Nov 172014
 

 I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Little Remedies. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Little Remedies logo

I got a lot of awesome gifts at my baby shower when I was pregnant with Kayleigh, but one of the gifts I loved most was a basket full of Little Remedies products.  As a new Mom-to-be, I didn’t really know anything about baby medications, so I was relieved that someone else (another Mom!) had taken the guess work out of it for me.  It was one less thing I had to worry about, and I was prepared to take on any tummy troubles, fever or cough symptoms that might creep up.  Now that I am a Mom, I love to pay it forward and give the same gift to other Moms-to-be.

Kayleigh is 18 months old now (where has the time gone??) and we have used the Little Remedies products on several occasions.  We have been very lucky that Kayleigh never really got sick until just a couple months ago.  She came down with a terrible viral infection, which included a fever and a nasty cough.  We turned to Little Remedies Fever and Pain Reliever, Honey Cough Syrup and Saline Spray/Drops to help her get through.  The Fever Reliever helped to keep her fever under control and the honey cough syrup worked wonders for her cough, which also allowed her to sleep at night.  She was very stuffed up with this cold, so the saline spray/drops worked great to clear up her little nose and allow her to breathe better.

Little Remedies

When Kayleigh was just a wee little baby, we used the Little Remedies Gripe Water and Gas Relief Drops to help with her occasional tummy troubles. They always seemed to make her feel better very quickly, and I had peace of mind knowing that these products were completely safe for her.

“Everything they need, nothing they don’t.”

What I love most about Little Remedies products, is that they are made with the fewest ingredients possible.  There are no artificial flavors, artificial colors or alcohol.  Little Remedies believes “less is more” and strives to make sure that each of its products contains just what is needed for fast, safe and effective relief – nothing more.

Cold & flu season is upon us, and I believe it’s always best to be prepared ahead of time.  I’ve made sure that we are stocked up on Little Remedies products, so we are equipped to fight whatever may come our way!   For more information about Little Remedies and their products, visit LittleRemedies.com.

What are your favorite Little Remedies products?

 

 Posted by at 2:21 pm
Nov 152014
 

Happy Saturday! I have another great giveaway for all of you to enter! The prize is a $100 Amazon gift card, which would sure come in handy for some holiday shopping, am I right?! Good luck to everyone!

amazonblast
Makobi Scribe is bringing you this Amazon G+/YouTube blast where one lucky reader will win a $100 Amazon gift card. The giveaway is open to everyone and provided by Makobi Scribe. Good Luck! If you are a blogger, you can sign up for this blast here.

 Posted by at 6:21 pm
Nov 132014
 

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for MedImmune. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

World Prematurity Day is observed on November 17th each year to raise awareness of preterm birth, and the challenges preterm babies and their families face. 

Unfortunately, I know several people (my Aunt, my sister, several friends, women in my pregnancy and Moms group) who have given birth to their babies prematurely.  Some were born REALLY early, and others were born just a little too soon.  Luckily, they all survived and are now thriving.

Being 24 weeks pregnant myself, premature birth is always something that’s in the back of my mind.  It’s not something that can always be controlled, and could happen during any pregnancy, with little to no warning.  It’s very scary to think about.

Premature babies and their families face a lot of challenges, even after they are finally able leave the hospital to go home.  One of the biggest concerns is RSV.  RSV is a common virus that almost all babies contract at some point before the age of two.  RSV occurs in epidemics each year, typically from November through March, though it  can vary by geography and year‐to‐year.

In babies that were born full term, RSV really isn’t too big of a concern, as it generally produces mild to moderate cold-like symptoms.  RSV symptoms can be very severe in babies that were born prematurely, however, and may even require them to be hospitalized.  In fact, RSV is responsible for approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 200 infant deaths each year.

It’s so very important for everyone to know the facts about RSV, to help keep it contained and reduce the spread to other children.  It’s also good to know the early symptoms to watch out for, and also how to prevent it.  Did you know 1/3 of mothers have never even heard of RSV??  Please take a few moments to read the info-graphic below and share it with all the parents you know!

