Saturday, January 30, 2016
As part of my "Get My Body Back" series of product reviews lately, I decided to try out a Yoga DVD. I found Yoga Sweat by Julie Schoen which was graciously provided to me for my honest opinion. I chose this one because it specifically says "for weight loss and beginners" which I am very much a beginner. I have never done any kind of yoga before now. I know absolutely nothing about it other than my OBGYN suggested it to help tighten my stretched tummy skin. I know lots of people that do yoga and love it.
About the DVD:
Julie Schoen, yoga trainer, author, and founder of Yoginiology.com, is ready to make you sweat with her all new yoga workout.
Traditional yoga poses mixed with her creative flowing style, Julie will show you how effective yoga is for losing weight, toning your body from head to toe, and working out in a fun and effective way. Yoga Sweat features two 30-minute workouts and a 10-minute warm up and 10-minute cool down. Choose to do the entire 80-minute workout or take 30 minute to focus specifically on target spots like legs, glutes, arms, back, and core.
So, are you ready to sweat? Are you ready to lose weight, tone up, and feel better than ever?
•-> Session 1: Focus on burning calories and building heat
•-> Flow through fun and effective yoga poses specifically designed for toning and strengthening legs and glutes
•-> Burn fat easily and lose weight
•-> Session 2: Keep the sweat going with a vigorous sequence of yoga poses
•-> Strengthen arms, back, and core
•-> Flatten your midsection quickly with tummy toners
•-> Challenge yourself with balance moves
•-> Be amazed at the results you'll see in just weeks!
Lose Weight, Tone Your Body, Look and Feel Sexy or Your Money Back - 100% Guaranteed!
So I put the DVD in thinking that I would be taught some basic yoga poses before starting the weight loss segment. I was very wrong. Apparently you need some knowledge of yoga poses before starting this workout. Julie Schoen does talk you through the motions that you do, but it happens so fast that I couldn't keep up. I would say that if you are interested in trying this workout out, you probably should watch the whole thing first before attempting any of it. I was unable to do the dog pose without looking at the tv, but by looking at the tv, I messed up the dog pose. Every time a pose was mentioned I needed to look at the tv in order to understand how to do it, but by the time I analyzed the pose, the narrator was moving on to something else. I think I lasted about 10 minutes. Maybe I picked the wrong workout to start with...Maybe. I chose to just play the dvd, so I assumed the beginner portion would be played first. I have no idea if I was wrong to assume that because they don't state that you are doing the beginner workout. Really, I am more confused about yoga now than I was before starting this. I would not say that it is meant for a beginner. If you know what you are doing, I can definitely see it being used for weight loss. Everything is so fast paced that your muscles are being continuously worked. It just isn't for a beginner.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
I recently tried a Baby Wrap with my infant son and that didn't work as well for him as I wanted. His hydrocele issues made it so that he didn't like the wrap very much, but my friend's baby absolutely loves it. What I have learned over the years is that every child is different. When my son didn't like the wrap, I knew that my friend would love to try it. Her baby is even smaller than mine and not used to be carried any certain way yet. The wrap was perfect for her. I decided to try Cozitot's Baby Sling Carrier which they provided me in exchange for my honest opinion. I have received no other compensation for this review.
The Cozitot Baby Sling Carrier can be worn on your front or your back. It has padding on the straps that go over the shoulder help keep it from chaffing or rubbing. It is made from 100% cotton and is machine washable. There are straps that tie around your waist and then the shoulder straps. The shoulder straps are considerably longer, so you can't confused which direction it should be tied onto your body. It's a very nice pattern that is great for either a boy or a girl and still stylish for mom or dad. It's supposed to work with children up to 35 lbs. I can say that my three month old is over 16 lbs, and that felt pretty comfortable to carry him around in it. The weight was pretty evenly distributed and since it ties around the waist, it didn't put too much pressure on my back which has been killing me lately.
