Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Join Zarbee’s Naturals’ Seasonal Relief Project & Breathe Easy For a Cause

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Zarbee’s Naturals. I received a promotional item and a product sample as a thank you for participating.

Seasonal congestion affects my family several times per year, but springtime is the absolute worse. Interestingly enough, Buddy and I seem to have the same reactions to spring flowers, grass and whatever else is blooming because our symptoms act up at the same time! Hey, at least we're miserable together, right? 

Some days I even try to avoid going outside which triggers my congestion and other symptoms. But usually I tend to just suffer through these seasonal symptoms, trying a natural remedy here or there and avoiding opening the windows in our home at all costs. I've had mixed results when I've experimented with essential oils and herbal teas, but perhaps I gave up too soon.

Oftentimes my congestion is worse at night, making it difficult to sleep. This spring I've made small changes that have made at least a noticeable difference and improvement in my seasonal congestion at night though, including washing my bed sheets more often, and at the very least, washing my pillowcase every few days.
The Zarbee’s Naturals brand offers a complete line of family-safe health and wellness products free from drugs, alcohol, gluten and dyes. Their Seasonal Relief product is a 100% drug-free dietary supplement that contains Ze339, a pure extract from the leaves of the organically grown Butterbur plant.

Previously available only in Europe, this unique extract in Seasonal Relief combats congestion and is non-drowsy and fast-acting. It's also a physician developed and recommended product, and clinically supported for effectiveness of naturally providing congestion relief.

I like seeing that this product is drug-free and is considered a dietary supplement instead. It's also gluten-free and dairy-free. Along with the Butterbur leaf extract, there are just a few inactive ingredients to make the tablets. Since we're always trying to conceive, I will be waiting a couple weeks before I test out Seasonal Relief for myself, of course just out of extreme caution due to my health history. But, I'm really hoping and expecting to see some good results that will support and help my season congestion symptoms.

Zarbee’s Naturals’ Seasonal Relief is available over the counter at CVS and Target and is intended for children 12 years of age and over.

Zarbee's Naturals is currently raising awareness about their Seasonal Relief Project. Every time someone visits the Seasonal Relief Project website to share how Zarbee’s Naturals’ Seasonal Relief with Butterbur worked for them, Zarbee’s will donate to 1 of 4 causes promoting exposure to and protection of fresh air.

Thousands have participated in the Seasonal Relief Project and received customized seasonal congestion tips and a free sample of Zarbee’s Naturals’ Seasonal Relief. By just answering a few questions about my seasonal suffering, Zarbee's Naturals was able to come up with some great customized tips to help me get through the season, naturally.
  
My Customized Outdoor Irritant Avoidance Tips:
  • Work out at night or after a rain when seasonal irritants plummet.
  • Keep grass short to cut off irritant-producing weeds at the knees.
  • When you’re done frolicking outside, rinse off right away.
  • Seasonal irritants cling to synthetic fabrics. Wear breathable cotton instead.

In addition, Zarbee's Naturals also suggested several natural relief tips for me including use of a nasal irrigation system to flush out irritants, and showering before bed to ensure I'm not sleeping with irritants that will just make congestion worse. As I mentioned, ensuring my sheets are washed more often has certainly helped, but now I think I'll consider showering at night instead of the morning. Potentially seeing further congestion relief is worth making small changes.

By avoiding your seasonal triggers and by using natural solutions like Zarbee's Naturals' Seasonal Relief, much-needed relief can help promote an uninterrupted busy lifestyle that those with seasonal congestion desperately desire.

Ready to participate in Zarbee’s Naturals’ Seasonal Relief Project?

Request your FREE sample of Zarbee's Naturals' Seasonal Relief, get customized seasonal congestion tips, and share your feedback for a great cause at SeasonalRelief.com.


Please note, these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
 

Common Mineral Deficiencies of Women

Disclosure: This is a guest article.

