Saturday, April 19, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Purex Limited Edition Fabulously Fresh Crystals

I received the Purex Limited Edition Fabulously Fresh Crystals  for a review. I have used Purex laundry soap for a few years now and I really like it, but I have never tried the Crystals before. I usually use another brand for a scent booster, that costs double the price. I was hoping that the Crystals would be as good so that I could switch and save even more money. 

It's not a surprise that the Crystals were great! They are gentle enough to use with every type of laundry, including children's sleepwear. I have used them in every load of laundry to give our clothes and bed linens a boost.  

 I'm a little disappointed that Fabulously Fresh is a limited scent. It's subtle but lasts for a long time and I would love to use it more in the future. Purex does have several other types of Crystals including Fresh Spring Waters, Lavender Blossom, Tropical Splash, Fresh Mountain Breeze, and Purex Crystals for Baby. I am hopeful that these are great too and I plan to try the Tropical Splash next. 

A couple of facts about Purex Crystals- 

- 87% natural ingredients

- Does not reduce the absorbency of towels

- Clothes stay fresh for weeks, not just days

- Safe for ALL types of laundry, even for baby

You can find Purex at almost all retailers for a fraction of the price of most other products. And you can enter below for a chance to win a FREE bottle! Ends 4/24. Open to US only.

The Purex brand provided me with a sample of Purex Crystals Limited Edition Fabulously Fresh in exchange for a product review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why I Want My Children to Play Sports

I mentioned last week that I was excited about Emily starting soccer. I believe very strongly that sports are healthy for kids, if they are allowed to take the lead.

Participation in sports encourages:

-Discipline. Emily has been practicing every day (her choice) so that she can better her game. And her work is paying off! She scored a goal at her first game last week.

- Teamwork. Every kid wants to be the star player, but soccer in particular is a team sport. Emily has had to learn what it means to sit out for a fraction of the game so that other kids can play. Or how to pass the ball to a teammate who has a better shot than she does. It's a great lesson in sharing!

- Making new friends. This is most important for our family right now since we are new in town. Not only does Emily have the chance to interact with kids her age, Ethan is seeing kids from preschool, and I am meeting other parents.

- Getting active. This may be a no-brainer, but we all know that our kids spend too much time in front of the TV. Time in front of the TV has been almost non-existent, and not by my doing. When kids are more active, they don't like to sit down as long anymore. 

There are a lot of great things that sports encourages in kids, and it's important to keep it as a positive experience. At Emily's first practice I got to listen to the dad next to me scream at his daughter. Nothing she did was good enough (and she was easily the best out there). It has heartbreaking to see the defeated look on her face. 

I try to let my kids take the lead in choosing what they want to do, but I do encourage trying new things. If they try something and they don't like it after a few times, then they can move on. But I don't want them to knock anything down without seeing for themselves. I didn't think I would like running track and cross country but I did, and I stuck with it. I was not a great runner but it kept me active and gave me something to work toward.

I am very proud of Emily for trying soccer and giving it all she has. It's pretty cool being a soccer mom!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: Kids Academy Mobile Apps

Kids Academy creates mobile apps in all major markets for children between the ages of two and five. They have several quality apps, and we tried the new Preschool and Kindergarten learning app with Ethan. The app includes games about letters and numbers, including tracing exercises. It is based off Montessori concepts, which I highly support!

Ethan seemed to really enjoy this app. He is learning the alphabet at school and playing games like this I feel really enforces the concepts. Even if your child is not in school, this would be helpful to get them familiar with what letters look like and the sounds they make. 

Here is the review I posted on the app store:

"This is a great app for preschoolers. It has great, sleek graphics. The sounds are clear and not obnoxious like some other apps. The cute characters are a plus! Although it is free to download, there are many in-app purchases available. Personally I feel the purchases are reasonable and this is a quality app. I would highly recommend this app to anyone who wants a good educational app for their child."

To learn more about Kids Academy, visit their website HERE

I did this review in exchange for compensation. Read my Disclosure Policy at the top of the page to learn more. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Where Have I Been?

I'm sorry that I've seemed to go MIA lately. It has been very busy! Here are just a couple of the highlights... 

Wedding Planning

Wedding planning has been a lot of fun, and just a bit stressful now that we're getting closer. We still have almost 3 months but I know that time is going to fly. This week I have to finish wording for the invitations, catering, find Ethan's tux, and find someone to do alterations.... and as I list this, I'm thinking of a million little things too! 

At least I found my shoes, right? 

The Littles

I have been trying to make it a point to do more with the littles. We are finally more settled into our routine and the kids are doing really well. It's the beginning of allergy season which brings a lot of health issues. Between allergies and asthma it's been a battle with medications and treatments. So far though, we are doing better than years before. 

Emily started soccer yesterday and we are all psyched! She did really well at practice and I am proud of her. She was more aggressive than I thought she would be and she stayed focused. 

Warming up at her first practice!

Having fun watching Sissy!

What have you been up to? 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Link-up with the Lovin' the Weekend Blog Hop!

Welcome to Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hops with your co-hosts:
Karen from Tots and Me, Rena from An Ordinary Housewife, Erin from For Him and My Family and Aurie from Our Good Life

Thank you to every one who has stopped by, whether this is your first visit or you have been a faithful ongoing participant! 

Please note, there are 3 linkies, please scroll down to the 3rd one to link up giveaways! Thank you so very much!
(Giveaways linked up to either of the other linkies will be removed. Thank you for your understanding.)

We would love for you to stop by all the co-hosts and follow us, then feel free to add your links to any or all of the following linkies.

