Celebrities

Ok so we’re not really celebrities–but recently Amber and I did a *super* fun photo shoot that made me feel like I was one for a few hours! Here are my favorites!

Nicole Elliott

Choosing the Right Pushchair

  
Article submitted by: Monique Fullowka

There are so many pushchairs on the market, if you’re a mum-to-be, or you are simply looking to upgrade your pushchair as your child gets older, it can be difficult to make an informed decision! I certainly found it tough, particularly the first time around. So I decided to put together some tips to make the process smoother.
 
Newborn babies have to be able to lie down, at least for the first three months, and although you might be thinking you can manage with just a sling, the reality is your baby can become too heavy to carry like this. What’s more you should think about your lifestyle, for example will you have to carry the pram up the stairs in your flat, and do you take public transport frequently? If the answer is yes you will certainly need something lightweight. 
 
Forward facing pushchairs can be good and often come with a lie-back facility for newborn babies, while two-in-one pushchairs can be used as prams or buggies depending on the stage your child is at.
Taking the old fashioned approach is often more costly if you want to get a separate traditional pram for the first few months before upgrading to a stroller or buggy later on. However, perhaps you have parents who kept your baby accessories, in which case this might be the best option for you!
 
If you do a lot of traveling around, why not invest in a travel system with pram/pushchair and car seat combined? It might be worth the money in the long run if it suits your needs and avoids you forking out cash for several separate pieces of equipment. Once your child starts to get bigger you might also consider three-wheelers for walking in the countryside or trips to the beach. 
 
Those of you with two children who are close in age or twins might be wondering how to manage but there are of course plenty of twin buggies out there as well.
 
All in all it’s important to consider your needs, the space you have for storage and any extras you might need to go along with the pushchair as these costs can add up. There is plenty of advice available online and asking friends often helps too!

Nicole Elliott

Pet peeves of people with glasses


 Article submitted by: Monique Fullowka


Wearing glasses is a lot of fun. They are a great accessory, they make you look smarter and best yet, they allow you to see more than 10 feet ahead of you. But as with anything there are some drawbacks. These days you can order glasses online at Coastal.com so that you no longer have the inconvenience of venturing to the optometrist, that being said there are still several challenges that people with perfect vision will never identify.
Napping is more difficult: There is no better feeling than an impromptu nap. Just put you head down and relax and drift of. However you may be soon woken up by the inconvenient pressing on your nose only to realize that you have fallen asleep on your glasses and they are now digging into your face. Alternatively you may, wake up all refreshed but unable to find the glasses that you have fallen asleep with. Too often have women woken up from an otherwise great nap only to find their glasses twisted in their hair?
Other glasses are a chore: When people first heard of the popularity of 3D movies, most of them were very excited. That is with the exception of people who wear glasses. In 3D movies, you now have to put your special glasses on top of your regular glasses. These not always fit properly, and if they do the solution is not only comical looking but also very uncomfortable. Additionally unless you have prescription sunglasses you have probably tried to put your sunglasses on top of your glasses in instances of driving against the sun. Apart from the strange looks that you get from the car beside you, this is not a great or comfortable solution. In both these instances it is best to wear contacts instead.
Not great for sports: Glasses are not great for those who like to do active sports. Sporting events in which balls are flying or contact sports are especially bad, as you constantly worry not about damage to yourself but the damage to your glasses. Furthermore, any water related sporting activity is not a great idea if you wear glasses. You cannot take your glasses into the pool, and you cannot see without them. It is a catch 22 situation, for which the best solutions are contact lenses or just staying dry.
You spend a lot of time looking for them: Anyone with glasses has probably spent a good portion of their life looking for their misplaced of glasses. In many households the term “have you seen my glasses” is commonly heard. Ironically it is very difficult to find your glasses if you cannot actually see them even if they are right in front of you. In such situations an emergency pair may be ideal even if you only wear it to find the pair that you lost.
As you can see (pardon the pun) wearing glasses is not always great. But being able to see the world around you is a very small price to pay for these minor annoyances.

Care For Babies ~ Blissful Bathtime

When you have a little one suddenly everything that you’ve always taken for granted seems like a BIG DEAL! Bathtime for a newborn? Traumatizing! (for the parent that is–haha) By the time you have 2 kiddos (like me) you’re an old pro! My top tips for bathing a newborn or baby?

  • Use a baby tub, it makes life easy — (plus it can double as a “water table” when the kiddos are older!)
  • Get everything within easy reach in advance (washcloth, soap, shampoo, towel, etc)
  • Use it as bonding time when they’re little and you have to watch every move anyways, make them giggle, talk to them, enjoy those precious fleeting moments!


And because anything related to babies makes me think of this, I have to share this amazingly adorable video of Amber when she was itty bitty in the tub!



Having great bath products can make all the difference whether you have a newborn or a “big kid”. As you know my kiddos both have sensitive skin, so when it comes to bathtime I’m always on the lookout for great, all natural products to use for them!

Mommy Bliss All Natural Baby Product


Mommy Bliss has just released the first and only line of Natural Bedtime Products for Infants — a big deal when you’d love to use the “soothing” nighttime lines on your baby but can’t because of their sensitive skin!


