August 24, 2016

Lillebaby COMPLETE Organic Giveaway!

Good morning!!
Today is a great day and you know why? LÍLLÉbaby released their "new" Organic line of COMPLETE carriers earlier! LÍLLÉbaby has had organic carriers before, like my gorgeous blue Celeste carrier that is no longer in production, but these new organic carriers are the new, better versions of the one I already have! They are made from an amazingly soft and sustainable certified organic cotton. LÍLLÉbaby even won an award and they're just be released today! Over achievers!

And seriously, how gorgeous is that green color? I love the classic LÍLLÉbaby Green Meadows, which will be a limited time color! LÍLLÉbaby will be bringing back a gorgeous navy color called Blue Moonlight also!

I am so in love with the new colors as well: Sea Glass, Blushing Pink, Powder Blue!

Lillebaby COMPLETE Organic Carrier

Amirite? Or amirite? GORGEOUS!
They are Beautiful, soft, and the best part, sustainable, made with 100% Organic Cotton. That means not only do I get to love on my little ones in the organic COMPLETE carrier, I get to help ensure they have a beautiful world to grow up in later. 

LÍLLÉbaby even has it's own Green Commitment posted on their website!

I can't wait to get my hands on one of these, I think I'm torn between... uh... all of them? Seriously, first I think I want Sea Glass, then Blushing Pink, then Powder Blue, and then I can't choose.  I can get more than one right?

COMPLETE carriers are amazing and really, I already have multiples because I love them so much, so what's 2, or 3, or 5 more? 

Here's a quick rundown on the facts about the COMPLETE:

1. SIX ERGONOMIC CARRYING POSITIONS – Includes every carrying position without the need for an infant insert: Front-fetal, Front-infant, Front-outward, Front- toddler, Hip and Back carry. The COMPLETE grows with yoru child through all the baby wearing years, from 7 lbs to 45 lbs. The patented cupped seat adjusts to keep baby ergonomically seated in all six carry positions through every development stage.

2. LUMBAR SUPPORT – Increases comfort, maintains healthy posture and alignment, and prevents lower back strain. Combined with an extra sturdy waist belt to maximize parent's comfort. 

3. TWO-WAY STRAP NEW! – Enable wearer to carry "backpack style" or with straps crossed in the back. Dual adjustment buckles simplify breastfeeding and adjusting straps on the go.

4. SLEEPING HOOD– Features dual adjustment points to provide tailored support for baby's head while sleeping, sun protection while exploring, and privacy while nursing. Removable.

5. EXTRA TALL, EXTENDABLE TORSO – So comfortable your baby will fall asleep. Provides extra neck and back support and keeps taller babies secure in the carrier. The adjustable width gently cradles baby's head. Elastic straps provide support while allowing for movement and easy adjustment.

6. POCKETS NEW! - Large zippered storage pocket, plus easy-reach pocket for storing hood and essentials.

7. WIDE, PADDED SHOULDER STRAPS & WASIT BELT - Evenly distribute baby's weight for maximized comfort.

The biggest benefits of the COMPLETE carrier are that one carrier offers 6 carrying positions (with no infant insert!) and that it fits littles from 7 lbs all the way up to 45 lbs.  That means I can carry a newborn all the way up to my 5 year old with ONE carrier.  Talk about return on investment...

But the coolest part of today? I have teamed up with a handful of other LÍLLÉbaby enthusiast to give away an Organic COMPLETE carrier! The winner will get to choose which in stock color they would like and it will be shipped directly from LÍLLÉbaby. It's simple, enter using the Giveaway below, tell all your friends, and then cross your fingers you get randomly selected to win!

In the meantime, check out the other blogs and read all about their thoughts (and see their gorgeous pictures of the new Organic COMPLETE carriers!):

And visit Instagram to see even more soft, sustainable beautifulness...

FINAL LIllebaby COMPLETE Organic Giveaway.png


Good luck!

xo, Heather

August 22, 2016

Go Back to School with Help from Blogger Bash! #BBNYC

I know I've talked a lot about the toys I saw at Sweet Suite and Blogger Bash, but the conference offered so much more!

As much as I'm avoiding thinking about it, school is only a week away now so I am in back to school mode.  I was honestly surprised by how many brands were there that were more than toys, and instead really great products for every day! Here's a few of my favorites that will help me get back into the swing of school!

