A Lesson in Sharing from @adenandanais and the New Daydream Blanket

This post about adult-sized muslin blankets was brought to you by aden + anais who supplied the sample product to facilitate my review. All opinions are my 100% my own. 

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As a mom of little ones, you rarely get to pee alone. It’s an old joke, but everyone knows it’s true, and we pretty much expect it. But bathroom privacy isn’t the only thing that gets swiped out from under you when those little ones come along. Things I’ve given up include the mushrooms off my pizza, all my fortune cookies, the prized tip on the end of every single stalk of asparagus, and finishing sentences. Like, ever. 

And the list goes on. If it can be said that our children represent the best in us, it can also be said that they’re not shy about taking the best that we have. But who can complain? They know the good stuff when they see it, they’re honest enough to admit it, and they’re cute enough to get us to hand it right over. Well, I’m not above striking back, so I’ve been stealing my son’s aden + anais Dream Blanket on the regular. (Usually all sneaky-like, under the cover of darkness.)

What. That thing is like a napping on a cloud and I haven’t eaten an asparagus tip in 4 years. Cut me some slack.

But now, I can quit sneaking around to get my muslin fix because aden + anais has taken all that snuggly goodness and made it bigger! We’ve all said it while snuggling or dressing our babies – “Oh, I wish they made this in my size!” Well, that daydream has become a luxurious reality with the grown-up Daydream Blanket.

@adenandanais Dream Blanket

 It’s 4 layers of lightweight cotton muslin, available in 4 pretty designs. We have the Branch Out pattern, which is accented in light gray. There’s also Circle Dance, with an earthier tan design, and Ocean Edge, a standout in the deepest, most vibrant teal. (Super soft bamboo muslin Daydream Blankets are also available – and there’s a Purely Plum print! <3 )

@adenandanais Daydream Blanket

It’s breathable, yet warm, and just gets softer and softer each time it’s washed. And for some reason, the texture reminds me of a big, soft waffle. I love waffles.

@adenandanais Daydream Blanket

But the real big deal is the size. At 60″ x 72″, your toes will never be cold again. And as the former stealer of a smaller blanket, I know how important that is.

@adenandanais Daydream Blanket

The only problem with the Daydream Blanket? Yup, it gets swiped too. It didn’t take long for my littlest one to realize that snuggling is good, but snuggling with mama on a giant muslin blankie is really, really good.

And no matter how much I say I’m not going to share (and yell “Hands off!”) part of being a mom is doing just the opposite. We share our bodies, we share what’s on our plate, and yes…we share our Daydream Blankets. It’s all part of the gig.

@adenandanais Daydream BlanketAfter all, she gets her good taste honestly. :)

(But we’ve really gotta get this kid one of her own!)

@adenandanais Daydream Blanket

The aden + anais Boutique 100% Cotton Muslin Daydream Blanket – Branch Out is available on Amazon.

How does sharing work in your household? Do you have a prized possession or special indulgence that has “Hands off” status?

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Mantry Subscription Boxes for the Seriously Fun Foodie

This post about men’s foodie subscription boxes was brought to you by Mantry, who provided the sample for review. No further compensation was received.

Mantry Subscription BoxThere’s a new subscription box on the market, and it’s geared toward men. 

Ladies, we must infiltrate. Mantry is where ALL the good stuff is. The good news? It’s not really just for men. It’s for anyone who likes to discover unique artisan food products and learn all about what to do with them (<<that’s the best part. They tell you how to use each item!)

And this isn’t a box of flimsy samples. These products are carefully curated, full-sized and accompanied by a pamphlet filled with stories and recipes/uses to best showcase them. You can expect 6 items in each shipment, and they all come packaged in a cool USA-made crate. (Mine now lives on my counter.)

And there are themes. Cool themes like Smoke & Whiskey, Awards Night or Craft Beers. The box I got was full of items that contain …wait for it…beer and spirits!

Dude. I am all over it. 

Mantry Subscription Box

Now remember, you’ll get different stuff, but my Mantry crate contained:

  • all natural salame from Olli Salumeria
  • Dogfish Head Ale Chowder
  • Butter & Scotch Green Chile Margarita Popcorn
  • Morris Kitchen Ginger Syrup
  • Wondermade Guinness Marshmallows
  • Reginald’s Bourbon Pecan Peanut Butter

Mantry Subscription Box

I got a little giddier with each item I pulled out of the crate. I’m not sure which is my favorite, but the ginger syrup resulted in some seriously cool handcrafted drinks (the enclosed tip sheet included a recipe for a Dark & Stormy, which made for a very smiley me.)

Mantry Subscription Box

And the bourbon peanut butter? OMG. My banana has never been so happy.

