Mar 2, 2015

Doctors Who Make a Positive Impact in the Life of Their Patients

Throughout the United States, initiatives have been put into place that have yielded positive results when it comes to attacking obesity. The positive results that these initiatives have had can be seen when examining the statistics related to obesity in the United States throughout the years. The year 2014 was significant as the first year when the United States did not rank as the most obese country in the world. These statistics reflect a positive trend that is being seen among both the young and adult population. People are becoming more health conscious as they see the negative effects obesity has on their health.

The medical community has always been encouraging people who are overweight to take steps to reach their target weight. They have worked closely with patients in designing diets, reasonable exercise, and at times offering supplements designed to help people successfully get their weight under control.

Telemedicine jobs are attracting many physicians who are interested in taking a long-term role in helping their patients improve their lives. These jobs allow physicians to offer weight loss advice and weight loss treatment to their patients no matter where their patients are within the country. The results of telemedicine speak for themselves. In a little more than a decade, over 100,000 patients have been helped by the services provided by companies like ATIMAP for example.

The doctors and physicians who work in telemedicine have a sense of accomplishment when they see their patients reach their target weight goal and have happier and more successful lives.

Potty Training Guide for Girls

Oh talk about bittersweet - My not-quite-two-year-old baby girl has started the potty training thing.  It's going really well too, which means that soon we'll no longer need the diapers. But it means she's getting bigger and more independent and I'm really not sure if I'm ready for that yet.  She's my last baby; we wont be having anymore little ones, so my diapering days are numbered.

Getting her to use the potty was so much easier than with her older brother.  Everyone keeps telling me, "Oh girls are easier to potty train," but I'd like to think that the trial and error with the Sammy-man really helped me know what to do this time around.
Here are some of my best tips for potty training a girl.



Reward Method for Potty Training


Now this is the one that you hear about the most, for good reason. Positive reinforcement is the most effective way to teach a child a new skill.  If you want to ensure that your little one wants to use the potty, you have to give something back.

How to Positively Reinforce Potty Training


  • Praise - yup, that clapping and the "yay big girl!" and potty dancing, those are all means of helping build your little girl's self esteem while showing them how proud you are of their achievement. When they let you know that their diaper is wet, up until they successfully complete the entire potty training, it's important to encourage them with with praise.  Accidents will happen, be sure to keep the upbeat attitude and try not to show disappointment - it isn't a failure, just a learning moment!
  • Treats - this one is pretty self-explanatory, and tends to be the advice I hear most often.  My sister used M&Ms when potty training her little girl, and at daycare they use stickers and stamps.  Giving a treat of some kind, or doing something special with your little one, when they use the potty is a great way to reinforce the behavior you want them to exhibit.  The only downside to giving treats as a reward is that they will come to expect some kind of candy or sticker every time they use the potty, and there's times when Momma forgets the sticker book at home when in public.

Tips for Successful Potty Training a Girl


1. Show your daughter how to use the toilet.  They're going to follow you into the bathroom anyway when you're expecting a little bit of privacy - instead of getting frustrated, try explaining what's going on.  Tell her the steps for what Momma is doing, and let her help flush.  Kids are visual learners; you can't expect them to just know what to do.

2. Don't expect them to tell you when they need to go.  At the beginning of potty training, most little girls are still figuring out what certain sensations mean.  Try taking her to the bathroom every 15-20 minutes and letting her sit on the potty, then give her praise when she "goes" - she'll figure it out!

3. Go pants-less.  Or you know, at least put a pull-up diaper or something that is easy for her to remove. This is the age where they want to be as independent as possible, and making her depend on you to take her diaper off will only slow her down.  If you're worried about puddles - read on:

4. There will be accidents.  Go ahead and accept this.  Put a potty chair in the living room, or play room, and put down a towel or something.  Puppy pads?  It doesn't matter, as long as you relax a little and expect to clean up the occasional puddle.

5. Make sure she's ready.  Maybe this should have been the first tip, because I think it's the most important.  Your little girl isn't going to be ready to potty train, unless she wants to.  It will just get frustrating for the both of you, and might make it take longer.  When she shows discomfort as soon as she wets her diaper, when she starts stripping in the middle of dinner because she doesn't want a diaper on... she might be ready to start.  Until then, showing her the ropes is a great way to introduce it to her without forcing it on her.

