Santa in a Snow Globe

Santa in a Snow Globe by A.H. Edelman

NEW ILLUSTRATED CHILDREN’S BOOK HONESTLY EXPLAINS WHY THE HOLIDAYS WILL BE DIFFERENT THIS YEAR — AND HOW TO HOLD ONTO THE CHRISTMAS MAGIC

The holidays are typically a season of unbridled merriment and joy. However, this year’s celebrations are going to look a bit different. Recognizing the challenges this year’s holiday season will bring, New Jersey mom A.H. Edelman was inspired to write Santa in a Snow Globe, the first illustrated children’s book to offer parents, caregivers, and children a starting point to talk about life’s new realities—explained straightforwardly by Santa—complete with timeless advice, beautiful inclusive illustrations, and a big dose of Christmas cheer.

The mom of two was reading the business section of the Sunday New York Times when she saw a story about protecting Santas from COVID-19 this year. “The president of the International Brotherhood of the Real Bearded Santas—yes, it’s a real trade group—mentioned how they would explain to kids this year that Santa would need to sit behind some type of barrier,” Edelman says.

“Evidently Santa is in a high-risk group: many have diabetes, are overweight, and elderly.” Edelman thought about how, in 2020, children have had to adapt to new holiday traditions and celebrations nearly all year long. “Kids already couldn’t celebrate Easter, they sat out most of the summer and Halloween. They’re really going to want to see Santa for Christmas, or at least be assured he’s still coming,” she adds.

Going beyond mask-wearing and social distancing, Santa in a Snow Globe also touches on issues the world is facing today, including climate change and protests. However, Edelman’s Santa still shares a positive message of hope and the importance of appreciating the simpler things in life.

About the Author A.H. Edelman is the author of The Little Black Dress and Manless in Montclair. And, yes, she still believes in Santa. She lives in Montclair, NJ.

About the Illustrator Serge Srećko Gall, originally from Zagreb, Croatia, is a painter and illustrator whose work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Esquire, and The New Yorker. He lives in Hillsdale, NY and is currently working on his autobiographical graphic novel.

My Review

This book is super cute, and I love the simple rhyme and how it explains to children in a lighthearted and easy to understand way why Christmas is going to be a bit different this year, and how that’s OK.

The pictures are so fun and the rhyme is easy to read, it’s a book that my children will enjoy over and over this season, and is a great segway into answering their questions about what’s happening this season.

“Because of Covid” is already a common phrase is my house, and while that makes me super sad as a parent to see my kids missing things that I had hoped for, it’s also helpful for us to talk about why things are different and how we can still have a great holiday.

I love how this book inspires parents and kids alike to talk about not just having fun for ourselves, but looking outside of ourselves and considering how we can encourage others this holiday season.

Plus, we love snow globes in my house, so seeing Santa in a Snow Globe in real life would actually be kind of awesome!!!

Question and Answer with the Author

QUESTION: Congratulations on Santa in a Snow Globe! Tell us about the book.

A.H. Edelman: Santa in a Snow Globe is the origin story of how and why St. Nick will be found sitting ‘in a place that is clear and quite round’ when families come to share their wish lists with him this holiday season. The book offers parents, caregivers, and children a starting point to talk about life’s new realities explained straightforwardly by Santa, complete with some timeless advice, beautiful and inclusive illustrations, and a big dose of Christmas cheer.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

Edelman: I got the idea for the story after reading an article in the business section of The New York Times Sunday edition when the president of the International Brotherhood of the Real Bearded Santas mentioned how they would explain to kids this year that Santa would need to sit behind some type of barrier. Evidently Santa is in a high-risk group: many have diabetes, are overweight, and elderly. I thought about how, in 2020, kids already couldn’t celebrate Easter, they sat out most of the summer and Halloween. They’re really going to want to see Santa for Christmas—or at least be assured he’s still coming.

Q: You are a parent to two girls. Why do you think it’s important for parents to talk openly with their kids about the news and world events?

