I Still Remember Review and Giveaway

I take up a lot of mommy’s time. Being my mommy is a full-time job. Mommy is busy feeding me, keeping me clean, teaching me, giving me snuggles, entertaining me, and making sure I get adequate exercise. On top of that, mommy takes care of our home to make sure that I am safe and healthy. There is very little free time in mommy’s busy schedule.

When mommy has a moment to spare, she usually spends it by reading something. Reading is a big part of mommy’s day. There are blogs to read, recipes to peruse, self-help books to study, research to be done, and of course there are my stories that need to be read out loud. On those rare occasions when mommy has some real time to relax, she likes to indulge in reading a bit of fiction.

Mommy’s latest indulgence was a book called I Still Remember by Priya Prithviraj. This e-book is the ideal length for busy mommies looking for a little escape. At around 5000 words, mommy was able to enjoy this digital short on her tablet while I had my afternoon nap. It was perfect for mommy’s little escape.

Peachy reading her book

I like to read too!

The book is a sweet little story about a young girl named Ji-woo. With dreams of becoming a writer, Ji-woo is giving college a second try when her first love makes a sudden and unexpected appearance. As memories come flooding back and unresolved feelings bubble to the surface, Ji-woo’s life is at risk of derailment. While her world goes into a tailspin Ji-woo can take the easy path and give up on her dreams, or be strong and keep her life on track.

Priya Prithviraj is a published poet entering the realm of writing fiction and I Still Remember is her first book. Priya grew up in Koshikode, India and studied at The English and Foreign Language University in Hyderbad. For more from Priya visit her blog.

Priya was kind enough to agree to an interview. Here is a glimpse into the mind of an author along with some advice for those who are just setting out on the path to publishing their own book.

This is Priya, the face behind the interview.

When and why did you decide to be a writer?

I don’t think there was a specific moment when I became a writer or even if I had ever made any conscious decision about venturing into writing. I used to write stories even as a child, mostly for school contests and later when I took up English for my higher studies, it was just natural to continue writing and also to take it to the next level by considering publication.

Is writing your full-time profession or a part-time interest?

To answer your question, I have to tell you that I’m not a full-time author. But my full-time profession is digital content marketing which does involve a lot of writing. So perhaps I could say yes as well.

What does literary success look like to you?

Success is always subjective and is dependent on your goals. So when I achieve the goals I set, pertaining to writing and publishing, that’s literary success for me. And my goals are not about getting into any lists, but about getting my story out there.

Do you find the writing process energizing or exhausting?

Writing can be both energizing and exhausting. It actually depends on your writing plan. If you set daily word count goals you may feel exhausted by when you finish, but if you go according to a story outline, it would be energizing as you see your story shaping up.

What is your favourite book and why?

I don’t have a favourite book. It’s hard to pick just one from the many books I hold close to my heart. But when I enjoy reading a book, I talk about it on my blog, which is where I share snippets from my life as a reader.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers who are just getting starting on their first book?

All I would say is to work hard with all your heart, and head.

Do you have any marketing tips for writers who just completed that first book?

Again, I would say work hard to get the word out about your book. Use all means of communication with your potential readers – your blog, your mailing list and your social media channels. With so many dedicated author service providers such as Writerly Yours, it isn’t very hard to get a helping hand either.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I would probably tell myself to read more, not just in English but also in other languages, because it all helps you as a writer. A writer is always a reader first.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I don’t think much into the future, but I do plan on writing and of course, reading more in the years to come.

Thank you Priya for taking part in our author interview!

I Still Remember is a brand new book just released on May 14th. It is being promoted through Writerly Yours. There is a book tour underway for the month of May. Check it out for additional information and more reviews.

Now on to the good stuff. Priya is giving us two digital copies of I Still Remember for a giveaway. Two lucky people will get their very own copy of this e-book. That’s double the odds of winning! Click the link below for your chance to win.

Click here for your chance to win.

