing that he would go days without using them at night!  WOW!  I got spoiled.  I am happy to say that we have been diaper-free for quite some time now.  I am not saying that there aren't nights when we have an accident but by limiting his liquid intake prior to bed and creating behavior charts we have been quite successful.  Dexter loves racing downstairs in the morning to put a sticker on his chart.  I love that he is developing his sense of pride!

Recently I was introduced to  Of course, I had to check out their behavior and chore charts. I made a behavior chart for Dexter's Overnight Potty Success.

What I really like about the site is the fact that you can customize your chart with ease.  You can pick any kind of "sticker" that you want and you can keep track of several accomplishments at a time.  I also like that you can easily scroll through the months to see how the progress is coming (or not!)  Kids and adults alike can easily use to make charts and to-do lists.  How much does it cost you ask?  Its my 2nd favorite 4-letter word FREE! (Yes, my fav also starts with F).  There is nothing to pay and your account is super easy to set up!

The only drawback to this site (for me) is the fact that Dexter, being newly 3, isn't as tech-savvy as I am so we lose the appeal of an actual IRL (in real life) sticker.  The manual process of sticking it to his chart is the best part for him other than his prize!

No matter what your charting needs, has you covered.  I would highly recommend this site to parents who need a great tool to use to track their children's accomplishments.

**I was compensated for this post but opinions are 100% mine**

redbox Lucky to Have Friends Like You Promotion

redbox is having a great promotion now through March 17th where you could get free movie rentals! The Lucky to Have Friends Like You promotion is a great way to earn free rentals for yourself while helping your friends to get free rentals. Sounds good, right? Well, here are the details -
o   Sign-up at
o   Redbox will email you a unique web address
o   Every time someone reserves a movie online through your unique web address, you’ll receive a credit for a free one-night DVD rental
o   If it is their first time reserving online, they’ll also receive a credit for a free one night rental
o   Spread the luck!  Email it, post it to Facebook, Tweet about it!
Please feel free to use my referral link to sign up.  Consider it your RAOK for the day :)

**I am being compensated for this post. Official Rules from Redbox still apply. I am also entering a giveaway for free redbox movies and movie snack packs as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club**

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

National Reading Week Celebration Sandra Boynton Style {closed}

Congrats Katie S, Comment #67

I have professed my love of books many times throughout my years of blogging.  I have told you that I am a reading teacher but I have not yet shared with you Dexter's profound love of books.  Dexter simply is obsessed with books, reading and words.  For Dexter's 6 month birthday he received the book "Hippos Go Berserk" by Sandra Boynton.  It has been his absolute favorite for the last 2.5 years.  I have since purchased many more Sandra Boynton titles.  Our newest (and Dexter's new favorite) is "Pajama Time".  

In every book that I read to him there are at least two sentences that Dex wants me to read over and over again.  In "Pajama Time" he likes it when I put my arm around him and say "Pajammy to the left and Pajammy to the right" while I sway to the left and right.  It gets him every time!  

One of the books that was sent to me for review was Barnyard Dance.  I think that this book is super cute as it talks about different animals dancing throughout the barnyard.  I really like that it uses the word promenade as it is great for building vocabularies.

If you are looking for the most hilarious book then look no further than "Fifteen Animals".  "Fifteen Animals" is about a boy's pets all named Bob except for one, his turtle.  I love reading this book to Dexter because it reminds me how smart he is!  I will start to read and then I will suddenly stop and Dexter will fill in the words.  This makes me beam.  

How would you like to win your own copy of Perfect Piggies?  Just tell me which book is your childs favorite and if you own any Sandra Boynton books already.

*Follow me on GFC
*Follow me on Twitter @royaldixie
*Like me on Facebook (2 entries)
*Become an email subscriber (3 entries)
*How did you find my site? 

*Grab my button and add it to your blogroll 
*TWEET *You must follow me in order to tweet for entries (once daily)

This giveaway will end on March 29th at NOON EST and open to US residents.  GOOD LUCK!

**I was sent a few titles for review but all the opinions are my own.  I was not obligated to write a positive review**
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