Edelman: As a parent, I can understand people asking whether this is the type of news we want to share with our children. And my answer is, ‘Yes, we have to.’ Kids are perceptive, and with pretty much everyone wearing masks these days, it’s hard not to know something is up. They stayed close to home most of the summer; some are still not physically back in school. Some have had relatives or friends die from COVID-19. Many have seen, or suffered from, smoke from numerous wildfires. It’s a tough world out there, but this wouldn’t be the first generation of kids to learn the hard lessons of needing to keep a stiff upper lip, thinking of others before themselves, being kind, and giving to those who have less.

Q: What do you want parents and kids to take with them after they read Santa in a Snow Globe?

Edelman: Many kids are already aware they are not living in a world solely consisting of sunshine and lollipops. But they also know—innately—that love is stronger than hate. Perhaps that is a lesson they can share with their parents. As the author of this book, I want to try to change the conversation that we as parents are having with our kids. I’ve learned that kids are resilient, which gives me hope. Our grandparents, or great-grandparents, lived through the depression. Some of my family survived the Holocaust. Our parents were taught to duck and cover in the 1950s—remember bomb shelters? And Bambi’s mom died. In fact, most of Hans Christian Andersen’s and Grimms’ fairy tales are pretty, well, grim. And really, it’s the older kids who are today leading the fight for gun control and climate change awareness—Greta Thunberg was 15 when she started to protest.

Q: You wrote this book with a lot of honesty. Why so?

Edelman: The book offers a starting point to talk and learn about life’s new realities. Some of the messages in the book may seem dark, but these are the times we’re living in. Kids are resilient and they deserve to learn about what’s going on, albeit by Santa. This generation of kids is not the first to have to deal with hardships and reality. Christmas is all about peace on earth and goodwill towards men and women. That’s a good message to send. All hope is not lost if we’re kind to each other and help those who need it most—and believe in science!

Q: You’re Jewish. Why did you write a Christmas book? Do you believe in Santa and the magic of Christmas?

Edelman: I’m an optimist. I’m also an adult Jewish woman who still believes in Santa Claus and happy endings. So, of course, Santa will show up on Christmas Eve, but before he does, he has a few words to say about what he sees happening in the world, how we—both parents and kids— can help change it and what matters most.

Santa in a Snow Globe is available now in hardcover, paperback and ebook at SantainaSnowGlobe.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever books are sold.

Fun with Back to School

*Sponsored Post*

I know it’s a different back to school than we’re all used to. So, this year I’ve been focusing on how I can make it fun for the kids and inspire their interests! I’ve got a few essentials on my list, but mostly, it’s important for them to engage and find something that they’re excited about or interested in doing every day.

First up, let’s talk about these cute masks from SwaddleDesigns. Typically, SwaddleDesigns makes swaddlers, blankets, and bedding for babies. These things are super cute and look so soft, but my littlest isn’t a baby any more. I was super excited to try out their masks! They sent 3 masks. 1 Adult and 2 Child masks.

The matching rose masks are both cotton masks. They are 100% cotton, 180 thread count, 3 layer cloth masks. There’s a pocket for a filter, the ear elastic is nice and soft, and even though this mask is 3 layers it’s still quite lightweight. My favorite part is the chin gusset. It’s a little tab shaped to go around your chin, this keeps the mask from riding up into my eyes and it keeps the bottom part of the mask from being super tight under my chin (like the straight rectangle masks seem to do). This is pretty much the only cotton mask that I’m comfortable in.

The child cotton mask is designed for kids 2 to preteen. It fits my 12 yr old daughter really well. So, if you’re concerned about sizing, it does actually fit a preteen. Depending on the actual cut, sometimes she needs the adult size and sometimes she needs the kid sizes, with these swaddle design masks, the kid size is perfect.