As you can see in the pictures, I was able to successfully use it for my three month old on my front. He's not big enough in my opinion to be worn on my back yet. My hair would get in his face and he wouldn't be able to move it. I attempted to use it with my two year old daughter on my back, but that didn't work for her. Like I said, every child is different. My daughter is extremely independent and doesn't want to be carried anywhere unless she is hurt. I didn't have high expectations of using it with her at all. My three month old though, he is the reason for getting it. It doesn't go between the legs, which should make it ok for his hydrocele. Unlike a baby wrap, his legs get to hang a little instead of getting scrunched up against his body. You might be wondering how it can let his legs dangle and yet not go between them. He is tight against my body and has the straps tied over my shoulders and under his butt. The tie under his butt holds him up and against my body. It seemed like he liked this one better than the wrap. He lasted about 15 minutes in it the first time we used. He made it most of the way through the grocery store the second time. After he has his surgery to remove the hydrocele, we'll see if he still likes it.
It's a really nice carrier. Great quality and really comfortable. It is very easy to use on the front without any help, but I highly recommend having another person help you when putting it on your back. I wasn't able to strap my squirming daughter onto my back, but if my husband had been around to help me, we might have been able to. Maybe. She's just so squirmy. I do want to say that I wouldn't recommend it for really large adults. I don't think the straps are long enough for women that are bigger than me. I wear a size 16/18 pants and large/extra large shirt. I'm not a really big woman but I'm not really small either. Otherwise, for my size or smaller, it is great.
You can buy Cozitot Baby Sling Carrier from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015HO0OFO
Sunday, January 24, 2016
#ProductReview: Valentine's Day Teddy Bear with Heart Gift Set with Valentine's Day Candy #teddybeargift
Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. It's a holiday that people either love or hate. My household is a weird one because it happens to be my brother-in-law's birthday as well so that is more important than the holiday. However, my mom always tried to make sure had something to celebrate even if it was just some Valentine's Day Candy. It's the day that my dad gave my mom her engagement ring, so to her it is important. I have always loved Valentine's Day because of my mom, so I try to do the same for my kids. My daughter has received her gift early though. I found this teddy bear gift set from Necco that I immediately wanted for her. My husband calls her Rosalyn Bear, so she gets a lot of bears to love on. This is no exception! Necco provided me with one Valentine's Day Teddy Bear with Heart Gift Set for my honest opinion. I have received no other compensation for this review.
The set comes with one small 4" teddy bear that is either White with Red Heart, Dark Red with White Heart, or Red with White Heart and one box of conversation hearts. We received the red with white heart. As soon as my daughter saw it, she wanted it which made me really happy. The candy last maybe an hour once I opened them. This was her first time ever having them, so I wasn't sure she would be able to chew them very well. She was quite determined though and ate most of the box. I had to have a few too, so she didn't get them all. She added the little bear to her collection of things that she carries around all day and it quickly became one of the family of toys.
I do want to point out that you can see the stitching on the bear. Typically I have found that to mean that the stuffed animal will come apart easily. We have had this one for a week and it is fine still, but don't expect it to last forever. It isn't over stuffed, which means that even if the stitching comes loose, you should be able to sew it back together by hand with very little issue. This gift set is on $13.97 on Amazon, so it's not like you are wasting your money. For what you get, it is a great little gift set. Perfect for little kids. I'm very happy with it and so is my daughter.
You can purchase this Valentine's Day Teddy Bear with Heart Gift Set from Amazon at http://amzn.to/1SGbzbx.
Friday, January 22, 2016
I'm new to the use of essential oils. I have many people that tell me they are a fantastic thing to use especially with kids, but recently a friend gave me one to try for myself. She gave me one called "Sleep" which I know contains lavender oil. She gave me this to help me relax and fall asleep quickly. With an infant, it is hard to find time to sleep and I need to fall asleep quickly in order to maximize the amount I get. The instructions on the bottle say to apply to the pressure points on the wrist, temples, and back of the neck. In order to do that, I have to use either a cotton ball or my finger which is kind of messy. Not to mention that I also wear contacts, so getting oil on my fingers isn't exactly a good idea. This is why I went looking for an alternative way of applying my essential oil. 2PM Essentials has provided me with two of their frosted cobalt blue roller bottles for my honest opinion. I have received no other compensation for this review.
