Aveeno Stress Relief Lotion Has All the Advantages of the Regular Version Plus a Delightful Fragrance


Warning: Only use this in the evenings because the scent will lull you into a fantastic, relaxed state that will inevitably end in sleep, and you don’t want that to happen at your desk. I guess if you’re incredibly stressed out, this might lower you down to a level where you can function more easily without face-planting on the keyboard.

Right now, I’m trying to finish up some work after slathering this lotion all over my legs and hands, and it’s getting tougher to concentrate. I didn’t start out stressed; I just started out itchy. It’s good for that, too.

This version of the Aveeno lotion so many of us with chronically dry or dehydrated and sensitive skin have come to know and love is quite the improvement. The regular Aveeno has “no” scent that’s actually a faint, slightly unpleasant smell.

This one has a mix of lavender, ylang-ylang, and chamomile that I can only describe as divine. It’s a sweet, floral type of scent rather than the masculine, herbal type some lavender products tend to take on. The moisturizing and itch-relief capabilities are the same as they are with the regular Aveeno lotion. I got almost instant relief. There’s still colloidal oatmeal, just like there is in the original, and the consistency feels about the same.

If you struggle with eczema or just relentlessly dry, itchy skin, you’ll soon find that this is worth every penny (you’ll probably say the same if you’re stressed or often have trouble sleeping, too).

If you’re familiar with that intense stinging sensation that happens when you put other lotions on dry, irritated or chapped skin, you’ll want to try this. I can only speak from my own experiences, but the stinging—when there is stinging—is much less intense and lasts a lot less time with Aveeno lotions. I use this on my daughter, who was “lucky” enough to get skin like mine (we hate winter), and she loves it.checkprice

Go Green! How to Make Your Own Cleaning Products

Celebrity Sweet 16 Dresses

We’re celebrating Earth Month this month, and there are a lot of different things that you can do to “go green” without making huge changes to your daily routine or putting too much effort into it.

I have mentioned before that I write at ChiquitaMoms.com, and I recently wrote a post about 10 easy ways to go green. I do lots of simple things in my home to live a little greener, including buying from green brands, using green products, and things like that.

We are currently also in the process of having solar panels put on our house – not cheap, but in the long run it will save us thousands of dollars. But by far, my favorite green thing I do is make my own cleaning products.

One of the reasons I love making my own cleaning products is because I know I’m not using harmful chemicals that my kids can get their hands on. I’m using ingredients that aren’t harmful to the environment, my family, or our pets. While it might sound like a lot of work, it actually takes just a few minutes to do, and because you are using concentrated ingredients, they seem to last longer.

And did I mention that making your own cleaning products is much less expensive than buying these products? Yeah, pennies on the dollar, and I’m not joking.

So how do you do it? Well with a few simple ingredients like vinegar, water, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, you can clean just about anything in your home! Here’s how to make your own cleaning products.

Fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water. That’s it. You can use it on windows, glass, mirrors, and any glass surfaces. No harsh chemicals, and if you use Scott Naturals paper towels or old newspapers, you’ll get streak-free glass every time!

I use the recipe from Gorgeously Green (check out this page because there are a TON of make your own cleaning product how-to’s there!), and I have for years. I can’t tell you the last time I bought all-purpose cleaner.

Simply fill a 32-ounce spray bottle with 2 cups water, 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 1 teaspoon pure castile soap (I sometimes omit this and it works just as well), and 3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide.

You can add about 20 drops of tea tree oil, lavender oil, or lemon grass oil for a clean scent. Use this anywhere you would normally use all-purpose cleaners, including any kitchen and bathroom surfaces that are not granite.

You don’t need to buy Comet; just use baking soda instead! It’s cheaper and less abrasive, and won’t harm the kids or pets if they get into it.

I mentioned Scott Naturals products and that they help make Spring Cleaning easier – start your SCOTT Naturals™ Test Drive at ScottBrand.com or check ‘em out on Facebook.

You can even pledge to switch to SCOTT Naturals for four weeks. The state with the greatest participation rate will receive a $50,000 donation to be applied to local conservation efforts; just another easy way one small step can lead to a big change.

Just think – if everyone tried SCOTT Naturals™ for just four weeks, we’d save over 2 million trees!checkprice

Review of Modern Co-Sleeper: the Baby Bunk


The Baby Bunk is very clean lined, extremely useful co-sleeper that is both beautiful and functional. Its wooden design is such a welcome change from the frilly bassinets or the plain jane co-sleepers out there like the Arm’s Reach.