Contest open worldwide. Must be 18 years of age or older. Winner will be notified by email. Accepting entries until June 30, 2017.

* We were given a free copy of this e-book for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are honest and our own.

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The Courage of a Samurai: Review and Giveaway

I’m studying to become a modern-day samurai. The path is not an easy one and requires patience, dedication, and hard work. A samurai must posses the qualities of a warrior and leader while never compromising ethics or morals. We samurai are the epitome of discipline, courage, and ideal behaviour.

The samurai were Japan’s elite military warriors which served the aristocratic class from the Heian period (794-1185) to the Edo period (1600-1868). The original purpose of the samurai was in a military capacity. Soon the samurai became political figures as well as warriors. During the Tokugawa shogunate (1600-1868) Japan experienced a long period without warfare and the samurai emerged as scholars and role models of ethics and behaviour.

As a samurai I am bound by the principles of the moral and ethical code of bushido. This honor code of chivalry originated in feudal Japan. Bushido translates into “the way of the warrior”. If I am to be a samurai I must abide by the bushido code at all times. The bushido code emphasizes loyalty and obedience as well honor above all.

Baby playing in a ball pit

A samurai is focused, disciplined, and determined.

Mommy and I have been reading The Courage of a Samurai to help us learn about the bushido code. This non-fiction book is written by Lori Tsugawa Whaley and presents the way of the warrior in an easy to understand and very readable style. It is designed to be a self-help book aimed at adapting the bushido code for modern-day use.

The Courage of a Samurai organizes the bushido code into seven principles.

    • Courage

    • Integrity

    • Benevolence

    • Respect

    • Honesty

    • Honor

    • Loyalty

Along with these seven principles of the bushido code, Lori explains the concept of Ganbaru. This is the Japanese word for persistence and tenacity. The Courage of a Samurai explores these ideas and illustrates how they can be applied to live a more successful and fulfilling life.

In her book, Lori explains each of these principles in plain language which anyone can relate to. She attributes these characteristics to specific actions of famous historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, King Leonidas of Sparta ,and the biblical David who slew Goliath. She then sprinkles relevant inspiring quotes from people such as William Shakespeare, Steve Jobs,Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson, and Henry Ford to name just a few.

What really brings the concepts of the bushido code to life are the more in-depth true stories which Lori utilizes as examples. Both mommy and I agree that the story of Chiune Sugihara was our favourite. He demonstrated the characteristic of courage and lived the bushido code when he saved the lives of countless Jewish people during World War II. There is truly the courage of a samurai in this remarkable man.

The Courage of a Samurai is a combination of historical accounts, inspirational ideas, and personal stories woven together to illustrate how the bushido code can be applied in modern times. Lori expertly demonstrates that by using the bushido code as a foundation, we can bring about change in our lives which will allow us to overcome the obstacles in our way and accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. The way of the samurai may not be the easy path but Lori urges us that embracing the bushido code can help us unlock our full potential.

Lori Tsugawa Whaley

This is Lori

At the end of the book Lori includes a motivational final note encouraging the reader to become the unstoppable force they were meant to be. She has inspiring words for her readers asking all of us to take up the way of the samurai and to become today’s leaders. As a parting thought Lori shares this:

When you link arms with this samurai woman, you will never face your battle alone! —Lori Tsugawa Whaley

Lori Tsugawa Whaley is an author, keynote speaker, and life coach who is no stranger to overcoming adversity. She is a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor and it was her journey to recovering her wellness that inspired Lori to write The Courage of a Samurai. Lori is a third generation Japanese American and a descendant of the samurai warrior.

Lori wants to empower you to reach your true potential. To help you get started, Lori and her team are partnering with us to bring you this fabulous giveaway. Two lucky winners will receive their very own digital copy of The Courage of a Samurai.

Join us on the path to self improvement and become a modern samurai warrior just like Lori and I.

The Courage of a Samurai by Lori Tsugawa Whaley Book Cover

Click here for your chance to win.

