February 27, 2015

Body Tea

One of the main reasons I fall off of diets or healthy eating is because of the cravings.  I crave salty foods, and I crave sweet treats, which in turn make me feel bloated and just yucky feeling.  I've been sampling BodyTea USA herbal weight loss tea bags.  They are really effective in calming those crazy cravings and giving you a great energy boost from the caffeine from green tea.

February 26, 2015

Dee and Doo Potty Training Game + Giveaway

DeeDee & Dooley's Potty Progress Game™ is a static cling daily potty training aid that works like a chart, and plays like a game. Along with companion materials like free printables, an instruction guide included with every game, exclusive information from doctors and teachers, and the new support forums, Dee & Doo™ PEP up training, with Patience, Edoocation, and Play! The identifiable potty character pieces and bathroom scene play mat easily help children understand goals visually, which is an extra benefit for children with learning difficulties.

Paper charts have been a go-to for decades, helping record progress a child makes and rewarding them with star and smiley face stickers. We like charts, but find that play helps the developmental process of potty training more effectively. The pleading, bribing parent in a power struggle with a child who resists performing, turns into a coach and storyteller who plays with their child as they help Dee & Doo™ get flushed away on a new adventure.

Children love to play games, and a potty game is no exception! Using play to motivate children and capture their imaginations, they fall in love with the cast of real potty characters and find it less of a chore to "try" or use the potty. When kids don’t see using the potty as a chore that interrupts their play, they’re less likely to procrastinate and have accidents, or avoid potty training altogether.
There are several emotional reasons why children resist or struggle with potty training. Disinterest, fear of flushing, and control issues are some that DeeDee & Dooley's Potty Progress Game™ addresses. 

For one, game play helps a disinterested child because it's self-motivating, turning a task into a fun challenge. When the child sees more Oopsie Undies™ piling up over the hamper than there are Dee and Doo stickers on TP Trail™, their natural competitive instincts get to work. They are able to observe, compare, and take action -- independently. The goal of The Potty Progress Game™ is to help Dee and Doo get into the potty where they belong, so they can be flushed and earn points in the game. Oopsie Undies (representing accidents) tries to get points too, by stealing Dee and Doo and putting them anywhere else but the potty. The winner is determined by who has more; the toilet or the hamper, at the end of the day. 

Secondly, many children are frightened of flushing. Telling a story about how the charming potty characters LOVE to be flushed changes perception and eases anxiety. They are reassured by example that it's fun and safe. Through creative imagery and storytelling, the parent can turn fear into fun. This is also assisted by their actions, as parents lead children in a rousing countdown of "1 -- 2 -- 3", the big flush, and a "Goodbye Dee! Goodbye Doo!" as our pals head off to big adventures. 

And finally, this simple game concept changes the child's focus from having to perform for the parent, which can result in a power struggle, to feeling empathy for Dee and Doo, who inspire them to take action. The parents are no longer in the traditional pleading, helpless, bribing roles and become coaches and cheerleaders in the game. They are never the "bad guys" -- that's Oopsie Undies job! (But only in a loveable way!)

THREE POTTY TRAINING TIPS from Dee & Doo™: Focus, Fiber, and Reminders! 

1) Successful potty training happens when there is total focus on it within Team Family. Treat it like a holiday you are leading up to! Constant reminders through fun activities, treats, and setting a timer for an hour to yell, "Party on the potty!" to sit and try, keep potty training at the forefront of your child's mind and create more opportunities for success and fewer accidents. Try to do at least ONE potty-related activity or treat each day. 

2) A fun and fruitful activity can be building a tower with grapes and toothpicks, as you talk about how eating grapes make Dooley happy because he can get into the potty more easily. Fruits with fiber soften your child's poo so it passes without hurting. Pears are another helpful fruit that kids generally enjoy. 

3) Aside from the timer method, when you personally remind your child before leaving the house or going to bed, for example, instead of being put in a nagging position by asking your child, “Do you have to go potty?” put yourself in game-mode, playfully asking, “How are DeeDee and Dooley?” “Are DeeDee and Dooley ready to play?” or “Do Dee and Doo want to visit?” You'll develop your own way of asking, but think about an invitation to play, rather than performing a task.