The Baby Bunk is a wooden bed with three sides, two arms that fit under your mattress and two legs that go down to the floor. It offers a separate space for baby while still having her “in bed” with you.

I’ve used this co-sleeper now for 2 babies and it’s really made those first few months possible. I mean, sure, you’re sleep deprived and all but with this bed you don’t have to get up to check on the baby, just turn and open your eyes. Boy, does that make getting back to sleep easier.

And, as a new mom, you check on your new baby A LOT. There is this fear that overtakes just about every new mother I know…the fear that your baby has stopped breathing. I mean, when I brought my first baby home I must have put my finger under her nose a thousand times if I did it once.

The Baby Bunk is easy to lift your baby out of, and to put her back without really waking her up. Believe me, in the middle of the night after you’ve fed her and burped her and finally gotten her to close her eyes again, the last thing you want to do is wake her when you lay her down. There is less jostling, less up and down than with other beds because of the way this co-sleeper is designed. It has 3 sides and your mattress makes the fourth side. So, you can simply lean over and pick up baby then lean over and put her back. Easy peasy.

The 3 sided configuration may make you wonder about how to keep the covers from drifting over and smothering the baby. It definitely crossed my mind, too. All I can say is that I push the covers over to my husband’s side of the bed so there is not enough fabric from my side to migrate over. It’s never been a problem for us.

Another concern that I’ve heard about the 3 sided design is what if the baby wiggles over and plants her face in between your mattress and the bunk. First off, the bunk is stable, so moving it isn’t easy, especially not for a baby. You do have to make sure that it is properly positioned next to your bed. Each time I make my bed I push it in so that I know it’s in the right spot because it can move.

Second, the mattress you sleep on is really no different than a bumper, that is if you don’t have a large feather top on your mattress that goes down around the sides. If you do have a soft, fluffy feather bed that fits around your mattress and makes the side a suffocation hazard, then best to remove that before using this co-sleeper.

The Baby Bunk can be used for 4 or so months or until your little one is able to sit up and possibly pull on the sides and fall over. Then, it’s time for the next step in infant sleeping arrangements.

If you are interested in to co-sleeping but don’t want the baby in the bed between you and your partner, then this is a great solution. Like I said, I’ve used it for 2 babies and have loved it. I’ve even had friends come over and ask to borrow it when their time comes because they like it so much!

But, the thing that sold me on this (and it’s really a little thing) is that you can buy 4 short legs for it and make it a bench for your child when she is old enough to use it. Imagine it sitting near the front door – a perfect spot for putting on and taking off shoes. I love it when something has multiple lives!checkprice

Nap Nanny To Help Baby Sleep


The Nap Nanny baby recliner is an excellent option for babies who do not like to sleep. The inclined position helps to comfort infants who may have colic, reflux, gas colds and flu… or even those with more serious health issues, like Cerebral Palsy, heart conditions or G-tube feeders. Or simply for babies who like to sleep in a more seated position because, afterall, babies can be picky about where and how they sleep.

The Nap Nanny is a foam positioner that elevates your baby 30 degrees, which is recommended by many doctors. The “Child Security” foam design cradles your tot while a safety harness keeps them securely in place.

Many moms have used the Nap Nanny and found excellent results. Sandra Bullock’s son Louis is pictured sleeping in one in this month’s issue of People Magazine. Other celebrity fans include Chad Lowe and Kim Painter, Marissa Winokur and Tisha Campbell-Martin.

Righteous Kill Producer Lati Grobman has found the Nap Nanny incredibly helpful as she juggles triplets:

The Nap Nanny is a miracle device. I can plop Jonathan, Daniel or Dylann on it and instantaneously they are calm or fall asleep on a safe place. Nothing like a little piece of mind for me and a piece of heaven for them.

The Nap Nanny was created by Comcast SportsNet reporter Leslie Gudel when the sleep deprived mom˜s new baby wouldn’t sleep flat. She went searching for a solution and when she couldn’t find one, she invented it.

It is even recommended by pediatricians and nurse practitioners. JJ Levinson has been a practicing pediatrician in the Los Angeles area for nearly 20 years:

I have to unequivocally say that all parents have been thrilled with the quantum changes in mood (all for the better) that their babies experienced after using the Nap Nanny.