Women of all age, weight, height, and activity level need certain nutrients that the body doesn’t make, but it needs to function properly. Experts agree that whole food is the best source of these essential nutrients. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to get 100-percent of these essential nutrients from our foods especially in this day-in-age of fast food and over processed meals. This is where supplements come in. Supplements can help fend off potential illnesses and deficiency. They are also ideal for those who already have or are prone to mineral or vitamin deficiencies, such as pregnant women and vegetarians. The following are the some of the most common mineral deficiencies that women experience.

Calcium

Calcium is used for blood vessel function, transmission of nervous system impulses, muscle contractions, and enzyme and hormone secretion. However, it is mostly know for supporting bones and teeth. Women of childbearing age, postmenopausal women and vegetarians are most at risk for developing a calcium deficiency.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrate Earth Day with the Relaunch of Eco Art Kits from Artterro {Giveaway - Ends 4/27}


 I received complimentary product for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

Artterro's Eco Art Kits are pre-assembled art kits that feature high quality natural and recycled materials in each of their kits. From 100% wool felt to wooden beads, many are sourced from small businesses in the USA. No two kits are alike, and each one includes an assortment of colorful, exciting materials to inspire and encourage creativity.

In honor of Earth Day this week, I'm super excited to partner with Artterro to announce the relaunch of their Eco Art Kits! With several changes and improvements, Artterro is more eco-friendly than ever.  


New Packaging
Artterro's new packaging includes a sturdy, thick outer box and inner tray that slides out, all made of 100% recycled cardboard from Green Bay Packaging. The glossy band around the cardboard box features large, detailed project images for plenty of artistic inspiration. In addition to the new outer packaging, Artterro now uses are biodegradable bead bags for an even more eco-friendly impact.

TWO Bonus Projects
For each Eco Art Kit, the outer box can turn into a mailbox, birdhouse or special treasure box, and the inner tray can be decorated as a frame for finished art. he options are endless!

Extra Materials
Each kit will now include more natural materials, including beads, felt pieces and copper. In addition, needle threaders have been added to sewing kits and a soy-based foam pad for the Needle Felting Kit (formerly the Paint With Wool Portrait Kit).

A New Eco Art Kit
Artterro is also introducing a new kit, the Deluxe Bubble Wand Kit. With this kit you can make two intricate bubble wands, with more marbles and bead embellishments, and lots of unique wire sculptures.

I love that Artterro has taken their customer's feedback to heart, and took the opportunity to improve Eco Art Kits without sacrificing their values of sustainability and environmental accountability!

We had the opportunity to check out these new changes with the Wool Felt Bug Kit. We just received it a couple days ago, so have yet to really dive in create. However, of course we inspected all the fun materials and bold new packaging!

I LOVE the new cardboard packaging. It's much sturdier than before, meaning it's more likely to be re-purposed and used, instead of thrown away. Buddy and I have already talked about cutting a big hole in the main outer box and hanging it out on the fence as a bird house. We actually just found a beautiful bird's nest today that had fallen out of a tree in our backyard, so I know he's excited to possibly help out the birdies that lost their nest. How sweet is he.

As for the materials inside, how fun and how colorful! The assortment of beads and sequins and also the smaller felt pieces were each in Artterro's new biodegradable plastic bags. We also have a needle threader in this kit, a new material for Eco Art Kits, which will certainly prove very helpful when we get to sewing these bugs. My eyes are just not as good as they used to be

Artterro's relaunch is so exciting to me because their new features really enhance the project-making experience of their kits. They're truly committed to their customers and to sustainability and the environment. So, in honor of Earth Day, Artterro is celebrating their relaunch with an awesome giveaway here at The Reynolds Mom!
Win It!
One winner will receive a Wool Felt Bugs kit and 2 Art Journal Kits!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Introducing SwaddleClub from SwaddleDesigns & their NEW Muslin Collection {Giveaway - Ends 5/2}



I received complimentary product for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

I used SwaddleDesigns swaddle blankets when Buddy was a baby, and I've gifted a few to new moms since then. It's safe to say that in those early months of Buddy's life, those swaddle blankets saved my sanity! He loved to be swaddled and those blankets are some of the few things I saved from when he was a baby.

