Pura Stainless: The Only Bottle You Will Ever Need

The choice to GO Green or eat organic, although great choices, can be extremely over whelming. You may think that you need to remove all of the food from your house and start over or take all of your children’s plastic toys away and buy them new ones. My husband and I do our best to provide a safe, organic, clean and green environment for our children. But for us it is all about baby steps. We make our own baby food, we keep a garden and we have chickens in order to provide fresh eggs for our family. This doesn’t mean that our children don’t have any plastic toys or that they don’t eat the occasional bag of chips. The key phrase is “do our best!” We make changes when and where we can.

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A great example of this would be the most recent change we were able to make and that was the transition away from plastic baby bottles. The talk of BPA’s and Phthalates and other harmful chemicals in plastic has been going around for years now. My first 2 children used plastic bottles and my newest little addition did as well……. until my husband came home raving about this bottle that he found at our local grocery store. The bottle is made by a Pura Stainless. He told me that it was stainless steel (a new love of mine) and that it also grew with your child with the option of 5 different tops that are compatible with the bottle. There is a baby nipple, a toddler spout, a straw for older kids, a sports bottle top, and a snack top. They do offer different sized bottles but every top fits on ever bottle!  I was in disbelief that one product could have all of the qualities I would want. Durable, safe, non toxic and functional??

We ended up buying a baby bottle and once I opened it and used it, I instantly knew that I needed one for my other two boys. I wanted to try the other tops as well as the other sized bottles. We now have 3 bottles and 4 different tops. Each bottle is made from high grade stainless steel and plastic free silicone. Another great upside to these is that your drinks stay hot/cold. We all know as parents how hard it is to keep our kids drinks cold in the summer!

Here is what we have:

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The baby bottle came with the an 11oz bottle, a natural vent nipple, and a silicone spill proof top.

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Our experience with this bottle has been wonderful. It is so easy to clean, so sterile, and the spill proof silicone top is ACTUALLY spill proof. We also noticed a huge change in our baby after using this bottle. Up until that point our son, who suffered horrible reflux, would vomit after every bottle. Not just spit up but projectile vomit. The nipple on this bottle seemed to really help him and his vomiting decreased. (I’m not claiming that this bottle cures reflux. Our baby just did really well with it.)

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The Toddler Bottle: For my 3 year old we have the 9oz insulated bottle, the toddler spout, and the straw top.

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My toddler carries this bottle everywhere. It goes to the playground, hiking, in the backyard and let me tell you its a good thing that stainless steel is so durable because it gets dropped and rolled over the place. I feel like in a house with 3 boys, if we have gone another route in our hunt for safe bottles and gotten glass, they would be shattered by now. I also love that there are 2 different tops for him because he loves the straw for  day time but at night when its time for bed, the spout makes it easier for him to drink while laying down.

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The Sports Bottle: we have the 18oz sports bottle with the sports top.

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Can I just tell you how rare it is to find something that all three of my kids enjoy with ages ranging from 7 months to 12 years?! Usually with things like this my oldest ends up feeling left out because the babes get cool new toys and gadgets so when I told him that he could have a cool new bottle also, he was pretty exited. He loves it and also takes it everywhere. It is perfect for school, after school activities, camping and whatever other activities preteens take part in lol like hanging in trees apparently!!

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We have become huge stainless steel supporters in our house. Not just for the kids but for ourselves as well. It is the safest material to use being that it is non toxic, it is composed of natural elements and it doesn’t cling to bacteria. It is better for our environment because it is reusable and one of the most recyclable materials on the planet. Stainless steel is also extremely easy to clean and resists rust and corrosion.

Pura Stainless is by far the greatest company not just for the amazing product they put out, but also what they are doing for the planet and our children. For more products and info visit http://www.purastainless.com and make sure to follow them on social media!

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Small Shop Sundays: Apple Jax

A bib or scarf for any occasion!

