A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Survive Allergy Season with NeilMed Naspira Nasal-Oral Aspirarator {A #MomsMeet Review + Coupon Code}

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.  

Hello, Allergy Season!!

Ah, yes...warm weather has finally arrived... and with it, allergies! My daughter is the biggest sufferer in my family. Summer is only just beginning and already she is an itchy, snotty mess. A lot of you can probably relate, right?

If so, then you probably can also relate to the struggle to clear those snotty noses. At two years old, my daughter just isn't a big fan of blowing her nose... but that's what nose aspirators were made for, right? To clear out noses when your little one is unable to blow... except, when they see that bulb headed towards them, in my experience, the instinct is to fight. So, now we're struggling to keep this bulb squeezed and ready, position it in their noses, keep them from squirming...well, it's just not an easy task, is it? There HAD to be a better solution!

With the NeilMed® Naspira® Nasal-Oral Aspirator, there is!! What sets the NeilMed® Naspira® Nasal-Oral Aspirator apart from the rest? Take a look at these few quick facts-

  • It's unique design. It is the world's most uniquely designed nasal aspirator. It allows parents to use a suction force created by their mouth (like using a straw) to clear out the nasal congestion in babies and little ones, safely and effectively.
  • It's versatile. While of course the key feature is the ability to use your mouth to create the correct suction...maybe that's not always an option. Perhaps there are multiple caregivers and you haven't had a chance to sterilize... or somewhere in the sterilization process a piece has gone missing... whatever the case, it can also be used simply as a NeilMed® NasaBulb aspirator. 
  • It's easy to clean. So, we've all seen those pictures of what it looks like when you cut open a typical nasal aspirator, right? Yuck!!! Those hard to clean bulbs are just better off tossed out! But this aspirator features a high-grade, all-silicone design that pulls apart easily for cleaning of all components and allows you to sterilize through boiling water or microwave disinfection protocol! The transparent design also lets you know when it needs cleaning too!
  • It features disposable filters. So, perhaps you're wondering, isn't that gross? Will you end up with snot in your mouth? A valid concern for sure, but they thought of that too! It features a disposable in-line filter that prevents mucus from inadvertently entering the tubing and reaching parent's mouth. There are 7 of the filters included.
  • It won't break the bank. With a retail price of just $9.99 to $14.99, it is of course higher in cost than your typical nasal aspirator... but for the benefits it provides and the fact that you are able to sterilize and use again and again, it truly is a great price. NeilMed products can be found at Babies R Us, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Harmon, Kinney Drugs, Shop Rite, Brookshire’s, amazon.com, drugstore.com, neilmed.com, and myotcstore.com

Sounds great on paper, but what about in practice? Does it really work?

Well, with warm weather arriving, allergies showed up in full force this week for my 2-year-old, so we had the chance to put it to the test ourselves!

As I said earlier, typically when my daughter sees a nasal aspirator, she runs! But something about this one intrigued her! She held the bulb in place herself and thought it was the coolest thing when mommy used the 'straw'. Rather than running, she kept begging to do it again and again, long after the mucus was actually cleared from her nose. My son- lover of gross things- also thought it was pretty cool that you could see clearly everything that was suctioned out. Gross, I know, but boys will be boys... and truthfully as a parent, it is helpful to see that you are having some type of impact. It was easy to use and much gentler than what a typical nasal aspirator would be. This has already been a very welcome addition to our medicine cabinet- clearing out noses gently and naturally.

You can check out more great products available and connect with NeilMed at the links below:

Ready to buy your own? Visit Neilmed.com and use code “MOMSBLOG” for $3 off
the purchase of NeilMed® Naspira® Nasal-Oral Aspirator. Awesome, right?

