Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Gymboree Review & "Off To School We Go" Grand Prize Sponsor

Thank you Gymboree for the $100 gift card to help with this review

Gymboree has been dressing children since 1986. The brand's fashionable clothing and accessories are designed and crafted to withstand rugged play while letting kids be kids in outfits they love to wear. Gymboree currently operates more than 600 stores in the U.S. and Canada, as well as an online store.

A new school year means a new wardrobe for the kiddos! Since Madison will be entering Kindergarten this year, this means she'll be in school all day long. While this a big change for us all, I knew this meant expanding her outfits a little more than I've done in the past with Pre-K since she only went 2 1/2hrs a day. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Talkin' Tattoos Tuesday: week 24

Welcome to week 24 of Talkin' Tattoos Tuesday! I did an intro post where I explained my goal in posting these every week and how you can submit your photo to be featured. Check out the post if you need to refresh your memory. Since I've went through all my tattoos, now I'll be sharing photos I've found online, and the occasional viewer submission when they come in. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Frecklebox Review & "Off To School We Go" Grand Prize Sponsor

Thank you Frecklebox for the folders & notebooks to help with this review
Frecklebox is on a mission to educate and entertain. So we conceived this here web-based business to offer truly unique, personalized gifts for kids at affordable prices. The site makes it quick and easy to customize each item so it prominently features the name of the child who will receive the gift.

Madison starts Kindergarten this year! Unfortunately we won't know most of her school list until a couple days before she starts, but luckily they have a general list on their website of some basic things needed for the school year. Among the list was a spiral bound note book and three folders, so I knew this was the perfect opportunity to work with Frecklebox! 

When shopping on the Frecklebox website, you'll find that they have a very large selection to choose from. There's almost 100 boy and girl folders to choose from with just about any design you can think of. Each folder has a width of 9" (18" when open) and then they're 12" in height. Each folder is easily personalized with the name of your child, and there's even a "preview" feature (like I did in the images above) so you can see just how the name would look and where it would go on the item.

The butterfly image above is Madison's spiral bound notebook. 

Each notebook contains 50 pages of quality lined paper and the covers are printed on a gloss cover and protected with a 5mil lamination. They've even rounded the outer corners to try to make them a little safer for young kids to handle! Each notebook is also 11" tall 8.5" wide. 

I also opted to get McKenzie one folder and notebook out of fairness and the fact that she will be entering Pre-K this year. While she won't need these items for school, I thought it would still be fun for her since she too is starting a new chapter in her life and the beginning of some independence. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Get Fit Friday Week 5

When you feel like you HAVE to have something sweet, don't deprive yourself from your craving. You can have a slice of pie, but get a small piece. Just enough to fill that craving OR you can go with a healthier option. Yoplait yogurt Popsicles and Greek yogurt have saved me from diving into a bucket of ice cream plenty of times.

If you like energy drinks, a better option for you If you're an energy drink type of person, your better option would be the Monster teas. They are only 20 calories per can and they are delicious.

OR you could even make your own energy drink. I've found several DIY recipes online. I 've yet to try any, but I might soon!

It’s okay to splurge now and then, but remember a moderation splurge is way different than a binge splurge. You want to control the potions you eat. Eat one serving, not six.

If you're a snacker like I am, it's good to prepare little bags of 100 calorie snacks. No, I'm not talking about those rip-off ones you buy in the store where there's 2 pieces of chocolate. (Been there, done that. It's not healthy nor does it satisfy that snack attack you have.) Spend 15 minutes making your own 100 calorie snacks! Fill them up with fruit, veggies or even popcorn! Over at Hungry Girl she gives some good ideas for DIY calorie packs.

It's also a really good idea to keep a couple of your homemade 100 calorie packs in your purse for when you're out and about. If you get really hungry while out of the house, you're more than likely going to stop for some really unhealthy options at a fast food drive through. Keep little packs with you for just in case your tummy starts to grumble.