It's not a great picture, but the bottle is made of glass with a frosted coating. It appears that the glass itself is cobalt blue, so the coating just frosts it. This should help prevent the bottle from breaking if you did something like drop it on a tile floor. It comes with the roller ball not in the bottle so you can easily pour your essential oil into the bottle and then put the roller ball into the bottle. These bottles are ideal for creating your own essential oil mixtures if you like to combine them for different effects. So the oil my friend gave was made for sleeping, but I found out that you can use any one or combination of the following oils to create your own customized sleepy oil: Cedarwood, Valerian, Lavender, Valor, RutaVaLa, Balance, Serenity, Vetiver, Peace & Calming, Sleep Essence, Stress Away, and Roman Chamomile. If you wanted to use a combination of these for your sleepy routine, you can easily mix them in 2PM Essentials's Roller bottles. Before applying it to your skin, you are supposed to shake them while holding it upside down and then gently roll onto your skin. You combination will get mixed every time you use it. This helps you to create your essential oil mixtures and easily use them. I should also mention that the roller ball in the bottle is metal inside a plastic cap. The metal should keep the oils from getting stuck in between the casing and the ball. I don't know if essential oils crust on bottles or not, but I believe that if they do, they won't with this roller bottle.
Now these bottles can have other applications as well. I just immediately thought to put my essential oil in it probably because of the name of the company. You could put any number of things it is though. Perfume is another option. The steel ball has a tight enough fit that it shouldn't leak. I read that putting essential oils into a humidifier can cause the humidifier plastic to crack. So this bottle being made out of glass will keep something like that from happening. I am extremely happy with it. I use it every night to apply my sleepy oil. I have even used it on my infant in hopes of helping him learn to sleep through the night. It hasn't help him yet, but I have noticed that he falls asleep a little easier when I use it on myself.
I took a video of pouring the oil into the bottle and putting the roller ball into it so you can see the tight fit and how to use it. I even put the sleep oil on after filling the bottle. It's a little hard to see on the video, but you can see how little effort I have to use in applying the oil with this bottle. I would definitely recommend using 2PM Essentials's Roller Bottles for essential oils.
You can purchase these and other roller bottles by 2PM Essentials from their website at http://2pmessentials.com/ and from Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/s?marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&me=AGYV93U2ZOQ26&merchant=AGYV93U2ZOQ26&redirect=true
My infant son screams...a lot. He's getting ready to have surgery to remove a hydrocele which is excess water in the ball sack. Supposedly this should not cause him any pain or discomfort, but the kid screams too much. Because of his screaming, I have to carry him all the time which is exhausting to my arms. I have a carrier that I can put him in, but these days it causes him more discomfort than it is worth because it has a section that goes between his legs and lets his legs dangle. I am in need of another way to carry him that doesn't put excess pressure on his balls. In a very short amount of time, he will have the surgery that will hopefully take care of this issue, but he isn't allowed to use "straddle toys" four four weeks. This means that the carrier I have is definitely out of the question. Looking into alternatives has led me to slings and baby wraps which led me to Belephant's Baby Wrap Sling Carrier. Belephant has provided me with their baby sling wrap carrier for my honest opinion. I have received no other compensation for this review.
This wrap is grey in color. It's made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex. This thing is crazy long which to me says that it will fit on a wide range of sized people. I was nervous tying it too tight, but it is stretchy so you can tie it really tight and still be appropriate for your infant. I tried it out with my son and I had a friend with an even younger baby try it as well. The best part about this wrap is that it gives you step by step instructions on how to tie it around you. I totally needed this because I had no idea how to tie a baby wrap prior to this. I was extremely nervous putting my son in it because I didn't know if it would hold him. He's nearly 16 pounds which feels like a lot to stick in a stretchy piece of cloth. I did it though and I was able to let go of him. I had him against my chest hands-free. Now I took a video of me putting the wrap on and putting my son in it. I will tell you that I'm not happy in the video, but that is simply because my son had been screaming the majority of the previous seven hours. Aside from my headache, I was thoroughly happy with the baby wrap.