Contest open worldwide. Must be 18 years of age or older. Winner will be notified by email. Accepting entries until May 31, 2017.

*This is a sponsored review. All views and opinions are honest and our own.

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Feeding Peachy

I’m a big girl now and I eat big girl food. Mommy makes sure that I get a good assortment of protein, dairy, grains, fruits, and vegetables. I like variety and it makes mealtimes more fun. Mommy tells me that it’s important to eat a good mixture of foods to make sure that I’m getting all the nutrients that I need. Eating is not just about fun and enjoyment.

Mommy goes to great lengths to make sure I’m eating healthy. We go shopping regularly so that we always have fresh food available. Our family avoids takeout and we prefer homemade meals with wholesome ingredients, using organic food as much as we can. We shop carefully, read labels, and make educated choices at the grocery store.

Good nutrition is important to make sure that I am healthy and strong. Mommy knows this and that’s why she makes sure that I have a good diet. Mommy has been in charge of my meals since before I was born. In those days all of my meals literally went through mommy before coming to me.

Just because I was in mommy’s tummy didn’t mean that my nutritional needs were less important. They were at least as important as they are now. Maybe even more important because I was very busy growing into the fully formed person that I am today. All that growing takes a lot of work and plenty of good quality resources. We are what we eat and that is never more true than when we are developing.

Baby in a crib

It takes a lot of resources to make this face.

While I was growing in mommy’s tummy I had urgent needs and I would sometimes have to be selfish and take all of mommy’s resources and energy. This made it hard for mommy to make sure she was eating well all the time. Healthy eating takes time and effort.

There were days when mommy was so tired she just wanted to sleep all day. On those days mommy and I survived on yogurt and granola bars until daddy came home to make us dinner. Everyone had to pitch in and do their part to make sure I was well cared for. I’m very important!

Mommy and I were recently contacted by a representative for a company called BetterBump. They make convenient bars to support maternal nutrition. As soon as we looked up this company, mommy and I shared a knowing look. This would have been a great product for us during those exhausting days. We were compelled to learn all about it.

BetterBump bars are made in Australia. They were developed by a food scientist and dietitian and are endorsed by an obstetrician. These bars have no added sugar,no artificial colours or flavors, and are made with non-GMO ingredients. They are designed to support pregnancy before, during, and after birth.

The BetterBump bars are made with folic acid which is proven to decrease the risk of neural tube defects when taken before and during pregnancy. The bars contain a prebiotic to support proper digestion. They also contain iodine, calcium, and iron to help a baby develop and grow, along with a blend of vitamins and minerals designed for the health of both mommy and baby.

BetterBump snack bars for maternity

Three yummy flavours

The bars come in three flavours which are apricot and almond, oat berry, and cranberry hazelnut. They are surprising large and are more than enough for a good-sized snack. Each bar consists of grains, seeds, and dried fruit but the best part is that the underside is dipped in dark chocolate.

After a thorough investigation of the ingredients, and a good look at the bars themselves, it was time for the most important step. The time had come for the very important taste test. I am a big girl now and I can eat big girl foods, so I actually got to taste the bars right along with mommy.

The BetterBump bars are sweeter than we expected but not overwhelmingly or unpleasantly sweet. We both thought the chocolate was a nice touch and added a depth to the bars. Each BetterBump bar flavour has a fruity element and the taste of the dried fruit really comes through in each of the bars.

The bars are quite tasty. Both mommy and I enjoyed each of the flavours. I found them a bit hard to chew but I’m working with only six teeth. Mommy didn’t seem to have any trouble. It took me a while to get through each of my pieces but they were yummy and I went back for a second taste of each flavour despite the effort involved in chewing.

The BetterBump bars can be purchased on the BetterBump Australian website, at Amazon.ca, and Well.ca. They are also available at BuyBuy Baby, Tjs, and baby boutique stores.

