A huge thank you to Lighting Shoes for contributing to this review!
I don't know about you, but my husband is super hard to shop for. It's not that he's picky or anything like that and maybe I make it more difficult than it needs to be but I always have a hard time finding him the "perfect gift". I mean, how do you shop for the man who has EVERYTHING?...Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration but you get the point!
When I became aware of these light up shoes for men, I knew I had to check them out. First of all, I had no idea they made LED shoes for grown men. Shoes that light up? Um...Yes! That's right down my hubby's Star Wars lovin' alley! Plus, it's something he doesn't have!...I knew he would love them...
Now these particular shoes are the High Top White LED Shoes and they come in black, red, and white. I chose white simply because it's summer now and about 1 million degrees here in California. White seemed like the more heat friendly option...
After ordering, the shoes came within 3 day. I think it might've been 2 but either way they came super quick! They didn't come in a box, oddly enough; However, they arrived well padded and in perfect condition.
Upon opening, our first impression was that these shoes are very style forward. LED shoes or not, these things can hold their own on style alone. Hubby says they remind him a lot of the Air Force 1 shoes. (Ok...admittedly, I had to look them up because I had NO idea what Air Force 1 shoes were but I must agree they bear a strong resemblance.) Thankfully, they came already charged up because we were excited to turn them on...Guess who else was excited?
Yep, the moment we turned these shoes on, the kiddos flocked to them like moths on a streetlamp!
What's neat about these LED shoes is that they have multiple setting options. Not only do they light up in 7 different colors, but they also have a about 3 different strobe settings! Of course, the kids were all over that and insisted we turn the lights off so they could have a dance party!
As for the LED feature, these shoes came with a dual-ended charging cord that can plug into any usb charging port. All you have to do to charge them is plug them in! I don't know exactly how long it takes for them to charge because we usually charge them overnight or while busy doing other things. But, fully charged, you can get a good day's use out of them. You will most likely need to recharge them nightly if you plan on using the LED feature daily. If the shoes are on while charging, they will flash red but, as far as I can tell, there is no charging indicator if the shoes are turned off.
The charging port itself is discretely tucked away on the insides of the shoes and aren't visible at all from the outside. You also can't feel them from the inside so, you don't have to worry about them jabbing you in the ankles while you're walking! I will say this...you have to be very careful when going to plug the cord into the charging port. If not, the port can get pushed down into the shoe and it can be kind of tricky to get out once that happens.
I find that gently pulling the port out like this makes it easier to plug in and decreases the likelihood of it being lost in the shoe. Then, just tuck it back in before putting them on again!
As you can see, the on button is attached to the charging port. Usually it's tucked further down into the shoe so you don't actually see it. Once you get used to the placement of the button itself, turning the LED feature on is a breeze.
This is what it looks like when they're plugged in!
So when it comes to visual appeal, these light up shoes for men are winning! But how do they measure up in the practicality department?
Well, according to my husband, "They're super comfy!" He's been wearing them for the past week and hasn't had any complaints thus far. Another thing he mentioned is the durability. We were both uncertain whether these shoes could withstand his crazy "run all over town" schedule. But they have actually held up extremely well. They still look brand new, which we are both extremely pleased about! Nothing beats a fresh pair of clean white kicks!
Another thing I was concerned about was that these shoes would randomly turn on while my husband was in the middle of worship. He's a worship director and flashing shoes, though very cool, could be a distraction. Thankfully, he hasn't had any issues with the LED feature going rogue!
So, needless-to-say, these shoes have been a huge success! Hubby loves them and even intends to buy a pair for our 3-year-old son. That's right, they have them in kid and toddler sizes as well! How off-the-wall adorable is that?! And, as it turns out, I was right! These were the perfect gift for my "impossible to shop for" husband. But I mean, let's be honest, men love things that light up! It's a guaranteed win!
So, what do you think of these light up shoes for men? Yay or nay? Share your thoughts below!
Until next time, Shalom!
P.S. Remember to use code Memoirs15 for 15% off any Lighting Shoes products and FREE express shipping!
A huge thank you to PinkBlush for your contribution to this post!
First, let me say welcome to the start of my Modest Maternity series! As a modest dresser myself and someone who has been pregnant 5 times, I know what a struggle it can be to find maternity clothes that are both stylish and modest at the same time. After 5 pregnancies, I've learned that it's not only possible but much simpler than I ever anticipated!
In this series, I'm going to share with you the tips and tricks I have learned to ease the dreaded maternity fashion woes. Spoil Alert: All of the featured outfits work post-pregnancy as well ;-) Yes ma'am! Say bye-bye to your post-pregnancy fashion woes as well!
Now, the truth is, pregnancy can be very taxing on the body but it's also one of the most beautiful miracles of life. I believe we should be able to enjoy the beauty of pregnancy without sacrificing the joys of dressing with femininity and grace! We shouldn't have to dress in last year's camping tent just to attain modesty. (Disclaimer: If you like the super aired out look then you rock it mama! Comfort...and air... are just as important!) So, without further adieu, let's get into my first pick in the Modest Maternity series...
Most of us know that when it comes to modest fashion...maxi dresses are an absolute necessity! Not only are they incredibly versatile but also...ahem...forgiving if you know what I mean. Plus, there's something so feminine and graceful about a long flowy dress! So, naturally, my first outfit choice contains this gorgeous floral print maxi.
The maxi I chose for this outfit is actually a maternity dress from PinkBlush Maternity. I fell in love with the print on this dress the moment I laid eyes on it! I'm big time into the floral prints right now so, of course, this was right down my alley. (Just a side note: This look can be achieved with any print OR even a solid color if that's what you fancy!)
Initially, I was hesitant about whether or not to get this dress. Yes, I loved the print, but I was concerned that either the material would be to thick and therefore to hot OR it would be to thin and therefore to sheer. However, I decided to give it a shot and I'm so glad I did!
This maternity dress is an absolute dream for any pregnant woman. PinkBlush has managed to strike the perfect balance of weight and breathability that lends both reliable coverage and total comfort! Not to mention, the material is super soft and feels great against my extra sensitive skin.
I also love the fact that this dress is long enough that I could comfortably wear a wedge without the "waiting for a flood" look but still wear flats without tripping and falling on my face. I chose just a simple white pair of canvas sneakers for this look. Pairing it with a light washed cropped jean jacket offered the casual element I was shooting for.
I played off the casual look by adding a high "sock bun" with a white head scarf. Then softened it up a bit with some loose hair pieces in the front.
As for the accessory pieces, I chose rose gold because I wanted just enough to accent without distracting from the overall look. Usually I'm all about statement pieces but this look just didn't call for it. Less was more in this case =)
And, of course, no outfit is complete without a complimentary bag! I chose a light blue shoulder bag that made the blue in this dress POP! It matched the blue elements so perfectly I thought surely this was a match made in heaven!
And that completes the first look in the Modest Maternity series! I really like the way it turned out. Not only was I comfortably covered but I felt gracefully stylish as well! And the best part? I can still rock this look after baby comes! Again, the beauty of the maxi dress. Whether pregnant or not, it's the perfect addition to any modest closet =)
Looking for something more dressed up? Stay tuned! I'm going to show you how I style the same dress for a more church-friendly look! Yay for versatility!
Until next time, Shalom!