There are three products in the line–Mommy’s Bliss Sweet Slumber Baby Wash,
Mommy’s Bliss Sweet Slumber Massage Cream, & Mommy’s Bliss Sweet Slumber Mist 

Each is made with all natural ingredients that are hypo-allergic (meaning I can use them on Amber too!!!) and each contain essential oils that are historically associated with relaxation and sleep such as English Lavender Oil, German Chamomile Extract and Ylang Ylang Flower Oil, among other natural, soothing botanical ingredients. 


  
 I’ve been hearing great things about essential oils from so many of my friends and I’ve really enjoyed using these products that include them! They smell wonderfully and the quality is great as well! The bubbles *really* bubble and the massage cream is rich and creamy and really glides smoothly when you rub it on your little one! I sprayed the mist on Amber & Tyler’s pillows and also have used it to freshen up the room–it smells so good! (and I’m not normally a lavender girl-but I’ve found that “the real thing” does have such a pretty, calming smell!)

 One of the best things about this line? The availability and the price! They retail for between $5.99-7.99 and you can pick them up at Walgreens!

Don’t forget to pin this post–just click the little button at the top and add it to your Parenting or “Green” board!

Nicole Elliott

Mamavation Monday ~ Razors, Sweat, and Water

This past week has been one that was even more crazy than typical! Each day had something “extra” planned and several involved us eating lunch either out or brown bagging it.

Because of all the fuss and a few missed alarms I didn’t end up running even once :S Because of that and all the eating out my weight bumped back up to 134.4, however I think that it will be really easy to drop it again by next week so I’m not too concerned.

As far as the 40 Days of Water challenge I must say that I’ve been surprised at how it’s actually been quite a bit more tricky than I thought it would be! Thankfully there is one “cheat day” each week so I was able to use that because pizza with anything other than Pepsi is gross to me, haha! As far as the no snacking while I haven’t managed to do no snacks every night this challenge has really made me stop to think about it when I reach for something after 8, and most nights I do go without. On my “cheat night” I was surprised to find that after just a little bit of snacks I found myself putting the rest back because I wasn’t really craving it after all–a HUGE deal for me!!!


When life gets as crazy as it has been lately it’s always nice to have a few great products to rely on! Lately I’m loving my new Schick Hydro Silk® razor because it has a fun design that’s easy to grip in the shower, it has this really cool moisturizing serum so that it hydrates without using a big, clunky bar around it to do so, and the 5 blades help shave close and great like stealing your hubbies razor would! It’s perfect for the days when I am trying to find the time to squeeze a shower in!

Schick Hydro Silk® razor

Right now you can find high value coupons for Schick Hydro Silk® razor in the paper–or if you’d like me to send you a super special one courtesy of BzzAgent just let me know in the comments!

Dry Idea Advanced Dry Fresh


The other product I’m currently loving is the new Dry Idea Advanced Dry Fresh.  As you know it’s February, and in Texas that means that one minute I’m freezing and the next I’m sweating–yuck!!! Dry Idea is roll-on deodorant and antiperspirant (but it also comes in stick) that is pulse activated–so it keeps me cool and ick free no matter if I’m bundled up or in a tank top–even when those two happen within the same day. I’ve been using it for several weeks now and I’m loving how it works!


Also Dry Idea has a great Sweepstakes going on right now! Never Let Them See You Sweat® Sweepstakes featuring Dry Idea AdvancedDry Fresh! One lucky grand prize winner will receive $500, while 10 2nd place winners will receive a $50 prize!

Two lucky readers will get to check out  Dry Idea Advanced Dry Fresh for themselves! Enter below and don’t forget to “like” Dry Idea on Facebook!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nicole Elliott

A Kingsbury Collection: Three Novels in One: Where Yesterday Lives, When Joy Came to Stay, On Every Side

What’s better than one great novel by a wildly successful Christian author? Why three of them of course! That is what you’ll find in A Kingsbury Collection: Three Novels in One: Where Yesterday Lives, When Joy Came to Stay, On Every Side since it’s difficult to review three stand alone novels all together I’ve broken each individual story into it’s own review–I feel that as a collection they make sense. Each novel deals with deep and heart wrenching troubles. I especially thought the first two novels paired extremely well together!

In Where Yesterday Lives Karen Kingsbury delves into the deep and complex emotions that encompass losing a loved one and growing up and apart from family and friends and how different things in our lives shape us and our perspective on the world so greatly. I love how she tackles these issues through the various eyes of the Barrett family. Ellen Barret–successful yet unfulfilled reporter is the main character but each of the family members is focused on in the book, each of their emotions and backstory come into play. I love how the struggles, fights, and difficulties are shown from each characters perspective because it lends to greater empathy as a reader and really tugs at your heart strings! One of my favorite song lyrics is by Big and Rich and is says, “You never stop loving somebody, no matter what you tell yourself. You never stop loving somebody–you just start loving somebody else.” I’ve always found that to ring so true and part of Ellen’s storyline delves into this complex and sometimes dangerous dynamic. Unlike in other Kingsbury novels where I wanted to smack the characters for doing stupid things each move that the Barretts make is completely believable and it’s easy to see exactly how they would end up where they are as the story develops.