Everyday

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Game Day

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Halloween (my personal favorite)

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Disney fun

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It brings me great joy to write this weeks post. Not only do I love the product from this line but the mom boss who runs it happens to be one of the coolest women I know! I have become a bit obsessed with accessorizing my children but I can’t help myself. Especially since this particular product is multi purpose. They aren’t just cute but they also save my children’s clothes from excessive amounts of drool and food!! How horrible would it be to have a soaked shirt all the time?? And I was never a huge fan of the traditional bib. I didn’t use them on my first son because they were just always so bulky. The bibdana is such a great alternative. I am a big fan and this brand is my favorite by far!!

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The Shop: Apple Jax

Apple Jax is a line of hand made minky dot bibdanas and infant toddler snap scarves. They are so adorable, affordable and are the perfect addition to any outfit. They come in a multitude of patterns for any occasion. Now that my little guy is teething and also eating food, I put one on him every day. The minky dot fabric on the back of the bibs makes them really comfortable for babies neck. These are also made to fit perfectly. I had tried many before these and they were either too big or too small. These are just right and somehow still manage to look good on both my infant and my toddler. This woman works magic.  They wash well, stains come right out, the fabric doesn’t fade and the minky stays super soft. The scarves are perfect as well for both infant or toddler. My 3 year old wears them no problem. He usually isn’t a huge fan of accessories but the scarf has a loose fit so once I put it on him, he really doesn’t even notice that he’s wearing it and now that its getting colder here in Utah, I feel like they will serve the purpose of keeping my babes warm.

The Creator: Brittnie 

Brittnie’s story is definitely an inspiring one. She knew what she wanted and is making it happen. All for the love of her little boy. At one time she was told that she would not be able to have children and as any woman who wants kids can understand, that was deviating to hear. You can imagine her surprise and excitement when she found out that she was in fact pregnant. From that moment she knew that she wanted to be able to stay home with her baby and give him all of the attention he needed. Thus began the creative thought process behind Apple jax. Brittnie is naturally crafty so while pregnant the concept was establish and in July of 2015 the business was opened. This talented lady has dabbled in making pretty much everything but the bibs are her main focus and with how quickly her popularity grew, they keep her pretty busy!! She is able to work from home here in Utah, run her business and spend time with her beautiful baby boy!

contact and where to buy:

Brittnie is currently running RTS (ready to ship) sales on her Instagram account. Follow ShopAppleJax on  Instagram  or Facebook for up to date information, products and sales. You can also message her on either account with any questions.

 

Seasonal Mood Swings: Theres Something About Fall

 

A series of recent, not so pleasant events, got me thinking. My moods have patterns. Not sure what prompted me to try and figure out this pattern but when I did I realized that there definitely is one. What I had always attributed to just random events actually isn’t random at all. These patterns mimic the change in seasons. Do I sound insane? At first, I thought so. I figured I had finally lost it. I had stooped to blaming the seasons for my roller coaster mood swings.

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In looking back at this year I noticed that once those summer months approached my life went into a giant tail spin. I did give birth to my third child which of course was amazing but that was followed by a series of crappy things that I felt unable to deal with which is unlike me because I am normally pretty resilient and try to take things head on and fight. During this time, I didn’t want to fight. I wanted to curl up in my bed and ignore everything and everyone. Turns out avoiding things just causes more problems! 😉 Things happen and thats just life but how we deal with life’s struggles, I feel, plays a huge part in the outcome. It seems to me that my ability to take on challenges and appropriately handle situations greatly decreases during the summer. I don’t know as I would go as far as to call it depression, but maybe a bit.

I had to research. I wanted to know if other people felt this way or if it was just me. Turns out its a real thing! The name for this change in mood is called Seasonal Affective Depression or S.A.D. I had heard of seasonal depression before but what was  funny to me was that all of the articles I read talked about the “winter blues.” That most people are happy during the summer when the sun is shining, days are long and temperatures are warmer. They say that this depression or change in mood starts in the Fall and continues into the Winter months and much less often does this occur in the Spring and Summer. Hmmmm well its not uncommon for me to be a part of the weird, backwards group of people.

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For me its the exact opposite. In the summer I tend to feel sluggish, moody, uninspired and less likely to want to get up and go!! There comes a time, usually around mid September (possibly because thats around my birthday) when I start to feel….uplifted. The air is crisp and cool and as cheesy as it may sound, I feel more alive. I feel awake and want to go outside and explore and take my kids on these fun adventures. I feel happy and things don’t bother me as much. My ability to deal with problems and function like a normal human being returns. I cook more, I argue less. I get this excited feeling in the pit of my stomach as the leaves change and people start to put out their fall decorations.