The polkadot mask is a 2 layer cotton mask of premium flannel. Because flannel is a little thicker the 2 layers work great. There’s no pocket in this one. The ear elastic is the same as the cotton masks so super soft and comfortable. Flannel is just a little bit warmer than the 180 count cotton so it’s super cute and fits great, and I can see her using it a lot more in about a month when the weather gets a little cooler. Right now, it’s just really hot on her face. They do have some super cute designs available in the flannel.

Between the 2, the 3 layer cotton is my favorite, but they’re both soft and comfortable, and cute.

Since I started with practical items, I’ll save the fun stuff for later. With all this everyone at home I’ve been teaching the girls how to do their laundry. And some new detergent doesn’t hurt! I do prefer the Biz Stain & Odor Eliminator Liquid to the powder. Mainly because with a HE washing machine, the liquid is just easier to use. My kids are a bit sensitive to detergents but they don’t have any trouble with Biz. Plus, with it’s odor eliminator it really helps reduce that odd smell that front load washers can tend to get.

I’m loving the OxiClean on the Go sticks. I keep one in my purse and they’re super handy with the reduced access to restrooms and such these days. Instead of having to wash something out of the kids clothes, I can just use my stain stick to go and take care of it.

And, I don’t know about you, but I very much dislike going to the drycleaner. So, unless it’s stained and I really have to have a professional, these Dryel at Home Dry Cleaner are awesome! It makes keeping up with my dry clean only clothing so much easier!

My last practical item here. This InnoGear Diffuser. With 4 timer settings and a color changing LED, my girls have been using it as a nightlight/room refresher at night. They also sent a set of 6 OnePure essential oils to go with the diffuser. I appreciate that these oils aren’t’ super strong. The girls are enjoying their nightlight and picking their evening scent.

I will say, Peppermint is my favorite scent for their room. It just smells so refreshing and almost clean. And my girls need all the help they can get with a clean room!

This diffuser is super easy to use, shuts off automatically if the water runs out, and with 3 diffusing settings you can pretty easily control how strong or mild your scent is just by turning it up or down. Plus, I’ve always loved the color changing night lights! I find the right scents super soothing, and this collection of scents is awesome!

My kids were so excited about this “A Family Guide to Terrariums for Kids“. I have the brownest thumb ever but my daughter wants to grow everything and I don’t know where to begin. This book has easy to follow instructions and suggestions for where to find the items to build your selected terrarium.

There are lots of awesome looking terrarium ideas to pick from, and lots of helpful hints including things like how to pick the right container, the best plants, and how to care for your terrarium. There’s a section on the different types of growing mixes and care instructions for individual plants.

This is a terrific project for homeschooling or just encouraging your kids to explore some different plants.

We’ve been using this “Kitchen Explorers” cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen for the baking segment of our homeschool this year. With all this extra time at home, and my kids already love cooking, we’ve been branching out and trying new recipes. The recipes in this book are tasty and easy enough for the kids to make.

I love how we can get some science, math, and tasty treats all at the same time! If you get this book, you definitely need to make the cake in a cup. It’s amazing!

My kids were super excited when their CrunchCup arrived! With no group snacks at events this year, we’re getting plenty of use out of these cups! You put the milk in the outside, the cereal in the inside, and then when you tip the cup they both come out at the same time, so you can have your cereal and milk (or snack and beverage) at the same time without needing a spoon!

The first thing I was worried about was leaking, but there’s a little seal between the color and the clear plastics that seals well. So far, we haven’t had any leaking. It did take everyone a few tries to get the hang of how far to tip the cup. None of us had any experience trying to drink a beverage and a snack at the same time so it does take a little practice to get milk and cereal without getting too much at once. Once they got the hang of it though, they now want cereal on the go all the time!

With the different color lids we always know who’s cup is who’s. Check out their youtub video for a demonstration!

