Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Childhood Benefits of Drawing and Coloring

There are so many great apps available nowadays for children that provide educational opportunities and entertainment for kids. But I think it's important to get back to traditional ways of doing things too, especially with coloring. While it's often see as something fun and a way to pass the time, coloring & drawing actually has many benefits.

It improves fine motor skills. I have a child on the spectrum who used to struggle with pencil grip. Spending time coloring and drawing was a good part of his occupational therapy.

It encourages creativity. Children can have fun picking out silly colors. Maybe they will paint the sky green. Maybe the grass will be pink. While it may seem silly to adults, this give kids a way to come up with their own ideas.

Learning colors. I have a preschooler who memorized the name of colors simply by coloring in her coloring books. She's now moved onto figuring out how to mix colors to get a certain result.

It's therapeutic. Adult coloring books are seen as a big form of stress relief, and it has benefits for kids as well. I love to pull out any form of coloring or simple art project for my kids when they have nervous energy. Drawing pictures is also a form of self-expression and kids can use it as a way to communicate hard emotions.

Homesthetics.com offers several free coloring and drawing tutorials for children. They created this free resource as a way for parents to encourage their kids to put down the tablet and get back to the old way of coloring. Below you can find just a few examples of what your child can learn to create.

Photo Credit: Homesthetics

Photo Credit: Homesthetics

Photo Credit: Homesthetics

Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Homesthetics.com.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Decorating Your Small Bathroom

Some may say that having a small bathroom is a real nuisance. That it limits your options regarding the design and that it makes it much easier to stumble on things lying around. However, I do not agree with this sentiment.

Like with other small spaces, tiny bathrooms can be turned into something really beautiful and relaxing. Instead of yearning for something that will be stylish or extravagant, you can opt for a room that will make your feel comfortable and at home (in best sense of the word). Here are some tips that will help you distract your guests from limited space and point them towards coziness.

Be careful with the colors
In order for this idea to work, you will have to focus on colors before anything else. The biggest issue with small bathrooms is that they feel constricted. Some people, wanting to make their bathroom look beautiful, make a mistake and take darker colors for their tiles and/or cupboards. This is something that should be avoided at all costs. Dark colors may be great for large rooms but in this case, they are really disastrous. Instead, you should choose colors such as white, silver and beige. If you wish to try some specific patterns, try something flowery, that has summer or spring theme. This will create an awesome basis for your new, relaxing bathroom.

Introduce natural light
Second tip goes in conjunction with the first one. If you already made your mind and bought light, jovial tiles, you need to proceed with the natural light. Windows in bathroom are something that can be both hygienic and beautiful. It goes without saying that sunlight is amazing. When introduced in a small bathroom, it will reflect on walls, illuminating the room and making it feel really spacious.

Use flowers to your advantage
Flowers are not necessary but they are definitely advantageous. However, keep in mind that you have to be conservative with their numbers and size. They are a great way for covering certain areas, cracks in the walls, chipped mirrors and other things you might wish to conceal. You can also place them hanging above your head or on the window. Options are limitless. Try to find something that will work well with the overall theme of the bathroom.

Use wood as much as you can
The point of this design is creating a feeling as if you are in nature. It is something that should be relaxing and taking your mind off lack of space. Considering this, it is best to use wood whenever you can. Your cupboards and mirror frame should definitely be wooden. All shelves can be wooden as well. Together with flowers, wood will add to overall feeling of serenity.

Roll towels
Most people tend to fold towels and place them one on another. Although this is a common practice, it is not the best option in terms of look and functionality. Yes, by rolling towels you are taking a bit more space. However, by doing this, you are making them look much more natural and beautiful. In fact, they look like big flowers. Also, there is one additional minor issue when folding towels traditionally. If you need a towel from bottom, you need to remove all the rest in order to access that one. Unless you are careful, this will make them messy and you will have to fold them once again.

Hang things on door
With this tip, it is all about utilizing space. Used towels and bathrobes can be placed on hooks which are attached to doors.  Of course, it is much better to place them on a wall (given that towels and clothes may fall off door) but with certain things, you have to compromise. So, instead of placing hooks on your walls which will cover the tiles and undoubtedly affect your d├ęcor, you can place them on door and hide them from sight.

With summer season still in full effect, it is nice to think of ways how to prolong it. If you choose to decorate your bathroom in this way, you ensure that this room will remain relaxing and refreshing throughout the year.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Fairhaven Health My Milkies Milk-Saver Review



I'm a breastfeeding mom who has always dealt with oversupply and leaking. Nursing pads are great, but I've always thought what if all of that liquid gold could be saved? Fairhaven Health has a really neat breastfeeding aid that does just that. The Milkies Milk-Saver collects milk that leaks on the unused side when mom nurses or pumps her other breast. It holds about 2 oz of milk.