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A huge thank you to Ecocentric Mom for your contribution to this review! You may find affiliate links included in this post. Please know that any and all purchases made through these links help to keep Memoirs Of A good Thing up and running...Thank you for your support!
Sunshine & Blue Skies! What an appropriate theme for this months Ecocentric Mom Boxes. At least here in Northern California! The weather has been extra sunshiny and really just overall beautiful. I'm not even a Spring/Summer person...though if I had to choose I would go for Spring, but I digress...
This months pregnancy box came with some really neat and useful products! So, let's jump right into it!
Coconut Oil Fragrance Free Face & Body Lotion by Organic Fiji- Retails $10/3 oz. bottle (Included)
This fragrance free lotion is supposed to be great for sensitive skin including babies! It's Non-GMO, Vegan, Cruelty Free, Gluten Free, Fair Trade, and made with USDA Organic, Cold Pressed, Organic Coconut Oil. It is also free of Parabens, PEGs, and harsh ingredients.
Ingredients Listed: Water, Organic Coconut Oil, Glceryl Stearate SE, Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Esters, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Apricot Kernel Oil, Avocado Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Citric Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid
My Thoughts: It's definitely fragrance free! I tend to like scented lotions to be honest but I don't use them on my kiddos. So, this is something I would carry around in my purse for when they need a moisture boost. It has a nice thick consistency and my hands felt soft and moisturized after using it. I like that is doesn't leave a greasy feeling on my hands. It does leave an interesting...after scent? At least it did on my hands. It's similar to what you might smell after holding a balloon. I don't know...maybe it's just the way it reacts to my particular body chemistry? It's not super strong though so it's not really that big a deal to me. Overall, I like that it's unscented and came in a travel-sized bottle. It's an ideal on-the-go option, especially for my kids!
Organic Sunblock by Z Skin- Retails $19/ 2 fl oz. (Included)
This organic sunblock is made with a variety of rare and exotic herbs and oils. It's formulated to protect your skin from harmful UV rays while hydrating your skin. It has an SPF of 45.
Ingredients Listed: Zinc, Raspberry, Carrot, Lemon, Citronella, Peppermint, Orange, Kiwi, Tangerine
My Thoughts: I was super excited when I pulled this baby out of the box! I am super fair skinned and I burn like nobody's business so sunblock is an absolute must-have. The first thing I'll say is I like the smell! Interestingly enough, it reminds me a little bit of toothpaste but when compared to the smell of typical sunblocks this one definitely takes the cake. I'd say the peppermint is the most prominent scent with the others being much more subtle. The consistency is also nice and thick. I will say I choked up a little at the price tag. Maybe it's just the way I go through sunblock but I feel like I would blow through these bottles in just a few outings. And at $19 a bottle that can add up really quickly! Overall, I'm happy with this product. It has a nice light scent that's not to strong and it seems to be effective at blocking the sun =)
Organic Watermelon Sour Twists by YumEarth- (Sample Included)
These organic sour candies are Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, and USDA Organic. They are naturally flavored.
Unfortunately, I ate them and threw away the wrapper before I could get the listed ingredients...whoops =/
My Thoughts: Loved em! I'm a huge fan of sour candy so naturally I was pretty stoked to try these and I must say they didn't disappoint! They were the perfect balance of sour and sweet and had a yummy flavor to them. Can I make a confession? I didn't share them....not a one...moving on...
Basil Seeds Pack by Seeds Now- Retails Sampler Pack [120 seeds] $1.99 Large Pack [1,000 seeds] $4.99 (Sample Included)
These seeds are Non-GMO, Non-Hybridized, Open-pollinated, 100% raw & untreated. Sprout time is 7-14 days and detailed planting instructions can be found on the Seeds Now website.
My Thoughts: I've been wanting to start an herb garden so, of course, I was excited about these. Admittedly, I don't use basil as much as I probably could but this is a good opportunity to start! I love the idea of having fresh herbs at my fingertips and I've already started looking at the Seeds Now website to check out what they have. There are lots of cool seeds offered on the website. So, if your looking to start a garden I highly suggest checking it out. The seeds are seasonably priced and I love that they are Non-GMO! I'm planning on planting them with my kids as a science project! =)
Bump 2 Baby by VISHA Skincare- Retails $35 full size (.25 oz Sample Included)
This 5 in 1 product is meant to cover a multitude of skin issues varying from belly bump to sensitive baby skin. According to the website, this product
Ingredients Listed: Deionized water, Tridecyl Stearate, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, sunflower oil, shea butter, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, beeswax, sweet almond oil, cocoa butter, Cetearyl alcohol, Tocopherol, rose hip oil, lavender oil, sodium citrate, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Allantoin, Sorbitol, Carbopol, xanthan gum, Phenoxyethanol, sodium hydroxide, fragrance
My Thoughts: I really like the 5 in 1 affect. The consistency is nice, not to thick but not to thin either. My skin did feel very soft and smooth after using it. It has a very light lavender scent which I like personally but I'm not sure if I would use it on my daughter who has severe eczema. It's supposed to be good for soothing and relieving eczema but her skin is so sensitive that I'm a little leery to try it on her. We've been using an unscented oatmeal based lotion in conjunction with an allergy cream and, so far, it's been working wonders on her skin. So, I'll probably save this for myself. This product also carries another moderately hefty price tag. I don't know how big the full size is because it didn't say on the website. I will say I haven't used it enough to justify spending that much but if it does something amazing and the size is comparable, I would consider dishing out for such a product. I guess we'll see how it does after a few consecutive uses!
Sweet Breeze Bath Bomb by Pair'd Beauty- Retails $7/ Bath Bomb (Included)
These nifty little bath bombs are made to order and hand packaged! The Sweet Breeze bath bomb is a blend of sweet orange, lavender and peppermint.
Ingredients Listed: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Maize, Potassium, Bitartrate, Dead Sea Salt, Apricot Oil, Essential Oils, Coloring
My Thoughts: I haven't actually used a bath bomb before so I'm looking forward to trying this out! I have used bath salts so I don't know if these work the same way. This particular bath bomb has a very light lavender scent to it...Maybe it's just the pregnancy but most of the scented products in this month's box smell like lavender to me. Even though they have other scents, lavender seems to be the dominant scent my nose seems to be picking up. Just an interesting observation but again...I digress...Thankfully I'm a big fan of lavender! I also like that these are made to order and hand packaged. I'm a sucker for "made with love" products ;)
Goumimitts in Honeycomb (Cream) by Goumikids- Retails $12/pair (Included)
These adorable baby mittens are made from a machine-washable blend of 70% bamboo-derived viscose and 30% organic cotton. The stay-put design offers non-toxic scratch and germ protection for baby and they're reversible!
My Thoughts: I just realized I always save the baby products for last. I'm usually most excited for these products because they're just so tiny and it makes baby's pending arrival all the more real! Anywho, I think these little mittens are just too cute! They're super soft inside and the reversible design is adorable! The Velcro strip at the wrist makes them easily adjustable to fit baby comfortably. I also like that they're not to thick for the babies due in summertime.
There's not much to say other than it was another successful box from Ecocentric Mom! I just love this subscription box. The products are awesome, the service is awesome, it's just overall awesome! I'm so glad my subscription doesn't end when baby comes but grows with each stage of motherhood ;-) As usual, I'm looking forward to next months box to see what comes!