Does your little one struggle with summer allergies? What other tips and tricks have helped you get through? How can the NeilMed® Naspira® Nasal-Oral Aspirator help?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Gardening with Kids: Our DIY Swimming Pool Garden

Teaching kids to make healthy food choices is a topic that I have talked about often here on the blog. You see, some time ago I read that when asked, many children had no idea where their food actually came from. They didn't know that meat came from animals or fruits and vegetables from plants. I found this interesting, and decided that I was going to make an effort to make sure that my kids knew otherwise! Having a husband that grew up on a hog farm, the meat part was actually pretty easy to explain. Next came produce. I didn't want to just tell them...I wanted them to experience it firsthand. So we planted a garden. 

Honestly, I can't say that this was all the successful. We found our soil wasn't that great at the home we were living and we struggled with flooding. We ended up with some tomatoes, but that was about it. Still, we didn't give up. We decided this year we wanted to try again... but we did things a little differently!

As you may recall, we moved last summer and our new yard- while a good size for the kids to run and play- didn't really have an ideal spot for a true garden. And because we moved only a few houses down, we knew we might experience some of the same soil issues we ran across before. So, we decided to go with a container garden instead. I looked into raised garden beds, but found they were out of our budget...so I got creative. I looked around to find what types of containers we had that might work to re-purpose! What I found was my kids old kiddie pool from last summer!

At 8, my oldest had certainly outgrown this tiny pool, and honestly my toddler wasn't far behind... so we decided to create a small garden inside! Want to create your own? It's super simple!

  • First up, prepare your pool. Drill many small holes throughout the bottom of the pool so that water can drain. 
  • Next fill with soil. I found for our little pool it took about 3- 3.5 40 pound bags of soil to fill.
  • Now get to planting! You can plant seeds, or have plants already started as we did! 
  • You can add any fun little fences, garden decor etc if you like.

This little pool garden was super simple and inexpensive and truly is a great way to get the kids involved too! It's also ideal for renters like ourselves. Now, I cannot yet say how well our garden will turn out, but we are hopeful! We decided this year- instead of attempting several varieties as we did before- we would pace ourselves and keep it small. We will have tomatoes, squash, zucchini, peas and eggplant. We are looking to add some sweet peppers too, and may find another place for some watermelon...maybe! We are excited to watch our garden grow and will keep you updated on the progress as we go!

Do you have any more creative gardening tips? I would love to hear them! Please share in the comments below!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Make Moving Easy with CORT Furniture Rental {+Other Moving Tips} #CORTforMilitary #ad @CORTFurniture

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CORT for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

With military life, life can be pretty hard to predict. In fact, the only thing you truly can predict is the unpredictable. You never know when your spouse will be training, deployed or when those orders would come to move. 

I will admit that for this girl who had lived in the same place her whole life, that initial move was rough. Still, while I cannot say that I ENJOY moving, I have picked up several tips and tricks along the way that have made these inevitable a little easier to deal with! Today, I wanted to share a few of these with you.

Some of these tips may be better suited for military families, but others are great for anyone!

Love It or Leave It

I must admit, I'm a natural pack rat. It's in my blood. I can attach a sentimental value to just about everything... but frequent military movies have forced me to really think long and hard about which things I keep. Packing stinks, so do you really want to be packing and moving things you know you won't be using over and over again? I find it helpful to sort through things periodically and clear out what you're not using. This will help to lighten the load- in more ways than one- if and when a move does pop up.
Be Organized

Again, another confession- I'm not organized in the slightest! But with moving, you have to be! Pack things by the room, and label them well so that when you get to your new location you know JUST where they go. If it's something you will need right away, be certain that it is clearly marked so that you won't be in such a rush to unpack everything right away. Make lists if it helps!
Know Your Packing Order

When I get the first indication that we're going to be moving, I immediately start gathering boxes and packing up what I can. I start with things I know we don't need in the meantime- like books for example. I'll start taking down knick knacks or wall decor... things that aren't actively being used. By packing up these unused items, it makes packing the more important items go more quickly on moving day...and also gives you time to sort and part with anything too. 