You can't head back to school without a new backpack and lunch box, right? I am in love with the designs from Bixbee.  They offer backpacks, lunchboxes, even duffles that make great dance bags! They have a couple great promos going on and if you order an animal bag, you get a free lunchbox! I love good savings. They're even better when they are adorable! I love that the bag holds items horizontally to spread the weight over the shoulders, rather than up and down the back and they seem to be really well made.  Emma has been loving her duffle bag! And did I mention you can have them personalized?

backpack, knapsack, lunch box, back to school

Another great item to pack in those bags? Drink in the Box and Snack in the Box containers! I mean, we all know how unnecessary extra sugar is for our kids, but did you know the average juice box can have up to 7 teaspoons of sugar? No thanks. My kids are already hyper enough.  We've switched to lots of infused waters or watered down juices to keep them from all the extra sugars. While I've found lots of bottles that allow me to do this, none quite stack up to the Drink in the Box containers. The containers are made with a BPA, BPS and Phthalates free material called TRITAN™, have an attached straw and are leak free. I love to put a couple of fresh berries in the containers, fill it with water, and the kids are happy to drink from them all day.

They also make Snack in the Box, which is the same concept except for snacks! No more crushed goldfish crackers in the bag! Yey! Because the container holds 2 6 oz portions, you can cut down on the amount of containers you're trying to fit into that lunchbox!

I already know my kids' lunchboxes are going to be filled with Drink in the Box and Snack in the Box containers! You can pick up a few of your own here (aff).

If you're looking to pack up more than snacks, you could always pack up a lunch in Sistema box. I am seriously in love with the Bento Box and need to add one or two to the growing collection of Sistema containers we have!

Once the kids have their bags packed up, it's time to get them dressed! I am in love with LittleMissMatched and Triple Flip!

It's really important to me that I find clothes that empower my little girl and are age appropriate. I hate how quick girl's clothing makes girls grow up.  I want my daughter in clothes that aren't low cut or too short. I want her to be comfortable but still feel fashionable. LittleMissMatched has bright, exciting and fashionable clothes but they are totally age appropriate for girls.

My favorite pieces are the Hi Bye Baseball tees and Cotton Candy leggings. Emmalee asked if I'd buy her the Royal Cat sweatshirt! In addition to clothes, LittleMissMatched carries lots of accessories, like hats, notebooks, and bags, and great shoes! One of the most fun things about LittleMissMatched is that they sell their socks in packs of 3, and none technically match! Ha.

Triple Flip is another amazing shop directed at tweens.  There's an obvious gap in clothing for tweens and Triple Flip is doing amazing addressing it. For starters, they don't use models. They use everyone, seriously, you can sign up here and when they're local to you for a photo shot, they'll let you know! The whole brand is designed around empowering girls and creating clothes that fit their lifestyles, not creating a girl to fit the clothes. Triple Flip carries everything from leggings and shirts, to skirts, jackets, hats, and clothes for sports like dance, gymnastics, and skating.

But let's be honest, no matter how gorgeous your new back to school items are, or how good you look, we all feel a bit of anxiety when starting anything new, and a new school year is no exception.  I really love the concept behind Worry Eaters, when you're nervous or afraid or worried about something, you write or draw it on a piece of paper, unzip the Worry Eaters mouth, and tuck the fear inside.  Then the Worry Eater takes care of your concerns.  As someone who has battled anxiety, it's so great to see a child friendly way to cope with those feelings.

Now, I know many of my readers have smaller children, but lots also have older students heading back to school/college or are looking for  a few back to school items for themselves.

I have already told David I'm grabbing myself a new tote bag, a new phone case, and a new agenda to get me ready for the school year. Whaaaaaaat? Teachers need new stuff each year too! :)

Zazzle makes great custom items, like tote bags and mugs, that are great quality.  I'm a hug sucker for mugs, I have like 100. I always buy them when we go somewhere (seriously I have the whole Starbucks/Disney set).  One's that give me a chuckle or motivate me are my favorites, like some of these ones.

Shoulder bags are practical and these ones are gorgeous.  I love that my favorite ones on the site basically have my initial and Emma's name on them already!

I'd seriously monogram everything if I could. I've been looking at these new sparkle cases from Speck and think they'd look perfect with a monogram, right? I love that Speck offers so many styles for so many different devices.

glitter, pineapples, flowers

Another great new product I saw at Blogger Bash to help me get ready for back to school is TUL at Office Max.  It's a discbound system notebook that is so convenient! I LOVE notebooks and planners; I mean I had 3 planners last year and I personalize notebooks for school and home so these drew me right in.  Office Max is currently rolling out more items that word in the notebooks, so I'm excited to see what else they come out with.

back to school planner,

I also grabbed a Finder's Key Purse at Blogger Bash. I can't tell you how many time I would get to my car and have to dig for my keys since they fell to the bottom of my very large school tote.  It's super obnoxious, and if I'm being honest, not very safe.  Schools are not the completely safe space they once were and having your keys at your fingertips is much safer.  I'm picking one up for my sister too; as well as their drink test kit.  I know it's scary and not something we want to think about but my sister is a gorgeous, friendly young woman who has a good heart. She lives on a college campus and while I wish I didn't have to think about it, I do, and I can't think of anything better as a back to school necessity for her.

college campus safety

And finally, the cook book Lick Your Plate by Bite Me More (aff link to buy it here) will be coming in so handy after next week! Working all day makes it more difficult to come home and cook dinner and do the night time routine but I'm excited to make some of these delicious looking, easy recipes! 