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The Magnesium Miracle: Book Review and Giveaway

Mommy and I have been reading a new book together. We love reading and we have read a lot of books. I look at the pictures, point to things of interest, and turn the pages. Mommy reads the words out loud, names the objects that I point at, and turns the pages if I happen to forget.

The book we are reading together this time is very different from any that we have read together before. It is not a fictional book about bunnies, cats wearing hats, or a giraffe named Sophie. This book is all about self-help and achieving optimal health.

The book is called The Magnesium Miracle and is written by Carolyn Dean MD, ND. Unsurprisingly, it is all about magnesium. When mommy first told me about this book, I thought it would be hard to get through, but I have been pleasantly surprised. It is a very readable book with excellent information.

The Magnesium Miracle is a truly comprehensive book about dietary magnesium. Part one begins with the stories of Mary, Sam, and Jan who all discover that they suffer from magnesium deficiency. The book then proceeds to discuss what magnesium does in the body and why it is important.

Mommy and I found the next section very informative and it was one of our favourite parts. It discusses reasons why most people today or deficient in magnesium to some extent. The case is truly compelling and well written. This section wraps up with an eye-opening explanation as to why we are not hearing more about magnesium deficiency.

Part two is appropriately named “Magnesium-Deficient Conditions” and consists of nine chapters. There is a list of all possible symptoms of magnesium deficiency in part one. Part two groups these symptoms into nine areas and looks at each in greater detail. This section provides a thorough explanation how magnesium deficiency is responsible for the symptoms and offers optimal daily supplement amounts for each condition.

Part three is called “The Research Continues” and it contains four additional chapters for areas of concern where magnesium might be beneficial. It follows the same outline as part two and covers issues such as chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, and longevity. This part is a good wrap-up to the previous section.

Baby eating Cheerios

I don’t see any magnesium in this Cheerio

The final section of the book begins by discussing testing for magnesium deficiency. There are several methods that can be used. This is a very good section to read before heading to your doctor to discuss a possible deficiency. There is even a little tip on how you can determine the likelihood of a magnesium deficiency at home.

The book then goes on to talk about required magnesium intake and how to add more magnesium rich foods into our diets. There is even a meal plan with several meal options to choose from. Of course it wouldn’t be a comprehensive book if it didn’t also discuss the foods to avoid.

There is a handy chart listing some common foods and the amount you would have to consume in order to ingest 400 mg of magnesium. At the top of the list is crude rice bran with 1.8 ounces. At the bottom of the list are doughnuts with 54.25 ounces. Doughnuts come in different sizes, but that’s equal to around 27 medium-sized doughnuts or 108 doughnut holes. That’s a lot of doughnuts!

The last part of the book discusses options for magnesium supplementation. There are several forms of magnesium available and they are not created equal. There are also several ways to get these supplements into the body. The book discusses when and how to supplement, as well as what to watch out for. Very useful section for anyone who suspects they might be suffering from magnesium deficiency.

So what’s my impression of the book? It was definitely much more informative than any book mommy and I read together. It was much more interesting than I thought it would be. It would have been better if there was a cat or a rabbit involved and there were not enough pictures for my liking, but nevertheless, I would recommend this book to everyone. You might learn that your body has been trying to tell you something important.

What did mommy think of the book? We didn’t talk about it much but mommy did seem to be deep in thought since we’ve read it. Today I caught mommy looking at magnesium supplements online. I’m glad that mommy is looking out for her health.

I want to give all my readers the opportunity to discover The Magnesium Miracle for yourselves. I am giving away a free copy through my giveaway. There are no restrictions so enter today!

The Magnesium Miracle

Click here for your chance to win.

Worldwide shipping. Must be 18 years of age or older. Winner will be notified by email. Accepting entries until April 30, 2017.

In case you don’t win the giveaway 😦 you can get a free 32-page guide to the benefits of magnesium along with magnesium deficiency symptoms. It is available as a free download at www.nutritionalmagnesium.org when you subscribe to their free newsletter. The guide is written by Carolyn Dean MD, ND, just like the The Magnesium Miracle book! It’s the next best thing.

