May 22, 2015

How a Journal Entry a Day Can Keep the Doctor Away

A nutritionally balanced diet may not be the only way to maintain good health these days. Our mental and emotional well-being is just as critical to functioning at an optimal level as clean eating and exercise. Scientific research suggests that the power of writing allows you to use both the left and rights sides of your brain equally, which removes mental blocks. The benefits of this process include:

  • Reducing stress levels
  • Better conflict resolution skills
  • Enhanced problem-solving
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Amplified clarity and awareness

The “Write” Way to Heal

There is a saying that words have the power to hurt, but conversely, they also have the power to heal. Studies show that expressing your thoughts and feelings in writing, especially after a traumatic event, may actually speed the healing of physical wounds. This finding supports what researchers have hypothesized all along, and that is the undeniable connection between the mind and body. Writing produces a calming effect that quiets a busy mind and relaxes the body, which inevitably creates the ideal setting for the healing process to effectively ensue. 

Let the Journaling Begin

Keeping a daily journal allows your mind to release all of the pent-up thoughts and ideas that may not get properly channeled otherwise. Additionally, it is an effective way to help you reach your personal goals. The beauty of journaling is that it provides a permanent record of where you currently are in your life versus where you wish to go. If you are striving to accomplish certain aspirations, charting your progress will provide solid proof of where you stand, and also keep you motivated along the way.

Thoughts are sometimes so fleeting that they can quickly be dismissed, or even forgotten. Life tends to move at such a frenetic pace that it becomes almost involuntary to focus on the big picture while missing the little nuggets of inspiration that make life so meaningful. However, when you commit to writing daily, all the cloudiness is lifted and what remains is your life in crystal clear focus.

May 18, 2015

Goddess Garden Organic Sunscreen Review

I'm pale.  We're talking borderline albino-white with a smattering of freckles.  The little guys are just as fair-skinned, so I constantly worry about sunburns and harmful UV rays.  Worse yet, all those chemicals in regular sunscreen...

Thanks to a fantastic opportunity, I was chosen to be an ambassador for Goddess Garden Organic Sunscreen and received their full product line to try out for 30 days.

Available in different sizes, Goddess Garden's organic product line includes Kids Sport Natural Sunscreen Lotion, Facial Natural Sunscreen Lotion, Everyday Natural Sunscreen Continuous Spray, Kids Sport Natural Sunscreen Continuous Spray, Baby Natural Sunscreen Lotion, and Sport Natural Sunscreen Lotion.

Probably my favorite of all of them would be the Kids Sport Spray.  It sprays on white, and rubs in clear and not greasy - and protects the kids immediately, no matter how much they sweat and play.

It offers up to 40 minutes of sun protection during water play; with its water-resistance, the kids can swim, run through sprinklers, whatever and I don't have to worry about their sunscreen washing off.

It has a soft scent to it, no harsh chemical smell or heavy lingering smell.  It absorbs quickly and there's no complaints from any of my kids!

It does spray on a little thick if you aren't careful though, so there was a little bit of wiping involved when Daddy applied the sunscreen.  Sammy thought it was hilarious though, and patiently waited for the sunscreen to be smeared on his face and legs.

Sammy, Kaya, and Lexi all ran and played for a good hour in the sun - usually they come in with pink cheeks no matter what kind of sunscreen we use, but with Goddess Garden's Organic Sunscreen, they were protected from the sun.

I would definitely recommend Goddess Garden Organic Sunscreen for anyone looking for a natural, mineral sunscreen.  It works better than the chemical-y stuff and protects instantly, doesn't leave a greasy residue, and lasts a long time.

To learn more, check out Goddess Garden's website or visit them on their social media below:
Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram / Youtube

Disclosure: I received products in order to facilitate this review.

May 17, 2015

Top 10 Best Apps for 2 year olds: 2015

[01] Intro to Colors

Teaching your child the basics just because a whole lot easier! Kids these days love to play on tablets and iPads, and what better way to let them learn while having fun? The Intro to Colors app teaches them the entire list of primary and secondary colors as well as color mixing and all the different shades of colors. Let them explore and play at the same time. 

[02] Interactive Alphabet

Get them started early on learning their alphabet with this fun app. With fun characters and games, kids can learn their upper and lowercase letters. There is also a feature that lets them trace letters if you are looking to advance their education at any time. 

[03] Pepi Bath

Teach your children all of the basic hygiene tasks that should be done daily. They can play with boy and girl characters who will take them through brushing their teeth, bathing, going to the bathroom, washing hands, and more. 

[04] Yo Gabba Gabba! Party in my Tummy

You can get your kids to eat healthier and learn the basics of eating healthy with this fun app. Teaching everything from what is actually inside your stomach, to all of the healthy foods you should eat to stay strong, this app turns eating vegetables into a fun time. With games and cute songs, kids will love to eat their broccoli after playing with this app! 

