Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pembrook Fleece Shawl Wrap Pink Review

We live in a nearly 100 year old home, drafty and has zero insulation on the second floor. There is only thin insulation in parts of the first floor. Our electric heating bills are $250-350 per month in the winter--ridiculous especially for a 1700 square foot home (with only really using the first floor). It is always cold in the winter despite having the home heat on 72. I am always cold but we cannot crank up the heat.

I saw this fleece wrap from Pembrook, and was offered to review it for my honest opinion. I was sent this for review, and I selected Rose pink. The color in stock photos represents the color perfectly. When it arrived I do admit I was a bit surprised at the actually shawl, it is more of a wide shawl scarf and does not have cropped sleeves, which for some reason I was hoping and expecting. I think I was expecting a type of shawl cardigan that wraps around.

There is a silvery scroll embroidered detail on the pockets, which reminds me of something popular for a different age group, not a negative aspect, just not my taste right now.  I would have preferred this to be plain without the decoration, so it could match with more things, and the scrolling is not my style.  I do like the fringe on it as it seems to make it more of a fashionable piece of clothing and feminine.

The fleece shawl material is soft, however it is exactly like my pink Snuggie. :) I do love my Snuggie, and was hoping this would be similar to it in function (sleeves) but a cropped, fashionable version suitable for going to the mailbox on a cold day or a trip to the store.  Having sleeve would make it much more usable for me as it would stay on better.  I feel I am having to smooth it out before I put it on, and smooth it out several times while wearing it.  I usually did end up wrapping it around me like a small blanket.

The fleece material may likely pill after several uses and I am not sure how well it will wash up.  It does say that it is machine washable, however since I have only needed it a few evenings at home, I have not needed to wash it yet.  It does attract lint easily, which is unfortunate.

I only plan to wear this at home, and it has served me well for nights when it is cold enough for a wrap, but when I do not need a full body blanket/Snuggie.  It has pockets, but I have not needed to use those for anything and the positioning of the pockets are not useful for me personally, however I know other people may benefit from them.  The pockets sit more up front, and i would prefer them to be more on the side, at an angle and have this be more of a cardigan shawl.

It is not something I would wear out somewhere due to the scrolling detail, however I will wear it at home, to get the mail, do emails, or sit on the porch.  I wear it as a wrap but do not use the collar.  I wrap around my shoulders and use it when I am watching a movie on the couch or up late writing/typing. Please excuse my messy hair and tired eyes, as with most of my review pictures, this was taken around 2 am. (when Mommy has time for blogging, emails, and reviews) :)

It is comfortable to wear and suits me for cold winter nights. It is starting spring weather here, so I do not expect I will need this much in the coming weeks, however I think it may need to be kept on hand for cool evenings.

You can find this on Amazon. *Shawl sent for review.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Elba Naturals Eye Firming Cream n. 1 Review and GIVEAWAY

I am always on the lookout for natural and gentle, yet effective antiaging skincare.   I am now 32and so am beginning to see small areas around my eyes and around my smile where time has taken her toll.  It is important to take care of our skin and to start early before skin issues advance.  Wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and other signs of aging begin to show on the face and specifically around eyes in our 30s.  Even those with near flawless skin are on the search to find products that protect and nourish their skin and prevent deeper lines and wrinkles.  I see commercials with models and celebrities endorsing untagging creams and I think to myself, they look so young, why would they need these items.  

It is important to prevent and preserve our skin.  So when we are in our late 20's and early 30's we need to begin using these types of products if we want to delay aging effects as long as possible.  I was sent an eye cream (and actually all over face and neck cream ---like I use it) from Elba Naturals. The product is called n.1 – les yeux, Advanced Firming Eye Cream.

This comes in a slim and sleek cylinder bottle pump and in a light cream.  I use it not only on my eyes but around my smile area, forehead/between brows, and my neck.  I apply it after i have washed my face and applied my Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, and Royal Jelly serum.  The cream feels wonderful on my face and soaks into my skin quickly.  My fingers do not feel greasy after application.  The product is said to be excellent for smoothing and recontouring the eye area, lifting and firming the delicate and thin skin around the eyes, plumping skin and filling fine lines, and fading dark circles.  My main problems are dark circles, pale eyelids with veining, oily eyelids, and faint lines around my eyes.  I have only been using this a little less than 2 weeks, but I do like the product.  I like the ingredients that it contains such as witch hazel, aloe vera, botanical extracts, essential oils, Hyaluronic Acid, Jojoba oil, Camellia Oil, Matrixyl 3000, and other ingredients.  I am a little concerned about the various forms of alcohol in it as I worry it may be drying on my skin.  