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Ive always preferred boots, sweaters knit socks and hats to sandals and tank tops!

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Activities seem to be more enjoyable. We hike more, camp, play outside and explore.( And of course theres Halloween which brings a whole new level of excitement )

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and I especially love getting my babes all bundled and seeing their little red noses and cheeks

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I could go on and on about all of the many reason why I love fall/winter but Ill stop myself here. I just felt compelled to write on this topic because I am so curious to know if others experience this. Maybe you have been looking for an answer or feel a little crazy at certain times during the year. Well I am here to tell you that you aren’t the only one!

Hopefully now that I am more aware that this isn’t just completely random and I do have a harder time in the summer, I can try to prepare for it. Not sure what that entails but I guess I have a few months to try and figure out a solution! Like I said, I know that things happen,good and bad, all year long. Im not blaming the seasons for the events that take place but our ability to handle these things is so important. Lets pray that I can up my summer coping skills for everyones sake haha!! But for now I am totally going to enjoy how amazing I feel in this moment.

Mountain Mama and my Nature Boys

I once considered myself, strictly,  a beach girl. I love the water, the sand, the sun, the sounds. Being born in Rhode island and then later growing up in California just a short drive from Malibu, its what I knew. There was always a chill vibe about it. Care free linen clad parents watching their littles play in the ocean. Malibu became my home. I hung out there with friends, my dance training took place there and as a young adult, I worked there. Taking walks to the beach after my work day to sit in the sand and find peace before heading back over the canyon to the valley.

Since moving to Utah, Ive had to find peace elsewhere. Turns out, I am one mountain loving mama. Ive always loved hiking, nature and camping but the Uintas are like nothing I have ever experienced. Its magical. Enchanting.

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Last year, for whatever reason, we didn’t take the 5 minute drive up the canyon as often as we should have. I would just sit and stare longingly from my backyard. This year we vowed to get up there as often as possible and we have definitely made good on that promise. Every chance we get, even if just for an hour, we hop in the car and head off to explore. My children now request to “go to the mountains” on a near daily basis.

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There is nothing like a recharge of fresh air and natural elements. Outdoors, away from electronics and communicating with one another. The boys leave covered in dirt, smiling from ear to ear with pockets filled with treasures. My kind of therapy for sure!! I see a shift in my children’s personalities. Like a detox from their usual everyday routine. Even mom and dad get down and play in the dirt and inspect said treasures.

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Then of course little legs get tired. Thankfully my oldest offered to help me carry tired toddler back to the car.

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A day at Wheeler Farm

Yesterday my husband got to watch his kids enjoy a place that he remembers visiting as a child. It was interesting to hear him share his memories with the kids and to describe to them how some things had changed and how others were exactly as he remembered them. This place is amazing. We had so much fun. Cove hasn’t stopped talking about the animals since we left. the best part Wheeler Farm is that its FREE!! As a family a five, we don’t want to spend a ton of money every time we go out. Perfect example that it does’t take a bunch of money to create wonderful memories. There are things that cost a couple of dollars like the tractor rides but I think they were literally $2 for a ride around the entire farm. This was one of my favorite family day destinations so far.

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I am still amazed at how many brother bonding moments we were able to capture!

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I dont think my kids had favorite animal. They loved them all.

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Cove loved the old machines and found that the wheels make for a great hat rack

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Jordan sat and listened to the blacksmith for awhile

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and both boys enjoyed feeding the ducks (more brother bonding!)

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of course cove couldn’t resist trying to swim with them.