RSV-Facts

Visit www.RSVprotection.com for more information, including: 

• Tips on talking to your pediatrician about your child’s risk factors 

• Data about the RSV season in your area 

• Real stories of families’ experiences with RSV 

 Posted by at 6:54 pm
Nov 122014
 

I participated in this event on behalf of Wendy’s Bloggers for Colavita. I received Colavita products to facilitate my review.

 Colavita Logo

I have always been a huge fan of Italian food.  It’s seriously my favorite.  I have Italian ancestors, so we have enjoyed quite a lot of pasta dishes in my family over the years.  Pastas, breads, cheeses, sauces, tons of garlic and herbs… what’s not to love?!  I think I could eat Italian food every single day and never grow tired of it.

John and I have an Italian dinner night several times a month.  There’s just something really romantic about Italian food, isn’t there?  While going out to eat an Italian meal is fun, it’s not very easy for us to do with a toddler.  We are homebodies anyway, and enjoy eating in each other’s company without the distractions and loud noises that you would find in a restaurant.  It’s always fun to turn the lights down low, lights some candles, pour some wine (or sparkling grape juice right now because I’m pregnant!), listen to some good music and enjoy a nice Italian meal together at home. 

I recently had the opportunity to try out some Italian goodies from Colavita.  I was sent their Simply Italian Gift Set, which contains Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Colavita Balsamic Vinegar, Cirio Crushed Tomato with Basil, Colavita Eggplant & Sweet Peppers, Colavita Olive Bruschetta, Colavita Marinara Sauce, Colavita Tomato Basil Sauce, Colavita Penne Rigate, Dal Raccolto Capellini, Dal Raccolto Orchiette, and Almond Cantuccini

Colavita makes it really easy for you to cook a wonderful Italian meal right in the comfort of your own home.  They even have a Recipe Library right on their website to give you some inspiration for your meal.  You can follow Colavita on Facebook and Twitter.Colavita Simply Italian Gift Basket

I decided to make Eggplant and Sweet Pepper Veggie Pasta.  This recipe is SUPER quick and easy to make, and it was absolutely delicious.  Just look at THIS!  Doesn’t that look amazing?!  The sweet peppers were just bursting with flavor, and the eggplant made this a hearty dish that I didn’t feel too guilty about eating.

Colavita Eggplant and Sweet Pepper Veggie Pasta

It only takes a handful of ingredients to create this wonderful dish, most of which are provided in the Simply Italian Gift Basket:

Colavita Eggplant & Sweet Pepper Veggie Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil OR 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 jar Colavita Eggplant and Sweet Peppers
  • 1 pound Colavita Pasta
  • ½ jar Colavita Marinara Sauce (or Colavita Tomato Basil for a bright, fresh version of the dish)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Once you have gathered up all of your ingredients, prepare the pasta as follows:

Preparation:

1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2.  Heat 2 tbsp Colavita Olive Oil in large skillet over medium-low heat.
3.  Add the garlic and sauté, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the jar of Eggplant and Sweet Peppers and simmer for another 3 minutes to release the flavors.

Colavita Eggplant & Sweet Pepper Veggie Pasta

4.  Add the ½ jar of Colavita Marinara (or Tomato Basil) Sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to incorporate all the flavors.

Colavita Eggplant & Sweet Pepper Veggie Pasta
5.  When the water boils, add the pasta, stirring to prevent sticking. Cook according to package directions.
6.  Drain pasta, reserving about ½ cup of the pasta water and transfer the pasta to the skillet with the sauce. Using tongs, mix the pasta into the sauce well.
7.  If the sauce seems dry, feel free to add a little of the pasta water.
8.  Season with salt and pepper and serve with grated Parmesan cheese and basil.

This pasta dish turned out so great.  I can’t even tell you how wonderful the eggplant and sweet peppers smelled while cooking up in the skillet.  It was so fresh and wonderful tasting, and it paired well with the Cheesy Olive Bread I made, too!