And last but not least. Hasty Baker card game. We love baking so much, we’re even playing a card game about it! Actually, this game is pretty simple to play and it has some bonus/powerup cards that keep the game interesting and different every time we play. I can see why it won the 2020 Tillywig Best Family Fun Award. It’s simple enough for my 7yr old to play and fun enough that I even enjoy playing with the kids. A fun game that the entire family can enjoy.

Makeup/Accessories Subscription Box Review

Mint Mongoose

I was sent this cute jewelry subscription box to review. And I was definitely pleased with how fun the jewelry is. For a $16 monthly subscription, you receive 3 matching pieces of jewelry. I love how the jewelry could be worn alone or together. The sealed envelope and little candy were such a nice touch!

Each jewelry set comes with a postcard that tells a story behind the inspiration to create these pieces. You choose if you want silver, gold, or rose gold. And you can opt out of earrings if you don’t want them.

Want a little more? You can get their Mint Mongoose Black subscription for $23 a month. It comes with 4 pieces of jewelry and 2 accessories each month.

So much fun!

My Little Mascara Club

A subscription for mascara? I was skeptical at first, but, being as I was offered a free box to review, I thought I would give it a try. They sent me their starter set. Which is currently $21 (discounted from $31).

The mascara works well for me – I’m a little picky about my mascara, and this one worked great. What I really love though, is the micellar water and the erase pads. These made getting my mascara off actually possible. Erasing one of my pet peeves about wearing mascara!

You can choose 30, 45, 60, or 90 days frequency, depending on how much you use or like to replace your mascara. After your first order, you’ll receive mascara only for $21 at your subscription frequency. Super convenient!

Ipsy

Ipsy is a monthly makeup and beauty supply subscription box. They have 3 sizes, Glam Bag, Glam Bag Plus, and Glam Bag Ultimate. Bags are $12, $25, and $50 a month, respectively. One interesting thing about this subscription is that in order to subscribe to the larger bags, you have to also subscribe to the bags below it.

Glam Bag contains 5 deluxe size samples. Glam Bag Plus contains 5 full size products. Glam Bag ultimate contains 8 full size products and 4 deluxe size samples.

You do get the option to customize your bag each month. I get both the Glam Bag and the Glam Bag Plus and it’s plenty of cosmetics for the month. If I don’t like something, my girls are usually happy to take it. And if I’m feeling like I have too much, I just pause my subscription for a month or two.

This subscription is just a fun way to treat myself every month. Check it out here!

Fab Fit Fun

I love this box! This is a quarterly subscription box. And at $55 a box is an amazing deal! Full price, my fall box would have cost me almost $500. This box has beauty supplies, but it also has home items and clothing.

I got this awesome blue and white poncho in my summer box and have absolutely loved it! That thing itself was probably worth $55 to me! My fall box is on it’s way and I just can’t wait! It has a super cute throw, kitchen canisters, a curling iron, adorable hair clips, and a few other items.

You do get to customize and because I’m getting so many beauty items in my ipsy box, I tend to pick accessories instead of beauty products when I customize.

Get $10 off your first box with my link.

Favorite Snacks Subscription Boxes

Last set of food related subscription boxes. If you haven’t noticed already, I love food! These 3 are some of my newest subscriptions. The thing about not going to a physical store is, I buy a lot less snacks. It’s great, but, there are times I just want a snack. For some reason I struggle to find and add these when I’m ordering groceries, so…I decided to try out something a little different. These snack boxes are so much fun!

Munch Pak

This was the first snack box I tried, and it’s lots of fun! They have an assortment of snacks from all around the world, and an option to add on a soda – which is so much fun!

This is a monthly subscription, with 3 size options. 5, 10, and 20. I chose the 10 and that’s perfect for me. With the soda add on, it’s $30 a month for 10 snacks and a drink. So far, each box has had a variety of snacks, basically 2 each from 5 different countries. I enjoy trying new things and this box has been so much fun!

Get $5 off your first order with my link.

Universal Yums

This one is super fun! And I love how different it is from the other snack box. Universal Yums themes their boxes by country each month. This past month was Egypt and it was amazing! I had no idea that Egypt made so many tasty snacks.