Preggie Naturals Chews Offer a Natural Way to Ease Morning Sickness


As far as I’m concerned, morning sickness is the worst part of pregnancy. My morning sickness lasted pretty much all day into the middle of my second trimester, so I wasn’t really feeling that pregnancy “glow” you hear so much about.

If you’re expecting and struggling with morning sickness, it might be worth checking out Preggie Naturals Chews. This is a new product from the makers of Preggie Pops, lollipops made with essential oils and natural ingredients designed to fight nausea, such as peppermint, papaya, green tea with lemon, and ginger.

Preggie Naturals Chews taste like Now & Later candies and would be a good alternative to the lollipops if you’re looking for something discreet to help with the nausea while you’re working. Preggie Naturals Chews come in peppermint, raspberry, green apple, and ginger flavors.

I haven’t personally tried the Preggie Naturals Chews, since it’s been almost 10 years since I was last pregnant. But, I do think many remedies with essential oils can be just as effective as modern medications. They’re also a lot less risky when you’re pregnant, since it seems like we’re always finding out about dangerous side effects of prescription medications.

You can purchase Preggie Naturals Chews on Amazon. If you’re all done having kids, keep in mind that Three Lollies also makes products designed to treat general nausea and motion sickness as well as natural lollipops for people who are trying to quit smoking.

If you’ve tried Preggie Pops or Preggie Naturals Chews, I’d love to hear what you think!checkprice

Elemental Herbs Updates Classic Zinc Oxide Sunscreen for Kids


If you’re trying to reduce the amount of potentially harmful chemicals your family is exposed to, it’s important to choose your sunscreen carefully. Many sunscreens include problematic ingredients such as oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate that can cause hormone disruption and cell damage.

To keep your family safe, dermatologists recommend choosing a pure non-nano zinc oxide mineral sunscreen.

Elemental Herbs recently introduced a new, improved formula for its popular All Good Kids Sunscreen that would be the perfect addition to your family’s beach bag this summer. In addition to having new packaging, this SPF 33 zinc oxide sunscreen now contains skin soothing calendula, chamomile, and sunflower oil.

Calendula and chamomile both have calming properties that are ideal for people with sensitive skin while sunflower oil is a natural emollient high in vitamin E that can help prevent skin cell damage caused by the sun.

All Good Kids Sunscreen offers broad UVA/UVB protection that is safe for kids, as well as Mom and Dad. The hypoallergenic and biodegradable formula is GMO, paraben, gluten, and PABA free.

I like the way this product smells because I love the smell of chamomile and hate the coconut smell that most sunscreens have.

It blended into my skin and my husband’s skin fairly easy, but I had a little more trouble getting it applied to my son. He has extremely dry skin and I had to really rub to make the product disappear on his arms and legs. It did not feel greasy once it was applied, however.

Our first test of this sunscreen occurred during a family vacation to a waterpark and amusement park. We’re all very fair skinned. I applied the same product to myself, my husband, and my son. None of us burned, although I should point out that we did take the time to reapply throughout the day. (Experts say most burns with sunscreen are caused by people forgetting to reapply every couple of hours and thinking they can go all day with just one application.)

All Good Kids Sunscreen can be purchased in a three-ounce tube. Visit Amazon website for further details about this product and other sunscreen options designed to keep you safe all summer long.checkprice

Embelle Bibs Make Sure Baby Is Dressed for Any Occasion


Every mother knows that baby bibs are a necessity to keep baby from making a mess of his outfit while eating. Embelle hopes to add some fun to meal time by offering a line of adorable baby bibs with different novelty themes.

The Embelle bib line includes: Tuxedo, Cowboy, Fisherman, Nerd, Baseball, Doctor, Referee, Princess, Cheerleader, Dog, and Cat

The bibs are made of prewashed 100% cotton for easy care and maintenance.

I love how adorable the designs on these bibs are. They’d be a fun way to dress baby up for a special occasion.

You could put your baby in a referee or cheerleader big to show support for big brother or big sister on game day. A fisherman bib would be a funny addition to baby’s wardrobe on a camping trip. A cat or dog bib would make for a cute picture of your baby next to the family pet.