©2014 DeeDee & Dooley's Potty Progress Game™

Enter to win a Dee and Doo Potty Training Game using the Rafflecopter form below.  We will choose one winner after 3/6/15.  Good luck!  Open to US, 18+ only.

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Get Your Kids Interested in Doing Good

How to Get Your Kids Interested in Doing Good

You may love them with all your heart, but let’s face the facts: Kids tend to only think about themselves. From the time they are born to when they call you from their college dorm room asking for more spending money, your kids are inclined to think primarily about themselves.                           
Left unchecked, even the most precious little darlings can become entitled — but, as a parent, you have the power to thwart the development of egocentric characteristics and replace them with positive, philanthropic ideals every thriving community needs.
As soon as your baby starts interacting with the outside world, you can begin building compassionate traits in his or her little personality. Here are some top tips to encourage benevolence in your kids.

1. Donate Old, Unwanted Items

Every home in America is filled to bursting with stuff, and more than half of that stuff is no longer needed or desired. Instead of letting it decay while more stuff piles on top, you can use it to foster the values of sustainability and community in your kids. Twice a year, in the spring and fall — or more frequently, if your storage spaces require it — gather your kids and systematically sort through everything in the drawers, closets, and cupboards of your home. You should make three distinct piles: save, donate, and throw away. Most likely, after a couple of hours, you will have a sizeable pile of stuff that you can give to needy families and individuals in your area.

If you want to make an even greater impact on your kids, you can also find larger items to donate to charitable causes. Cars, boats, appliances, furniture, and more are all avidly sought after by organizations, and you can demonstrate even more generosity to your kids by giving these valuable items away instead of selling them for cold hard cash.

2. Volunteer Often

You might already feel overloaded balancing work and family, but sometimes the most altruistic donation is that of your time. If your kids see you putting time into your community through your volunteerism, they will learn that maturity requires active compassion. When they are old enough, you can start bringing your kids along to volunteer opportunities where they are welcome, like any of the following:
·         Visiting seniors in assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
·         Delivering meals to those unable to prepare or procure food.
·         Picking up litter around community, especially in green spaces.
·         Helping to welcome immigrants or refugees just entering the country.
·         Adopting a street or monument and maintaining it financially and physically.

There will always and forever be a loud and persistent call for volunteers in every city around the U.S., so you and your kids will never find your desire to help unanswered.

3. Make Arts and Crafts to Benefit Others
There is almost nothing kids love more than a good arts and crafts project, and you can give direction to kids’ explosive creativity with projects designed to help others. There are hundreds of small items, letters, and packages that needy people look forward to receiving, so you could feasibly organize a different caring craft project for every day of the year. Here are some quick and easy ideas to get you started:
·         Low-sew felt hats
·         No-sew fleece blankets
·         No-sew pet toys
·         Personal bookmarks
·         Thank-you notes with drawings to public servants

Older kids, like tweens and teens, might enjoy constructing more complicated crafts for others, like baked goods, knitted scarves, and birdhouses, which can be given away or sold to generate a donation fund.

4. Be Prominent in Your Community

The more isolated you and your family are from your greater community, the less likely your kids are to develop a giving nature. Instead of just donating time and items every once and a while, you should regularly participate in activities and events that are close to home. For example, you can organize a block party to engage your neighbors, or you can plan a community-wide carnival to mix and mingle with people from your greater area.

Being an active member in your community — by donating, volunteering, and participating in community events — is not only beneficial for your kids’ upbringing; it makes you and the world around you better in every way. Strong communities are more likely to be mentally and physically healthier and have less crime and poverty. However, to achieve these highly desirable results, you must cultivate importance in giving back, which starts with you and your kids.

The Good News About Recycling Trends

The Good News About Recycling Trends

If you are concerned about your carbon footprint, you probably take the time to cut down on waste and recycle your trash instead of sending it to landfills. Recycling household waste has increased significantly in the last 30 years, as it has become more widely known that reducing waste makes a difference to the environment. In 1980, 89 percent of household waste was sent to a landfill. As recycling programs and awareness increased, that percentage decreased. Only 53.8 percent of waste ended up in a landfill by 2012.