They have 3 sizes 6, 12, and 20. I get the 12 and it’s just right. At $25 a month, I get a lot of fun snacks to enjoy. What’s really fun is it includes a little booklet of information about the country and about each snack. I always have so much fun reading about each snack before I eat it.

They also include this fun score card so I can jot down what I thought of a particular snack. And then, what’s super duper fun, if you really like something, you can purchase more from their “Yum Shop”. Pretty cool!

Want $5 off your first order, just click through my link here.

 

Favorite Beverage Subscription Boxes

The beginning of this year, I had a couple of subscription boxes that I used. I really didn’t see the need for more. Then, with ordering everything from home, I find the convenience and predictability of subscription boxes for food items to be very handy. As I was preparing this list, I realized that I’ve added a LOT of subscription boxes this year. So, rather than list them all in one long list, I’m going to do a couple of posts and list out my favorite by category.

1. Sipsby

This was my very first subscription box. I used to go into Teavana whenever I visited the mall and try out a new tea every time I was there. So, when they closed I started looking around for an inexpensive way to try some new teas. I came across Sipsby and I’ve been super pleased.

It’s $15 for a monthly box of tea. They send 4 flavors every month. When you sign up, you fill out a flavor profile so you don’t get things that you don’t like. I kept my profile pretty broad so I can share with everyone in the family. The kids love herbal teas, especially if the have chamomile in them. We’ve discovered some new bedtime favorites this way. My husband loves chai. After Teavana closed – taking our favorite chai with them – I was struggling to figure out how to find a chai that we like without spending a fortune. We’ve found several through Sipsby. And I of course, love a good black or oolang, and this subscription has sent me some really tasty varieties of these.

After you try your teas, make sure you review them online. I make sure to tell them what I think so my teas get better every month. Every now and then they send one that’s truly awful (like cinnamon & licorice) but I’m usually very happy with all 4 of my teas. Best of all, if you really like something – remember, I’ve found some favorites this way – they have info on their website telling you where you can buy it and a coupon code to get a discount when you purchase. For a family who loves tea like mine, this box is awesome!

Want to check it out for yourself? Use my link to get $5 off your first box.

2. Atlas Coffee Club

Coffee is another love of mine. I started drinking it in college and then when kids came along, coffee is just a necessity. Seriously, when people were going crazy over TP in May, I checked my coffee stash, because if there was a run on coffee, I was in trouble!

Thankfully, I had already signed up for Atlas Coffee Club, so I wasn’t too worried. I actually tried out several coffee subscriptions and this is the only one I liked – so take it from me, this one is the best. You can choose ground or whole, between 1 and 6 bags of coffee per shipment, and a shipment frequency between 1 and 10 weeks. I set mine at 2 bags every 4 weeks and that seems about right for me. I’ve been known to pause, slow down, or speed up my subscription depending on the time of year and how much coffee I’m drinking or not drinking.

You fill out a flavor profile and they use that as a guideline when selecting coffees to send you. I’ve enjoyed the full flavors of all the coffees they’ve sent me so far, so I feel like they got my profile right. You can also review your coffees each month to help them send you more of what you like.

The price per bag goes down a bit depending on how many you’re getting per shipment. 2 bags is $28 + s/h but 3 bags is only $39 + s/h.

Use my link for $10 off your first box.

Truffle Shuffle Review

Truffle Shuffle sent me a box of supplies for their ice cream sandwich class, AND I got to attend their ice cream sandwich making online class, in exchange for a review.

With trying to reduce trips to the store these days, I’ve been getting lots of deliveries. So, I’m not stranger to receiving a box of food in the mail. A couple days before my scheduled class I received a box stuffed full of ingredients and yummy Truffle Shuffle items – I desperately wanted to eat some of these items before my class, but I managed to wait.