I use 2-3 pumps for my entire face and neck.  I focus on my forehead, eye area, and neck the most.  I probably  could get away with 1-2 pumps, but I tend to apply products generously if they feel nice on my skin and are not overly oily.  This has a light, pleasant scent.  

This is Non-Comedogenic (will not clog pores) and is does not cause break outs.  In the almost 2 weeks I have had it I have not had any irritation or acne from it.  I like how this applies easily and is not heavy.  I also like the fact that it is made in the USA.  The company offers a money back guarantee.  

Scroll to the bottom for a video of this product. :)

Elba Naturals n. 1 eye cream is available on Amazon.  

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Would you like to win one bottle of Elba Naturals Eye Cream? One lucky reader will win! Please make sure to enter you shipping info and other details to have a valid entry.  USA Only. 

Elba Naturals Eye Firming Cream n. 1 Review and GIVEAWAY

Certified Organic & Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Softgels by Evergreen Nature Review

I try to incorporate coconut and coconut oil into my life each day as it has so many benefits. I try use or consume it several times a week in my smoothies, bake/cook with it (add coconut flour to pancake batter or coconut oil to baked goods) I oil pull with coconut oil, I even use it on my hair and skin (usually as fractionated / liquid form with essential oils). Coconut is a great dietary fiber source and protein.

I was excited to try it in the form of Coconut Oil Softgels  as it sounded super easy (travel friendly and quick) and was a form I had not tried.  The company that makes the supplement is Evergreen Nature, a brand I am quite familiar with as I have tried other supplements from them.

I love all the aspects of coconut and feel healthier when I take it.  Taking coconut internally helps boost the immune system, and can prevent viruses and bacteria.  I knew that it prevents bacteria as I use it in my natural deodorants (either ones I make or purchase). It is a natural energizer and helps improve endurance.  This is one reason why I put it in my smoothies each morning.  It is fantastic externally and internally for skin and hair and by taking it in this pill form and using it externally on my body, I have been seeing improvements.  I have clearer skin (I use fractionated coconut sometimes in my oil cleansing method) I find that coconut taken as a food snack helps fill me up and provide energy.  It is a fantastic source of Vitamin E, which provides anti-wrinkle and anti-aging benefits.  My skin is softer with coconut oil.  I do not have Eczema or Psoriasis, however, it is said that coconut assists with skin issues.

I love that it is Certified Organic & contains Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.  The pills are large, however they are very easy to swallow and glide down.  These are Made in USA, GMP Certified.  There are no artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, sugar, starch, milk, lactose, soy, gluten, wheat, yeast or fish.  It is directed to take 1-2 per day.  I generally take just one, and give my husband one for him as well.

I do not detect an aftertaste and neither of us have reported any ill effects.  I have him take it in hopes to help with hair growth on his thinning patch.  I take it for added energy, keeping my skin clearer, and overall wellness.  This is a great product from a company I trust.  (I have tried their hair skin and nails supplement as well as their prenatal supplement--both excellent products.)

*I was sent one bottle for review.

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I make a daily smoothie for the mornings that has frozen banana, a scoop of Garden of Life Raw protein powder, raw cacao powder (raw unsweetened chocolate) coconut shavings, 1% milk, and some coconut flour.  This is my energizer shake.  The coconut shavings are on top. :)  I have been taking 1-2 of the Evergreen Nature Coconut pills each day.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Little D3 Drops for Baby Review

I was sent a baby vitamin supplement product for review from Liddle Ones. Little D3 Drops provide naturally derived 500iu in 0.5mL of Vitamin D3 for babies and infants.  The price for the bottle is excellent as this is actually a 4 month supply.  I have not personally tasted it but it smells wonderful! It says on the label that it has a natural wild berry flavor, which is, I am assuming the sweet scent.  Many vitamins has a terrible smell, which probably means they taste terrible as well.  I love that it is in pure aloe vera juice, which is a healthy liquid as well.

The bulb dropper ensures for easy and accurate dosing, as it allows 0.5mL to be added to liquids and food or to be given directly from the dropper.  I add it to my 11 month old's semisolid foods as he is not bottle fed.  I often mix baby oatmeal with mama milk and his vitamins.