Another great tip is giving yourself a time limit with food. Try not to eat past a certain time at night. For me, I stop eating at 7:00pm. There's just something about nighttime that makes me want to nonstop eat junk food. Stopping eating at a certain time also helps you to be hungry in the morning, and breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. Skipping breakfast can cause migraines and your metabolism to slow. Your body needs that morning fuel to boost metabolism and get your blood flowing.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Michelle's Pregnancy Journal: Week 20

Doctor Appointments:
July 25 (20 weeks & Gender Scan)
August 21 (24 weeks)
September 18 (28 weeks)

Baby Names:
Mya Sue or Caden Gregory 

Food cravings: 
Beef Jerky!

We found out the gender today and got to see our precious little bundle. After our Gender Party on August 3, I'll reveal the baby's gender as well as the party I'm planning and how it all went! Also since my 18th week, I can feel the baby move! This baby is a big fan of my lower left side. It's so fun to feel and this baby loves jumping around when its quiet and I'm relaxed.

Weight gain:
10 week weight: 225lb
13 week weight: 228lb
16 week weight: 230lb
20 week weight: 232lb

Gender prediction tests: 
Child's hairline-[Girl]
Intelligender (at 10w1d)-[Secret!]
Chinese Calendar From BabyCenter-[Boy]
High heartbeat (at 10w1d)-[Girl] 
Heart Beat is now in mid 140s compared to 170s at 10w

I sleep pretty good. Waking up to go to the bathroom isn't fun but I'm not in pain like I was for a while so that's a plus

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Little Baby Bumblebee: Pregnancy Stickers Review

Thank you Little Baby Bumblebee for the pregnancy stickers to help with this review

Dee is a wife and mother to one little boy. She first got interested in graphics while was pregnant with her son. She created "blinkies" for many websites and dabbled in forum signature graphics, but started this particular journey in 2010 after being diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. 

One of the first things I did when I found out we were expecting baby #4 was look around on the Little Baby Bumblee website. I've worked with Dee before on monthly onsie stickers for Macyn and knew I wanted to use her pregnancy stickers with this baby! 

I did not see the stickers above on the site originally so I emailed and asked if she could make them. I saw the zebra ones in a set among other stickers and thought it would be cute having all zebra ones with alternating pink and blue. She happily said yes and also offered them up for review! I'm happy to see that she made them a permanent option on her site since animal print is so popular right now!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

talkin' tattoos tuesday: week 23

Welcome to week 23 of Talkin' Tattoos Tuesday! I did an intro post where I explained my goal in posting these every week and how you can submit your photo to be featured. Check out the post if you need to refresh your memory. Since I've went through all my tattoos, now I'll be sharing photos I've found online, and the occasional viewer submission when they come in. 

Thought I'd change it up this week and talk about placement and how you can take a test run to see if you'll like it!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cuisinart Baby Food Maker & Bottle Warmer Review

Thank you Cuisinart for the Baby Food Maker & Bottle Warmer to help with this review
Julia Child let people in on the Cuisinart secret and so did James Beard. They were among the first culinary experts to hail the food processor as a revolutionary kitchen appliance when it was introduced to America in 1973 by the late Cuisinart founder, Carl Sontheimer. They saw the food processor as a quick and easy way to make fine food and healthy dishes.

Under management from Conair Corporation since 1989, the legacy is alive and well. Today, Cuisinart is a universally recognized name.

A fast and easy way for parents to turn the foods they choose into healthy meals for baby, the unit steams and purees in the same bowl. A 4-cup work bowl means lots of leftovers, which can go right into the refrigerator or freezer. A built-in bottle warmer heats baby's bottle to just the right temperature. Includes Cuisinart Baby recipes.

Being a mom of two little ones, I've done many things differently with baby #2 than I've done with baby #1. One of those things that I've switched up on is wanting to make my own baby food vs buying baby food from the store. There's so many things in the store bought baby food that I wasn't necessarily pleased with. This time around, I was excited about making baby food on my own and knowing exactly what I put into it is exactly what my baby will be eating.