I've been using the Milkies Milk-Saver in my home for several weeks now & have found it very helpful to collect extra milk. I find it extremely helpful because while I've quit pumping, I'd still like to have an emergency stash of breastmilk.

There are a few steps to using the Milk-Saver and it's pretty easy. I've found with the right placement, it's inconspicuous. I often live in my nursing tanks around the house, but every once in a while company pops over unexpectedly.


How To Use Milkies Milk-Saver

1. Tuck the Milk-Saver into a snug tank or nursing bra. Make sure your nipple goes into the hole.


2. Use it for up to 30 minutes at a time when nursing or pumping.



3. Carefully transfer the collected breastmilk into a container or freezer bag for storage.



This is probably one of my favorite breastfeeding products, especially for moms who don't have time to sneak in that extra pumping session. Even if you don't need to collect breastmilk for your baby any more, this is great for moms who donate their milk or can find other uses for breastmilk.

Made in the USA, Milkies Milk-Saver has been tested and is non-chemical leaching. It is BPA and phthlatate free. It also comes with a carrying case which also serves as a stand for the Milk-Saver. Find where to buy this product on their website.


Connect with Fairhaven Health


Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Grilled Franks with Sesame Apple Slaw Recipe with Lightlife Meatless Hot Dogs #MomsMeet

I am no stranger to finding alternatives to foods I used to eat and enjoy. Several of my friends are vegan, so I was excited to come across a meatless hot dog to share about. Lightlife Smart Dogs are made of plant proteins and are perfect to add to the vegan diet.



These certified vegan hot dogs are grill ready and are Non-GMO Project Verified. Smart Dogs have 7 grams of protein and are only 50 calories per link. The Jumbo hot dogs 13 grams of protein and are 100 grams per link.

More about Lightlife: Lightlife began in western Massachusetts in 1979 with a passion for creating great
tasting vegetarian food. They have grown over the years by sticking to their roots and making all of their products with quality and care. They consider their products “Meat without the Middleman”— they taste, feel, and look like meat even though they are made from plants, not animals. From hot dogs and sausage to deli slices and tempeh, their plant-based, Non-GMO Project Verified line of products has something for everyone. Giving back to the community is also a priority for Lightlife. Since the very beginning, they have contributed 5% of their annual profits to organizations that support a healthier you and a healthier planet.

Grilled Franks with Sesame Apple Slaw Recipe
This recipe is from Lightlife's website.


4 Lightlife® Smart Dogs®
grilling spray
1/4 head green cabbage, cut into 2 wedges
1/4 red cabbage, cut into 2 wedges
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil, divided
1 cup shredded Granny Smith apple (1 medium apple)
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. agave sweetener
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
4 hot dog rolls

Spray cold grate of outdoor grill with grilling spray. Prepare grill for medium-high heat.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil over cabbage; grill 8-10 mins. or until both sides have softened and have grill marks, turning once. Remove from heat; cool.
Meanwhile, combine apple, sesame seeds, remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, vinegar, agave, salt and pepper in medium bowl; set aside.
Grill Smart Dogs® 8-10 mins. or until hot, turning once.
Meanwhile, remove core from cabbage and cut into shreds. Add to apple mixture; toss to combine.
Place Smart Dogs® in rolls and top each with 1/3 cup of slaw.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Finding Outdoor Equipment at Bargain Prices

Summer is here, school is out, and that means spending more time outside. This can sometimes come at a cost with yard toys for children, lawn equipment, and other outdoor items. Here are a few tips to find these items for the budget shopper.

Shop online
There are many websites that sell second hand garden equipment. Browsing through online shops saves the time and cost of fuel going to a brick and mortar store. Sometimes, you will find exclusive online deals or that there is an even bigger selection online than in the store.

Purchase used
Purchasing gently used are another simple way to save. By comparing prices and condition of gently used items, shoppers can save money. It is easy to find second hand garden equipment at bargain prices.

Shop locally
 Nearly every town has consignment or thrift stores. Even if you don't have much money to spend, you can find some outdoor toys to keep your children entertained this summer. You don't have to overspend simply to find the great toys they can use and play with outside. Rather than only shop for brand new, and only buy well known brand names, consider a few of these simple options so you can find a great deal.

A guest post from our friends at Second Wow.