You may not realize that recycling has even more positive effects than reducing waste. For example, just by recycling your soda cans you not only keep them from landfills, you also help reduce fossil fuel emissions. Recycling a ton of aluminum cans saves more than 1,600 gallons of gasoline. That is enough gas to fuel a passenger car for three years and four months. This year Americans will keep 44 billion soda, juice and beer cans out of landfills through recycling. The gasoline saved is enough to fuel more than 722,000 cars for over three years. To learn more about trends in recycling and the amazing effects of reducing waste, check out the infographic below.

The Impact Of Recycling: Making A Daily Difference

Prevent bathroom injuries - Epica Bath Mat

According to the Center for Disease Control, about two-thirds of accidental injuries occur in the bathtub or shower.  So many of these injuries can be prevented by using a non-slip bathmat in the shower or tub.  The Epica 16 x 28, anti-slip and anti-bacterial bath and shower mat is a great affordable choice at about $11.00 on Amazon.com.

YaYtags Luggage ID Tags

Everybody’s got one, or two, or three of them.  By nature they’re pretty unassuming, heroically minimalistic, and yet all too often, stylistically challenged.  What are they? They’re the little item telling the backstory of luggage worldwide - the ho hum luggage ID tag.  Ho hum that is until a new company called YaY Novelty took it up a trendy notch.  They've married functionality to hipster chic and created a utilitarian item consumers can’t pass up.  Enter, the YaYtag.   

Yes, we realize there are lots of luggage tags in the marketplace, but they are dull boring and so yesterday. YaYtags are a great way to travel in style.  They’re also a fantastic way to show off your personality and whatever mood you’re in, or statement you want to make.  There are tons of tags to choose from. Some are laugh out loud funny and others are beautiful pieces of art.  You can use YaYtags in unlimited ways… of course on luggage, backpacks, pet cages, team bags, or as a id fashion accessory. 

One of the unique things about YaYtag is that your personal information is safely hidden from prying eyes.  They’re designed so that only the luggage owner’s name can be readily seen.  The rest of their personal information is hidden from view. http://www.yaynovelty.com/ YaYtag will be available in late March. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1666587351/yaytag-trendy-id-tags-for-luggage-or-anything-you

February 25, 2015

Kids will rush to brush with Cavity Zapper by The Natural Dentist

Kids have a natural aversion to brushing their teeth regularly.  With Cavity Zapper toothpaste from The Natural Dentist they will love brushing because of the great flavors!

Wednesday: #FindHylee

Have you found Hylee the Hyland's tooth fairy today? She's holding a Wednesday sign. Submit today's answer here: http://bit.ly/findhylee !

If you haven't tried Hyland's teething products, this is the perfect opportunity to try to win some.  Don't miss our on the #FindHylee fun!!

Zim's Max Freeze Pain Relief + Giveaway

If you suffer from sore muscles and joints from overdoing it at the gym or arthritis, you will love Zim's Max-Freeze Continuous Spray.  In our household we have used all the name brand ointments and sprays, but Zim's Max-Freeze is now our favorite due to it not having that horrible "eucalyptus" type smell.  

Salted Macadamia Nut Brittle courtesy of COOKINA

Salted Macadamia Nut Brittle courtesy of COOKINA
(Makes 1 lb. of brittle)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light - colored corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly toasted and crushed Macadamia nuts
  • ½ tsp. coarse salt
  1. Combine the sugar and corn syrup in a heavy bottomed pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat up to high and cook until the bubbles get smaller and the mixture turns a light amber color, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the nuts and cook for 1 more minute. Quickly pour the mixture onto a baking pan lined with a COOKINA® Cuisine sheet and spread it out evenly with a spatula or wooden spoon. Sprinkle salt throughout before mixture cools. Let cool and break into pieces.

Don't Panic - Try AnxiClear!