My first thoughts on the Cuisinart Baby food maker and Bottle Warmer is that it was bigger than I expected it to be. With that being said, It is able to hold a full FOUR cups of food in the work bowl so you're able to make a lot of food at once and store for later. Also, with this being a two in one set, the size is understandable.

The bottle warmer part was very simple to use and heated our bottle to the perfect temp. The instructions were very helpful in explaining how much water was needed per the ounces of formula or breast-milk in the bottle. I was concerned it would make my bottle too hot but it did not.

Printcopia Canvas Print Review

Thank you Printcopia for the canvas to help with this review
If you're looking for a way to transform your photos into stunning pieces of art to display, Printcopia is the one-stop resource for you. At Printcopia, you can turn your photos into eye-catching wall art with a variety of printing materials and options to choose from including gallery-quality canvas, sleek acrylic, and glorious panoramic printing.

Printcopia provided me with this BEAUTIFUL canvas picture of our newest edition, Brantley. When ordering, the hardest part was choosing which picture I wanted. Printcopia's step by step ordering system on their website made it super easy to order exactly what I wanted.

Since my favorite picture of Brantley was taken with my phone, I was really worried about the quality of the picture on the canvas. Thankfully, while you're ordering from the website, Printcopia provides you with an "image quality" bar that allows you to see if your image is okay to use for the size canvas you want. They offer basic photo prints with a variety of finish and sizing options. There were so many sizes to choose from, and I ended up choosing the 16 by 20 print. They even have a built-in feature that allows you upload images from Facebook and Instagram. How convenient! Also, they provide you with 3 different options for the border. I chose a black "color border" instead of the image wrap and mirror image. Printcopia will even retouch your image for you if you choose to do so while ordering.

 Printcopia sent me an e-mail to tell me when my canvas was shipped out, and a couple of days later I received it. I first noticed how this canvas wasn't flimsy like many other canvases are. It's very durable and I feel like if it were to fall, it wouldn't crumble to pieces like others I've had in the past. I love how sleek it looks while hanging up along with my other pictures. The quality of the photo is amazing and I will be making purchases from this company in the future!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Get Fit Friday Week 4

 I'm going to start you where I started, if I told you everything I do now I'm sure you would be overwhelmed and run away. Hopefully you downloaded one of the calorie tracker apps and have been getting to know it for the past couple of weeks. If not, it's not too late.

It's just as simple as it sounds, record everything you eat. Everything. Including condiments. It makes you realize how fast those pesky condiments sneak up on you calorie wise. Make sure you do NOT eat less than 1200. I have mine set to 1300 just in case. Any number below 1200 puts your body into starvation mode and we don't want that!

Back to condiments, I would recommend to give up on those. They are full of sugar and fat. Instead, try lemon or lime juice on your salad. If you MUST have a salad dressing, go for a fat free or light dressing. Italian dressing is probably one of the better choices.

Another simple switch you could make is from white bread to wheat or multigrain. My personal favorite is Sara Lee's 45 calorie multigrain bread. It tastes way better and much healthier.

Thursday, July 18, 2013 Dinosaur Train Costume Review

Thank you Halloween Adventure for the costume to help with this review

Halloween adventures is an online costume store that sells a wide variety of costumes from infant to adult size at a great price that won't break your bank! They also carry a selection of wigs, hats, pet costumes, accessories and more!

While searching around on the Halloween Adventures website, I wasn't sure which child I'd get a costume for. I clicked on the toddler costumes section and after searching around found the Dinosaur Train costume you see above. McKenzie is 4yrs old now and her 3rd birthday party was Dinosaur Train themed. She loves the show and her party was a huge hit. She's said for months now that she wanted to be a dinosaur this Halloween and when I saw the Buddy costume, I knew it was meant to be!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

#summerfluffing giveaway hop! ends 7-31

We're Summer Fluffing and having a blast... with this Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network. If you're looking to win some great cloth diaper prizes, you’re at the right spot.  Each blogger in this Event has a Fluff Prize Package worth at least $25!