Everything arrived in an insulated box with ice packets. These packets still had some ice left in them so Truffle Shuffle definitely did a great job packing! Especially when you consider that the heat indexes were up into the 100’s the week my box arrived.

Everything arrived well packaged, well labeled, and pre-measured. Well, except for the truffle salt and truffle honey, they sent extra! I should add here, that truffle salt is amazing!!!

I put the perishables in the fridge and the non perishables in a neat stack on the table and waited for the class I had signed up for. And warned the kids that they were not allowed to eat the sprinkles!

Class is conducted via zoom and generally the screen looks like this. Sometimes they fullscreen on the chefs if they’re showing you something. If your camera is on, they’ll cycle through participants and you get to see what everyone else is doing. Don’t want to be seen? Leave your camera off. They did a terrific job of walking through the steps with you. At times, they would ask everyone to signal thumbs up that they had completed the step and were ready to move on. So, just like a real in person cooking class, they made sure everyone was keeping up and ready to go.

Several times people typed in questions and they were very quick to answer those. I feel like this class was amazingly interactive and fun!

I learned some fun cooking tips that I hadn’t known previously – like why we were browning butter for the cookies. And they did a terrific job of time management! For example, I know you’re all wondering what the lemons are for. They’re for 2 things. We made lemon ice cream with the lemon zest, and we made lemonade with the lemon juice.

We did the ice cream first. I had never made ice cream without an ice cream maker, so I was kinda skeptical, but it worked perfectly!

After mixing, and a lot of shaking! we put the ice cream in the freezer to sit while we did everything else. After mixing the cookies, while they were baking and cooling, we made lemonade.

When the lemonade was finished, the ice cream was ready, and the cookies were cooled, so we assembled our ice cream sandwiches. The class was scheduled for 1.5 hours and they were right on that time. Which is pretty incredible when you consider that they’re virtually walking a dozen households through making ice cream, cookies, lemonade, and assembling ice cream sandwiches.

I’m pretty proud of how my ice cream sandwich turned out! Several of the participants (actually about half of them) had their kids doing the class and the parent was just supervising. The kids kept up without a problem and they made the class so much more fun! Next time I sign up for a class, I’m going to have my kids make me dinner.

I highly recommend this class. I learned some new cooking techniques. Got to cook with truffle salt and truffle honey, a new thing for me. And, everyone enjoyed assembling and eating their own ice cream sandwiches!

Want to join a class of your own? Use my link for 10% off!

 

Books to Entertain the Kids

I received 3 amazing kid’s books to review. I’ll be honest, they’re all great! I just can’t pick a favorite … actually, I kinda can, there’s one I really just want to steal for myself.


1. Dino DanaDino Field Guide by J.J. Johnson, Colleen Russo Johnson, PhD, & Christin Simms

Fun facts about dinosaurs for kids. Did you know that the brachiosaurus was the tallest dinosaur that we know of today? That the kosmoceratops had fifteen horns and hooks on its head? That the spinosaurus is the only known dinosaur to spend most of its time swimming? Discover this and much more in Dino DanaDino Field Guide.

Dino Dana‘s field guide for your child. Fans of the Amazon Prime TV show Dino Dana will be so excited to have a Dino Field Guide of their own, put together by the incredible show’s creator and executive producer, J. J. Johnson. Full of colorful illustrations and fascinating science facts, this dinosaur book is sure to amaze any young dino enthusiast. View this book on the Dino Dana Store for more information and interactive content!

Review. My son loves this book! He claimed it the minute I opened the box and hasn’t let anyone else near it. It has so many different dinosaurs and lots and lots of pictures! It even has these cute little stuffed animal graphics that he’s convinced me to use as a guide to make him some dinosaur stuffed animals – I’ll post a tutorial if they actually turn out! This book is colorful, fun, and so re-readable. It’ll be a favorite for a while!