Adapting

My determination to leave the house today came on strong and was brought into light by the inability to go out for the past few days. Having any sort of ailment or chronic illness can make many things difficult. In my case, when said illness is rearing its ugly head,  leaving the house is a struggle and most times we just stay home. (Insert major mom/wife guilt here.) We have had to adapt to short jam packed outings rather than long all day events or things that keep us out for too long. Thankfully in these moments I have learned to shift my thought process. I take advantage of the days that we have dad home. His presence in no way takes away the symptoms that I have to deal with but I feel a sense of peace knowing that there are an extra set of eyes on the kids if I have to run an take care of myself for a minute. I have also learned to celebrate even the smallest of things. We left the house for 2 hours today and in that short amount of time the kids experienced some really cool things. It is so important to us that they have amazing memories of their childhood as big or small as they may be and sometimes the most simple things leave the biggest impact.

Moving on from depressing talk of illness 🙂

Today we ventured to Salt lake which has become a place of such spirit lifting experiences for me. This place just speaks to me and I would absolutely love to move here in the future. We visited Liberty park, the oldest park in Utah. The park opened in 1882 and has so many cool attractions and was filled with such community and diversity. We visited the Utah Folks Arts museum and there were awesome art and jewelry booths set up. The kids visited the lake filled with ducks and we hope to go back and ride the paddle boats soon. There was also a aviary that we somehow missed so we will for sure be heading back ASAP.

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Its amazing how much fun a giant hill can be!! Running and rolling and dodging duck poop! Jordan stuck to riding his hover board along the top.

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This garden was my favorite part. The colors were so vibrant (and conveniently matched my kimono). Bowie enjoyed the view, the other boys… couldn’t have cared less about the flowers lol

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Then they have the seven canyons fountain, the splash pad and multiple playgrounds.

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and my ridiculously cool pre teen… well he was actually super stoked about the vintage car show that was going on. That and chilling out on the grass with his baby bro.

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So today we celebrate getting out of the house, overcoming challenges, appreciating the smallest things, and spending time together as a family. Not settling or giving into the crap that we can all get handed. Here’s to pushing forward.

I am in the process of writing about my journey with Crohns disease. Its taking me a bit longer than expected. Hoping to have that up soon.

The Fourth of July at Discovery Park

I knew that I would be finding more of Utahs hidden gems as the summer progressed, I just didn’t realize it would be this soon after my summer activities post! I had been hearing great things about this park In Pleasant Grove that is filled with amazing learning activities. Since my husband was home for the Fourth of July, we decided to check it out.

This park is called  the Novell Kids Discovery Park and is a part of the Manila Park in Pleasant Grove.

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The first thing I noticed when we pulled up was that it was all wood, which I loved! No dirty plastic or Hot metal. The second thing I noticed was how huge this park is! Also I saw a wide range in ages. I liked that I can bring my almost 3 year old an my 12 year old and they both had a great time.

Discovery Park is broken up into Learning Zones. They have a Science zone, a huge wooden rocket ship that the kids can climb inside of, a dinosaur sand pit with a geological timeline, speaking tubes placed around the park that the kids can communicate through, whisper dishes made from old satellite dishes, an echo box perfect for screaming! and Plenty of climbing activities for all ages. There are also great areas for adults. plenty of seating, one table has a chess board and a plant garden if you want to take a break from the playground.

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There are giant musical instruments which I think my husband may have enjoyed more than anyone…

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my favorite part were the giant beehives!!!

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There are , of course, all of the normal park amenities. All the usual suspects. Cove loved the tire swing and puzzle boards.

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The kids were all over the place. They explored every inch of this park. By the end Jordan was ready for a nap. Its really difficult being a pre teen 😉

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As we were leaving people were setting up chairs and blankets for the fireworks show going on at the park but we decided to head back home and enjoy them from our yard. We were starving after all of that playing. We cooked up some burgers and corn had a picnic on the front lawn.

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Later on that night we headed back out front to watch the many fireworks shows going on in our neighborhood. I think we counted 4 different shows going on at once.Our cul de sac was the perfect central location to view all of them. The kids climbed on top of dads car for a better view.

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Hope everyone had an amazing had an amazing holiday weekend.