This giveaway on Mama's Baby Cupcakes is sponsored by GoGreen Pocket Diapers, Smarti Pants, and AMP Diapers. I have two pacakges in which GoGreen Diapers and Smarti Pants is open to US only and the AMP Diapers giveaway is US/CAN. 

Our US package is 2 diapers RV:$30
Our US/CAN package is a Paris Duo Diaper/Bamboo insert RV: $29

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

AMP Diapers: "Paris" Duo Diaper Review

Thank you AMP Diapers for the "Paris" diaper to help with this review

We offer a full range of environmentally friendly, re-usable cloth diapering systems and accessories. Cloth diapers are better for babies and for the environment and as an added bonus they are also very economical saving families hundreds and even thousands of dollars for each baby that uses cloth diapers. Our goal is to reduce the environmental impact of disposable diapers, help families to save thousands and to keep harmful chemicals away from babies. 

When I first saw the "Paris" Duo Diaper print above, I fell in love and immediately emailed AMP diapers about a review. 

This is a Duo diaper because you can use it as a pocket diaper or an All In 2 diaper. All In 2 diapers can be more convenient because its using the shell over and over until soiled or it gets wet and you want to start over with a new shell. Having the 2 in 1 option is also great for family because not all family members can be so on board with cloth diapering. We had a few go-to diapers our first time around with cloth diapers when my mother in law would babysit, but luckily now she'll use just about any diaper in our stash. 

GoGreen Pocket Diapers: Champ 3.0 Review

Thank you GoGreen Diapers for the diaper to help with this review

GoGreen Diapers was developed by Leah, a mother of three boys, who were all in diapers at the same time. Using the collective experience from her years of education in science and engineering, Leah addressed the functional problems common to most cloth diaper designs head-on, and developed the GoGreen Diapers Champ® cloth diaper with Dual Gussets™ Technology, exclusive Adapt-a-Snap™ diaper closure conversion system, and revolutionary ammonia-inhibiting laundry additive No-mmonia.

While the Champ 3.0 looks like their old 2.0 diapers, most of the updated work is inside!

GoGreen Diapers has added a second layer of PUL to help with durability as well as the life span of the diaper. The leg Gussets have also been improved and as you can see by the picture above, they're huge which is great to contain messes! They have also widened the back opening to help the insert come out easier in the wash and the bigger front opening means easier and quicker stuffing!
I chose to review with the Pop Rocks print you see above because its very gender neutral and doesn't look like any of our other diapers in our current stash. Since we don't know the gender of baby #4 yet, I figured this would be a good alternative for us in the off chance that we have a little boy.

Smarti Pants *Sponsor Spotlight* #summerfluffing

I received no compensation for this post besides Smarti Pants agreeing to a giveaway

Smartipants was the vision of a mommy of four who was constantly looking for an economical, yet easy to use cloth diapering system. Jessica was also the inventor of the first ever one size fits all pocket diaper called Wonderoos.

Smarti Pants is a One Size Pocket Diaper that is suggested for babies 7-35lbs. They were the first diaper to have the insert come out in the wash, and many have since followed. Since it comes out in the wash, that means no dirty hands with the need to have to pull each insert out before washing can happen. 

Smarti Pants sells One Size cloth diapers for $14.95 per diaper. You can purchase bundles of 3, 12, 24, & 36 for discounted prices with each set when you buy in bulk. 

They also sell newborn cloth diapers in three different colors for $17.95 per diaper and also come in a discounted three pack. You can also buy covers for $13.95, available in three colors. 