What's your best potty training tip?

Feb 26, 2015

Different Types of Amish Kids' Furniture

Kid’s furniture can be so fun and yet so expensive. However, when you go the route of Amish kid’s furniture you can save money and get even more creative furniture that is more than likely going to have a much better design than other furniture types as well. There are many types of Amish furniture pieces that are great for a child’s room and for the rest of the home as well.


For the Bedroom


A child’s bedroom is a place for them to relax, rest, play and sleep. In order to do all of these things children are going to need the proper Amish furniture for their bedroom. Some of the great Amish bedroom furniture pieces that you can find for your child’s bedroom include a bookcase, the bed, a bassinet or a crib, a night stand, chairs, clocks and dressers. All of these pieces of Amish bedroom furniture are created with intricate design so that everything can all tie into one great room for your child.

For the Toy Room


If you have the space, a toy room is a great place to store your children’s toys so that they have more space in their bedroom. If you do have a toy room for your children then there are some pieces of Amish children’s furniture that would work great for you and your child. Some of the toy room Amish children’s furniture pieces include the toy box, a kitchen play set, a rocking horse (a rocking airplane or a rocking motorcycle) and a bench. All of these pieces of toy room furniture are hand crafted and designed to be sturdy so they withstand all of your child’s fun playtimes.

For the Kitchen


Regular kitchen furniture can be great but wouldn’t it be nice if your child was able to have their own furniture pieces in the kitchen as well. If you would enjoy this, your child definitely would, then some of the Amish children’s kitchen furniture pieces would fit wonderfully in your home. Some of the kitchen Amish furniture pieces for children include chairs, clocks and a high chair. These kitchen furniture pieces will allow your child to have a sense of feeling that part of the kitchen is their own as well.

For the Family Room


A family room is a great place to gather to spend time together, children to do homework and much more. To provide the most comfort in the family room, there are some great children’s Amish furniture pieces that can help. Some of the family room Amish children’s furniture pieces include a desk, a desk organizer and a rocking chair. These furniture pieces can bring together all of the children’s furniture pieces in your loving home.

If you have a child or children and you want them to feel the most at ease and the most comfortable in all rooms of your home the above Amish children’s furniture pieces are going to be the best for you and your little adorable children.

About the author: 

James Harrison is a writer at the Amish Furniture Factory. James takes interests in home improvement, furniture, home design, DIY and decorating. He also has many personal interests including family, children, relationships, healthy living and more.

What is your favorite type of Amish Furniture?

Big Construction Toys for Little People - PANELCRAFT Review


My kids are builders.  They are forever stacking, connecting, and "making" whatever they can - out of whatever they can.  Kaya (the almost-2-year-old) loves to make towers and then knock them down again; it's one of those activities that will keep her busy for hours.

PANELCRAFT™ reached out to me for a review of their magnetic construction toys, and I jumped at the chance. If you've never heard of them before, they make these 9"x9" square panels with spherical magnets in each corner - big enough and simple enough for little hands to make big projects.


We received the Panelcraft™ Home Set - which includes 19 panels (11 red solid panel and 8 white window panels). They also offer center and school sets, which have more panels.

Perfect for building towers, playhouses, or even just stacking - these are a great way for toddlers to develop both fine and gross motor skills, patterning, shape recognition, and building skills.  Kaya loves to help her big sister build things by bringing the right piece - they have a game where she brings either red or white depending on what Sissy asks for.

These things are great for bigger kids too (including Momma and Daddy!)  Designing creative houses and barns with the kids has been the highlight of our days. Even my 14 year old niece had fun building towers with the little guys.


Even with their simple design, Panelcraft™ has created a toy that is so innovative that it has the potential to replace the way we think about building toys. I can see child care centers and schools using these in the future to help kids develop motor skills and feed creativity - or I hope to anyway, because these are awesome!

One more picture before I go - Kaya built her "boat" all by herself with the Panelcraft™ construction toys. That's how easy they are to put together and create imaginative designs - either with guided play or open creativity - for kids of any age.


For more information, including how to buy a set for home or a child care center - check out their website at MyPanelcraft.com.  You can also find them across social media on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.