*We have not been paid for this review but we were given a copy of this book free of charge. All views and opinions are honest and our own.

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Taking Care of Mommy

My mommy takes good care of me. She cooks healthy meals with lean protein and a large assortment of fruits and vegetables. Mommy encourages me to drink plenty of water every day. She makes sure that I get enough sleep every night.

Mommy is also my fitness coach. She takes the time to help me get enough exercise every day. Mommy makes it fun by turning my exercise time into playtime. There are many games a baby can play which are very active.

Eating right, staying hydrated, exercise, and setting aside enough time for sleep are all important parts of a healthy lifestyle. It’s not always easy but all the hard work is worth the effort. I’m a very healthy baby and I feel great.

Since mommy takes such good care of me, it got me thinking about mommy’s health too. I have heard mommy say that because of me mommy and daddy both eat healthier food. It’s nice to know that I’m contributing to mommy and daddy’s wellbeing. I like to be helpful.

I’m sure mommy sleeps while I’m sleeping because what else would she do when I’m not around? Mommy can always be found with a cup of water nearby so I know she stays hydrated. What about exercise? I don’t think mommy does much of that. I better help mommy out!

I’m not an expert in the area of mommy exercises, so I decided to turn to people who are. I was recently contacted by a company called Flex who wanted to know if I would be interested in doing a review of their website. After a quick look around I knew this would be perfect for my mommy and I eagerly agreed to the review.

The truth is that mommy doesn’t do much exercising because she doesn’t have much time. Mommy spends most of her time taking care of me. What time is left over she spends on taking care of daddy, our cats, and our home. Not only does mommy have little free time, the time she does have is erratic and unpredictable.

The great thing about Flex is that it’s available anytime at the click of a button. Flex connects people with fitness professionals in the comfort of home. All you need is a computer and you can take a class anywhere at any time. It’s really quite ingenious.

Funny baby on all fours

They call this pose downward dog

I decided to introduce mommy to Flex to see how she likes it. Mommy signed up for the 30 day free trial right away so that she could try it out. It’s completely risk free. There wasn’t even a credit card required.

After signing up mommy was taken to a screen where she could select the kinds of exercises she is interested in. Mommy selected Dance, Pilates, and Yoga but there were several others to choose from. Here is a list of all the options that were available:

  • Barre
  • Cardio
  • Dance
  • HIT
  • Pilates
  • Pre/Post Natal
  • Strength/Toning
  • Yoga
  • Other

After making her selection, mommy was taken to a scheduling screen. There were seven columns displayed. One for each day of the week. The rows represented the hours. Mommy simply highlighted all the days and times that she could possibly want to join a class.

Once mommy selected her preferred types of exercise, and filled in her schedule, a new screen popped up displaying all of the classes coming up which matched mommy’s criteria. You can go to your settings and choose to have a schedule reminder sent by email.

The best thing about Flex is that you don’t have to follow even your own schedule. Whenever you want to join a class and have a workout, simply log on and press the “Live & Upcoming” button. This takes you to a screen of all classes currently in progress as well as those that are starting soon. Just click on what interests you and join in.

This morning mommy and I did three classes. We started with some Pilates, followed by light yoga, and finished it off with some core strengthening exercises. I’m happy to see mommy getting into it. She already has some of her favourite instructors. Mommy has subscribed to their channels so that she can watch for more of their classes.

Flex has a social aspect too. Each class has a chat feature at the bottom where members can talk or leave comments for the instructor. There is also the option to invite friends from Facebook or Twitter. You can take a class together without even being in the same building.

Flex is great for busy people who want to be more active. There are classes starting all the time so no matter when you want to exercise, you are bound to find something suitable when it’s convenient for you. There are longer classes and shorter ones. Beginner oriented and advanced level. Why not sign up for the free trial and test it out yourself? It might be your first step to a healthier you.