Smarti Pants also sells "Smart Pails" to hold your diapers inbetween washes along with elastic replacement kits and 10 packs of smart sleeve inserts. 

talkin' tattoos tuesday: week 22

Welcome to week 22 of Talkin' Tattoos Tuesday! I did an intro post where I explained my goal in posting these every week and how you can submit your photo to be featured. Check out the post if you need to refresh your memory. Since I've went through all my tattoos, now I'll be sharing photos I've found online, and the occasional viewer submission when they come in. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

"A Haunted Halloween" Giveaway Hop SIGN UPS

Hosted By:
Mommy's Favorite Things
Mama's Baby Cupcakes
"A Haunted Halloween"
This Blog Hop giveaway is going to be items that are meant for Halloween. Anything that has to do with Halloween. From decor and pumpkin carving kits to candy and costumes. Whatever you would use for the Halloween season. There are lots of options for finding a prize for this wonderful event. Your only mission is to find the perfect prize pack for your blog!
Because this is a blog hop, each blog will be responsible for securing their own prize on their own blog. Each prize must be a Minimum of $25. The Prize can be sponsored OR you can self sponsor. Each blog can have more than 1 winner, but each winner must win at least $25 in prizes. 
Joining this Blog Hop is FREE as long as you share the announcement in some way. It takes 2 seconds to do this!! Tweet, pin, or share on FB. 
When: 9/2-9/16 (plenty of time for winners to get their prize BEFORE the holiday)
Who: Anybody with a blog can sign up for this one!
Sign ups close 8/26
Add yourself to the Linky Below! You MUST share this announcement in order to participate in this hop.
You can also join the Facebook Group for our events here

NextStep Baby Monitors Brand Ambassador Giveaway 7/31

I received payment compensation for this post which is in my contract as an ambassador for NextStep Baby Monitors. 
Hey readers! You may have noticed that Mama's Baby Cupcakes is now a brand ambassador for NextStepBabyMonitors?

While this is a new venture for us and this blog, as parents we all know monitors are a must, so when this opportunity came up to share with you all and work with them, I couldn't pass it up

Since 2004 NextStep has been specializing in video baby monitors and is a family owned business.  

Ever needed help with a baby monitor or had a technical question? Have you ever tried getting an answer at the discount store or Amazon?  Usually instead of an expert answer, you’ll just hear crickets. 

What makes NextStepBabyMonitors so unique is their personal family focused support and expert assistance you get when you become a customer. Video monitors is all they do so they have the answers.

The smartphone baby monitoring movement is really taking off. NextStepBabyMonitors NextStepIP systems let you use iPhones, iPads and Androids to monitor from anywhere.  Best of all NextStep takes smartphone monitoring and makes it easy and enjoyable for the average parent.
NextStep’s family focused support also goes beyond in other ways, like being able to schedule a phone appointment after hours to fit your work schedule.  They know you have a busy life and want to help you enjoy the latest technology, hassle free.

Adam from NextStepBabyMonitors, is a Dad himself, and says he loves helping parents. Do your kids sometimes make a lot of noise when you’re on the phone? Not to worry, as Adam has heard it all. He's a patient helper over the phone, even through the noise of your little one who woke up too soon from nap time :)

You also may have noticed the NextStepBabyMonitors "Ask an Expert" widget hosted on my blog, on the bottom right of my sidebar. The "Ask an Expert" widget lets you ask any question about your baby monitor, or a baby monitor you're considering, even if it wasn't purchased at NextStep! 

If you have a baby monitor question simply visit the "Ask an Expert" widget and type it in followed by your email. NextStep will deliver a detailed and helpful answer directly to you. You can also click "See Recent Answers" to see if your question has already been answered. NextStepBabyMonitors is your go-to place for questions, concerns, or anything else.

NextStepBabyMonitors recently started their Brand Ambassador program and want to give my readers a warm hello with an amazing $200 value giveaway!

One lucky reader will win a NextStepIP System, a Night Vision Booster, and a Remote Temperature Monitor. Good luck!