Interested in checking out what the hype is all about? Try it out for yourself! There is absolutely no obligation to you and you can cancel at any time...you won't be disappointed ;-)
Check back for future Ecocentric Mom box reviews!
Until next time, Blessings
This post may contain affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links help to keep Memoirs Of A Good Thing up and running. Thank you so much for your support!
So I recently started thinking of ways to help my 7 and 4-year-old to be more responsible in their daily hygiene routine. Currently, our daily routine has them getting baths before bed time, but we like to have them wash up in the morning before getting dressed and ready for their day.
As you can probably imagine, maybe not, with 4 kids this can be quite a daunting task. Not to mention, we currently have one....ONE...bathroom. So if you can picture a line of kiddos with wet soapy wash rags, a drenched stool on an equally drenched floor...yeah, hardly the recipe for success. There has to be an easier way!
That's when my husband suggested we make the kids their own shower boxes. What?! Yes! Not only will they have all the tools they need in one spot, but they will have a place to put it all when their finished and they can be responsible for their own hygiene materials. Genius!
Not only did we decide to do it for the older kids, but we decided to give the younger ones their own boxes as well. What I love about this idea is that it does a couple of different things. It begins to introduce the concept of self-care, not just to the older kids but to our younger kids as well, and allows them to see what it looks like. Because lets be honest, they are watching EVERYTHING their older siblings are doing! It teaches them how to be responsible for their own things and gets them in the routine of regular personal hygiene. It also alleviates any fighting over boxes...yeah...I know but in our home this is a legit issue. Everyone has their own box=no fighting=happy mommy...
When deciding what to put in their boxes I knew I wanted to have all of their hygiene needs in one place. I wanted it to be organized and somewhat systematic so the process would flow smoother. Of course, deciding where to buy the products was a no-brainer. A project like this screams Dollar Tree...
So I headed out with my list and set forth on my mission...Here's what I got!
First, I picked up some shower boxes. I don't know what they're called to be honest, but this is what they look like. They have 3 compartments in varying sizes and were exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately, at the time I went, they only had 3 colors. I was hoping to give each child their own color but my coordinating dreams were crushed that day. I may go back at a later time to see if I can get another color but, until then, these will have to do!
Next, I grabbed a pack of small child-size drinking cups. Now these came in a pack of 6 and had 3 different colors in it (again with the 3 colors...argh!) Anywho, I bought these with the intent of placing them in the smallest compartment and storing their toothbrushes in it.
As you can see in the picture, I bought them each a different toothbrush. Each one came with a storage case and a different character on it.
The next piece took some planning out. I was trying to figure out a way to include flossers in their boxes but I didn't want to buy 4 packs and I didn't want them just out in the open. So, I got these little snack-sizes tupperware containers. They came in a pack of 2, so, I got 2 packs. I also grabbed 1 pack of kiddie flossers. I just divvied the flossers and stored them in these little containers. I actually really like these snack boxes because they have a nice seal to them and I don't have to worry about them popping open if they get dropped!
I also grabbed the older kids some kid-friendly mouthwash. The girls each got a pink one and my son got blue. I didn't bother getting one for our littlest one because she's just not ready for it yet.
Next, I grabbed some Q-Tips. I found some travel-sized boxes in the baby section and they came in packs of 2 so, again, I bought 2 of them. I also bought a large pack to refill these when they run out. These are obviously something I don't allow the little ones to use on their own but they do have their own stash. So, I make sure to use their own when I'm cleaning their ears. They also have baby-safe Q-Tips that you can get at Walmart I think. They're created to prevent the Q-Tip from being inserted to far into the ear. These may be a better option if that's something you're concerned about.
Then, for the girls, I grabbed each of them a pack of black hair elastics. I don't know if it's just mine but these girls lose hair ties like I lose bobby pins! Hopefully, this will help them keep track of their hair ties better...
These mini loofa sponges came in a pack of 4 (halleluyah for the exact amount!), so, I grabbed one pack!
We also found these cool little detangler brushes. I didn't actually buy them on this particular trip but I did get them at the Dollar Tree. So, I thought I would include them because, one, they're going in their boxes and, two, they're pretty neat little brushes. My girls have really curly hair and brushing through it can get pretty gnarly so I like to use brushes that makes it the least uncomfortable for them!
Lastly, I grabbed these little roll-on deodorants for the older girls. They tend to have really strong body chemistry so this helps to keep them fresh and dry as they go throughout their day. I also bought my son a little body spray so he can "smell good like daddy does!" =)
So here is the final product! You'll probably notice that I added a few things (mostly hair products) to individual boxes. This is stuff they use on a regular basis but I didn't purchase them at the Dollar Tree and they may not be necessary for all.
Also, I left out the toothpaste. Why, you may ask? Well, we are currently in the process of transitioning over to all-natural products and toothpaste is one of those things we have already transitioned. It can be pretty spendy and for whatever reason half the tube ends up down the sink when in the hands of my children so we keep it stored away until it's time to brush. Then, of course, there's the fact that the cap somehow ALWAYS gets lost, then tube gets all gunky...you get the picture...
You may have also noticed that I labeled each box and individual item. This is the label maker I use here! I'm not a labelaholic guys...well...maybe I am...BUT it was totally necessary this time! Mostly, I wanted to be sure the items weren't getting mixed up. Because some of the items are identical, I figured it would make it easier on the kids when it came to replacing their items to their individual boxes. No confusion, and again, no fighting! I like to work smarter not harder! =)
So, all-in-all, I spent a total of $25 to put together these 4 shower boxes. That averages out at $6.25 per box. Not to bad considering all they got in them! Not to mention, the benefit they get from learning the importance of personal hygiene and taking responsibility for their own things!
We have been using these shower boxes in our home for about a month now, and let me tell you, it has made a world of difference! Not just in our older kids ability to care for themselves but our little ones are beginning to understand personal hygiene and the importance of self-care. Not only that, but the morning wash-up process has been 100x more organized. Even bath times are running more smoothly because every thing is in it's place. The kids know where their boxes are and where to return them when their done. It's been Uh-mazing!
So what about you? Do you have any tips for teaching kiddos about personal hygiene? I'd love to hear them! Just share in the comments below!
Until next time, Shalom!
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We just recently celebrated my son's 3rd birthday! Wow, it's crazy to think about how fast this time has gone by. Looking back on that day, I'm filled with joy and gratefulness. But not just because my first son was born. That was the day both of our lives were saved. It's a day I'll hold near and dear to my heart for more reasons than one. A day that cements a bond between my son and I that can't be put into words...
It Started Out Rough...
I had a rough pregnancy with my son. I say rough because my prior 2 pregnancies had been rather uneventful. At 10-weeks, the Dr. was unable to find his heartbeat, sending us into a mad frenzy. We would later find out that this was just a precursor to his very nature...sending mommy and daddy into a flagrant frenzy at any given moment.
We also found out early on that I had Placenta Previa. Placenta Previa is where the placenta lies lower in the uterus and either partially or completely covers the cervix. This can cause complications and usually results in being put on bed rest. Many times, if it's not resolved, it can result in the baby being born by cesarean. Thankfully, it corrected itself during my 3rd trimester.
Things Were Looking Up...
I went into labor 4 days past my due date, in the wee hours of the morning. My husband was working overnights at that point so I called him to let him know...It was time!