I said that I decided to try a wrap because it looked in pictures like it didn't put pressure on the area between the legs. When you put the baby in the wrap, no part of the wrap is between the legs. This will allow for me to carry him around after he has his surgery. I will say that he ended up scrunching his legs up while in the wrap. I only had him in it for about 15 minutes the first time before he got upset. This could be from the hydrocele, and I cannot tell you that the wrap will be the best solution for him. I tried using again at the grocery store and again he only lasted in it for 10-15 minutes. His surgery takes place next week and my deadline for this review falls before his surgery. I'll try it out after the surgery as well, but that will be at least another week from now.
Belephant is a new company. Their website is http://www.belephantbaby.com/. Check back often to see when information will be available on the site.
You can buy the Baby Wrap Sling Carrier by Belephant from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0177KLPOA
We eat a lot of noodles in our house...Or rather my kids eat a lot. I buy three boxes of Penne every two-three weeks because they love them for lunch. I love being able to make something so easy for them, especially since I can make a big pot and they will eat them reheated later on. What I don't like is cleaner the strainers all the time. They take up a lot of space in the dishwasher and I don't seem to get everything out of the holes when I wash it by hand. The dishwasher is the best way to wash them really. In order to avoid using the strainers, I will often use the pot lid to try to hold the noodles in the pot while dumping the water out. The problem with this is that I often end up "steaming" my arm which hurts. I have often wished for a strainer that clipped on the pots. Introducing the Snap'N Strain by Kitchen Gizmo! They have provided me with a single Snap'N Strain to try out for my honest opinion. I have received no other compensation for this review.
The Snap'N Strain is so easy to use. It has two clips that you literally clip onto the side of the pot. It is made from heat-resistant silicone so it is super flexible allowing it to form to any size pot. I demonstrate it fitting three different sized pots in my video. Once attached, you simply pour the liquid out of the pot into your sink (or wherever you intend it to go). It is recommended for use with vegetables , eggs, potatoes, and pasta. Also since it is small and flexible, you can store it easily.
The only issue I had with it was that there is a limit to how much food it will hold into the pot. A really large pot can hold a lot of noodles, so it is possible to tip the pot so far that noodles will spill over the top. A small pot filled with a lot of noodles will bend the Snap'N Strain enough that the noodles fall out while straining. The moral is that you just need to be conscious of how much food needs to be strained and how far you tip it. Otherwise it works great! I have used it four times in one week. It's easy to clean and easy to store.
You can purchase the Snap'N Strain by Kitchen Gizmo from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-Gizmo-SNAPN-STRAIN-strainer/dp/B018W9JII0.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Unless you are doing straight up aerobics, resistance training is a part of nearly every exercise program you can do. When you exercise in a gym, you will find weights to lift and weights that provide resistance. However, when you workout at home, finding the appropriate item to provide the right resistance for you program can be hard to do. Trust me, I tried. I thought I was being brilliant by using bungee cords, but I needed something much longer than any of the bungee cords I had in my house. When I found out that Gonzo Group, LLC needed people to review their 10x2" Resistance Loop Bands, I jumped on it. They have provided me with a five pack of these bands for my honest opinion. I have received no other compensation for this review.
Each band varies in the resistance (because they vary in thickness) so you can use one with a higher resistance for your stronger muscles or use one with a really low resistance to start and work your way up to the higher resistance. Resistance bands are great for anything from toning and sculpting to burning fat. They also are a necessary tool for recovering from major injuries. I know I had tendinitis in one of my shoulders for a time that I had to do special resistance exercises in order to strengthen my tendons and to stretch out the tightness. It took a couple of months because I used a towel which didn't provide as much resistance as I needed. With a resistance band, I could have decreased my recovery time by half. These bands are easy to take with you anywhere and come in a nice bag just to do that. You have no excuse to not exercise when you are on the go.