*We were not paid for this review but we did receive a free membership period. The expressed opinions are honest and entirely our own.

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Aleva Naturals Review and Giveaway

When I was born we received a package of sample baby products from the hospital. Places that work with newborns and expecting mothers are often bombarded with samples. This is the manufacturer’s way of getting their products known and hopefully liked.

Mommy and I appreciated the bag of samples. I’m a first-born baby and mommy didn’t have any tried and tested products yet. It was helpful to have some different brands to try out. Some of the products did prove to be useful and a few we still use today.

The baby skin care products however did not work for me. I soon developed a rash on my chest and arms. It was horrible. I was only a few days old and had enough to deal with. I didn’t need itchy bumps to top it all off.

Mommy stopped using all those products on me and spoke to my doctor who recommended a few alternatives. It took some trial and error and a few oatmeal baths over the course of several months before we got my skin back to the kind of flawless that only babies can enjoy. I’m so glad to have that ordeal behind me.

Perhaps my sensitive skin was really a blessing in disguise. Many months later mommy read that some of those very products have been linked to cancer. I would have thought that baby skin care products would be safe, especially since these were probably among the most popular products around. It turns out that just because large-scale manufacturers have the means to invest in their products, it doesn’t mean they will.

Ever since then mommy is very careful about what she puts on my skin. We’re always on the lookout for gentle products made with better ingredients. Mommy always says that it’s only the best for her little peach.

When we were approached by Aleva Naturals to try out and review some of their products, mommy immediately did a search for their website to find out what this company was all about. It quickly became apparent that this brand was a perfect fit for us. At least it became apparent to me.

Aleva Naturals makes their products with all-natural, plant-based, and vegan ingredients. There are no harsh chemicals and no sneaky additives. As mommy and I perused the company website it became obvious that this is a manufacturer who cares not only about the wellbeing of babies, but also cares about mothers, animals, and the planet.

From biodegradable diapers and wipes, to cruelty free products that are never tested on animals, Aleva Naturals had won us over as a caring and responsible brand that we wanted to work with. There was only one more trial for them to pass. Would their products hold up to my vigorous testing? There was only one way to find out.

We replied to the manufacturer and agreed to do the review. Our box of products arrived promptly and contained a bottle of Sleep Easy Hair & Body Wash, Daily Soothing Moisturizer, and a pack of Pacifier & Toy Wipes. We were also given a Bottle & Dish Liquid along with a Stain & Laundry Bar from the baby safe cleaners line.

Mommy and I were very anxious and excited to try the products. I was feeling optimistic but I know mommy had some doubts and didn’t want to get her hopes up. We had found a company that we could really love and mommy didn’t want to be disappointed. I can understand her hesitation but I was ready to get started.

Baby with Aleva Naturals skin care products

What do you want to try first?

Sleep Easy Hair & Body Wash

The Sleep Easy wash and moisturizer are made with lavender and chamomile oils and are designed to sooth and calm for a better night’s sleep. I received the wash and decided to test it out before bedtime. I’m generally a good sleeper anyway, so I’m not sure if that part of it works. I did sleep very well and I felt quite relaxed at bedtime.

Mommy liked that this product is a hair and body wash. It makes it easier to not have to use a separate shampoo. I do like to move around in the bath a lot and mommy sometimes struggles to keep up. I guess she finds it easier to just lather me up from head to toe all in one shot. Mommy also liked that this wash isn’t overly bubbly as it makes it easier to rinse off.

Both mommy and I enjoyed the scent. It is not overpowering but there is the definite aroma of lavender. Mommy said it reminded her of the place we went for massage therapy when I was still in mommy’s tummy. It smelled quite nice during bath time and the scent remained on my skin for some time after my bath.

Daily Soothing Moisturizer

This moisturizer is unscented and is Aleva’s recommended choice for Eczema prone skin. It contains shea butter and oatmeal to soothe away any irritation and sweet almond and olive oils to soften skin. I always moisturize after my bath so I used this moisturizer after testing out the wash.