When we got to the hospital, the staff began monitoring my contractions and admitted me soon after. I was so excited because this was my first pregnancy where I was going into labor naturally! (I had to be induced with my two prior births.) I'd been praying for this moment the entire pregnancy. I wanted so badly to go into labor naturally and give birth to my baby unassisted. I was so happy things were going according to my hearts desire!
We were there less than 30 minutes before things took a drastic turn...
It's Amazing How Quickly Things Can Turn...
The nurses had noticed that they were having a hard time getting a reading on his heartrate. They had me switch sides and positions to see if that improved the connection but, after several failed attempts, they decided to insert a probe that would be attached to his head. This would allow them to monitor his heartrate. The nurse went in to break my water...
I don't remember much of what happened after this point. All I remember is the nurse yelling. She jumped on top of me and shoved her hand up inside of me. I was in extreme pain at this point so I don't recall what they were saying but a whole host of nurses flooded into my birthing room. They started wheeling me and the nurse (who was still on top of me) out. I recall hearing the OR room.
I remember looking for my husband and not being able to find him anywhere.
Did This Really Just Happen?
I was wheeled into a large cold room. There had to have been a good 15 people or more in there. I looked around. I must've been in shock. Everything was moving so fast. I knew at this point that I was about to have surgery. The nurse remained on top of me while the doctors prepped for surgery. The last thing I remember is a nurse standing over me with a mask on my face. She told me to breath deeply and when I woke up my baby would be here. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. The last thing I said before I went under was, "God, I know you will take care of us. I trust you."
I woke up some time later in a small, cold room. I assumed it was a recovery room. To say things were hazy would be an understatement. I was dazed and confused and the pain...oh the pain was...indescribable.
The doctor had explained to me that I had a prolapsed cord. Essentially, when the nurse broke my water, my sons umbilical cord began descending down the birth canal. It was being pinched off by his head which meant he wasn't getting the oxygen he needed.
When I was finally able to come to some sort of focus, I saw my husband standing next to me, holding our little bundle of joy. I was numb...
Is What I'm FeelingNormal Right Now?
My husband asked me if I wanted to hold him.
I just shook my head...and I burst into tears.
I can't describe what I was feeling in that moment because the truth is...I have no idea what I was feeling. All I know is that I was feeling an intense emotion that I was struggling to communicate. It could've been the heavy sedation or perhaps the extreme pain. I was most certainly still in shock....disbelief...
To this day I can't imagine not wanting to hold him. I don't think I'll ever understand my reasoning but I try not to be to hard on myself...I was traumatized...
It's An Unspeakable...Something...
When I finally did agree to hold him, all I could do was cry. I was immediately overcome with a barrage of emotions. I was, of course, enamored by this precious baby I held in my arms. I couldn't even make out his sweet little face through the pool of tears in my eyes but I could feel his warmth...his little heart beating strong...I was grateful he was alive.
This would be the perfect time to say I was filled with insurmountable joy. But, the truth is, I wasn't feeling joy in that moment. The pain suffocated any feeling of joy I may have been experiencing. I was grateful, yes, but I felt robbed. Robbed of that moment I cherished so much, when my eyes first meet theirs, that moment when we connect for the first time and everything else seizes to exist. Everything is at peace in that moment. But there was no peace...
The doctor would come in about every 10-20 minutes to push on my stomach. The pain was so excruciating all I could do was scream. I felt like I was dying. All I could think was, "Please, for the love of God, just knock me out!"
The Hospital Stay Was...Eventful...
We were in the hospital a total of 4 days and the majority of it is a blur to me now. I remember those 4 days being miserable for me. Not only had I just had a major surgery but I had a cold as well. I was so scared that I was going to get my newborn sick. I was, for all I knew, dying...with a cold...and I was struggling to breath because my nose was so congested.
Not to mention, I was hallucinating from the pain meds. I remember laying in bed...the baby was asleep and hubby was dozing in and out of an exhausted stupor. I looked over at the door and I kid you not there was dog food stacked from floor to ceiling. I don't even have a dog so...yeah...it made no sense why someone would bring a heap ton of dog food to MY room. I turned to my husband and was like "Who brought all this dog food in here?" He just kind of looked at me. It was in that moment I realized how ridiculous I sounded..."Never mind".
After that, the nursing staff began falling behind on my pain medication. I would wake up in excruciating pain. I didn't leave my bed at all the first day. By the second day, the staff insisted I try to go to the bathroom.
The nurse told me she couldn't help me walk to the bathroom...still not sure why that is...but thankfully my husband never left my side. He was able to help me. Getting up out of that bed was...indescribably torturous. I bawled all the way to the bathroom. By the time I reached the bathroom door, the pain was so bad that I blacked out.
Maybe I just have a low tolerance for pain but I can honestly say I have NEVER felt pain like that before in my life. Giving birth was a cake walk compared to what I was feeling in that moment.
Things Do Get Better...
By the 4th day, things had improved drastically. I was still in a good amount of pain but I was at least able to walk without passing out. Generally, I like to get out of the hospital as quickly as possible because I know we have our other kids waiting for us at home. But this time around, I seriously considered staying another day... I wanted to...I NEEDED to...but ultimately, we decided to go home.
A Blessing in Disguise
February 22, 2014 changed my life forever. I learned a lot about myself...my strengths...my weaknesses. It made me grateful for so many things...grateful that I serve the one true living God...grateful for life and the many blessing I have...grateful that my son's life was spared...grateful for a husband that has never left my side...grateful for the 3 kids I was told I'd never have...just grateful...blessed...
I never imagined I would ever have to have a cesarean. It was hard...it was scary. But Yah brought my son and I through it and I'm a stronger woman because of it.
If you're facing a cesarean or worried that you may have to have one, I want to encourage you. I'm not going to say it won't happen but I will tell you that...if you do...you can get through it. Know that Yah works all things together for the good of those who love Him. My emergency cesarean was worked together for my good...the spiritual benefit of going through this experience far outweighed the benefit of having my son MY way. Yah's ways are greater than my ways and ultimately...His way brought me closer to Him. Trust Him, no matter what your circumstances look like...
Until Next Time, Shalom!
Thank you for allowing me to share my experience with you. I hope you found it encouraging! If you enjoy encouraging words, take a moment to subscribe to my Good Word Newsletter for encouragement straight to your inbox! You will get a link to download my FREE scripture printable pack with sign up!
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A huge thank you to Ecocentric Mom for your contribution to this post! As a proud Ecocentric Mom affiliate and subscriber I am happy to share these products with you! This post does contain my affiliate links so if you happen to make a purchase through one of the provided links I will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!
I was really excited when this months Ecocentric Mom box came in the mail! (Don't mind my totally mismatched jammy pants...I was cold! O_o ) We got so many cool things in the pregnancy box and I was instantly reminded of why I love this subscription box so much.
This will be my third box so far and I can honestly say I have enjoyed every single one of them. The other two past boxes did have a product or two I wasn't necessarily blown away by but again, that's to be expected with pretty much any subscription box. But THIS month I didn't receive anything I'm not at least excited to try! So, without further adieu, let's jump right into it!
About the Box
I noticed that this month the description card didn't include the product values and details. I was mildly disappointed only because I actually enjoyed reading them. However, the information has been made available on the Ecocentric Mom website so it's not that big of a deal.