There are a ton of different exercises that you can accomplish with these bands. You can design a complete workout using just the bands and a chair. I highly recommend that you wear shoes for these exercises. I found that trying them barefoot hurt. Also, I am not trained to teach people how to exercise. I may not even be doing these exercises properly. This is a risk we all take by doing workouts at home and by creating our own programs. You can find books to help you create your resistance band workout. Books like the one below, which is on Amazon. Just click on the picture to go to the list of books on Amazon.
There are also websites that will help you to create custom workouts. I found "Healthy Little Secret" while I was looking around on Pinterest. You can check them out at http://healthylittlesecret.com/2015/07/08/no-gym-membership-no-problem-create-your-own-gym-at-home-with-these-5-things/. There are other sites you can use, but this one looked really interesting to me.
I have a video demonstrating some exercises that you can do with the resistance loops. I'm not sure of the exact muscles these exercises are working. I found a couple recommended exercises on google images that are for toning your arms, butt and legs. Those seemed like good places to work out for me! Here's the workout for the butt exercises: http://fitwirr.com/workout/plan/resistance-band-exercises/.
They make for a really different workout than what I am used to doing. I really liked using them, though I was afraid of breaking them. They can take a lot more stretching than I expected. I think that they will make a great change of pace for me since I can do such a wide range of exercises with them. I'm very hopefully that the flabby arm exercise and butt exercises work for me since those are two of my biggest problem areas.
You can purchase Gonzo Group, LLC's 10x2" Resistance Loop Bands from Amazon at http://amzn.to/1PfKUmi
Monday, January 18, 2016
I recently discovered that my daughter will eat muffins if they are bite sized. The big ones just are too much for her and I hate wasting them, so I don't buy/make them. I tried out the little mini muffins from Hostess and she ate them all up. Four mini muffins is about all she wants at one time. I also got a Food Vacuum Sealer for Christmas, so this combination gave me the idea that maybe I can make my own mini muffins and create little four packs in vacuum sealed bags. This way I can actually save money because a box of muffin mix makes way more muffins than buying them in the store. All I needed to accomplish this was a mini muffin pan.
Laminas makes silicone baking pans and they gave me a deeply discounted price their 24 mini muffin pan in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no other compensation for this review. I don't use a lot of silicone baking dishes simply because I learned the hard way that you shouldn't grease them every time you use them. Greasing them can actually make it so your food sticks to the baking pan when you forget to grease it. For that reason, I didn't grease this pan when I tried it out. I don't know if that was the right decision or not, but it seemed to work out.
This pan is made from 100% BPA free food grade silicone. It is safe for cooking in temperatures up to 450°F. It is freezer and dishwasher safe as well. It very likely will end up being used for me to make and freeze baby food when my youngest is ready for it. Each up holds approximately 2⁄3oz of liquid which is a good starting amount for an infant starting solids. Being made of silicone, it is flexible and foldable. I have never folded a silicone pan for any length of time, but they advertise that it will go back to it's original shape easily. This makes it easy to store. It also means that when you are using it, you may want to put a cookie sheet under it to move it around. I didn't when I made my first pan of muffins and one side drooped a little between the racks in my oven. This made a row of lopsided muffins. It's not the end of the world, but if the liquid had been runnier or heavier, it may have dripped on the bottom of my oven and burned. So use a cookie sheet under it.
Other than my difficulty with lopsided muffins, the pan was great. You have to let it cool some before removing muffins from it for obvious reasons and so that your muffins don't stick to it. Once the pan is cooled down, the muffins just pop right out. You might have one or two stick a little, but you can work them out without destroying them. By the way, it only takes about 10 minutes and the silicone is cool enough to handle without any protective wear for your hands. The muffins were still hot, but the pan cooled enough to get them out. We got to enjoy hot muffins instead of just warm ones. I love it. I will be making more muffins to try my idea with vacuum sealing later on. My first batch of muffins didn't survive long enough to worry about trying it. My husband and I enjoyed them too much. Also, you can use this pan with any kind of muffin mix or even with a bread recipe. It is good for a wide range of foods.
You can buy Laminas's 24 Mini Muffin pan from their website at http://www.laminasbrand.net/products/silicone_mini_muffin_pan or on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TKK9516?redirect=true&ref_=cfb_at_prodpg
We are "Laminas".