It's crazy how much work it takes to get ready to go back but the kids are excited for their first days of day care and kindergarten!

Even more exciting? A few of the brands are offering a giveaway to you!
The winner will receive a prize pack that includes gifts from Drink in the Box, a $30 credit to LittleMissMatched, a phone case from Speck, and a Worry Eater Doll!
Contest is open to US residents only.  Prizes will be shipped by the individual companies.
Winner will be chosen on Tuesday August 30th and will have 48 hours after being sent the email to claim or a new winner will be chosen.


Good luck!

xo, Heather

August 17, 2016

An Update on Tyler's Language Delay

While I'm very vocal in real life, I'm not all that vocal on here about the challenges Tyler faces. I did brush it quickly when I did his two year old post, but it's such a part of my life, I haven't really made time to address it here.

We've known since about 18 months that Tyler had a language delay.  He didn't say words. He made lots of screeches and gestures, but not words.

When we spoke to the pediatrician, he said there could be tons of reasons why he isn't talking, ranging from not feeling like he needs words because his needs are all met to something cognitive. We were quickly able to rule out any hearing issues and I told the doctor that Tyler had great receptive skills, even able to assert when he wanted something, but he lacked the vocabulary necessary to say it out loud.

In January he was evaluated for services.  He tested at or above his age level for every category except communication. But even in communication, it is broken down into receptive and expressive. His receptive was so great that it pulled his overall score to a 77, which is exactly the score he needed to not be eligible for services. Thankfully, the clinicians saw the discrepancy between his receptive and expressive and offered us services under a "clinician's judgement" decision.

Tyler began working with a clinician in our home once a week, playing but learning.  She would prompt him to make the sound before she would give him a puzzle piece, make him make a sound for which color he wanted, and encourage him to try, even if it wasn't the full word. Tyler loves her, and would run to the door to meet her.  He worked so hard, trying to make every sound but still came up short many days.

We added in a 2.5 hour play group every week, at a center with other kids to help promote the use of speech. A clinician had said that because he knew every need would be taken care of at home, and because we knew what all his noises and gestures meant, he didn't need to work as hard to get what he wanted or needed at home.  By putting him in a playgroup, he was forced to try more, to talk to other kids his age, to work with teachers who didn't know what his noises mean, even though David was present. He started picking up sign language easily.

About a month ago we added in a second clinician, a speech and language pathologist who works with him once a week on sign language. She comes to the house, plays with him and his toys, and like the other clinician, encourages him to use his words, make sounds, and is integrating sign language into his "vocabulary".

He can now sign 6 words/phrases: more, drink, I want, work, play, and all done.
Which is just about how much he can say out loud.
Tyler says: Mama, no, up, pop (for popcorn, bubbles, and literally popping something), hot, and giddyup.
His almost words are giggy (kitty), woof woof, purp(le), and diddy.
He's gotten so much better with sounds like mmm, ddd,  pah, bah, and nah.

It is frustrating to see him around kids who are much younger than him and hear them string together multiple word "sentences", but I know he's trying his hardest.

Unlike normal services that are tested annually, a clinician's judgement diagnosis requires retesting every 6 months. We had our testing last week and he technically no longer qualifies.  Where he received a 77 in communication before, he now has an 88.  I'm thrilled he's improving but he's still not where he should be for his age. The discrepancy between his expressive and receptive is still great though, so the clinician's want to have him approved until clinician's judgement again. Unfortunately, the state does not usually allow a second "clinician's judgement" call. Which means in order to get Tyler services, the clinicians are submitting a waiver, trying to prove Tyler still needs the support.

And until the state makes the decision on whether Tyler should get services, he will continue to receive them, but it scares me to think someone who has never met my child is going to have the power to say if he should or should not still be getting services.

I know it hard for him, but we're powering through and I know he'll be so successful regardless, but having these services will help him so much. It's hard as a mom, waiting for an answer that your child needs when you have no control over it.

UPDATE: Tyler's waiver was approved so we get 6 more months of services! Yey!

xo, Heather


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