The Olive Bruschetta included in the gift basket inspired me to make a bread to go with our Eggplant and Sweet Pepper Veggie Pasta.  I simply sliced a loaf of Italian bread in half lengthwise, mixed together the jar of Olive Bruschetta with 2 cups of Italian Blend shredded cheese until it was well combined, spread the cheese and olive mixture all over the Italian bread and broiled it in the oven for 15 minutes.  Easy, and delicious!

Cheesy Olive Bread

Dinner was everything I had dreamed it would be, but I can’t forget about the dessert!  We broke open that box of Almond Cantuccini and paired it with a cup of hot coffee.  These almond cookies were so delightful – perfectly crunchy, with a light and sweet almond flavor.  I had to exercise some major will power to keep myself from devouring the whole box!

Almond Cantuccini

GIVEAWAY

One lucky reader will win the same gift basket I received!  All you have to do to enter, is simply complete as many entries as you wish, using the Giveaway Tools application below.  Good luck!!

Giveaway rules:  One winner per household, email address, or home address. If you have won this prize on another blog you are ineligible to win again. Winners must have a U.S.-based address to receive their prize.  Giveaway ends on December 3, 2014 at 11:59pm EST.

The Colavita Story

The Colavita family traces its roots to the small town of Sant’Elia a Pianisi, in the Molise region of Italy. It was there, four generations ago, that Giovanni Colavita founded the family olive oil tradition and Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil was born. Over the years, the Colavita family became masters at the delicate crafts of “tasting” and blending extra virgin oils from different types of olives grown in Apulia and nearby regions. This skill enabled the family to produce 100% Italian extra virgin olive oil with a consistent fine quality – a skill that sets Colavita apart today from the other leading brands.

Today, the Colavita’s main focus is still bringing consumers authentic Italian extra virgin olive oil; however, the Colavita brand has grown to include many other quality specialty food products that are sold in over 60 countries. Colavita durum wheat semolina pasta, a full selection of balsamic and wine vinegars, traditional and organic pasta sauces, ready-to-serve soups and marinated vegetables, and olive-canola blended oils are the ingredients of choice for chefs in home, restaurant, and professional kitchens worldwide.

 

 Posted by at 6:33 pm
Nov 112014
 

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for CaringBridge. I received product a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

CaringBridge LogoMy Dad struggled with a debilitating autoimmune disease for several years.  Two years ago, he had a stem cell transplant, and even though he is still recovering from the damage that the autoimmune disease did to his nerves, he is feeling a lot better, and making great progress every day. 

During my Dad’s illness, it became so hard to watch him struggle to do even the simplest of tasks.  He was always such a strong, hard working man, and he could no longer do every day things we take for granted, simply because his body wouldn’t allow him to.  He began to lose all hope.

Maintaining hope and resolve and resolve during a health journey can be a daily struggle, but CaringBridge provides an opportunity for a much deeper, more intimate level of communication, where people can connect through the healing power of words.

As my Dad grew sicker, I turned to the internet to seek out information about his illness.  I met a woman who had struggled with the same disease.  She had just had a stem cell transplant, and was on her way to recovery.  She provided me with information to get my Dad into the clinical trial research program for the stem cell transplant, and most importantly support, encouragement and hope through her kind words.  Sometimes just talking to someone can do amazing things.  If I hadn’t met that woman online, I don’t know where my Dad would be in his health journey right now.

CaringBridge launched in 1997, so that people could start a free website and remain connected to their family and friends and receive support when they needed it most.  CaringBridge has been instrumental for millions in navigating an emotional journey.

Could someone in your life (family member, friend or neighbor) benefit from starting a CaringBridge website? Share this post with them and include a note of love, hope and compassion. Learn more at CaringBridge.org.

 Posted by at 9:55 pm
Nov 102014
 

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Pampers. I was provided product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine. 

When you become a parent for the first time, there are so many things that you worry about.  I remember one of the very first things that alarmed me was the black, tar-like stool in Kayleigh’s first diaper.  I kind of freaked out a little bit, but then the nurse told me that it was perfectly normal.  Over the next few months, Kayleigh’s stool color and texture changed from time to time.  Whenever it didn’t look quite regular, I ran to the internet to do research to ease my mind. 