SwaddleDesigns' mission is to help parents calm and comfort their baby, especially in ways that are safe. When baby sleeps better, parents sleep better too! For new moms, the 123 Swaddle® label sewn into SwaddleDesigns swaddle blankets is a big help, especially during those sleep-deprived moments of frustration that somehow seem to make you forget the simplest of things.

Now, after 10 years of helping parents with this label, SwaddleDesigns is introducing the new SwaddleClub QR label to give parents easy access to online resources from your smartphone, tablet or computer.

SwaddleClub is a new free service from SwaddleDesigns that offers baby care videos, white noise, and safe sleep tips for parents. Thanks to SwaddleDesigns' partnership with Dr. Harvey Karp, creator of the Happiest Baby on the Block and internationally renowned pediatrician, you can stream full-length Happiest Baby white noise and access short baby care videos all from your smartphone.
introducing SwaddleClub
SwaddleClub features include:
  • Calming Sounds
  • Sleep Sounds
  • How to Swaddle Instructions
  • Safe Sleep
  • Benefits of Swaddling
  • Baby Care Videos

After browsing around SwaddleClub, I found that there is a wealth of information for parents, all in one place. The focus is around sleeping of course, with lots of helpful short tips that are categorized in an easy to read format. SwaddleClub is neatly organized for use on your smartphone, so all this is right at your fingertips if you choose.

SwaddleClub hopes to help new parents learn how to calm and comfort their baby and make safe sleep choices. Having easy access to helpful, relevant information from SwaddleClub is so important for when parents are overwhelmed, sleep deprived or feel frustrated. I've been there, and oh how I wish I had all of this available to me when I had Buddy. Honestly, the first year was not easy for us and I didn't know how badly I needed help until it had already passed. SwaddleClub will surely help many parents get through some difficult phases as baby grows.

SwaddleDesigns' new Sunwashed Pastels Collection Ultimate Receiving Blankets and new Muslin Collection Cotton Muslin Swaddles feature the new SwaddleClub QR label. I received a 4-pack of the Boutique Quality Muslin Swaddle Blankets to check out.

As with all SwaddleDesigns blankets, the Cotton Muslin Swaddles are large and measure 46 x 46 inches. Made from premium 100% cotton muslin, they are breathable swaddles and perfect no matter what time of year. They're machine washable, and get softer over time.

Once your baby decides she is done with swaddling, these are still great as a privacy blanket, a stroller or carseat cover and more. I remember Buddy still liked to cuddle with his as a toddler.

I love the subdued colors of these swaddles! I chose the sterling set which is pretty gender neutral. They also have pastel pink and pastel blue too. Be sure to check out the entire Muslin Collection which also offers bibs, lovies, burpies and sleep sacks.
 
Win It!
One winner will receive 4-pack of Boutique Quality Muslin Swaddle Blankets from the Muslin Collection, a $50 value!

Become a Toxin Freedom Fighter & help Seventh Generation #FightToxins

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Millennial Central for Seventh Generation. I received a promotional item and product samples as a thank you for participating.

Toxic chemicals are everywhere and sadly they're severely unregulated. Did you know that more than 80,000 synthetic chemicals available in the United States have never been fully tested for their effects on our health and environment? What a scary thought!

 
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which was passed in 1976, has never been updated. In a country as advanced as America, we have failed our citizens in so many ways and are in desperate need of chemical reform to protect our health. Our exposure to toxic chemicals carries many health risks that have been studied by scientists, including Cancer, Alzheimer’s, learning disabilities, asthma, birth defects, and various reproductive problems.

Of the 80,000 synthetic chemicals that have been introduced since the TSCA was passed, only 10% have been required to undergo testing by the EPA. Only 10%!! Surely not all of these are safe - I bet only a small amount are.
Chemical reform is crucial for the future of our next generation and beyond. I would like to see every single chemical individually tested, and also together with other chemicals for potential cross-reactions. We continue to use toxic chemicals that lack proper testing, and we also lack full disclosure from companies who use them. The Natural Resources Defense Council website can provide you with more information.