The bibs can be purchased at Target, Sears, Stop & Shop, Burlington Coat Factory, Meijer, and Diapers.com. They’ve been featured in media outlets such as the San Francisco Chronicle, The Denver Post, and Yahoo! News.

Embelle bibs are affordable treat for your little one or a cute budget-friendly baby shower gift idea.

What do you think of these baby bibs?checkprice

A Clever Way to Protect Your Baby’s Hearing


When you’re buying items for your baby’s wardrobe, consider picking up a hat that helps protect baby’s hearing.

The noise reduction hat from Dots on Tots is a combination of the company’s ear protection hat and infant noise reduction hat. It has removable hearing protection inserts that reduce outside noises while protecting baby’s ears as much as possible.

The hat is made of soft organic cotton, with two layers on the flaps and one extra inner layer of fleece cotton to make a pocket for the insert. The inserts are made from two layers of organic hemp fabric and stuffed with organic cotton fiber to increase sound absorption. The straps stretch to help keep the hat in place.

Dots on Tots hats are made in the USA. They come wrapped in tissue paper with a thank you note packed in a eco-friendly, recyclable pillow box.

The noise reduction hat from Dots on Tots comes in small and medium sizes. The small hat should fit most babies from 0 to 8 months, while the medium hat should fit children from 8 months to 20 months. Both hat sizes sell on Amazon or Dots on Tots website.

My son was a fairly easygoing baby, but he was very sensitive to loud noises. If someone so much as raised their voice in his presence, he’d have a total meltdown.

I would have loved to have had a noise reduction hat from Dots on Tots when he was an infant. (We didn’t go to parades, fairs, or fireworks displays until he was in kindergarten and could better cope with the unexpected sounds.)

What do you think of this product?checkprice

Lili’s Bebe Pad Makes Diaper Changes a Snap


Trying to change a wiggly baby can be quite a challenge. If your little one is always on the go, Lili’s Bebe Pad can make diaper changes a bit easier. Lili’s Bebe Pad is a distinguished iParenting Media award winner and one of those brilliant ideas you wish you would have thought of yourself.

This helpful diaper bag accessory was invented by Mompreneur Celeste Stallings after she struggled to change her own toddler daughter’s diaper.

Lili’s Bebe Pad features a slip resistant backing and a soft comfy changing surface, unlike traditional changing pads that provide no friction when used on a public changing table and are made of a plastic material that is extremely uncomfortable for baby’s bare bottom.

Lili’s Bebe Pads are machine washable, dryer friendly, and sized to accommodate babies of all sizes. They’re also quite affordable.

Visit www.lilibebe.com to purchase Lili’s Bebe Pads. All shipments are sent via USPS First-Class Mail and will arrive within 3-5 business days.

I’m past the point of needing this for myself, but this seems like a great baby shower gift idea for the expectant moms in my life. During my son’s wiggly toddler years, I was always worried he was going to fall off the table during a diaper change. Having a changing pad that wouldn’t slip all over the place would have been an easy way to give me a little extra piece of mind.

What do you think of this product?checkprice

An Easy Way to Preserve Baby’s Milestones


If a traditional baby book isn’t your style, or if you want a way to make your baby’s pictures stand out from the crowd, Milestone Baby Cards are must.

Milestone Baby Cards was founded by Gemma Broekhuis in 2012. As a new mom, Broekhuis wanted a way to easily document her son’s milestone moments. She hand-crafted cards for specific events when she realized how easy it is to forget those treasured moments in just a regular picture.

There are 30 cards in the set, documenting special milestones such as the first smile, first time rolling over, first time eating solid foods, first time sleeping through the night, or first steps. Each card is beautifully illustrated with graphics that match the milestone. There is also a space for you to write in the date.

Fill out the card, place it next to your baby, then snap your picture. (You can prop the card up on the table, set in a favorite teddy bear’s lap, or give it to an older sibling to hold next to baby.)

As an avid scrapbooker, I love this idea! The cards would make adorable baby photo props and are a totally low stress way to keep from forgetting milestone dates. I took lots of pictures during my son’s first year, but I wasn’t very good about writing down dates. I thought I’d remember them, but most of them I forgot by the time I sat down to fill out his baby book.

Visit the Milestone Baby Cards website to learn more or to purchase the cards. They are available in nine different languages.

What do you think of this idea? Would something like the Milestone Baby Cards make it easier to preserve special memories from baby’s first year?checkprice