About the Products
First up is the Organics Happy Mama Prenatal soft-baked oat bar! I'm somewhat familiar with the Organics brand and had no idea they had a prenatal bar! I got the flavor carrot, raisin + cinnamon. This bar packs 7g of fiber, 50 mg of DHA, 55 mg of choline, and 20% of the daily value for calcium. Plus, it's gluten-free! The back of the packaging says it's great for breastfeeding moms as well =)
My Thoughts: I'll admit that a big part of me was hoping it tasted like carrot cake (I mean carrot...raisin...cinnamon...hello?! Carrot Cake!)...it doesn't taste like carrot cake =/...So even though my exceedingly high expectations left something to be desired, it's actually not bad for a health bar. It's definitely..."healthy" tasting but not in a "this tastes like cardboard" kind of way. I could definitely see myself carrying these in my purse as an out-and-about snack for when I'm out running errands and things. And I know it has good things for the baby so that, of course, is a huge plus. I'm always looking for new healthy snacks for the fam so overall, I'm glad I got the opportunity to try it out.
I am super excited about this next product...the St. Tropica organic coconut hot oil hair mask! I have always been a stickler about my hair for some reason. I don't like getting it cut so I do what I can to keep it healthy in between trims. I have never used a hot oil hair mask before so I'm really excited to try this! It says it's proven to reduce hair damage and increase hair strength. The ingredients include Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut Butter, Organic Coconut Fruit Extract, Organic Biotin, Organic Horsetail, Organic Amla, Organic Hibiscus, and Organic Green Tea. There are no chemicals, sulfate, or paraben and they don't test on animals!
My Thought: I will update after I try it out with a before and after shot! Check back soon!
Next up is the Zahler Prenatal + DHA. This is a sample pack of prenatal vitamins and it includes 10 softgels. It says to take 1 softgel twice daily with meals, or as directed by a health care practitioner. It includes 25 vitamins and nutrients, as well as, 300mg of DHA.
My Thoughts: I think it's cool that Ecocentric Mom included prenatal vitamins as a product to try. Being through 5 pregnancies I can say that finding the right prenatal can be an absolute chore. You buy multiple different brands trying to find the right one for you and it can be downright spendy. I did try these and I don't have anything bad to say about them. One thing I'm happy to say is that they are certified Kosher! No Gelatin! I have had to purchase my prenatals at a healthfood store just to avoid the gelatin which most prenatals seem to have in them. These don't have a nasty aftertaste which is nice! Also, I didn't experience any nausea after taking them. I believe taking them with food is key, as with any prenatal. I also like that they're not to big. They are kind of long but they're relatively slim so I had no issues swallowing them. Overall, I'd say this is a pretty good prenatal.
Next up are some bar soaps by South of France Natural Body Care. I received 2 bars in the scents Almond Gourmande and Climbing Wild Rose. The listed ingredients are Saponified Mass Balance Sustainable Palm Oil, Saponified Coconut Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Shea Butter, Natural Colorants, Blends of Natural and Essential Oils, and Fragrance. I am a big fan of natural body products, especially if they smell good! So, whenever I receive any kind of body products, I'm always excited to try them.
My Thoughts: Admittedly, I'm more of a body wash type girl but every now and then I'll find a good bar soap that I like to use. I do like the way they smell. The scent is very light and pretty. Some soaps can lean pretty heavy on the fragrance but these ones are very nicely balanced. As far as their cleansing ability, I haven't actually used them yet but I will share the results and my final thought as soon as I do!
This next product is really cool! It's Essential Wipes 8"x10" Essential Oil Bamboo Towelette. The listed ingredients are therapeutic grade essential oils of copaiba, lavender, niaouli, ylang ylang, and palo santo on bamboo. It says they are naturally sanitizing, biodegradable, and chemical free! The tube comes with 10 bamboo wipes and what's cool is that these little wipes are compressed into tiny tablets. They kind of remind me of tums a little bit. I can't really think of any other way to describe them. But if you have ever seen those little kiddie wash cloths that expand when you add water to them, these wipes essentially work the same way. You add less than 1oz of water and then just unroll it and you have a wipe!
My Thoughts: I really like these wipes! Not only are they conveniently packaged but they work and smell great! My hands felt super soft after using it as well. The wipe itself is strong and seems durable enough to handle pretty much any wiping needs I might have. I will definitely be storing these in my purse for those moments when I am out with the kids and need a wipe ASAP!
Next up is the Para'Kito Mosquito Repellent Gel Unidose. This product couldn't have come at a better time for me. I don't know if it's just in this area but the mosquitos have been out of control here lately. Of course, I'm the type of person that seems to attract every mosquito within a 50 mile radius so, maybe it's just me. Anywho, this particular repellent is deet free...honestly I have no idea what deet is but it doesn't have any of it in it! It looks like the major deterrent here is the essential oils. I have always heard that mosquitos HATE citronella which citronella oil just so happens to be a listed ingredient! Ingredients also include rosemary oil, geranium oil, mint oil, clove, oil, peppermint oil, water, glycerin, glyceryl stearate, lecithin, sodium benzoate, gum tragacanth, guar gum, citric acid, and sodium citrate. It says to apply on neck, arms, legs, or other exposed areas as shown. Apply sufficient quantities , reapply as needed, and at least every 5 hours or after swimming. You simply snap the packaging open and squeeze to apply the product!
My Thoughts: Though I haven't had the chance to try it out yet (stuck inside from rainy weather), I am looking forward to trying it out and seeing how effective it is. I don't generally use bug repellents because of the smell so I'm actually really hoping this works as a more natural alternative. I'll let you know once I try it! ;-)
Here is another product I'm excited about! It's Dr. Brite Cleansing Mouth Rinse with Vitamin C and Activated Charcoal. It's a mint flavored mouth wash that claims to improve gum health, freshen breath, and naturally whiten teeth. I've been looking for a good natural mouthwash that the whole family can use so I was extra stoked when I saw this in this month's box. The listed ingredients are Purified Water, Organic Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Vitamin C, Activated Charcoal, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Spearmint Leaf Extract, Organic Menthol, Xylitol, and Organic Stevia. It says to place a small amount (15ml/3 tsp) of mouthwash in mouth. Swish vigorously and throughout for 30 to 60 seconds. Gargle and express.
My Thoughts: So far, I really like it! My mouth definitely feels refreshed after using it and I like that the taste isn't to overwhelming. I can't really verify the whitening effect as I haven't been using it for very long. But even at that, I am already sold on this mouthwash. I'm even considering trying out the toothpaste (Yes, I like my toothpaste and mouthwash to match!)
Lastly is the Itzy Ritzy Snack Happens Reusable Snack & Everything Bag. I happen to be a big fan of reusable bags such as this one. I actually have one similar that I use as a wet bag for our cloth diapers. But this one can be used for pretty much anything...food, toys, baby products, beauty products, electronics...anything! The bag measures 7" x 7" and has a zipper closure. It is water resistant and washable as well.
My Thoughts: This is probably one of my favorite products from this month's box! It seems to be extremely durable and I love that I can wash a reuse it for different things. With 4 kids, I see it serving multiple uses and it will most definitely be getting plenty of use. I just don't think one is going to be enough!
April's pregnancy box was an overall win for me! There wasn't one product that I didn't feel was necessary or at least useful to my family. I'm really enjoying finding all these new products that I've never heard of and I feel like the quality of the products makes it all worth it. I heard the Mom Boxes got mascara this month!...not gonna lie I was little jelly but I think it's awesome that they offer products like this for us moms to try out.