Feb 24, 2015

Geeky Gifts I Love - Geek Fuel Subscription Box Review

I'm a total geek.  My idea of fun is sitting in front of a good MMO and completing quests, watching a nerdy TV show, or getting completely absorbed in a book.  Valentine's Day just passed and Matt kept asking me what I wanted - a new computer was the only thing on my list.

So seriously, when the chance to review a Geek Fuel subscription box came up, I was pretty thrilled.  Geek Fuel is a gamer subscription box, made just for the geeks like me.  They have several subscription options too - you can get one box for $17.90, 3 months for $16.90(each), 6 months for $15.90(each), or a year for $13.90(each).  Now, we're talking $50+ worth of items in each box, so the value is definitely there - plus if you want to impress your geeky significant other this is definitely the route to take!

Here's what I got in my (January 2015) box:
 A "Brief History of Time Travel" T Shirt by Geek Fuel Armory


Seriously??? The Dr. Who call box, the Dalorean, Bill and Ted's phone booth, Terminator, and Hot Tub Time Machine?This is so geeky cool that I squealed a little when I took it out.  I absolutely love the featured t-shirt in the January box!

There was a lot of other stuff too!


Yeah, that's a Dalek bobble head Monitor Mate.  Plus a Star Trek coaster, a Legend of Zelda Link Hylian Shield tin (with mints!), a Mash-Up Magnet with Iron-Ant, and a Full Mojo Rampage zombie sticker (with a Steam game code to download the game!)

I was pretty impressed with this box - and I think the gamer in me is going to order an actual subscription. Seriously, this is an awesome gift idea for any gamer/geek person that you love - they will be beyond excited to open one of these every month!

You can order your own (and check out previous months' boxes) at GeekFuel.com
Check them out on the social media channels - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube

So, I wanna know - what's your geeky indulgence? 

Feb 23, 2015

Life as it is - and a Fé Fit 90-day Fitness Review With Fibro

I've really been slacking, ya'll.  The fiance is working out of town and only comes in on the weekends now, the Kaya is starting the potty training, and the Sammy... oh, man.  He's had some definite anger issues lately - he's been through all of the psychological and developmental testing and it's looking like sensory processing disorder.  I'm thinking possible anxiety as well, but the doctors just keep telling us that we should wait until he's a little older to see if he "grows out of it."  I hope it is just a phase, the meltdowns and the tantrums - but I do wonder if there's more to it.



With all that going on, my computer decided to take a turn for the worse and stopped working on me - it was finally time to pull the plug on Ol' Trusty.  I'd had her for 9 years; I guess it was time for an upgrade anyway.  My new one is up and running beautifully and I am so excited to be able to sit down and write again.  Life has just been so hectic, and without my outlet (blogging) I've been a bit overwhelmed.

Anyway, that's what's been going on - but let me tell ya what's new.

I'm working out.  That's right - this little miss lazy momma has finally decided that if I am going to keep carrying around Kaya, I'm going to need to build some strength up.  Not just that, but with the fibromyalgia - I'm just so out of shape.  They say that the best remedy for fibro is exercise, but when you hurt All. The. Time. it's just hard to get into an actual exercise regime.

Thanks to Tomoson, I came across this review opportunity for Fé Fit Women's Weight Loss/90 Day Fitness workout.

All this for $119 on Amazon (affiliate link)
Ok, so I mentioned I don't exercise.  Like, ever.  The first two days of the workouts?  I thought they were trying to kill me.  I stuck with it though, and I can really tell a difference.  I'm not using it to lose weight, more to get fit and reduce the fibro pain.  What I love most about the Fé Fit program is that it is definitely target towards women, working on core strength and reducing problem areas that only women seem to get.  To me, it was almost like it's made just for moms!

There's a booklet included that allows you to track your progress, and breaks down the workouts into your weekly activities.  They even have it broken down for if you want to get fit, lose weight, or buff up.  A calender to let me keep track of my workouts?  Yeah, that doesn't feed into my organization obsession at all... 

Honestly though, if you want to get in shape, tone up, or lose weight, this is an amazing system.  I would definitely recommend it to all moms. 

Disclosure - the aforementioned product was provided in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.  