[05] Press Here

If you are looking for just a fun app that allows your toddler to practice their fine motor skills, then this app is for you. With games where the child is tasked with simple activities to press certain bubbles and swirls on the screen, they can practice their hand eye coordination while having fun at the same time. 

[06] Peek-a-Zoo

It can be difficult having to teach your kids all their animals and showing them exactly what they look like and what sounds they make. With this interactive app your child can learn exactly what animals look like and it even teaches different emotions.  Some games require your child to find the animal that is displaying a certain emotion that is being talked about. 

[07] Into to Math

It’s important for kids to learn their numbers early. With this app they can see numbers 0-9 with a number of different games and activities. Getting them introduced to simple numbers early on is never a bad thing. 

[08] Piano Ball

This app is strictly a fun game that allows toddlers to play different songs and sounds on a screen with a big keyboard. With pre set tunes and different sounds to add to your own tunes, kids will be entertained for hours with this app. 

[09] Drawing Pad

Save paper with this fun app for toddlers. It’s basically a big digital piece of paper for toddlers and kids to color and draw whatever they might want to. With everything from colored pencils, paint brushes, and more on this app, kids can create all they want and you can save their pictures digitally. And if you want to later, you can print them off and put them on your walls!

[010] Duckie Deck Family Photo

Let your kids create their idea of your family with this fun photo app. They can create, draw, experiment, and more on this app. Allow their imagination to take off with this app full of cartoonish pictures that have special features that teach kids exactly what their family looks like, such as freckles, braids, and more. 
Download the app here:

About the author:

Carolyn, Macfinest founder. 

May 11, 2015

What's in Your Sunscreen?

This post is a result of a sponsored ambassadorship for Goddess Garden Organics. All opinions are my own. 

Do you know what's in your sunscreen?  Did you know that most sunscreens use toxic chemicals like oxybenzone, which absorbs into the skin and bloodstream?

Goddess Garden's organic formula keeps families safe from these known hormone disruptors. As a bonus, you don’t have to wait for chemicals to activate for the sunscreen to be effective. The minerals in our sunscreens are effective immediately—great for kids on the go!

Their organic sunscreens offer great sun protection, without irritating sensitive skin. Everyone deserves to enjoy the sunshine, and Goddess Garden helps you and your family enjoy the outdoors—completely worry free! 


Co-founder and CEO, Nova Covington, discovered her first daughter, Paige, was allergic to the chemicals in many skin-care products, including sunscreen. Instead of feeling frustrated, wishing there was a solution, Nova solved the problem herself. She developed her own skincare products from pure minerals and organic ingredients that wouldn’t irritate her daughter’s sensitive skin. Luckily, she decided to share her products with everyone and Goddess Garden was born!

Goddess Garden made the first-ever, natural mineral, continuous spray—all the convenience of a spray, with trusted zinc and titanium for broad-spectrum protection from both UVB (burning) and UVA (aging and damaging) rays. 

Join us for a Facebook Party sponsored by Goddess Garden Organics on the Mamavation Facebook Fan Page on Wednesday, May 20th at 6pm PST/9pm EST. We will chat about how to choose safe sunscreen products and what you need to know to protect your family’s skin in the sun. Our Goddess Garden Ambassadors who have been trying the products for 30 days will be on hand to share their experiences! This event may be life changing for you or a friend.


Who: Mamavation Community & Goddess Garden Organics
What: Facebook Party
When: Wednesday, May 20th
Time: 6pm PST/9pm EST


1. 6oz Everyday Continuous Spray, 3.4oz Facial Tube, and 3.4oz Sport Tube RV: $55 (3 winners)
2. 6oz Everyday Continuous Spray, 3.4oz Facial Tube, 3.4oz Sport Tube, 6oz Kids Tube, 3.4oz Everyday Tube, and 3.4oz Kids Sport Spray RV: $106 (2 winners)
3. 6oz Everyday Continuous Spray, 8oz Everyday Trigger Spray, 3.4oz Facial Tube, 3.4oz Sport Tube, 6oz Kids Tube, 6oz Everyday Tube, 3.4oz Everyday Tube, 3.4oz Kids Sport Spray, Goddess Garden Canvas Bag, and Goddess Garden Hat RV: $183 (1 winner)


2. Share about this party on the social media platform of your choice like Facebook. Sample Facebook status update: “ Join (tag Mamavation) on WEDNESDAY, May 20th at 6pm PST/9pm EST for a Facebook Party about how to choose safe and non-toxic sunscreen products sponsored by (tag GoddessGarden). Goddess Garden Organics will be giving away over $550 worth of prizes. Join us, 


Kick it up a notch and communicate to Goddess Garden Organics that you are serious about wanting to work with them by interacting with them in social media.
Twitter: @GoddessGarden

May 6, 2015

Goddess Garden Organics Ambassador

If you've been following me on Twitter and Facebook, you may have seen me mention that I was chosen as a Goddess Garden Organics Ambassador.  (If you're not following me yet, click the links - don't worry, I'll wait!)