So, that's it for this months review! If you're interested in trying out one of the Ecocentric Mom boxes, go ahead and click here...You won't be disappointed! ;-)
Until Next Time, Shalom...
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In case you missed my last post, I recently found out that I am expecting baby #5...that's right...baby #5! As excited as hubby and I are about our newest addition, I would love to say things have been all cupcakes and rainbows. (Let me apologize in advance for any Trolls references...it's taking over my life.) The truth is that I have been pretty much incapacitated the past 8 weeks. But thanks to Ecocentric Mom, this aching momma-to-be got a little eco-friendly reprieve!
A huge thank you to Ecocentric Mom for supplying the subscription box to help me write this post today! Affiliate links are included in this post. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only endorse products I use and enjoy! Thank you for your support!
Let me just say that I am a huge sucker for subscription boxes! I mean, it's like having a birthday every month (YES!) I was super excited when I came across the Ecocentric Mom subscription box. Before I get to my review, let's take a look at a few of the details shall we?
My thoughts on the box...
Even though I received a box for review, I didn't hesitate to subscribe after receiving my first box. I did receive a product I wasn't necessarily..."blown away" by but even at that I still felt the box was worth it.
Like most subscription boxes, this one comes with a nifty card the lists all the products included in the box. It gives the description, retail price, and where you can purchase each product. Some of them even come with a discount code!
I really love that the products are made with all natural ingredients and free of any nasty chemicals. The Pregnancy Box I received was neatly packed with eco-friendly packaging and came with 7 products.
My thoughts on the products...
The first product I pulled out of the box was the Hunkola Nutterly Awesome Cran Jam (retails at $2.99 for 2 oz.) I would describe it as a soft granola bite. It has a lot of the ingredients you would typically find in granola like oats, nuts, cranberries...stuff like that.
This was the one product I was a little iffy on. Now, to be fair, I am pregnant and my taste buds have been really wonky lately so I can't necessarily say it was the product itself. I feel like I can't really give a fair review for this reason. However, my kids loved them! My daughter said "It's really good, it tastes like oatmeal!" My husband even said he liked it so, I'm not going to say it was a flop. I personally just wasn't feeling it in that moment.
The next product I pulled out was a sample of Maty's All Natural Acid Indigestion Relief (retails at $11.99 for 4 oz.) I haven't actually used this product yet but what drew my attention was that it's not only safe for pregnant women but for kiddos 1-years-old and above (it has honey in it). It can be hard to find products like this that are safe for kids so I'll be holding on to this incase one of my kids ever needs it.
Next up was the Simply Earth Peace and Quiet (retails at $8.95 for 10 ml.) This is probably one of my favorite products that I received. It's a blend of 100% pure essential oils packaged in a 10 ml roll on bottle. The bottle I received has sweet orange, frankincense, cedarwood, and lime essential oil. These are all diluted in fractionated coconut oil.
Let me just say, it smells Uh-mazing! My husband calls it the baby tranquilizer. We used it on all the kids one night and they slept like babies! So any time they are having a tough time settling in for the night my husband says "Tranq em!" lol
I have used it myself as well and I will say it definitely does encourage a calm and relaxed mind...and I can't get over how good it smells! I'm really enjoying it and I will most likely purchase more once this bottle runs out. As an added bonus, 13% goes to help end human trafficking! Way to go Simply Earth!
The next product I noticed was the TeaThyme Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer (Retails at $5.49 for 8 ml.) This product is really neat because it comes in a convenient travel friendly spray bottle. According to the description, each bottle contains 80 sprays and only requires one spray per use.
I like that it doesn't contain alcohol (especially with little ones that like to taste...everything.) Hand sanitizer is one of those things I'm leery about using on my littlest ones because they try to eat it off their hands. I definitely feel more comfortable using this hand sanitizer as opposed to say germ-x. I will definitely be keeping this in my purse for when we are on the go. I am even considering purchasing more for around the house.
I also like that it isn't heavily scented. It does have a pleasant but ever so slight scent to it. I'm guessing it's the thyme essential oil. The ingredients listed are Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Organic Witch Hazel, Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil, Organic Thyme Essential Oil, Glycerin, and Vitamin E Oil. Needless to say, I really liked this product and I'm definitely putting it to good use.
I was really excited about this next product because I am a sugar scrub-aholic! It is the Live-INSPIRED Organics LOVE Strawberry Essence Sugar Scrub (say that 5 times fast....go!) This product retails at $16.95 for 4.3 oz. I am particularly fond of scrubs made with coconut oil (which this one is!) And it smells....Uh-mazing! I was literally sniffing it for a good 5 minutes.
I don't know how to describe the scent...I can definitely smell the strawberry but not like in an obnoxiously overbearing way if that makes sense. They did a really good job at balancing all the scents. The ingredients include: Coconut Oil, Pure Cane Sugar, Sunflower Oil, 100% Pure Sweet Almond Oil, Rose Petals, Orange Peel, Damiana Leaf, Cacao Nibs, Cinnamon Chips, Vanilla Beans, Kosher Lecithin Powder, Kosher Certified Soy and NonGMO mixed Tocopherols, Strawberry Flavor Oil, Sweet Orange Essential Oil, and Peppermint Chocolate Essential Oil.
Wow! Talk about a "scent"sory overload! But let me tell you...it works! Somehow, someway, they brought these scents together into one harmonious union that will grace your nostrils with a sweet and delicate aroma!...ok, I may have been overly dramatic but you get the picture.
And no I don't just smell it, I have actually used it and I love it. It is gentle while still exfoliating and my skin feels amazing after using it. This is definitely something I would purchase again.
This last product is really neat. It is the Grainbow Hot Packs Lavendar Hot/Cold Pack (Retails at $12.00 for 6" square.) The first thing I noticed about this particular product is that it is handmade. I am a huge supporter and advocate for small businesses that offer handmade products. Having a small business myself, I know the time and love that is put into making each product you create. This hot pack seems to be sturdy and very well put together.
Another thing I like is that it can also be used as a cold pack. I have something similar that I received a few years back. I used it a lot my past pregnancies but it's filled with corn and has a funny smell when heated in the microwave. (Pregnancy+Bad Smells=Nothing Good) This particular hot pack doesn't say what it's filled with but it feels like it MIGHT be rice. Either way, the lavender smells much better than corn and it's not to over-the-top.
This would make a great addition to a care package for a momma-to-be! I know I definitely see it getting a lot of use in the next 6 months.
Of course let me not forget to mention these little doodads. Live-INSPIRED Organics included "A little cup of love tea" sample. There is also a business card for Good Common Sense Naturals and a $25 gift card towards an ivory clasp subscription!
My Final Thoughts...
So far, I'm really enjoying the Ecocentric mom subscription box. I'm currently expecting my second box in the mail any day now and I'm super excited to see what's in it! Be on the look out for my next review!
Overall, I feel like the products offered are worth the price. Just the full size products in this box alone are valued at over $40. This is not including the sample sizes and the gift card that is included.
Obviously, as with any subscription box, you will probably receive a product at some point that you don't like but that's to be expected. I like the idea of getting new and potentially undiscovered products in the mail every month. It must be the suppressed adventurous side of me coming out...I know...I'm wild!
I also think this box is a great option for people who may be on a budget but are interested in finding eco-friendly products for themselves and their family. All-natural products can be...on the luxurious side of the pricing scale. This box can give you exposure to some great products at a fixed price.