Pack the Kids' Stuff Last

This may go in part with the previous tip, but it warrants a mention all on its own. Moves can be really rough on kids, so anything you can do to help make the transition easier is definitely a plus! If kids see their toys, etc disappearing for weeks before the move, they may begin to worry... so in our family, the kids' rooms really don't get touched until moving day. Yes, I might go in and clear some unused things out before then, but as far as actually packing, we wait. These are also among the first rooms we unpack once we are settled. Favorite toys that your little ones love? Consider keeping them with you rather than on the moving truck!
Consider Furniture Rental

I don't know about you, but one of my least favorite parts about moving is moving the furniture. Seriously. Not only is it going to weigh the most and be the most costly to move, but there is always that chance that it could be damaged in the move. We've seen this personally many a time- a piece of furniture you love getting scuffed and scratch...no good! Aside from that, some moves- military or otherwise- we know will be short term. Take recruiting duty- you know that in just 3 years you'll be packing up and moving yet again. Or even less time...maybe you're a wife who has decided to move closer to home while your spouse is deployed... do you REALLY want to move all that furniture again in such a short time span? It is for these situations and many more that furniture rental can be an ideal option. It's such a convenient option...there when you need it and gone when you don't!

When you need that flexibility of furniture rental, 
CORT Furniture Rental can help. They are the nation's trusted solution to rent furniture. But don't just take it from me, take a look at this video:

Sounds great, right? And they even offer special military pricing too, with military packages starting at $119 a month. (*Military pricing is only available on military packages. Customer must present valid Military I.D. before delivery.) 

Ready to start renting your furniture? You can see everything that CORT has to offer, learn more and connect at the links below:

CORT Furniture Rental
Are you a frequent mover? What other moving tips and tricks do you have? How can CORT Furniture Rental help make the transitions easier?

Visit Sponsors Site

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Explore Outdoors with a DIY Binoculars Kid Craft

Warm weather seems to finally be arriving here in Indiana, and the kids and I are taking full advantage!! We want to spend as much rain free time outside as possible. We may not have the money in our budget to go on fancy adventures elsewhere, but we have found there can be adventure in our own backyard if we look for it!

Today, I want to share a super simple kids craft that will help make exploring even more exciting: DIY Toiler Paper Roll Binoculars!

  • 2 Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Glue
  • Ribbon/Yarn
  1. Prepare your TP rolls...remove any leftover toilet paper, etc. For this post, we just left out rolls very simple, but if preferred, you could paint or decorate to your liking.
  2. Apply glue to one side of a roll. Glue the two rolls together. If you are making for the kids, you can use hot glue to speed up this process. We used a simple tacky glue and found we did need to hold together for a few minutes to keep it together. You can also use a hair dryer to speed up the process. Allow to dry completely undisturbed.
  3. Add a ribbon or yarn so your little one can wear them.
That's it...a super simple craft that will help prepare every child for some backyard exploring.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Life Verse Creative Journal: A Book Review

**Book received for review. All thoughts are my own.

Often when I talk about Bible journaling, I hear the same ol' comment.

"It sounds great, but why does it have to be IN the Bible? Why can't you just use a regular journal?'

For me personally, I never had any issues with the idea of marking in my Bible so Bible journaling didn't bother me at all... but I realize that for some it does.They want the experience of journaling as a form of worship, but in a seperate journal. And that's perfectly okay!

If this sounds like you, I have a book set that might be a perfect for you: The Life Verse Creative Journal.

Are you ready to discover your life verse? Choosing a life verse from Scripture is a powerful way to aim your steps toward God. This two-pack of beautiful journals (64 pages each) will guide you to choose a life verse and to make it your own! In journal 1, fifteen verses are explored through text and journaling prompts and combined with beautiful line-art illustrations for you to color and make your own. Journal 2 is blank and ready for your imagination, your art, and your story!

This journal set is absolutely fabulous.