Mantry Subscription BoxEach surprise in the crate was freshly made with real ingredients, and I really think the popcorn may have been popped about 1/2 hour before it was shipped to me. There wasn’t a single thing I wouldn’t purchase again, and because they’re all full size, there’s still a little party going on in my kitchen.

The verdict: The other subscription boxes I’ve tried should run and hide. Mantry is king.

Mantry Subscription Box

 

You purchase helps support artisans and US-based small business. To learn more or subscribe to Mantry foodie subscription boxes, visit their website or join the conversation on Facebook.

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Stretch Your Tax Return with a Cheap Wireless Plan! #FamilyMobile

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This #MaxYourTax post about unlimited talk, text and data from Walmart Family Mobile has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. After all, who doesn’t want to know about the cheapest mobile plans, right?

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I’m glad I have online access to my bank account, because I’ve become a serious stalker. My tax return should be here any day! The arrival of that check used to mean a shopping spree, but these days we’re a little more frugal (because kids.) Now, we plan carefully so we can stretch those dollars. For example, each year, we invest $100 in 10 new blueberry bushes, because we know that in the long run, that money will multiply like crazy and cut our food costs. Here are a few of our new babies from last year:

blueberries

This year, in addition to our blueberries, I’m looking to cut our monthly bills down. You may have already seen how we’ve cut our electric bills using tips from #ProjectEnvolve! Next up: the cell phone bill. I pay a lot. About $130 a month. It’s nuts, I know. So we’re investing part of this year’s return in the Walmart Family Mobile Plan with unlimited talk, text and web/data for only $40 a month. Big savings, right?

Walmart Family Mobile #FamilyMobile #collectivebias

Not all Walmart stores carry the plan, so it’s a good idea to call first. Or, you can just look for the blue section in the Computers & Accessories aisle. It’s easy to spot.

Walmart #FamilyMobile #collectivebias

Walmart not only offers the Family Mobile Plan AND wide selection of phones for under $100, but you can get all your phone accessories on the cheap there, too. I got my new Samsung Galaxy Exhibit for only $98.99, along with a ton of accessories and only spent a little over $200. A car charger, a bluetooth for the car (safety first, folks), some microfiber cleaning cloths, and a Sport Sleeve armband.

Walmart #FamilyMobile #collectivebias

The armband was a splurge instead of a “need”, but the price was right. Now I can wear my phone at the gym! (The membership to which, I might add, I can afford now that I’ve cut down my wireless bill.)

Walmart #FamilyMobile #collectivebias

Setting up my phone was easy, which surprised me because I took both kids with me to Walmart and I expected a total meltdown. As it turns out, you can set the whole shebang up any time you want online at home! (You can do it in-store or on the phone, too, if that works for you.) You just have to purchase a Starter Kit with a SIM card for $25 and you’re ready to go.

I started at 6:45 pm and by 7:30, I was signing in to Facebook on my new phone.

Walmart #FamilyMobile #collectivebias

Of course, you might be even faster if you don’t get interrupted by bored little ones. I spent the rest of the night playing around with new apps, picture messaging, sending emails. I’ll admit, I get a little bit giddy over new devices. Especially affordable ones.

Other plan perks:

  • Pay your bill online.
  • Get your phone at Walmart, or bring your own.
  • No annual contract.
  • No credit check.
  • No deposit.
  • Live support 24/7.

The only issue we’re having is that we don’t get strong service from home, but we don’t get service through Verizon, either, so it’s no surprise. Walmart let us know that up front, so we knew what to expect. I need this phone for when I’m away from home, and the wi-fi works on my network so we’re good. The plan works on the T-Mobile network, and you can easily check wireless coverage in your area on the Family Mobile website.

There are definitely some areas where this plan is not the right choice due to lack of coverage. But if your part of the map checks out OK, you could be saving a ton of money each month. I’m pretty thrilled to have a new phone, all my accessories, and an unlimited monthly plan for way less than I would have paid anywhere else. That means a little bit of our tax return will be left over for fun things like this:

Sesame Character Collage

…and of course, more blueberry pancakes for everyone!

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Spring Forward with Natural Probiotics #NaturalProbiotic #shop

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This post about natural probiotics and digestive system balance has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

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Coffee is not breakfast. I know this. And thinking about running is not the same as actually hitting the pavement. We all know this, too. But, like so many time-starved, too-busy parents, I’ve let a lot of my healthy habits slide down to the bottom of my to-do list this winter. It’s a slump, and I want out!