This subscription box would also make a great gift. I'm secretly hoping someone I know gets pregnant so I can give it as a gift!...is that weird? I don't know, I feel like giving a subscription box as a gift is kind of unique. What better way pamper mom-to-be? And you can feel good knowing the products she's receiving are good for her. Ha! You can pamper her green! Get it? Green...eco-friendly...no? Ok, I'm done...
Not a subscriber yet? I highly suggest you check it out! I don't think you'll be disappointed (in the off chance that you are, you can unsubscribe at any time) what have you got to lose?!
If you enjoyed this Ecocentric Mom box review please comment and share! Already a subscriber? Let me know what you think of your subscription so far!
Until Next Time,
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This post contains affiliate links. If you happen to make a purchase through one of the links I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Wow, first let me start off by saying that the last couple weeks have been C-Uh-RAYZYYY! It seems like I have had so much going on that I haven't even had time to stop and think. We have been busy, but the reality is that I have felt like...well, crap for lack of a better word.
I mean, I literally feel like I've been hit by a truck! It started a couple weeks ago. Out of no where I started sweating profusely...even when I was cold! I'm talking dripping sweat. Which is extremely unusual for me because I'm usually always cold and don't really sweat much. As my husband puts it, I keep it "a couple degrees above hell" in the house.
So, I'm sweating, I'm not eating, and I can't sleep. And as I mentioned, my body feels like it was run over by a truck, then put in reverse and run over again. What is going on with me?!
That's right...Hubby and I found out we are expecting baby #5! And yes you read that right, baby #5! We are absolutely elated and super stoked about our new addition!
So, for any of you who have been wondering what I've been up to. That's it. I haven't done...anything in the past 3-4 weeks. I've basically been living in my robe for the past month and getting by with the absolute bare necessities.
Now that I am 9 weeks, my symptoms have definitely calmed down and I'm starting to feel somewhat human enough to rejoin society. I actually did my hair the other day, got dressed, and left the house! Yahoo! (It was a big win for me)
For the time being, I'm working on restoring order to my home after my impromptu hiatus.
A huge shout out to my hubby for picking up my slack the past couple weeks. You are wonderful!
I am really excited to be sharing this season with you guys and I'm looking forward to seeing what the Father has in store for us. I know we have some big changes coming our way before the baby comes in September. So, please keep us in your prayers!
If you are interested in receiving updates on our little blessing and joining us on this journey be sure to subscribe below!
Until next time, blessing to you and yours!
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I cannot wait to share this sponsored post with you! When Dr. Stephanie O'Leary asked me to share my thoughts on her new book Parenting in the Real World, I was excited because I knew it would be a great addition to your own personal library! You will also find affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you! Thank you for your support!
Let me start by saying that I am what one would call a book (shall I say) hoarder?...How about fanatic?...Let's just say lover. I am a book lover. I have my own personal library in my home that consists of anything from spiritual books, to autobiographies, to DIY. I love all kinds of books. But some of my all time favorite books are my books on parenting.
Why? Because I am a parent. And an imperfect one at that. I don't have all the answers and, like most parents, I am constantly looking for ways to improve myself as a mother. It's something I am very passionate about. So, when I came across the opportunity to review Parenting in the Real World, I was all on it!
I'll be honest, I was a little concerned because it IS written by a psychologist. I mean, don't get me wrong, psychologists are very valuable, but sometimes their approach can turn people off. Who wants to open the pages to a bunch of psychological jargon they can't readily identify, am I wrong? Let me just say, there is none of that here! Anywho, lets jump right into it!
The book is called Parenting in the Real World: The Rules Have Changed. Drop the Guilt. Handle Any Parenting Situation in 7 Simple Steps. And Yes, as far as I know that is the full title!
It is written by Dr. Stephanie O'Leary, Psy. D. who, as I mentioned before, is a psychologist. A clinical psychologist to be precise. You can read more about her in the about author section towards to end of this post or here.
I think it is safe to say this is categorized as a parenting book though it doesn't specifically say on the back (you know how some books show the category in the lower right hand corner?) Just for those of us who don't pick up on the "PARENTING" in large bold font on the front ;-)
The title is pretty clear about the gist of what the book offers...7 simple steps to handle any parenting situation!
One thing that I noticed right away upon flipping through the book is that the lines are double-spaced making it extremely easy to read. I personally was very appreciative of this. It definitely made my reading experience more enjoyable! Call me nit-picky but these simple things make a BIG difference, especially since I love to read so much.
This book claims to help you handle any parenting situation by teaching you to:
So, did this book really come through with all these wonderful things it claims to offer? To put it simply...yes. But I got much more out of it than these points covered!
The first thing I will say is that I really enjoyed that this book is written from one parent to another. I have only had the privilege of interacting with Dr. O'Leary on a few occasions, but I do know that she was extended the offer to have her book reviewed by professionals. But she wanted to know what you and I think...those who are actually going to be reading it for the purpose it was written. And I really respect that.
I didn't feel like I was reading a book written by a psychologist. It was more like "I'm getting sound advice from a really good friend and she gets what I'm going through." I love how personable and relatable her writing style is. It's almost as if your not actually reading but in fact having a one-on-one conversation (but not like laid back in a reclined chair in a dark office one-on-one). This made such a big difference!
This book takes a non-judgmental approach while still addressing the real world issues that most of us don't like to face, like being accountable for our words and our actions. It will challenge you to set your pride aside, but lets be honest, pride has no place in a child-parent relationship (or any relationship for that matter!)
Another thing I liked is that you are given PRACTICAL steps and examples to help you through. I happen to be a visual a person so having real world examples to relate to really put each step into perspective for me.
There are also short videos of the author introducing the chapter and what you can expect. These are easily accessed through QR Codes or you can type in the URL to access the videos. I have never seen this before in any of the books I have read and found I really enjoyed them. It helps you to connect with the author and her voice and I think this really aids in grasping the message as well!
Honestly, I loved the book and I got so much out of it that I was a little sad when the book ended. Not because the author leaves you hanging but because, as I mentioned, it was like talking to a close friend who understands my parenting struggles on a personal level. And I'm always in the mindset that I can use all the advice I can get!
So, essentially it was like ending a much needed deep conversation with your bestie and you really just want to keep talking!
As for the content itself, I can honestly say I don't have anything negative to say. I mean, I'm reading the book for the second time in 2 weeks if that tells you anything...
Dr. Stephanie O'Leary is a Clinical Psychologist specializing in Neuropsychology, and a mom of two. For over a decade she has been providing parents with a no-nonsense approach to navigating the daily grind while preparing kids for the challenges they'll face in the real world. (Yes, I did get this from the back of the book.) =)
Honestly, I got so much out of this book that covering everything would have you reading for days (you may as well just read the book yourself)...plus it would give everything away. So, I decided to pick out a quote from each chapter that stuck out to me.
We have to quiet down and just listen to what our kids have to say without judgement (p.28)
With our busy schedules, it's so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle and at the same time rushing along those important conversations that need extra attention. Reading this was a much needed reminder that, no matter how busy and crazy things get, these little people NEED me to stop. They NEED me to listen...truly listen. And they NEED me to listen without interjecting my two-cents every 2 seconds.