2. Coyote Peterson’s Brave Adventures: Wild Animals in a Wild World by Coyote Peterson

Animal Stories for Kids: Coyote Peterson’s Brave Adventures: Wild Animals in a Wild World chronicles some of the wildest encounters Coyote Peterson has had over the course of his travels. The stories begin with his first snapping turtle catch as a kid and lead down a trail of incredible moments he and his camera crew have had while filming their Brave Wilderness shows. From a giant alligator that nearly caught Coyote in its bone crushing jaws, to an 800 pound Grizzly Bear that helped him teach the audience what to do and NOT do if you ever encounter one of these enormous predators in the wild, every tale is laced with fast paced action and daring adventure. With the presence of danger often looming for Coyote, each story reminds the reader that animals rule the wild places of this planet, and if we respect them from a safe distance, even the most frightening creatures are more likely to be afraid of us than we should ever be of them. View this book on Amazon!

Review. I kinda want to claim this book for myself. The stories are interesting and exciting and teach about all sorts of different animals. This is above my 6yr old son’s reading level so I’ve been reading it to him and I’m not sure who’s enjoying it more. Me or him! This book is perfect for those slow days at home when we’ve got nothing to do.

3. I Do Not Like Living with Brothers: The Ups and Downs of Growing Up with Siblings by Daniel Baxter

Learn about the importance of family. I Do Not Like Living With Brothers aims to teach young siblings to see the value and goodness in each other. We never like everything about our brothers or sisters, but if we focus on the positive and recognize that our family cares about us, then we can live in community with greater joy.

Turn sibling rivalry into love and kindness. Exploring the family dynamic of a sister living with two brothers, in this children’s book, our young narrator discovers that while her brothers are dirty, smelly, and sometimes selfish, they are also kind, funny, and helpful. Author and father Daniel Baxter, cohost of the popular YouTube channel How It Should Have Ended, shows kids that perhaps living with your siblings is not all bad. View this book on Amazon!

Review. My 11yr old daughter snapped this one up right away. Which I’m assuming is the whole goal of the title. She read the book through very quickly and found it somewhat amusing. I realize that it’s geared towards slightly younger kids, but she’s not always happy to have brothers, and I’m glad she liked the book. Because with little brothers it’s important for everyone to show kindness even when the boys are doing super annoying little brother stuff. And it’s so nice to be able to encourage that kindness in a fun way.

 

Nursing Bra Review

Today I’m hosting a guest review from a mom friend who just had a new little baby! Check out her blog Here!  She got to try out a Nursing and Pumping Bra from Simple Wishes. My little guy is almost 3 so I’m done with these but I was happy to get to share!

I was excited to get to try a different nursing bra; my experience with them so far is that the comfortable, easy-open ones aren’t very supportive, and the supportive ones are hard to use discretely. I subscribe to the “out from under” versus “out from over” method for nursing in public, and I don’t use a nursing cover usually; some bras are easier than others for privacy!

This bra has a good balance of structure and flexibility. I really like how adjustable the closure is in the back. It has 6 sets of loops instead of just 2 or 3, so it’s more adaptable. A snug fit around the body is essential for support, so this really helps!
The fabric is not as thin as my cheap bras from Walmart. It feels a lot more sturdy, though still stretchy. It is structured like a sports bra rather than an underwire, and it has removable foam/fabric pieces to make the front thicker so that bunched-up or wrinkled nursing pads won’t show through, even if you’re wearing a thin or stretchy blouse. I got a size medium, and I found that the bra was comfortable and supportive even through a long day of chasing after my active older kids. It kept its elasticity and didn’t stretch out even after several days of consecutive wear.
What makes this bra really stand out, though, is that it doubles as a hands-free pumping bra! It’s always a bit of a pain at work to have to add a pumping bra on top of a regular bra, and this bra eliminates that. I haven’t gone back to work yet, but I will be glad to have this when I do!
The issue with a 2-in-1 deal, though, is that there’s more to pull down to nurse. I’m not very heavily endowed in the bust, so there was a little learning curve to getting everything in the best position to nurse. Having the two sets of “flaps” on the front also means two different sets of front closures. I found the ones at the top (to let down for nursing, the pumping ones are a little lower) were a little difficult to use. It took me a few tries each to get them undone, but by the end of the day I wasn’t having trouble anymore.
Overall, I’d give this product a 4.5/5, taking off half a star for the difficulty that the extra thickness made when nursing instead of pumping…. Really, though, I can’t think of a way to solve that problem and still maintain the 2-in-1 function! I’d recommend this bra to any of my friends who need a nursing bra, whether they need to pump or not!