A private-label company who both manufactures and distributes home products, focusing mainly on kitchen gadgets.
Our business goal is to provide high-quality items to our customers while aiming to the highest level of customers satisfaction.
About The CEO & founder Tomer Levin
Born on November 16th, 1984, Tomer is the chief executive officer & founder of "Laminas".
Starting his business path on high-tech companies, he gained experience in both computing and management.
From end of 2012, Tomer has moved gradually towards the e-Commerce business and is working on both Amazon and eBay platforms, distributing "Laminas" products.
About The Staff
As of current, the core of the company is total of 3 people in the company, including our CEO, and 15 more employees, working in the logistics team.
We have branches in the U.S.A, the middle east and Hong Kong.
Sunday, January 17, 2016
One thing that I hate about having small kids is how you take their temperature. Not only does it feel weird using a rectal thermometer, but it can also be messy. Toddlers and infant don't hold still very well for forehead thermometers either. Plus, what do you do when they have fallen asleep and you don't want to wake them to take their temperature? A forehead thermometer can even disrupt their sleep as you try to make sure it is touching their head in just the right way. Well, I decided to try out a non-touch thermometer. MeasuPro has provided me with their Non-Contact Digital Forehead Thermometer in exchange for my honest opinion. I have received no other compensation for this review.
This thermometer does more than just take forehead temperatures. You can also use it to check the surface temperature. You could use it to see if a warmed up bottle of formula is too hot for your baby to drink. You could check to see if the bath water is too hot or too cold. There are a ton of things you might need to make sure are a safe temperature. It can be set to Fahrenheit or Celsius. It can be muted if you are afraid the beeping will wake your child. It also stores 25 temperatures so you have a record of how your child's temperature has changed over time. Of course if you change any of the settings on the thermometer, the stored memory is erased. So if you take your child's temperature any number of times and then change it to check the surface temperature of something, your child's temperatures will be gone from memory. I'd say that you just need to keep that in mind and write down any stored temperatures before changing the settings if you are actually trying to keep track.
To use the thermometer, you press and hold the start button. Two red dots will appear on your child's head. You want to try to keep those dots vertical to each other while being approximately 4 cm from their head. Then you release the start button to get the temperature. Technically the thermometer takes a surface temperature, but it converts it to a forehead temperature before displaying it to you. If your child has a temperature (99.5°F or 37.5°C), it will beep. If there's no temperature, no sound will be made. Now when you are actually taking a surface temperature, there won't be any beeping.
It is really easy to use. Everything is controlled using the power button and start button. The instruction booklet is very easy to understand. You should keep it around in case any settings get accidentally changed. I was able to check my infant son's temperature while he sat in his walker. I took it a couple of times and one time it did beep telling me he had a fever. He didn't actually have one. He was just working hard to keep himself up in the walker. You have to take things like that into account no matter how you are measuring a child's temperature. I really like this. It is going to make things a lot easier for me.
You can order the MeasuPro Non-Contact Digital Forehead Thermometer from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0186EBX48
One of the single greatest attributes you have is the ability to use tools in order to enhance your life and the lives of those around you. MeasuPro provides those tools. Whether it’s at home, in the office, or out in the world, we have what you need. Together we can live better, easier, and more intelligently. Our line of home, health, and fitness products provide you with quality, precision, and accuracy and we believe our core values are what give us the opportunity to do so. Our product values are based in innovation and excellence, because only innovation and excellence will do. Our company values are based in service, because you deserve the best. Our employee values are based in creativity and harmony, and we encourage employees to express and excel. Together we can all stay on track and measure the important elements of life.
Founded in 2013, it has always been MeasuPro’s mission to create innovative products that can help people monitor and improve their lives. When we first started this journey we knew immediately it was our path to improve and enhance the products we now sell. We always held true to the belief that people need quality, and that we can deliver it to them. MeasuPro as a company is continuing to grow and expand in every aspect, and we are truly excited to think of what the future will bring as our team works hard to bring you this best quality products imaginable.