Big picture, it's not always about the outcome, it's about the process. (p.42)
We as parents are always looking at the end game. Unfortunately, we often ignore the path we take to get there. This quote stuck out to me because I don't want to get so caught up in my vision for my kids future that I lose sight of the now. I don't want my children to lose out on the joy of childhood while I pursue MY ideals for their future. "At any cost" is not my M.O. This quote is a reminder that I need to be more present in the moment to guide and support them through their emotions! I want to enjoy every second I have with my babies =)
Respect is not about doing more or less, but about going through your day differently. Thoughtfully. (p.58)
I truly believe that the premise of respect has been so skewed (particularly here in America) that people don't even know what respect really looks like anymore. We are so quick to demand respect without giving it. Parents are no exception. Unfortunately, respect isn't a habit many of us possess these days. So, to presume respect will just happen...well it's not likely. Especially if you've spent much of your time being disrespectful. I have a habit of speaking words in haste, especially when I'm flustered. I really like this quote because it is a reminder that my words need to be calculated and well thought out particularly in those moments when I have a strong urge to speak out.
The stakes at that point will also be much higher, so taking steps to prepare your child for the future of limits is important. (p.87)
As with most parents, I would love to be able to give my children every one of their hearts desires. Unfortunately, that isn't realistic and it is a gross misinterpretation of what they can expect in the real world. In the real world, you have to work for the things you want. And even then, it's not a guarantee. I don't want my children to have a rude awaking when they realize that the world is not going to serve their wants or even their needs on a silver platter. This quote is a reminder to me that though we should enjoy our children, we have a responsibility as well. And we are doing them a disservice if we don't take these responsibilities seriously.
Let's be clear, your child does not make you do anything. There is nothing he or she can say, do, or be that makes you respond in a way you are not proud of. (p.117)
Wow! I know a lot people won't like this one but hey! there's no point in fighting facts. This quote is probably my favorite out of them all. Mainly because it has had such a significant effect on me. It was a brutal but much needed reminder that I am the adult...I am the one who is responsible for controlling MYSELF. It is juvenile to hold my children responsible fore MY actions. So, yes, their whining may drive me batty and their seeming lack of consideration for my hours of house cleaning may upset me, but I, and only I, can make me act out on these feelings.
"Wake up every morning and decide to love your husband. Decide to be in love with him,, to stay in love with him, and to fall in love with him again and again. If things ever get off track, come back to this." (p.126-127)
I love this quote because I recently posted something on my Instagram and this reminded me of it =) Plus, I wholeheartedly agree with it and, like the author, I realize that it can be applied to my children as well! Loving your kids comes so naturally that you wouldn't automatically think this applies but the truth is that every single one of us has "unlovable" moments. It is in those moments that we have to choose to love.
No pressure, but you are one of the most powerful influences in your child's life-perhaps the most powerful. (p.141)
Ok, though there is definitely some pressure in this statement, it is so powerful! To think that I have the "power" to either build my children up or completely tear them down is incredibly empowering and terrifying at the same time. Keeping this at the forefront on my mind will help me to be more mindful of the things I say and how I respond to my children.
I absolutely do! If you are a parent who is committed to being the best you can be for your children, then this book is for you.
If you are willing to face the not-so-pretty things about being a parent in order to have a solid child-parent relationship built on a foundation of trust and strong communication, then this book is for you.
In fact, I am so convinced that this book will help you that I reached out to the author and asked her permission to do a giveaway! Not only did she say yes, but she is going to send the winner a personalized signed copy of her book!
To Dr. Stephanie O'Leary, your words have blessed me immensely and I am extremely grateful for having had the opportunity to read and review your book. Please know that your words are having a lasting impact and I pray that other families will have the opportunity to receive this wealth of information as well. A huge thank you from the Marshall family for imparting your wisdom and sharing your expertise with the world. We will forever be grateful for the impact you have had on our family! <3
I really hope you enjoyed this review and that it encourages you to check out Parenting in the Real World. Remember to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a signed copy and share the giveaway with others!
Until next time, Blessings to you & yours,
This post is NOT sponsored. I purchased the items myself and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through one of the links I will receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you, the buyer. Thank you for your support!
As a homeschooling mom of 4, I am always looking for innovative ways to teach my lessons. My attention is pulled chaotically between the dictatorial demands of a 1-year-old and..well yeah she pretty much takes the bulk of it, but I digress. Anything that is going to make the lesson smoother and inject a little fun in the mix has my vote!
So I recently ordered some games to help Khadija practice her math skills. I am so glad I did because we actually really enjoyed them! They weren't those painstakingly boring games that make you want to pull your hair out. You know what I mean?! No I actually enjoyed playing along and I will say that they did aid in her learning.
The first game we played was Money Bags- A crazy coin counting game by Learning Resources. I was really excited about this one because I knew it was created to encourage counting varying amounts with varying combinations. I have been a huge fan of Learning Resources for a while now and as usual they did not disappoint!
The box that the game comes in is very sturdy. Thank you Learning Resources! I can't tell you how many game boxes we have that have been split at the corners from first use. UGH! *eye twitching* But I won't indulge you with my OCD tendencies...today.
The board itself is also nice and sturdy. Again, thank you! If your kids tend to go into hulk mode in the face of competative play like *ahem* some kids I know...then you will be happy to know that this one is hulk friendly. =) It also has a fun design that the kiddos enjoyed looking at.
Fill each of the money bags (which are just yellow markers on the board with a $ sign) ...they probably could've been more creative here but hey...
You start the game by rolling the dice to see who goes first. Highest roll wins!
Now these are some interesting looking character markers that come with the game. Maybe it's just because I'm such a visual person that I seem to be nit-picking here but, I don't know, they could've been cuter. Then again I'm sure the kids did not care one iota what the characters looked like so...moving on. Place them on start and you're ready to go!
Who ever rolled the highest number goes first. In this case it was muah! So you roll and move that number of spaces on the board. I rolled a 1 so I landed on .17 cents (how does my keyboard not have a cents sign?!) Anyway, you then spin the spinner. If it lands on no quarters, then you have to count out the amount you landed on without using quarters (or nickels or dimes, whichever the spinner lands on.) If you land on any coins, well...you can use any coins!!!
If you are fortunate enough to land on the money bags, like I was, you get to take the money from the money bag. Then you just replenish it from the bank (reserved money on the side not being used by any of the players.)
Just collecting my winnings!
She is into it! Here Khadija is counting out her amount in her head.
Executing her well thought out plan! Khloe is in the corner evading the camera but she eventually bailed on us for an impromptu trip to the store with daddy (she had no idea she was winning!)
If you happen to land on a "CHANGE IT UP!" space, this is your opportunity to exchange your coins for bills or larger coins. I love that this aspect is included because it helped her to count out her coins to 100 and it varied each time so she got lots of practice!
Here, I am breaking the news to her...
Can you guess who won?!
This calls for a victory dance!!!
We had a lot of fun with this game! Yes, even I had fun with it! I think it was a great choice for my 1st grader who is learning about money value and combining coins this year. We were even able to include my 4-year-old who was able to count out the pennies. If you are looking for an educational game for the kiddos that won't bore you to tears, I definitely suggest taking a look at this one! I will definitely be using this as a teaching aid in the classroom. Because why shouldn't learning be fun?! Am I Right?
So, what do you think? Has your family tried out this game before? Have you had success with another educational game? Share with me below!
Until next time, Blessings to you & yours,
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