Feb 18, 2015

Getting to Know the Graco® Swivi Seat™ Highchair

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a Graco® party and meeting up with a great group of Atlanta area bloggers.  We snacked, chatted, and got to learn all about the Swivi Seat™ Highchair.


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Graco® has consistently made quality and helpful products including car seats, strollers, travel systems, swings, highchairs, playards and nursery care essentials for more than 60 years.  One of the most trusted names in baby gear, Graco® is a leading innovator, providing solutions to help parents make smart decisions in taking care of their precious little ones.



At the party, we had a demo of just how great the Swivi Seat™ Highchair is - with Krystyn's adorable baby model.  She seemed to enjoy that she got a view of the entire room with the rotation feature, and the safety harness kept her secure as she posed for pictures:


My own little baby model loves the Swivi Seat™ too - and I don't have to worry about my little monkey climbing out and falling because I know she's secure with the 5-point harness.



Their Swivi Seat™ Highchair is just the pinnacle of their creativity for me. It's a highchair, with all the normal high chair functions, except it rotates!  That's right, 360° of baby-turning power.  Think of all the possibilities that gives you: parents can take turns feeding the little one so they have a chance to eat as well, no more dragging the highchair around to various areas of the kitchen while cooking and cleaning, and baby gets a chance to interact with the family during mealtimes - a great way to ensure healthy eating habits throughout their lifetime!



Some more of the awesome Swivi Seat™ features include:

  • One-handed removable tray (that's also dishwasher safe!)
  • Machine washable infant insert
  • Easy-clean wipeable chair cover
  • 7 level height adjustment
  • Multi-position reclining seat
  • Adjustable footrest 
  • 5-point safety harness (that converts to a 3-point harness for bigger kids)
  • Compact folding for easy storage

I'm a sucker for easy baby gear, and the Swivi Seat™ is definitely that.  It grows with your little one, so it can be used from their earliest feedings up to 3 years (or 40 lbs) and has everything a mom could want in a highchair!

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The Graco® Swivi Seat™ Highchair is available exclusively at BabiesRUs for $199.99.
Check out their website to learn more!

What is your favorite feature of the Swivi Seat™ Highchair?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco®.

Feb 16, 2015

Ergobaby Original Baby Carrier Giveaway

Welcome to the Ergobaby Original Baby Carrier Giveaway

Sponsored by Babies"R"Us & What to Expect.com

Hosted by Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews

Co-hosted by Stellar Manic Mommy, Momma Without a Clue,
Dandelion Dreams, and So Simply Stephanie


Babies"R"Us's annual Love-It list, in partnership with go-to baby resource, What to Expect.com, is an annual guide for parents to simplify their baby registry needs. Winner of a “Moms Love-It” Award, the  Ergobaby Original Baby Carrier is a must-have for all babies!

These innovative baby carriers include mom-approved safety and security features, with adjustable padded shoulder straps and waist belt, a large zippered storage pocket, and an adjustable hood that keeps baby shielded at all times. 

Features:

  • Cradles baby in an ergonomic, natural sitting position
  • Designed to distribute baby's weight between your hips and shoulders
  • Offers three carry positions: front, back and hip
  • 100% cotton shell and lining with reinforced stitching at the fabric intersections for durability
  • Shoulder strap is padded with 1" thick, high-density PU foam for comfort
  • Adjustable hood helps shield your child from the elements
  • Large, zippered storage pocket helps keep essential items handy
  • Machine washable
  • Waist belt circumference range: 26" - 55"
  • Shoulder strap length range: 24" - 44"
  • Baby weight range: 7* - 45 lbs. (*Newborn with infant insert, sold separately)
The Ergobaby baby carrier is a staple with respected celeb parents globally, including Gwen Stefani, Orlando Bloom and Natalie Portman, to name a few. For more information on the Ergobaby Original Baby Carrier, check this out.

For your chance to win your own Ergobaby Original Baby Carrier, check out this awesome giveaway!


Disclosure: Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews, Stellar Manic Mommy, Momma Without a Clue, nor any other participating bloggers received compensation for sharing this giveaway. 