 

 

 

Summertime and the living is CRAZY! some of our favorite summer activities

The topic of what to do with your kids  during this major heat wave has come up a lot recently. I’ve been asked what we do to stay cool and how I keep my kids busy.  I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about these activities at the beginning of summer because I was still trying figure out life with a third child!! If I still lived in Los angeles my go to spot would of course be the beach but obviously thats not an option. Luckily Utah has a ton of gorgeous, family friendly places to check out and I’m sure that we haven’t even seen a quarter of them. We have so much more to explore here . But we have managed to find some places and things to do that are fun for the kids while being manageable for mom. 🙂

There are some days that I absolutely need to get out of the house but there are other days when I just want to stay home! On said days, when packing up, getting dressed and driving anywhere seems more than I can bare, we head to our “backyard wonderland” and have just as much fun there as we would anywhere else. Anyone that knows us would tell you that my children are naked most of the time. Yes I have little nudest nature babies and that is totally okay with me! So most of the time we will turn on the sprinklers or fill the kiddie pool. Clothes come off, water goes on and thats our afternoon. Here are some other backyard adventures we enjoy:

Backyard camping

One of my favorite things to do is set up a tent in the back yard. I bring out blankets and pillows (sometimes the mickey mouse couch makes its way outside as well) snacks, drinks, crayons and books. everything we would need for a real camp out. This is so fun for the kids because its something a little different than our everyday back yard routine. They think its fun and a special treat. We sit in our little shaded tent area and i’ll set up the kiddie pool also in case they get too hot. These days usually include a nature scavenger hunt and we draw and color what we see outside! Cove usually collects sticks to make a pretend fire.

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Water Trampoline

Spraying the trampoline with the hose has become a favorite of my oldest son. Or he puts the sprinkler underneath and they both think it hilarious  that the water comes up through the bottom. Easy fix to them telling me its too hot to jump!

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Painting Parties/Art Days

These pictures are from awhile ago but being creative and getting messy is still one of my favorite things to do if we are going stay home. I love putting on music, grabbing a canvas and some paint and letting the kids go for it! Take a hose and soap to them when they are done. They are clean and you are left with some awesome art to keep forever!

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On days when I feel like getting out of the house and its too hot for the park, we have found a ton of fun things to do that are still outdoors (our preference) and also involve water.

Splash Pads!

These magical places are now something I hold near and dear to my heart! When my husband isn’t with me, I can’t take both babies to a pool since I wouldn’t be able to be in the water with one and out holding the other at the same time. Splash pads are the answer!! I can watch from the sidelines, kids stay cool and we are lucky enough to have found one near our house that has an enclosed playground attached!!! winning! We love this place so much we ended up having coves second birthday here last year

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Scera water park

We have this amazing water park near our house. There are Multiple pools, a huge water slide, a splash pad and a large grass area to set up for the day. There are lounge chairs, a concession stand and water toys available for purchase. We love it here.

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Lakes and Ponds 

We are so lucky to live near so many beautiful lakes and ponds and waterfalls! Hiking may not sound like the best idea when its scorching outside but when there is a gorgeous waterfall near by, hiking seems a lot more appealing! We feel so blessed to have these areas all within a 15 min drive.

Tibble Fork Reservoir

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Utah lake

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Manila Creek Pond

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Bridal veil Falls

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Although we are lovers of the outdoors, there are some days when coming in from the heat is necessary. On those days there are always indoor play gyms and bounce houses. We are frequent visitors of Kangaroo zoo but there are plenty of these places around. They are great for staying cool and allowing the kids to run and jump and be crazy!! The kids get to play and there are couches and tables for moms to sit and watch from a safe distance. 🙂

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and last but not least….. The ARCADE!! my personal fave 🙂 Cove is now old enough to appreciate how fun this is because he can finally play the games himself and he understands the concept of collecting tickets for prizes. We just went the other day and had so much fun. Thankfully I had my baby wrap so I was able to carry the baby on me while chasing cove around with jordan.

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I am sure we will be adding to this list as summer moves forward and I need to get more creative in order to keep my little babes entertained.