I truly enjoyed this book! It wasn’t a light and fluffy read but rather deep and rich and emotional and shows the very fabric of what being a human, along with a fallen sinner who accepts Christ, really is all about.

When Joy Came to Stay shines a spotlight on the hot button topics of depression and foster care. I really appreciated how Karen handled both of these super sensitive topics that are so easily taken to one extreme or the other. Instead of doing either of those things through a complex and intriguing storyline and characters Karen shows us how sin always has a price–but God never abandons those He saves and claims as his own.

As you learn Maggie’s story your heart hurts for her and her pain and depression becomes more understood and something to empathize with rather than to look down upon if you have never experienced it for yourself. I also appreciated Ben’s side of the story–and his journey into love and forgiveness and rooting out the sin within his own life. And of course who couldn’t adore sweet little Amanda–the ray of sunshine in the novel?? Another aspect of this book that I appreciated was that the perfect person facade is often just that–a facade. We should never judge others or be envious of their lives because we have no idea of knowing what is truly going on within them–this is why it is so important to never be envious and to always be kind and this is shown beautifully through the character of Laura Thompson in this novel.

Another deep and gem of a novel I highly recommend this-it’s among my favorites of Kingsbury’s that I’ve ever read!

On Every Side

I’m sad to admit that after thoroughly enjoying the first two novels in this book the last novel was a bit of a let down. While it still had true Kingsbury flavor in that it was easy to read and it kept my attention throughout, there were several different items that I felt drew away from the overall picture. The biggest for me was her focus more on the “sensational” realm of Christianity with a vision/dream (whether from God or an Angel is never made clear–first it makes it seem like an angel but then the man is instructed to remove his shoes because he is on “holy ground”) that occurs twice to one of the main characters and a near death experience for one of the others. I feel like maybe because the overall storyline of the angel in the park wasn’t as gripping she felt the need to “add a bit of excitement” into the story. I did love how this novel was based on true events–which I felt would have made an amazing novel just in and of themselves without the extra flair. Another aspect of the book that I loved was watching the change of heart that took place in both of the main characters–and the thought of “the walls coming down” theme that ran throughout the book. If you’re a died hard Kingsbury fan then this is certainly worth reading–but I’ve enjoyed several other of her books much more!

Did this review help you? I hope so! If it did–or didn’t–please take just a second and Rate My Review Here to let me know!

Nicole Elliott

Friday Food For Dessert ~ Whole Fruit® Sorbet

Here in the Elliott house we try to focus on eating healthy foods–but of course we love our “special treats” as the kiddos call them. So when we got the chance to try out  Whole Fruit® Sorbet I jumped at it!

Sorbet is usually a kiddo choice here, (mommy has to admit that she normally prefers her chocolate ice cream). However, when I found out that Whole Fruit® Sorbet were Voted Best Flavors by Cooking Light Magazine I decided that maybe Mommy and Daddy would be trying these out!

My hunch was right!  While these were definitely wildly popular with both of the kiddos I’m afraid to admit that Bob and I ate most of the Sorbet! (and yes, all five 16 fl. oz containers are long gone!)

What did we think of the flavors themselves?  Amber’s favorite was the strawberry that contained large chunks of–yes–REAL strawberries (yum)! Bob’s favorite was the Valencia Orange because it was the Sorbet that tasted the most like ice cream and the least like fruit (haha!). Tyler–well–Tyler ate them each and all with wild abandon and pronounced each “Sooooo nummy nummy nummy.”

And what did I think? My favorite was definitely the lemon–I’m a sucker for frozen lemonade that they sell out of on the sidewalk stands in Boston. Although I’ve tried to find a good substitute that I could buy from the store I’ve never had any luck–until now! The just right smoothly soft, sweet and sour delight that is the Whole Fruit Lemon Sorbet left me eating the whole container on my own and wanting more! I was also a huge fan of the strawberry and raspberry kinds as well–the raspberry had a REAL raspberry taste and texture to it–with raspberry I can really tell when it’s a “fake raspberry syrup” taste or “the real thing”!

If you think you’ll “like” Whole Fruit® Sorbet as much as we do be sure to go check them out on Facebook and pick one up at a store near you!

Nicole Elliott

Organizing in Small Spaces

I’m very excited to let you all know that I’m about to start a Organizing Small Spaces Series on here every Thursday!  One of my “blogging goals” for this year was to organize my random posts into categories and come up with a weekly blogging schedule and this will be the beginning of that!

From living in a small, wonderful house growing up to squeezing into apartments ever since-and now living with my in-laws–I’ve mastered the art of Organizing Small Spaces throughout my life and I thought it would be great to pass some of those thoughts along to you all!

Here are the topics we’ve covered so far:

Topics coming soon:

  • How to Think Outside the Box for Bedroom Furniture

and more!

Do you have an Organizing topic or problem? Please comment and let me know and I will write about my solution for it!

Nicole Elliott

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