Become a Toxin Freedom Fighter

I think it's time we come together and create real change. I'm a longtime fan of Seventh Generation and I'm excited to partner with them on this Toxin Freedom Fighter campaign to spread awareness about our need for chemical reform in the United States. 

Seventh Generation is leading the way and asking YOU to sign a petition to urge Congress to reevaluate the TSCA for the first time since 1976.


http://bit.ly/Oz5xM8
Click on the badge above and help Seventh Generation reach its goal of collecting 100,000 Signatures by April 24th. Just sign the petition for chemical reform and urge your friends and family to do the same!

Make Small Changes

Making healthier choices starts at home - not by waiting for the government to tell you what's healthy for you. The key to making large strides of improvement in your daily life is to make small changes first. Choose products with fewer ingredients, and become an avid label reader. Whether it's switching out your toxic body wash for a simple organic soap or cutting back on refined sugars, small changes are the ones that last in the long run for the best impact.

It's scary to think about the link of toxin exposure and me own health issues. In recent years I've become more educated on chemicals in every food and product I used to eat or use, therefore allowing me to make informed, smarter choices. From my makeup to the snack foods I enjoy now, I'm certainly not the same person I was four years ago.

Go Green

Earth Day is just a few days away, so let's all decide to make some changes. A green and eco-friendly lifestyle is important to me personally because my son's future depends on it. If we don't take care of the earth, it won't take care of us.

By continuing to use toxic chemicals without consistent testing or strict regulations, we not only harm our health, but the earth too. Spilling out toxic waste into our streams and air is not sustainable for our future.

Choose brands that resonate with your personal convictions on toxins, just as I have. Without getting too excited and naming dozens of my favorite organic and natural brands, I will say that Seventh Generation is one that I trust and use often. It's nice to see a big name in green products take a stand like this!

Please join me and thousands of others who want to #FightToxins by becoming a Toxin Freedom Fighter today - it's time for chemical reform!

 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Give the Gift of a College Education with a 529 College Savings Plan

This sponsored post was written by me on behalf of TIAA-CREF. All opinions are 100% my own.

Hubby paid his way through college by working full-time and still managed to graduate with a bachelor's degree in four years. As much as I hope Buddy will pay for some of his college education himself, I certainly hope Hubby and I are able to take most of the load off by helping him pay for school.

Although Buddy is just 5 years old, it's by no means too early to plan ahead for his future. There are many ways to be financially smart for the here and now. But sometimes we overlook the distant future, thinking it's just not important to focus on yet. However, beginning to invest in our childrens' future as early as possible is the best way to ensure a nice cushion for their college education and for the brightest future possible.

For one very special Elk Grove, California elementary school student, hoping to attend college will not just be a dream, but a reality. Last Friday, nine-year-old Duncan Nakamoto received the surprise of his life as he learned he won TIAA-CREF's Big Dreams Start Small $100,000 College Fund Contest.

Entrants in this nationwide contest submitted a photo and caption showing their child "dreaming big" for the future. Duncan's winning entry was revealed at a school assembly in front of 800 schoolmates, faculty and parents at Joseph Sims Elementary School. It was so exciting to be there and see Duncan's reaction to the news. To say this lucky kiddo was thrilled is a major understatement!

Duncan's father will receive $100,000 to be deposited in a new 529 college savings plan account until Duncan is ready for college. What a gift Duncan has received for his future!

What is a 529 college savings plan?

A 529 college savings plan, or simply called a 529 plan, is a tax-advantaged investment account for families to put aside money for their kids' college education

TIAA-CREF is one of the leading 529 plan service providers around and currently manages the ScholarShare 529 college savings plan in California. Each state sponsors their own 529 plans, and you can open one in any state you choose depending on your needs. The beneficiary can attend any school in the country, no matter what state the 529 plan was opened.

The funds from a 529 plan can be used on tuition, books, housing and more at most accredited colleges, universities, and vocational and technical schools nationwide. Pretty much any college expense qualifies for use of 529 plan funds.