This is a nice light moisturizer suitable for daily use. It didn’t leave me feeling greasy and it absorbed quickly. It left my skin soft and supple without the discomfort of thick and heavy creams. I could even still smell the lavender of my wash after the moisturizer was applied so it really is unscented.

Those were the two skin care products that I received. After washing and moisturizing it was time for bed. The real test was about to begin. Would my skin be itchy in the morning or in the days to come? Only time would tell.

When I woke up in the morning I felt like my usual self and I had forgotten all about the previous night’s testing. Mommy came to my room like always and got me prepped for my diaper change. Mommy asked if I felt itchy and she unzipped my pajamas. That’s when I remembered the important work to be done. Was I itchy? No. Did mommy see any red bumps on me? No. The Aleva Naturals skin care products had passed the test!

Pacifier & Toy Wipes

For some reason mommy was most excited about these wipes. I don’t see what makes them special. These wipes come in packages of 30 in a flip top pouch. They are Eco-friendly and biodegradable in only 28 days. I guess that is exciting.

Mommy says they are perfect to keep in the diaper bag for when I drop my pacifier on the go. I don’t know what mommy is talking about. I never drop it. I only throw it to see what happens. I thought mommy knew that. She has even attached something called a pacifier clip to it which serves as a tail while it flies through the air.

Apparently I misread the situation. Mommy claims that the pacifier gets dirty when it hits the ground and these wipes will be perfect to remedy that, as long as they don’t leave any unpleasant residue or taste. I would have to test one out.

I don’t think we did a true test as mommy didn’t let me throw the pacifier like I usually do. Mommy pulled out a wipe, gave my pacifier a thorough cleaning with it, and gave my pacifier back to me. I popped it in my mouth and then mommy stared at me like I was supposed to do something. But nothing happened! Mommy said that means the wipes passed the test. I guess I didn’t understand what we were testing for.

Bottle & Dish Liquid

Even though I won’t actually be using the Bottle & Dish Liquid, I am kind of excited to have a dish soap of my own. The one I received to test is the fragrance free version but there is also a scented one available.

Up until now mommy has been washing all my dishes along with all the other dishes, but my stuff always gets an extra rinse. Mommy says she won’t have to do that with this soap as it is extra gentle. I guess that will save her some time. Mommy also likes that this soap is foamy but not overly so which makes it easy to rinse.

Stain & Laundry Bar

This product is made for tough stains and the instructions say to wet the fabric, apply the bar directly on the stain, scrub, then rinse. My most stained items are my bibs. Mommy washes them in my baby laundry liquid but the stains don’t get any better. Some of them have been there for a while and are really set in.

We thought we would test the bar out on one of my most stained bibs. We followed the instructions but instead of rinsing we just tossed it into the washing machine with the rest of the load. It took a bit of elbow grease but the stains disappeared.

Best of all the Stain & Laundry Bar is at least as mild as my regular baby laundry liquid. This is very important since harsh soaps can make my itchy skin come back. Just as with the Aleva skin care products, clothing washed with the Stain & Laundry bar did not cause me to have any sort of reaction.

That concludes the testing of my new favourite brand of baby products. I was convinced at that point but mommy still wasn’t sure. What more could we do? When would mommy be confident that Aleva really is a good company that makes great products?

Mommy said she had to take a closer look at those ingredients. Luckily one of Aleva’s brand values is a complete ingredient disclosure policy. Armed with the ingredients list for each of the products we tested, mommy and I went on the EWG Skin Deep website to get some additional information.

Mommy typed in each ingredient one by one to get its EWG score. Almost every ingredient had a score of 1! Not one of the products we tested would have scored above a 2 overall. That is fantastic news!

Finally mommy was able to admit that Aleva Naturals is an outstanding brand with good values and amazing products. If mommy would have just listened to me she could have saved herself quite a bit of time and effort. When I find something I like, I know it right away.