This is MADE IN USA. I also love that there are no artificial colors, flavors, added sugar, wheat, gluten, dairy, corn, soy, fish, shellfish or nuts.  Although my baby is not sensitive to the food items (wheat, corn, etc.) it is nice that the common food allergens are not included in this supplement.

This is a fantastic product and I recommend it.  I was sent 1 bottle for review, all opinions are my own.

This is available on Amazon.

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Reusable 6 oz Panda Bear Baby Food Pouch Review

As a mommy to a 4 year old and an 11 month old, I need to have lots of snacks on hand, and food available at all times. A simple trip to the grocery store and library can potentially look like you are packing for a weekend getaway. :)

I my be deemed an overpacked, but one thing is I always have wheat I need when something arises. I feel you should alway bring an extra set of clothes even for a potty trained 4 year old (as potty accidents, muddy playgrounds, and messy food happens more frequently than not). My 4 year old likes it when we have raisins, cheddar bunnies (Annies) unsalted pretzels, and squeezable snacks. She always has her water filled sippy cup as well. Our 11 month old is still fed naturally, but her also eats baby food as well. It can be a feat to provide safe storage for glass food jars when going to a restaurant or outing. This is why I love reusable food pouches.

We used to purchase the non reusable ones from our local Whole Foods store and would spend as much as $1.50-2.00 per pouch. And quite often we we need to purchase 2 for one meal / snack. That gets costly and I hated that we could not reuse them. It seemed like such a waste.

I was happy to be sent a sample of a 6 oz food pouch from BabyFloret. It is by far the cutest pouch I have seen or reviewed. The pouch is a bright lime green with a sweet panda bear on it. The pouch is smaller than others I have tried (7 oz) but still performs well. No matter what pouch I use, I always leave about a 1/2 to an inch from the top so as to protect from accidental spillage. The seal on this works well and is secure, I just like taking extra precautions. Here are key aspects of the pouch (and did I mention it is really cute?).

BPA Free and Phthalates Free
Freezer Safe
Dishwasher Save

I take this with us for restaurant trips for baby. I do need 2 pouches of food (and was only sent 1 pouch to review) so I take one of my other brand pouches as well. We have not had any problems with these. I never warm up foods for my baby and rarely do I warm up foods for my 4 year old (she usually likes cool to room temperature foods). But I must warn you that it is not suggested to microwave this pouch. I am guessing it would wrap it or melt it. Simple use a bowl of hot water to warm up the contents. This is the method I have used to thaw frozen momma milk. Please also keep the cap out of the reach of children 3 years or younger.

We have washed this one in the dishwasher a few times on the top rack, and it has not faded or warped.  I do always make sure not to use the heated dry or sanitize setting as those are really hot temperatures.

These are available on Amazon sold in a Set of 8 Panda (6oz) pouches.

For more information on BabyFloret and their products, you can visit their website and the BabyFloret Amazon storefront.  Connect with them on Facebook for updates.

We like this pouch and HIGHLY recommend it. *I was sent one to review, this was an honest account of the product.

Vlokup Nursing Cover Review

I am currently nursing my 11 month old. I nursed my daughter past a year and had used and loved my 2 Bebe Au Lait nursing covers. They have beautiful patterns and colors, thick yet breathable cotton fabric, and a generous sizing. I bought a third one for this baby. I have tried the Petunia Pickle Bottom brand which folds up into its own pouch, but quickly sold it after 2 uses as it was much too small and I did not feel covered. I love their diaper bags, but the nursing cover although cute, beautiful, and soft, was not going to work for me. I recently was sent a sample of another brand of nursing cover. This one is from Amazon store Vloup and it is a pretty cover. I do want to mention that it was ordered on February 13th, and only just arrived March 9th. I would have liked to have known when it might arrive. I am not complaining, just was a bit concerned, as if I had purchased it myself, I would have wanted some sort of update.

When it arrived I was impressed with the decorative tags and how it was gently folded into a pouch, solely into its own pocket. It really folds up compact which makes it perfect for storing in the diaper bag or in the car (where ours is currently---which is why I do not have a picture of it currently). I have used this a few times for the short amount of time I have had it. I use it as a back up cover as I still prefer my Bebe Au Lait ones. I used this at the doctor's office and it worked fine. It is a little on the thinner side, so you may not want to use it in a breezy area unless you are decently covered under this. I like how this brand is able to remove the structured part (rigid neckline for seeking in on baby and for airflow) for ease of use in washing. I am pretty pure the Bebe Au Lait does not have a removable feature. The pattern I received is nice, a classy floral damask. The color is a beige, tan gold and the fabric is soft. I do want to mention that the inside pocket confused me as the fabric was completely unmatching. The pocket inside was a baby fabric pattern with abc blocks and pastel colors. I thought that it distracted from the classy pattern and colors of the rest of the cover. It still was a functioning pocket, which is useful to those who need a pocket (nursing shield, pacifier, face wipes, etc.) The fabric is lightweight against baby's skin and did not have any odors or off gassing that some products have.