First up, the first journal. This one features predrawn artwork that is ready for you to color and make your own. If you are a fan of adult coloring books already, this will be a welcome addition. The artwork features verses that are perfect for reflecting upon and applying to your life. But what really sets this apart from a typical coloring book are the journaling prompts. Some pages have plenty of room to write down thoughts based on the given prompts, or to doodle your own doodles. It truly is as much a journal as it is a coloring book, and will really inspire you to get creative and grow closer to God.

The next journal can be used however you please. It's completely blank. You can do typical journaling and write your thoughts (though it is unlined), or you can get creative and create your own artwork. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination!! Truly a perfect gift for anyone who is interested in coloring and Bible journaling!

Life Verse Creative Journal is available to purchase now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Finding Strength During Hard Times {Bible Journaling Inspiration}

One of the things I love most about Bible journaling is that- much like typical journaling- it allows me to express what I'm feeling at any given time. It inspires me to find verses that suit what I'm going through. And in the process gives me a chance to reflect and pray on it.

Lately, I must admit...I've been having a rough time. The circumstances aren't important, but I will just say that we've been hit with some unexpected troubles being thrown our way and to say it's been a rough few months is quite the understatement. I've been feeling rather down at times, but trying to remain faithful during it all and trust Him that everything will be okay. Taking a look through my recent journaling entries certainly reflects that.

Today I wanted to share a few of my personal journaling entries from the past few weeks, and offer some verses that are perfect for anyone struggling. These are ideal for Bible journaling, or just as words of comfort...

Some Verses for Inspiration:

Hebrews 6:19
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

James 1:12
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Philippians 4:6-8
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Romans 8:31
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Psalm 50:15
And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

John 16:33
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Do you have some favorite verses that you turn to when you're struggling? Share them in the comments below.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Try Products For Free!!! {A Look Inside My Influenster #SuperMomVox Box}

One of the fantastic perks of being a blogger is having the opportunity to try out a variety of products and sharing my thoughts on those products. It's a lot of hard work, of course, but I still love it!!

But did you know that you don't have to be a blogger to have the chance to try and review products yourself? There are many companies that will send you full sized products right to your door to try for free- just to hear your thoughts. Today, I wanted to share with you one of my personal favorites: Influenster!

Take a look at this quick overview-

A community of over 2 million social savvy shoppers that:
Stay on top of the latest product news & expert tips.
Review products, share honest opinions with brands and the community.
Test products for free based on social media influence.

Sounds pretty great, right?

And it really is! It's a simple way to try new products and share them with those in your own network. You can sign up now by following this link.

So, what can you expect to find inside each Vox Box? Each one is different of course, but I can't say that I've ever been disappointed. To give you just a little idea, check out what came in my #SuperMomVoxBox:

  • Palmolive Fusion Clean with Baking Soda and Lime

    I love cleaning with baking soda- seriously, nothing gets the job done better, so I loved discovering a new dish soap that uses that same secret! It smells great too!
  • Suave Kids Purely Fun

    Suave is such a great brand because the products work great without breaking the bank. I love that these products are free of dyes and parabens as well- great especially for my daugher's super sensitive skin!
  • Plackers Flossers
    My kids love these! They truly do making flossing not just much easier... but more fun too!!
  • Secret Outlast Xtend Invisible Solid

    With summer months coming up, a great deodorant is especially important, so I loved having the chance to try this one out!!
  • Pilot Acroball Pens

    This was perhaps my favorite thing in my package, believe it or not! I am a list maker, so I am always going through pens like crazy. These pens were great...they didn't just work well, but they looked great too!!
  • Daisy Squeeze Sour Cream

    This came in the form of a coupon which I am excited to redeem! So many great recipes calling my name, and this will certainly help lower our grocery bill!

Sounds pretty great, right? Like I said, this truly is a fantastic network for bloggers and non-bloggers alike!! And this is just one of many great programs like it. In fact, I will soon be working on a blog post to share more of these great sites with all of you!