Have you heard of Goddess Garden yet?  This company is dedicated to providing sun protection that actually protects you - not just from harmful rays, but from chemicals that can cause just as much damage.   They create natural sunscreens that allow you to spend that much needed time in the sunshine!

The founder and CEO of Goddess Garden Organics, Nina Covington's daughter had sensitive skin and Nina quickly realized that the "normal" sunscreens weren't going to work for her.  She also realized that there weren't any natural and allergy free sunscreens on the market.  That's why she decided to make her own.

So what's the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens?  Check out the chart below:

Basically, mineral sunscreens stop the sun from penetrating even the skin's surface, reflecting both UVA and UVB rays.  Chemical sunscreens on the other hand, they allow those rays to be absorbed beyond the skin's surface, into the epidermis and dermis.

You may be wondering what kind of ingredients would go into a natural mineral sunscreen.  Goddess Garden Organics has nothing to hide.

Be sure to check out for more information, and stay tuned for more updates about their products and how well they work for us!

Pure Ice Nail Polish Review

Sometimes a Momma just needs to look her best.  With prom season, and wedding season, and all that other fun stuff that gives us a reason to dress up, it's important to pay attention to the little details as well.

I was approached by Pure Ice Cosmetics to review some of their nail polishes, and boy do they know how to impress!  
Pure Ice Winter Blues and Laven-Dare
The Winter Blues glittery nail polish is from their 2014 Holiday collection, and is so pretty either by itself or over a light base coat.  I love that you can apply the glitter sparingly for an almost graffiti look, like I did below, or you can go heavier with the glitter for more of a shimmer.

Now, I'm no professional manicurist, and I cant claim to be very good at painting my nails - so you'll have to forgive the covered cuticles and mistakes around the edges of my fingernails.  I do have to say though, Pure Ice nail polish is very easy to apply, and looks great with even just one coat.  Add a second coat and a clear top coat and your nails are gorgeous!

Pure Ice nail polish can be purchased from Walmart stores or

Check out their social media channels for more inspiration and great color ideas:

Apr 30, 2015

New Fads in Child Rearing That Make Your Pediatrician Cringe


One of the main problems with child rearing is that there isn’t a single tried-and-true formula that can be said to work 100% of the time. The fact is, your children are individuals, with their own quirks, preferences, ticks and qualities. What may work for one is not necessarily going to work for another, and while one parent may swear by one method another parent may declare it to be useless, even abusive.

This problem is not really helped by the tendency of parents to latch onto new crazes and fads, hoping that by following the advice offered they can magically transform their child into well-behaved, overachieving, model citizens at a snap.

Naturally, childcare does not work like that, and the results either perform below what is advertised or even pose potential risks to your child’s development. As with all things worth doing, and most especially with children, things will take time, effort, dedication, and patience. So we’ve listed a couple of the more recent new fads in child rearing that are more than likely going to make your pediatrician cringe.


This is really a topic that deserves its own article, so complicated and sensitive is the issue at hand. That said, we shall keep things brief.

There has recently been something of a resurgence in opposition to vaccinations amongst certain parents. Many of the objections raised are linked to a thoroughly debunked study that suggested a link between vaccines and autism, and espoused a flippant perspective on how much of a risk unvaccinated children are to the larger population.

It cannot be stressed enough how essential it is that your children are kept up to date with vaccines, as any pediatrician will tell you. Doing so is not just essential to your own child’s health, helping to protect them from diseases such as measles, mumps, polio and worse, but also the children of other parents. Rest assured that vaccines are safe, and come highly recommended by all practitioners of children’s medicine.

While they won’t make your child immune to disease, they are essential to preventing them from spreading, and for building up resistance to those diseases from an early age.

Tiger Moms

This trend basically relates around the old stereotype of Asian children being smarter and better achievers than the children of other ethnicities. Not only is this somewhat ignorant (Asians are just as capable of being slackers as the rest of us), but it also encourages parents to take a fairly disruptive approach to their own children’s care.

The success of Asian children academically has been much examined by pediatricians and child-care experts, but is probably rooted in something a little more intrinsic than the “Chinese Tiger Moms” approach popularized by Amy Chua a few years back. The rates of its success are disputable, but what can be certain is that it will more likely cause problems than achievements.