ZOKU Stainless Steel Bottle – Review and Giveaway

Thanks to ZOKU for 3 amazing products! Check out my reviews of their Stackable Containers and Pocket Straw if you haven’t read them already.

This month, I get to give away a Zoku Reusable Stainless Steel Bottle. This bottle arrived at my house and my 6yr old son tried to swipe it before I even got any pictures!

He’s basically claimed it as his own and takes it everywhere with him. School, park, back yard, bed, etc. It’s quite sturdy and has held up really well to the drops and bumps of being carted everywhere by a little boy.

Check it out on Amazon!

A couple of our favorite features:

  1. Stainless steel – it’s basically impossible to damage!
  2. Insulated – ice water stays cold for a really long time. This is really important to my son, he’s all about ice in his water!
  3. Wide opening – it’s impossible to get ice cubes in a tiny opening. Really, Ice is SO important. It would also be great for adding cucumbers or lemon to your water. It’s large enough to get these things in AND out. Though, I wouldn’t know, because he won’t even share with me…
  4. Blue Lid – I tried to convince him to use a carabiner to clip the water bottle to his backpack, but he prefers to stick it in a pocket. Either way, the blue strap makes it easy to identify the bottle as his, and it makes it easier to grab out of his backpack pocket.
  5. Secure Lid – The lid screws on tight but not too tight. It’s easy to get off when you want it off but it isn’t going to come off on its own. So a 6yr old can safely toss it in his backpack with everything else and I don’t have to worry about water leaking everywhere!

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This giveaway runs until March 29th. Winner will be notified by the sponsor.

Win Zoku’s Reusable Stainless Steel Bottle #6

Katari Beauty – Review

Katari Beauty sent me 2 beauty products to review. Hoba Oil and Rosewater.

I’m kind of a skincare enthusiast. I love trying new products and rarely stick with the same brand for long. And these days, I’m super excited about all the great new products that are out there. I just need to try them all!

Katari Beauty – Mediterranean is a simple-ingredient skincare routine. There are 2 products. Hoba Oil and Rosewater. For moisturizing and toning.

  1. I wash my face with water. This is my preferred cleansing routine as many facial cleansers tend to dry out my skin.
  2. The Hoba Oil is 100% pure JOJOBA OIL – it’s a natural primer, moisturizer, hair, beard & scalp conditioner. And perfect for sensitive skin. While I don’t necessarily have sensitive skin, I prefer to use products that are gentle on my skin because harsh products do tend to irritate. I just put some on my fingers and rub it in on my face. Since this is an oil, it tends to drip a little so I always have a tad left on my hands that I just rub in – because my hands need moisturizing too.
  3. The Rosweater spray (Roseau) comes in a spray bottle. After rubbing in the Hoba oil, I just add 2 sprays of this to my face. It is 100% pure Rose Water (vapor-distilled rose petal hydrosol), perfect for all skin types. As an added plus, I absolutely LOVE the smell of Rose Water, making this the perfect finish to my facial care routine. Not only is is good for my skin, it smells amazing!

I am loving how simple this routine is and how simple the ingredients are. They’re high quality facial products without a bunch of added ingredients. And after almost 2 weeks of using them, my facial skin is holding up well to the cold winter that we’re having.

Want to check these out for yourself? Head to their website: Katari Beauty and use code 50offcleanbeauty for 50% off your purchase!