It comes in one size, and is definitely full coverage. We have used it mainly for a lightweight cover to put over our baby's carseat when when bring him into a restaurant or doctors office and he is asleep or there are cottages children and we are only seeing the doctor for a monthly check up. I have used it as a backup nursing cover, a blanket, and find that is is slightly more convenient than my other covers due to the small size it folds into.

I like how they included a pictured guide on how to fold it back to the pocket. This is a good cover for the reasonable price. Please note that it will take 2-3 weeks to arrive and you may not get word on where it is in its travels. I do not have any complaints with it. It is very nice looking and is soft. The size is very generous and larger than most other brands I have seen. I love that the rigid neckline can be removed for washing the cover.

This is available on Amazon.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Beabies (company name) Teething Necklace and Bracelet Review

My 11-month-old baby has been teething nonstop since about 5 months of age. He has been doing fantastically well for his bottom 2 teeth (he has a Baltic amber teething necklace and we sometimes give him frozen bread to chew on). However, in the last month, he has been bringing in 4 new teeth on the top and his moods and sleep patterns have been off. He has had increased irritability and I can tell the pain has greatly increased. He is still nursing happily however his 1-2 feedings a night, at scheduled and balanced intervals has turned into crazy waking periods of screaming every 1-2 hours and then feeding for 2-5 minutes (sometimes 2-5 seconds) before crying and stopping the nursing session.

We always welcome any new ideas or old ideas to get him more comfortable. I was sent a teething necklace made of silicone. Our Baltic Amber necklace is not for biting or chewing, it is for being worn near the site of pain, against the skin and warmed to release Succinic Acid. Succinic Acid is a pain relieving oil. It doesn't provide extreme pain relief as perhaps an over-the-counter medicine would, however it's just enough so that I have found that it calms baby and seems to lessen the discomfort. We have also had great results with decreasing his amount of drooling, helping with irritability and improving his mood.

The past month or so we found that he's been in a lot more pain, a lot more fussy, and has been putting his fingers in his mouth a lot more than he used to. Instead of lighting mouthing and sucking on fingers and his thumb, he chews with great intensity. I was really happy to be sent a silicone teething necklace and bracelet set for review from Beabies.

I selected a turquoise set as it is bright and will be a nice pop of color to any outfit. I have worn this on several occasions and always receive compliments. I always smile and thank those who compliment me and I mention how it is a teething / chewing necklace. I am always surprised at how many people have not heard of these or seen one previously. It is true, these are a fashionable set and could be worn by those who aren’t parents if desired, and these are not obvious toys or baby gear.  

I wear it mostly at home while nursing, as my baby is now at the wiggly stage and is always poking me, pulling my hair or nose, or watching his 4-year-old sister who is prancing around and being silly and crazy. These necklaces are great for having baby play with during nursing to keep him occupied and eliminate distractions, as well as for chewing on during church or when we are waiting at the grocery store. He likes to look at it and hold it when I am holding him.

I like this set a lot and it is easy to put on and look like I planned my fashion choice. I like to keep it in my diaper bag as a toy to grab when he is crying. Baby should never be left unattended with this set, but I will have him in my arms as he holds the necklace or have him play on the floor next to me. Babies should never wear these themselves.

I like to wipe this down before he uses it, with a baby safe hand and face sanitizing wipe. This is a great product and I recommend it. I will be reviewing a magenta colored one that is also from Beabies. It has a stone like shape and is very fun to wear as well.

The Beabies teething necklace and bracelet are made of 100% food grade silicone and are BPA-Free, FDA approved, PVC-Free, Latex-Free, Rubber-Free, Lead-Free silicone. It is comforting to know that he is able to relive some of his pain and discomfort and stay safe.  This contains no phthalates, plastic, or heavy metals. They are taste and smell-free. 100% safe for your infant.  You could even put it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to cool them a bit before sharing them with baby.  

I was sent this set to review, and all thoughts are my own. 

For more info, visit them on their website or you can find them on Amazon.