For one thing, too much focus on success will probably cause increased stress and unhappiness in the child. Your child will become convinced that they must succeed to win your approval and affection, and become emotionally strained if they believe they aren't meeting your inflated standards.

This can cause all sorts of health and developmental issues. For example, strict timetables and schedules may damage independent thought, as well as strain your relationship with your child -- causing them to think of you as tyrannical, overbearing and impossible to please.

By all means, you should want your children to succeed. But you must mix discipline and focus with affection and patience.

Pole Dancing for Tots

Admittedly, if your pediatrician cringes because of this, it’s more to do with taste than actual physical health. While pole dancing is certainly good exercise, parents should think twice before subjecting their children to this sort of activity. At the end of the day, pole dancing is a sexually provocative act, and may send the wrong signals at a young age.

For one thing, it may teach young girls that it’s okay to objectify themselves for other people. Likewise, in a day and age where we’re wondering whether kids are becoming sexualized too quickly, it probably isn’t a good idea to teach our daughters skills that are of more interest to lecherous old men than a competitive world economy.

There are far cleaner ways to keep your children healthy than going to pole dancing lessons. Gymnastics, ballet and cheerleading courses, for example, offer all the same benefits without the seedier connotations.

As always, and in particular with younger children, ensure all physical activities take place in a safe and supervised environment. Be involved, yourself, whenever possible and be sure you are familiar local pediatric care facilities like those found at

Christian Mills is a freelance writer and family man who contributes articles and insights into the complex task of raising a family in a difficult and ever-changing world.

Apr 27, 2015

Little Tikes Gourmet Prep 'n Serve Kitchen #Giveaway


Welcome to the Little Tikes Gourmet Prep 'n Serve Kitchen Giveaway!

You are entering to win a Prep 'n Serve Gourmet Kitchen! (ARV $124.99) Kids will love this stylish play kitchen. The working doors, shelves and storage areas promote physical play while the contemporary design lets them imitate real kitchen activities. The included kitchen play set has play food, pots, utensils and more.

This play kitchen is the absolute best. Mama Smith's daughters love spending time cooking and serving to their friends and family. They have had many families over and all of the children gravitate towards it - boys and girls alike! It is extremely well made and very durable.
Giveaway Alert
Enter to win using the Gleam form below. This giveaway will run from 4/27 at 12:00am EST to 5/18 at 11:59pm EST. This giveaway is only open to legal US Residents. Be sure to check out more giveaways from Mama Smith here. GOOD LUCK!

Mama Smith’s Review Blog and the blogs promoting this giveaway are not responsible for the distribution of this prize. Winner has 48 hours after notification email to claim their prize. If they do not respond, the host, Mama Smith, has the right to choose another winner.

Apr 24, 2015

Addiction Rehab Services for Women

Drug and alcohol addiction is a widespread health epidemic that causes countless numbers of unnecessary injuries, illness, and tragic deaths every year. Thousands of people are admitted to emergency rooms due to accidental overdoses, or injuries received while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Many others will find themselves committing crimes in order to supply themselves with the drug they crave, and may end up facing serious prison time.

Addiction Is Harder On Women

In many ways, if you are a woman, the issues you face are even more serious. Physically and emotionally, the toll taken by drug addiction is simply harder on women. This discrepancy is far from fair, but it's very well documented. In addition to being physically more prone to develop serious illnesses due to drug addiction, women also face the stress and shame of being alienated from their loved ones by the stigma of being an addict.

Women Detox Differently From Men 

If you are facing the prospect of going through withdrawal from drugs, or are simply determined to "tough it out" and conquer your addiction, once and for all, you should know that going "cold turkey" is not the answer to your problems. Because women's systems are more sensitive than men's, the variety of withdrawal symptoms that women face will most likely be radically different. In some cases, they may be far more intense and severe.

Don't Face Withdrawal From Addiction By Yourself

Instead of trying to face down the process of withdrawal by yourself, you are far more likely to succeed in breaking free of your addiction by checking into a women's drug rehab center. This is the place where you can get the personalized medical treatment and counseling that you need to kick your habit in a safe and healthy manner.

A program of drug detox and rehab that is specifically tailored to women is your best bet. The science of addiction rehab has progressed a great deal in the course of the last decade alone. Whole new methods of therapy and treatment have been developed to meet the needs of addiction patients of both genders. There has never been a better time to check into rehab and get the assistance and support that you need to reclaim your life.

Finding The Right Rehab Program For Your Needs

No matter where you may live, there is sure to be a suitable addiction detox and rehab center that you can check into to get the counseling and medical treatment that you need. If you are a woman who lives in the Fort Lauderdale area, you should be aware of New River Wellness Center. Their special programs and services for women can be explored at