Have you ever had a panic attack, or even a meltdown when you are stressed out?  A lot of people don't realize that there are solutions that don't involve prescription medications.  AnxiClear Advanced Calming Support is a dietary supplement with proprietary ingredients that are all natural, and without the side effect worries of prescription drugs.

AnxiClear is safe to take day or night, calming anxiety during the day, as well as giving you a restful nights' sleep.

If you suffer from anxiety while traveling (either by air, boat, car or train), AnxiClear will keep you calm and cool.  I sure wish I had this on my plane trip last week.  The woman next to me was freaking out, sweating and breathing heavy.  I would have offered it to her in a heartbeat!  She was so restless and fidgety that it drove me nuts and made the 5 hour flight horrible.

Since my trip, I've been using AnxiClear at night to help with my horrible sleep pattern.  I am noticing that I'm not waking up as often and wake up feeling a little more rested.  The AnxiClear pills are capsules, so very easy to swallow with no aftertaste.

Be prepared for panic and anxiety with AnxiClear!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com.   Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

February 24, 2015

Family Oriented Hotel in Santa Cruz, Ca

We are so excited to share a review article from our newest contributor, Jessica.  Jessica recently visited Santa Cruz, CA with her family and couldn't wait to share her experience with you all.  She kept her review short and sweet to make it easy to find exactly what you're looking for.

Jessica is a bargain shopper, just like us (Cristen and Patty) and will be contributing to The NapTime Reviewer with product reviews and ideas to save money on the products she is featuring.

Best Western Plus All Suites Inn
500 Ocean Street Santa Cruz, Ca 95060
Phone: (831) 458-9898

Reasons for choice:
-          Centered around attractions
-          Affordable
-          Complementary breakfast
-          Quiet time at 11 pm
-          Family oriented
-          Friendly staff

            There are multiple Best Westerns in the Santa Cruz area. My husband and I chose Best Western Plus All Suites Inn because it was one mile away from the beach and boardwalk. Also approximately half a mile away from Center street which has fun little shops to go in and different restaurants to choose from.

            I booked a deluxe king room using our Best Western rewards. We booked through bestwesternrewards.com. Best Western offers a reward system to any one staying in their hotel. It is easy to sign up either on their website www.bestwesternrewards.com or you can ask at the front desk during check in. Booking on the Best Western Rewards page was easy to maneuver and also gave me detailed descriptions and photos of the room that we selected. Even though we booked using our reward points we still needed to have a credit card for incidentals. For this particular hotel it was a $50 hold on our credit card, which we got back after our one night stay.

            This hotel has a beach like atmosphere. I felt very comfortable bringing my one-year-old son into this hotel. The staff made my family feel welcome by offering us a free upgraded room to a deluxe two-room suite free of charge, due to my husband being a platinum rewards member. They assured us that there would be enough amenities for my son such as blankets, sheets, pillows and a sofa bed. To add to the family atmosphere, the hotel has a quiet time after 11pm. This brought comfort to me, as a mom, to know that there would not be loud noises to wake up a sleeping toddler in the middle of the night.

            This hotel offers a complementary hot breakfast in the mornings between 6:30am and 9:30am in the common area. For a mom of a toddler I just heard three amazing words: complementary, breakfast, and 6:30am. With a toddler who is up at the crack of dawn I knew I would be walking down to get my little man breakfast and my husband and I a cup of coffee.

Overall this hotel had a family oriented atmosphere and I can see my family and I returning for another night's stay.

Here is the list of amenities this hotel offers:
(This is directly off the Best Western Website)

   Exercise facilities
   Wireless internet connection in public areas
   Complimentary breakfast
   100% Non-Smoking Hotel
   Steam room, inside fitness center
   Hot tub, located outside
   Exercise facility, open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
   Weight lifting equipment
   Stair stepper
   Stationary bike
   Elevator, access to all floors
   Interior corridor
   24-hour front desk
   Multilingual staff, English, French, Dutch, German, Korean, Spanish
   Guest Laundry Facility Open from 9:00am to 9:00pm
   Express check out upon request, inform front desk.
   Cable or satellite television, flat screen television
   Free wireless Internet available in public areas; All guest rooms are hardwired and offer free wireless Internet access
   Printer available
   Fax services, nominal fee
   Computer available
   Photocopy, nominal fee
   Meeting facilities, Maximum occupancy of 60 people
   Parking for the physically challenged
   Ice/vending machines On each floor
   Garage parking
   Higher rates may apply for holidays/special events
   Atrium breakfast area
   24-hour coffee and tea in lobby
   Free USA Today in lobby