As the 529 plan account holder, you designate the beneficiary. Whether it's a child or grandchild, a niece or nephew, or even yourself, you have control of the 529 plan funds. The beneficiary can be changed, and you also determine distribution.

Once a 529 plan has been opened, family, friends or anyone can contribute. This is a fantastic way for anyone who wishes to pitch in, to do so. Also, initial contribution requirements to open a 529 plan can be as low as $25, and most 529 plans do not require regular contributions.


529 plans allow you to invest and grow college savings federal tax-free. As an added bonus, in California legislation was passed that provides a 20% state tax credit on for ScholarShare (California's 529 plan) contributions of up to $2,500 (for qualified individuals). Be sure to check with a representative of TIAA-CREF for more information on choosing the 529 plan that's right for you.

A 529 plan is definitely a smart way to help fund a college education little by little over many years, so there's no better time to start planning ahead for your child's future than right now. The gift of higher education is one of the best investments you can make to help him reach his potential in life!
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Update Your Space with an Area Rug from Mohawk Home {#ilovemymohawkrug} Giveaway - Ends 4/30

 I received complimentary product for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

For the decor-challenged like myself, an area rug can do wonders to a boring, lifeless space. It's a no-brainer piece of decor that's large enough to make a huge impact all by itself, or it can bring an entire room together and add warmth to an otherwise cold space. This has been especially true in my home, with the Fancy Trellis

Mohawk Home is global brand and a leader in home fashion. You've probably seen their many types of rugs and doormats at a store near you. In addition to the consistent high quality rugs and mats they produce, Mohawk Home is proud to share that their products are made in the USA, just as they always have.

We've been in the middle of our home remodel since January. At this point, we've finished our two bedrooms, the office/schoolroom and two bathrooms, complete with new paint, carpet, and tile. But we're not finished.

For a while, our living and dining area looked like this while we were moved out of our rooms. Seriously awful. Not only was this space a mess, but it also took up Buddy's entire potential play area since his room was off limits for a while too.

My poor kid had no real place to play for a couple months, and even when he did wedge himself in here, he was destroying my hardwood floors with his trains, cars, and LEGO thrown around everywhere. So we bit our tongues and just waited, knowing we'd have to find a solution for when we put our house back together so he could actually have this area to play in, in addition to his room.

And today, here's where we're at. This area is cleared out, with just a train table, and small toy storage bins. And our beautiful new Mohawk Home area rug!

This is the 5'x8' Fancy Trellis area rug. How gorgeous is this rug? While vibrant and sharp, it's lattice pattern and lovely silvery gray and white give it a simple elegance. It's 100% Nylon, with a short pile for major durability. It also features a latex backing, which not only keeps the rug in place, but won't contribute to my beat-up wood floors with additional scratching from the underside.

I love that this rug is the perfect size for Buddy to play with his toys, totally contained on the rug (for the most part...). He just loves his space.

Just the other day Buddy had built his biggest Island of Sodor EVER (Thomas & Friends, anyone?), covering the entire rug, to each edge. It was magical to him, and this mama loves seeing her boy so thrilled.

Eventually this living and dining area will have a fresh coat of paint and new window coverings too. But for now, my poor floors have a bit of protection, and this space isn't so bare and plain-jane as before all this remodeling began. It has a bit of an elevated, clean sophistication to it. And I love it!

Some day we'll have a formal living and dining area, but I'm perfectly content with having all this space for Buddy for a few more years. With a 'no shoes' rule on this rug, just like we have with our new carpet, I have no doubt that this rug will see many years in our home. It's absolutely beautiful. My next area rug for my family room will likely come from Mohawk Home.

The 5'x8' Fancy Trellis area rug we received is available at Lowes.com for $138.73. Mohawk Home area rugs are sold at many online retailers including Amazon.com, Wayfair.com, Overstock.com and many more.
 
Win It!
One winner will receive a 5'x8' Mohawk Home rug, up to $150!