Newborn Kayleigh

Pampers wants to help new Moms ease the transition into Motherhood.  That’s why they created the new Pampers Stool Color Cards and Diaper Rash Info-graphic.  These helpful assets will be distributed to hospitals Nationwide, so that Moms are armed with the information they need to help them through those first few months. 

Pampers Stool Color Chart

I’m 24 weeks pregnant with my second child, and even though I have already been through this once before, it will definitely help me to have these assets available when I need them. 

Pampers Diaper Rash Infographic

Mommy Memory Match Sweepstakes

To help promote the new Pampers Stool Color Cards and Diaper Rash Info-graphic, Pampers is hosting a Mommy Memory Match Sweepstakes!  One grand prize winner will get six months of FREE diapers and wipes!!  That would be such an enormous help to any new Mom!  You can enter the Mommy Memory Match sweepstakes on Pampers.com.  When you enter, you’ll also have a daily chance to play the Mommy Memory Match game and win one month of free diapers and wipes or a Pampers t-shirt INSTANTLY!  This great sweepstakes will run from now until January 31, 2015.

GIVEAWAY

Pampers Giveaway

One of my lucky readers will win this great prize package from Pampers!  This prize package is valued at $100.00 and includes the following:

  • Pampers Wipes
  • Pampers Newborn or Size 1 Diapers
  • Diaper Genie
  • Diaper Genie Refills
  • Portable Diaper Caddy

To enter to win, simply complete as many entries as you wish using the application below.  This giveaway is open to US residents only, and will end at 11:59pm EST on November 24, 2014.  Good luck!

Connect with Pampers on Facebook, Twitter, and Pampers.com!
 Posted by at 2:58 pm
Nov 092014
 

 I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Katy’s Goodness. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Katy's Goodness logo

Several of my family members are military veterans.  My grandfather served in the Army during the Korean War, my Uncle served in the Army during Desert Storm, my cousin served in the Air Force in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and another uncle of mine served in the Navy for more than 20 years, and was aboard the ship that rescued Captain Phillips!

I am truly so proud of my family, and the sacrifices they made to serve our country and help others.  They left their families behind and risked their lives, like so many other veterans have done. 

It is so important for us to show our appreciation to our veterans, not only on Veterans’ Day, but any chance we get.  They have gone through so much, and truly deserve our support and encouragement, and to be thanked for their service to our country.

Katy’s Goodness makes it easy to thank a vet with their care packages full of good-for-you cookies.  When a cookie care package is purchased, Katy’s Goodness automatically sends it to a veteran.  Each cookie care package is sent as an anonymous gift from a loving person in America, along with a thank you card expressing gratitude and honor for their service. 

Katy's Goodness Thank a Veteran

I absolutely love the idea behind Katy’s Goodness.  There are so many ways in which we can help support vets, and their focus is on giving a personal direct touch.  Just think about how wonderful you would feel if you received an anonymous cookie care package from someone, thanking you for something you did.  Wouldn’t it make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?  That’s what Katy’s Goodness is all about, sending joy to the men and women who gave up so much to serve our country.

A cookie care package costs $30, and includes shipping.  Each care package is comprised of six bags of Katy’s Goodness My OH Mega® Cookies, a thank you card, and printed information on organizations that support America’s military veteran community with housing, jobs, education, and medical and mental health services.

Each Katy’s Goodness bag includes about a dozen cookies, which are 100% whole grain, contain no artificial ingredients, are high in protein, rich in fiber and an excellent source of omegas!  Not only that, but they are delicious.  These are definitely cookies you can feel good about giving!

Katy's Goodness Thank a Veteran

Send a cookie care package to a deserving Veteran today!

Please Retweet!

If I get 30 retweets on the tweet below, Katy’s Goodness will send a Cookie Care Package to a military veteran!  Please take a moment to help if you can!  :)

Follow Katy’s Goodness on Facebook and Twitter, and learn more about the Thank a Deserving Veteran campaign here.

 Posted by at 9:13 pm