   Non-smoking Rooms: 77Suites: 77Public Space ADA Accessible Features:
   Accessible parking spaces and signage (car and van)
   Accessible parking space that is 96-inches wide with an appropriate access aisle
   An accessible route that allows for approaching and entering the hotel
   Interior routes to public spaces that do not have abrupt level changes
   An accessible reception desk or accessible folding shelf or reception area
   Accessible table in eating area
   The eating area has self-service shelves and dispensing devices within reach range
   Public restrooms accessible

   Guest Room Mobility Accessible Features:
   Accessible doors and doorways (at least 32-inches of clear width passage)
   Accessible bathrooms and features, including shower/tub
   Accessible room controls (e.g. HVAC and lighting)
   Accessible clear floor space

   Guest Room Communication Assist Features:
   Closed-caption televisions
   Visual notification devices for door knocks
   Visual notification devices for telephones
   Telephones have volume control
   Visual fire alarms

Guest Room Amenities:
   Cable or satellite television, remote controlled, color, flat screen television, CNN® or other 24-hour news station in guest room.
   In-room movies, HBO®
   AM/FM alarm clock
   Coffee/tea maker
   Iron, ironing board
   Desk/work area
   High-speed Internet access, hardwired
   Voice mail
   Free local calls under 30 minutes
   Wake-up calls Let front desk know at time of checkin
   Sofabed All rooms except Handicap Accessible rooms.
   Fireplace, available, 9 rooms have fireplaces.
   Cribs available
   Deluxe family suites available
   Deluxe king suites available

Deluxe two room suites Available

Eating Outside of the Box - Have you tried any of these?

If you love to scoure the internet for new recipes and the best restaurants, like the ones found in Maxim Gorin posts, you are no doubt a foodie to the core. There are so many delicious foods on this planet that it would be impossible to try them all. Being a food lover is a constant adventure because you never know when you are going to stumble upon a wonderful new dish that you've never heard of before. 

Tuesday: #FindHylee

Have you found Hylee the Hyland's tooth fairy today? She's holding a Tuesday sign. Submit today's answer here: http://bit.ly/findhylee‪#‎FindHylee‬

Family Movie Night with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner

Disney - Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

My husband and I get sick of watching cartoon movies so we were pleased to find something from Disney that was kid-friendly, not a cartoon and that had actors that we love.

Disney's heartwarming comedy will have your entire family laughing out loud. Based on the best-selling book, it follows the exploits of Alexander as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life and wonders if bad things only happen to him. But he discovers he's not alone when his dad (Steve Carell), mom (Jennifer Garner) and family live through their own terrible -- and hilarious -- day. It will tickle everyone's funny bone and warm their hearts as they discover how even on rotten days, families can grow closer.

Jennifer Garner and Steve Carell work so well together in this film and the child actors are brilliant.  My three-year old daughter laughed through the entire movie and really enjoyed bonding with mom and dad watching a "big kid movie."  There weren't any curse words or major violence in the film.  Just laughs, love and adventure.

Check it out on Disney Movies Anywhere and Amazon!

Disney's Into The Woods is Coming to Blu-Ray!


Includes An Exclusive, Never-Before-Seen Original Song
“She’ll Be Back” Performance by Meryl Streep
with Music By Stephen Sondheim and Lyrics by James Lapine

From the director of “Chicago” and the producer of “Wicked” comes a modern twist on the beloved fairy tales you thought you knew. Academy Award®-Winning actress Meryl Streep (Best Actress, The Iron Lady), leads an all-star cast in this enchanted adventure about daring to venture Into The Woods.