My Favorite Things: Summer Edition

Hey guys! Just a quick little post to share some things that I have found within the past few weeks that I am certain are going to be my staples throughout the summer.
Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products

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What first drew me to these products was the packaging. Walking down the aisles of target, I was searching for a more “green” alternative to the usual harsh, chemical filled cleaning products that I had in my home. This packaging was  very inviting to me. Colorful and clean and of course the fragrance selection sounded promising (we all know I am a sucker for floral scents) I started off by just purchasing one item, the all purpose cleaner, and from that moment on I have been hooked. This stuff kicks some serious, raising 3 boys and a husband that works in a garage, butt! Aside from how amazing they work and smell, I am all for what is this company is about. The products do not contain ammonia, chlorine bleach, petroleum distillates, phthalates,  or phosphates. The liquids are concentrated biodegradable formulas and are also cruelty free! The formulas are derived from plant based ingredients to produce a safe and effective cleaning experience. Now, Lets get back to the scent! Because of these products, cleaning has become somewhat of an aroma therapeutic experience. I find myself spraying down my counters way more often than necessary just to fill it with the scents of basil, honeysuckle, peony (my 3 favorites) or whichever sent I desire at the time. The smell isn’t overpowering in my option and it really does put me in a good mood. I mean, who doesn’t want a product that was inspired by the scent of Mrs. Meyers , a homemaker and mother of 9, garden??? The woman obviously knew a few things after raining 9 children. I think I trust her! They also make hand soap, laundry detergent, dish soap, soy candles and a multitude of other great products. This brand is sold at target or you can check out the website http://www.mrsmeyers.com/product/

Sun Bum sunscreen

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With this massive heat wave my kids have been spending a lot of time outside in their kiddy pool or at splash pads! I ran out of sunscreen and wanted to try something new. I remembered seeing a post awhile back from The girls of  Target does it again about Sun Bum sunscreen. They are not a huge corporation but a small company in Cocoa Beach, Florida. This company gives back!!! They started a non-profit organization called “protect the groms” to educate our youth about how to protect themselves from the dangers of harsh sun exposure. They are also the official sun care product of Surfers for autism which is something that is very close to my heart. It doesn’t end there. They are involved with Boarding for Breast Cancer, Pipeline to a Cure and also The skin Cancer Foundation. I think its safe to say that I am stoked on this product. It smells amazing, The lotion is easy to apply. It isn’t too thick which I hate in most sunscreens. Their products are:

  • paraben free
  • oil, PABA free
  • gluten free
  • hypoallergenic
  • 100% vegan
  • cruelty free
  • non-comedogenic
  • retinyl palmitate free
  • propylene glycol free

I purchased mine at target  or you can view their other products and shop from the website http://shop.trustthebum.com

Mesh Totes by Mossimo

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I dont have too much to say about these as they are pretty self explanatory. What I will tell you is that they are only $10 (currently on sale for $7) at target and I can pretty much fit my entire life into them. They come everywhere with us! oh and they are super easy to clean. http://www.target.com/p/women-s-mesh-beach-tote-mossimo-supply-co/-/A-51073496

Smoothie Bowls!!!!

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These are so fun to make and even more delicious to eat. The flavor combinations and topping options are endless. Here is how I make one of our favorites. I use my nutribullet for these. It makes the perfect amount for what I need to feed myself and my kids but of course a blender can be used.

Ingredients:

  • Organic frozen mixed berries
  • Organic frozen mango
  • Organic frozen pinapple
  • Strawberry flavored kefir. Yogurt would work just as well.
  • fresh apple juice
  • a tablespoon or so of coconut oil

For toppings I usually use chia seeds, granola. I like to use the Hemp and Greens granola from living intentions http://www.livingintentions.com/store/products/superfood-cereal/hemp-greens.html , and  coconut flakes if i have them.

Summer Soundtrack??

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And just in case you guys were wondering what type of music has been filling my life with those chill summer vibes lately, the answer to that is simple. Xavier Rudd. We have been listening to his genius musical stylings for the past month. Just him and nothing else. This man will have you wanting to reconnect with mother earth. he is an acoustic style folk rock singer/songwriter with some definite reggae influences. He is a surfer from Australia and yes he plays the didgeridoo. His voice, his lyrics, his message all melt my heart. I often find myself stumbling upon music, be it a song, and album, a singer or a band, that just speaks to a certain mood or time period. This man is just that. He is filling my soul right now (and possibly until the end of time) Yes! I am a bit obsessed and the fact that he is coming to town at the beginning of july makes me a very happy chick. Check out his music!!!