Aleva Naturals want to give you the chance to try out some of their products for yourself. They have put together a lovely selection which I am giving away to one lucky reader. The generous package consists of a Newborn Gift Set which includes a bottle of Sleep Easy Wash, Daily Soothing Moisturizer, 2 in 1 Hair and Body Wash, and a 80 count pack of Bamboo Baby Wipes. Aleva will also include two products from the Baby Safe Household Cleaners line in the form of your own fragrance free Bottle & Dish Liquid and the Stain & Laundry Bar.

Click here for your chance to win.

Contest open to Canadian residents only. Must be 18 years of age or older. Winner will be notified by email. Accepting entries until April 30, 2017.

*We have not been paid for this review but we were given the products free of charge. All views and opinions are honest and our own.

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Winter Outdoor Fun

Fresh air is good for babies and big girls like me. Last summer mommy and I spent a lot of time outdoors. It was my very first summer and we made a lot of great memories. We even managed to get daddy to join us on some of our outdoor adventures.

We took many walks around our neighbourhood with no real destination. There were many days spent at the park watching the big kids play. We hit the trails at the larger park down the street. Some days mommy and I even did our errands without bringing the car.

Outdoor fun doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t even have to go very far. Some of our best adventures happened right in our back yard on lazy days when we didn’t feel like going anywhere. I even enjoy simply sitting on the porch and observing what the neighbourhood is up to.

When we’re on the move, I ride in my stroller. I like to watch the changing scenery and I really like to go fast. When we’re not moving, I prefer to be out of my stroller so that I can get a better look around me. Last summer I wasn’t big enough to really get involved but I still prefer to watch from mommy’s lap.

The winter makes it more difficult to have outdoor adventures when you live in a cold climate like we do. Some people say you should go out no matter what the weather, but we tend to choose indoor activities when it’s cold. These days many of our outings involve a car ride to some indoor location.

Last summer I wasn’t very mobile yet but these days I’m getting into all sorts of mischief. I can’t wait to see what I can get into outdoors. I do have a snowsuit that mommy and daddy bought me so that we can go sledding but there hasn’t been any opportunity to use it. We happened to be sick on the good sledding days and since then snow and dreadful cold seem to come together.

This winter we have had bouts of unseasonably warm weather among the dreadfully cold spells. Although there wasn’t any snow on these occasions, we did manage to get some fresh air by squeezing in some walks. It’s important to dress appropriately for the weather in order to be comfortable out there.

Baby wearing a jacket ready for outdoor winter fun

I’m feeling warm and stylish

I have been getting some good use out of my faux suede coat made by George. I have been using it since the fall and it still works on those warmer winter days. It’s not as thick as my snowsuit jacket but the faux shearing lining does keep me quite warm. The hood is nice too as it keeps the wind out of my ears.

Mommy likes to dress me in layers when we head out. Underneath my jacket I wear a long-sleeved shirt and a sweater with a hood. Warm socks are a must and a pair of my thicker pants to keep my legs warm. To finish things off I have a blanket over my legs and feet to make sure I don’t catch a chill.

My jacket has been keeping me quite comfortable on our walks. It’s also great for car rides as it keeps me warm for the short trips to and from the car. Once in the car it’s easy to unbutton the front so that I don’t get overly warm.

I have been getting a lot of compliments on my coat and I must say that I do feel pretty in it. It’s soft and fuzzy both inside and out. There are two cute pockets on the front and nice detailing around the waist. It comes in two colours options. Pink with cream shearing or tan with pink shearing. I opted for the tan and I don’t regret it.

If I feel like accessorizing, or when mommy thinks it’s necessary, I wear my matching faux suede winter boots with the fur trim. I generally prefer to not wear shoes of any kind but I’ll occasionally put up with shoes for a little while. Mommy tells me I look extra cute when I wear my coat and boots. I do like to look good so it’s hard to argue with that.

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