Feb 1, 2015

Ways to Recycle Better

Unconventional oil and wind power may be fairly new additions to the green living landscape, but recycling has been around for decades. Recycling got its start about 40 years ago when a United States-based paper company wanted to tell their customers that they recycled. A logo design competition was held and a young man named Gary Anderson won. His design is what is universally recognized as the recycling sign today. How can you win at recycling today? Follow these suggestions.

• We all know the phrase, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” but most people skip right to the third part: recycle. There are two whole steps that come before that, though! When you reduce and reuse, you recycle less - limiting waste is the goal, not finding out the many ways to let someone else use that waste. Recycling is the last step, only to be used after you’ve exhausted the others.

• You may be dropping things into the recycle bin that don’t belong there and you’re probably also not recycling products that do belong there. Find the local recycling guidelines for your area to make sure you’re not trying to recycle things that can’t be processed.

• If you want to seek out companies that go green by recycling or by helping you recycle, that’s great. However, delve a little deeper into their actual program. An infamous recycling program by a coffee company that won’t be named in this article boasts recycling their used coffee pods. However, their “recycling” means shipping the capsules several states away, which creates a huge carbon footprint. Additionally, some companies claim that their products are made from recycled materials, but that doesn’t mean that they’re 100% recyclable, too.

• Don’t just send things off to be recycled - buy recycled items, too! Recycling is cyclical and you should always be in the recycling mindset no matter what part of the buying process you’re at. You can find recycled products no matter what’s on your shopping list: office furniture, paper, clothing, you name it. Also, purchase items that can be recycled so that you can actually complete the circle.

• The phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” doesn’t hold more true than in the art world. Recycled materials are like gold for crafters, artists, and kids who love getting creative. Rubber bands, paper towel tubes, and even old furnishings may be able to be used by the local arts and crafts community.

• Did you know that you can recycle your water? You can have your plumbing arranged so that wastewater from the shower and bathtub, as well as rainwater, are used to flush your toilet.

• For one month, separate your waste into categories (landfill, recyclable materials, aluminum, etc.) and keep track of how much everything weighs. You’ll notice areas where you’re overusing, which will help you make a plan to cut back.

Recycling is so much more than dropping paper into blue bins and bringing your plastic bottles back to the grocery store. Work to make recycling as much of a part of your life as possible.

Jan 29, 2015

Breaking the Hiatus

After an unplanned hiatus from blogging, filled with stress and toddlers and school, I realized that blogging isn't just a hobby to me.  I think I actually need to write to keep myself sane.

I hadn't really planned to take a vacation from blogging, but for the last month things have been so hectic that I couldn't even sort my thoughts out enough to sit down in front of the computer to type. Even sitting here now, I'm wondering if I will sound like a babbling fool or if my thoughts will be coherent enough for anyone to read.

So, what's been going on the last couple of weeks?  Matt got a really good job working at a nuclear plant - three hours away.  To avoid having to get up at 3am every day in order to make it to work on time, he's opted to stay at his aunt's house in the area, so now we only get to see him every other weekend.  If I wasn't struggling trying to figure out how to be a good mom before, it's doubly hard now without any help.

I know I have no room to complain; there are single moms who not only raise their kids, they have to financially support them as well.  My hat goes off to them, because I'm learning that I don't think I would be able to survive in that situation.  Ok, I'm sure I would - because my kids give me the strength to do whatever is necessary, but I understand how hard single moms have it.

An update on Sammy-man: he's 4 now.  And he makes sure to tell everyone that even thinks about looking his way that he is 4.  He's had a lot of testing at his daycare lately to see if he needs any kind of special services, and the meeting for the results is in a week.  This will probably be one of the longest weeks ever.  He's so smart; he knows all his letters and numbers and can even spell a few words... but because of his behavior issues, they're still wondering if there's some developmental delays or something on the Autism spectrum.  Whatever the answer, we'll deal with it as it comes along.

And Kaya?  My itty bitty baby girl has gotten so big this month.  Not size-wise; poor kid is still puny and half the size of her peers.  But she talks.  Oh my goodness, she talks.  It's so different raising her when comparing her to where Sammy was at around the same age.  Oh, and she has this independent streak going on right now; she wants to dress herself and put on her own shoes, and she refuses to be carried except when it's getting close to bedtime.  She's even showing interest in potty training!

So I guess that's all the news for now, but I plan on updating more often.  I miss writing, and I miss you guys!