 

The Camping Blog

It was my husbands birthday this week and as always, a camping trip is number one on his list of things to do. Its a really good thing I enjoy camping! I like it even more since moving to utah. It is just so beautiful here.

Camping with my husband usually goes as follows: He picks a general area and then we just drive. No exact destination planned. We drive until we find something that looks appealing to us. Years ago, this was a totally different experience. We used to be pretty legit campers in that we would just pull off any random dirt road and camp without the “luxuries” of a designated campground. No bathrooms. No tables. No cement fire pits or grills. Just us and nature. My oldest son got to experience this which has turned him into a pretty bad A camper!

Now that we have 3 kids, one that is only 2.5 months old, I was not as excited to rough it! So when we stumbled upon Lodgepole Campground on our drive through Uinta National forest, I was, shall we say, a very happy camper! The second we entered I could tell that this place was well kept and clean. The cleanest campground I have ever seen. It was gorgeous. Each site had a paved area with a fire pit, a grill, a table and a paved parking space. Many campgrounds I have been to cram each site on top of the other so you feel like you have zero privacy. This place was spaced out with each site having plenty of room and there were restrooms every few sites so you didn’t have to walk a mile to go the bathroom (these bathrooms also had working toilets!! REAL TOILETS!! AND A SINK! major bonus!!). The bathrooms were just as clean as everything else. Not to mention that your surroundings are just absolutely breathtaking.

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I had some reservations about camping with our newborn but I was prepared and packed everything that I thought I could possibly need (we were only staying one night). I also had to pack for my toddler. My 12 year old thankfully now packs for himself. Here are my lists for the babes:

Newborn camping needs

  • More diapers than I would ever use
  • More wipes than I would ever use
  • A million blankets (lightweight and heavy) really just 2 of each
  • Multiple outfits (long and short sleeved onesie, pants, jackets, one piece pajamas, socks)
  • boppy
  • pacifiers
  • bottles
  • 2 hats. one for nighttime and one sun hat
  • burp cloths

Toddler needs

  • Diapers
  • a few clothing options (t shirt, long sleeves, fleece pants, shorts, bathing suit in case we camp near water,warm pajamas, hats, multiple pairs of socks, sneakers and sandals, jacket)
  • pillow from home
  • favorite blanket
  • pacifiers
  • cups

Other things I always bring

  • benedryl!! (my oldest once fell into a bush within 5 minutes of us getting to camp and immediately started itching and his skin bubbled., I now always bring this with us)
  • first aid kit
  • plenty of water
  • towels

Once we saw the place we selected our site and immediately set up camp. I placed blankets out on the table to serve as my changing table and also set up a little sitting area in my trunk in case i wanted to bring the baby in from the open air.

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My husband set up our tent and the older boys helped him collect wood for the fire

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When the set up was done, we took a walk to check out the rest of the campground and some of the hiking trails.

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Once the sun went down we settled in, ate dinner, made s’mores and sat around the fire until it was time to head into our tent, snuggle into our sleeping bags and go to sleep.

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It got pretty cold in the middle of the night. Lucky for me, my husband knows what he is doing when it comes to purchasing camping gear and bought each of us a mummy sleeping bag. They are so warm and you can actually tighten them all the way around your head if you need to.  They are the most amazing sleeping bags on earth! I slept with the baby snuggled next to me in mine. http://www.big5sportinggoods.com/store/details/Suisse+Sport-summit-0-5-degree-mummy-bag/0720131131279/_/A-4509881?#.V1nrcrRH2Rs

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The next day, before heading home, we traveled about 5 miles up the road to Strawberry Lake! There is also a little river that runs through this town. So worth the extra few minutes in the car. I definitely want to come back and check out the area more. There was the cutest little lodge with a restaurant and a mercantile store. The water was crystal blue and people were out on their boats. I felt like I was in another world.

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I have to say, this was the best camping experience we have ever had. I think its safe to say that my husband enjoyed his birthday and I am always happy to get my kids out into nature, away from tv and electronics!! It so fun watch them invent ways to entertain themselves with what they have in their surroundings. They both found little round pieces of plastic that they raced down a hill for hours! I can’t wait to go again. This may end up being our go to camp ground from now on.

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