 We also randomly choose a Featured host each week. This week we are featuring Sarah from Mommy of Two.

 Here's what she has to say:
"My name is Sarah and I live in the Midwest with my two little ones. I spend my days balancing my walk with God, the budget, housework, kids and school. I love to learn and plan to travel the world one day. When I started this blog, it was a way to keep the family updated. In the last couple of years it has turned into a way to connect with not only my family and friends, but with other moms. We all have the ‘mom thing’ in common but it’s amazing to see the diversity in each of our lives."

Don't forget to link up to the Lovin' the Readers Hop if you would like a chance to be a Featured host next week. Please comment with a way to contact you, especially if there is not an obvious way mentioned on your blog. We would love to include a little write up about you and your blog in the next week's Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hop post, including a link to your blog. And you will get to include the linky codes on your blog. Sound fun? We're looking forward to getting to know our readers better.

Here's how this blog hop works. We would appreciate it if you would follow Tots and Me, An Ordinary Housewife, For Him and My Family and Our Good Life then please head on over to our Featured Host and follow as well. If you no longer have GFC please follow in some other way. After that there are three different linkies you can link to. Whichever one you choose to link to, please grab that button and share it on your blog (the codes are on Tot's and Me's sidebar). We'd love it if you could tweet or in some other way share about this blog hop, the more people who know about it, the more potential visitors and new followers of your blog. We'd love to meet some new friends this weekend.  

Some people are more interested in just increasing their numbers, while others really want people who appreciate their blog and want to keep up with their posts. So, there are two separate blog hop linkies. 

The third linky is for you to link up your giveaways.

If you are interested in increasing the number of followers to your blog via GFC, Linky Followers, email, Twitter, Facebook or Google+ link up here. We will follow you back if you follow us (just note which one you are linking to):

Tots and Me

If you are interested in gaining followers to your blog who will read and comment and truly find an interest in your blog, link up here:

Tots and Me

If you have family friendly giveaways to link up, here's your spot. Please make sure to include an end date for your giveaway.

Tots and Me

We are so glad you stopped by. Please leave a comment if you link up and we will be sure to stop by and follow back.

Don't forget to check out my "Blog Hops" page for other great blog hops!!

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Review: Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Both of the kids have issues with asthma and coughing. We have a few different medications and treatments that they take, but that doesn't always solve the coughing issue. I'm pretty sure that half of the time their issue is simply habit. Cough drops help, but usually they are too strong for the kids to have. 

Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops work wonders! They have all of the benefits of traditional cough drops, without the harsh taste. They are softer than most brands and a little chewy so they resemble candy more than cough drops. The kids love them and they have quickly become a favorite in our house.

 We tried the Cherry and Honey flavors, but they also come in Licorice and soon, Lemon-Citrus. I liked both flavors, but the kids liked Cherry the most. The convenient packaging is a plus too, with bags and hard cases to choose from. I like the hard cases for my purse or the car best. 

I have never heard of Pine Bros before now but from what I read, they have been around for a long time (1870 to be exact). The company has changed hands many times and sales slowed down in the United States for awhile, but Pine Bros throat drops are back. With a new design and recipes that are close to the original, they are gaining popularity. 

You can find Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops at CVS and other retailers. You can read more about the Pine Bros story and more about their products at their website HERE

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Review: Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I'm not going to lie, I was a little skeptical about trying Matcha green tea powder. I'm not a fan of tea at all but I've been reading for months about the health benefits. With all of my health issues lately, eating and drinking healthier has been on my mind. So when I received the opportunity to try Matcha green tea powder from Kiss Me Organics, I thought it was worth a shot!

The difference between Matcha green tea powder and green tea is essentially that instead of drinking tea from the leaves, you're using the entire leaves ground up. Meaning you don't lose all of the vitamins and nutrients. Here are just a few of the benefits from the Kiss Me Organics' website...

-ALL DAY ENERGY WITH INCREASED FOCUS. Matcha provides 4 to 6 hours of mild steady energy as it acts as both a stimulant and a relaxant. 

- METABOLISM BOOST. Consuming Matcha green tea can increase thermogenesis (the body's own rate of burning calories) from a normal 8%-10% of daily energy expenditure, to between 35% and 43% of daily energy expenditure.

-​ IMPROVED SKIN HEALTH. Scientists have discovered that Matcha Green Tea helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays, while improving blood flow and oxygen levels lifting the overall quality of the skin.

-137x THE ANTIOXIDANTS OF BREWED GREEN TEA! Antioxidants are essential as you age to boost your body's natural defenses against oxidation. Researchers have found that a high level of dietary antioxidants can prevent many age-related diseases.

Since I'm a little hesitant about trying new things, I thought it would be best to add Matcha green tea powder to things I would normally eat or drink.  I found a recipe online for a healthy Matcha shake that I really liked- you can find the recipe HERE. It includes the Matcha powder, vanilla soy milk, banana and watermelon. It was really good and perfect for an early morning boost! 

I also tried making pancakes with the Matcha powder. They were pretty good. I had them with extra apples on the side. You can find that recipe HERE.

Overall I was excited to try Matcha green tea powder because of the health and energy benefits. I'm a coffee addict and that's usually where I get my energy from..but it's not the healthiest option, especially when I add in all of the creamer! I probably won't switch to the breakfast shakes every day, but I do think they are a great alternative. 

If you are looking for an easy way to add a little flavor to your drinks and meals, and you want something healthy, check out Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder from Kiss Me Organics, you won't be disappointed! 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.