So, as we spring forward into Daylight Savings Time, I’m embracing the energy of the upcoming season and stepping away from the hot chocolate mug in favor of things like longer runs, longer sleeps, actually taking my prescriptions meds (oops) and getting back to a fresher diet that makes me want to dance through my garden with my babies. (Smoothies full of tiny fresh spinach leaves, please!)

Insync Probiotic #NaturalProbiotic #shop

And, because my family has a history of digestive problems, I’m making some changes to my diet that should help balance my system. In short, more probiotics. Good bacteria = a healthier, happier gut! The great thing about this new promise I’ve made to myself is that there are so many yummy ways to get those good “bugs” in your belly!

#shop #NaturalProbiotic

I think the most obvious way to get probiotics is to eat yogurt. Homemade yogurt is the easiest thing ever, and so delicious when piled high with odds and ends from around the kitchen. Mine is different almost every day, including things like you see above: almond butter, homemade jam, bananas, pumpkin seeds, Greek yogurt chips and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

#NaturalProbiotic #shop yogurt bowl

The truth? Despite the benefits, I do tend to get yogurted out quickly. That’s why this will be my first year of fermenting! I’ve been reading a lot about making probiotic-rich homemade sauerkraut, and I’m determined to make it happen this year. If I have luck, I may even move on to kimchee. I’ll admit, the idea of live things in my food really did bug me out a bit at first, but now I’m just fascinated. I can’t wait until our fresh cabbage is up!

BUT, I know all too well that sometimes the yogurt doesn’t yogue, the cabbage harvest tanks, or the kids simply do not allow ANYthing but Play-Doh, and for those times, there’s Insync Probiotic (available at your friendly neighborhood CVS.)

Insync Probiotic #NaturalProbiotic #shop #cbias

Insync Probiotic contains B. infantis, which is doctor-recommended. Because probiotics are delicate living organisms that promote better digestive health, it’s important that they land in your digestive tract alive and well. Insync Probiotic uses GI Guard®, a gradual release system that ensures your friendly bacteria don’t get killed off by heat, moisture or even your own stomach acid. (Because who wants to bother taking them if they don’t arrive alive, right?)

Insync Probiotic #NaturalProbiotic #shop #cbias

To learn more and join the conversation about natural probiotics, connect with Insync Probiotic on Facebook and Twitter.

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The One Food You Should Always Buy Organic

One Food to Buy Organic
Sure, there’s the Dirty Dozen Plus,™ including apples and strawberries and those items that have been found to contain the highest levels of pesticides*, but are those really the fruits and veggies that should be at the top of your “Do or Die” organic list?

In a word, yes. It’s important to keep those high-level foods in mind, but it’s not quite that cut and dry. Grapes made the dirty list, but if you only eat grapes once every few months, you may not need to worry so much about them. On the other hand, if you’re eating asparagus or mangos every day in your lunch, you should consider springing for organic varieties even though they are stars of the Clean Fifteen™.

The point? The most important food for YOU to invest your organic budget in is the one YOU eat most frequently.

For us, walnuts are at the top of the list. That jar in the image above? Walnuts and cranberries. I pass them through the food processor and my husband uses them on his oatmeal every morning. Every. Single. Morning. For five years and counting! And he uses a lot. I fill that jar more than once a week. It costs us a fortune, but with all the health benefits of walnuts and oats, I can’t really complain.
Organic Walnuts

So, since they play such a big role in his diet, I’ve been looking for a good organic supplier. The oats were easy – we get those from a local Amish bulk store. The walnuts took a little more searching, but now we’ve found SunRidge Farms. They sent us some samples, and we were hooked. In addition to having great quality in taste and texture, just about everything we want to see on a label was there, too:

Organic Walnuts

I, myself, am not a fan of walnuts, but I did see the benefits of snacking on almonds first hand when I had gestational diabetes (twice!) I know they help control my blood sugar, so I was glad to see that SunRidge Farms offers them, too. Here’s a list of what we’re snacking on and why:

Organic Walnuts ­ USDA-certified organic and a wonderful natural source of Vitamin E and essential minerals copper and manganese.
Organic Almonds ­ Full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and copious amounts of Vitamin E, potassium and magnesium.
Pistachios ­ A lower-calorie option among most nuts. They contain significant amounts of protein, fiber, Vitamin B6 & B1 and magnesium.
Tamari Roasted Almonds ­ All natural, non-GMO almonds that are freshly roasted in-house in small batches, and then coated in mouth-watering, savory, tamari shoyu.

All of SunRidge Farms products are not only great for you, but are also great for the environment! Conveniently packed in re-sealable, BPA-free packaging, each snack is produced in their recently expanded solar-powered manufacturing facility. To learn more and see their entire selection of organic and non-GMO products , please check out SunRidgeFarms.com.

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*Source: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

 

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