Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Gender predictions

        We have a little while still until we can find out the baby’s gender so I thought it would be fun to see what the old wives’ tales have to say about predicting this baby’s gender. I also compared them with my results from when we were trying to predict whether Owen was a girl or a boy. For your information, the majority of the gender predictors were wrong when it came to Owen.  We have our gender ultrasound on March 30, but until then, here are our guesses. You can vote too on the right side of the blog!

Highs and Lows
This one you can do just by looking south: if you're carrying high, break out the pink. If your bump is low, you're carrying a boy. 

It’s a little too early to tell, but I wanted to put this up on the blog a little while before we were able to find out the baby’s gender, so I can only guess how I think I'm going to continue showing. I feel like this time my bump might be a little higher than last time. With Owen, I definitely just had a little bump in my lower abdomen during my early pregnancy and this time I feel like my entire belly is getting big at the same time. This indicates a GIRL.

Be Still My Beating Heart
Next time your OB pulls out the Doppler to listen to baby's heartbeat, ask her to tell you what the heart rate is. According to legend, 140+ beats per minute indicates a girl, and below 140 a boy.

When we were trying to predict Owen's gender, his heartbeat was at 156 beats per minute. So I'm not sure how accurate heart rates are in predicting gender. His heart rate did seem to decrease throughout the pregnancy and was around the 140s for most of the rest of it. This baby's first heart rate was 174. At our 12 week appointment, it was 162 beats per minute. So for the time being, this old wives' tale is predicting a GIRL.

You're Getting Very Fizzy
According to one method of determining your baby's gender, you can mix a sample of your urine with baking soda to see what kind of chemical reaction results. If the combination fizzes, then you're supposed to have a boy. If there is no reaction, signs point to a girl. 

I tried this one because I thought what the heck and I have dealt with so many bodily fluids in the past two years, that pee isn't really a big deal for me. My combination didn't do anything for a second, but then a couple bubbles popped up and the top kind-of foamed over like the head of a glass of beer. So I'm guessing this means its a BOY.
Photo from Whattoexpect.com.

Sweet and Sour
Craving ice cream every single day? Some people believe this means it's a girl. If you have to have salty or sour stuff, then it's a boy.

I’ve mainly been craving fruit and sweet stuff, so that indicates a GIRL. I craved fruit a lot with Owen too, so I'm not too sure about the accuracy of this one. Though I have been craving more sweets this time. Particularly chocolate. 
Photo by Baby-gaga.com.
Chinese Birth Chart
Legend says that the gender chart is more than 700 years old and was discovered in a royal tomb. It predicts your baby's sex based on your Chinese lunar age at the time you got pregnant and the Chinese lunar month in which you conceived.

According to this, it should be a GIRL. Last time, with Owen, it was right in predicting that he would be a boy. And for anyone who may be interested, I filled out this chart using both our original and our new due date, and they both predicted a girl. 
Even and Odd
Legend has it that the Mayans determined a baby's sex by looking at the mother's age at conception and the year of conception. If both are even or odd, it's a girl. If one's even and one's odd, it's a boy.

I’m 27 and we conceived in 2012, so one is even and one is odd. That means it’s a BOY. The Mayans were right about Owen being a boy, but they weren't so accurate with that whole end-of-the-world thing on December 21, so I wouldn't put too much stock in this one. 

Unlocking the Mystery
This is one for a friend to try. Place a key in front of your friend and ask her to pick it up. If she grabs it by the narrow part, she's in for sugar and spice and all that. If she picks it up by the round part, it's snips and snails.

Last time, I did this before seeing what each side meant and without knowing which one meant what, I picked up the fatter part of the key, which means a boy. So it was right with Owen. This time since I knew which side was what, I put the key down sideways on the floor in front of Owen and asked him to pick it up. He picked it up by the skinny side of the key, which supposedly means a GIRL.
Photo from Flickr.
Spot On
If you're breaking out like crazy, blame it on your girl babe. The belief goes that girls steal their mother's beauty, hence, those annoying zits. Dry hands and cold feet indicate a boy. 

I haven't really been breaking out at all. So this indicates that we're expecting a BOY. With Owen, I broke out more so this predictor had us guessing girl last time. I have been having drier hands and cold feet, but it is winter so that's kind-of a given. Either way, another vote for BOY.

Intelligender Test
The Intelligender Test can be purchased at your drugstore or online and is said to predict the gender of your baby after 10 weeks. The company claims this product is 80 percent accurate if you perform the directions correctly. It uses urine and a mix of chemicals to predict the baby's gender. If the solution turns green, it indicates a boy and if it stays an orange-y color, that means a girl. 

I picked up this test at the drugstore just for fun. We had never done one before. The directions are simple enough, but telling the difference between orange and green is surprisingly more difficult than you would imagine. At first our test turned dark green really quickly so we immediately thought boy, but after a couple more minutes, the sediment began to settle and the liquid was more of a dark orange color. I e-mailed the company a description of how our test went and a photo and they confirmed that we had GIRL result. After doing some research on this test on the Internet, there are tons of people who swear by it and probably an equal number of people who think it's a hoax and a waste of money so maybe the results are more 50/50. Either way, we're not going to start buying ribbons and ruffles or anything and just had fun doing a little science experiment. 

Nice Ring to It
Pop off your wedding ring and tie it to a string. Hang it over your belly. If it swings in a circle, a little guy's in your future. If it goes back and forth, you've got a girl.

The ring very clearly went around and around in circles over my belly. That's another vote for BOY. Last time we did this test, the ring went back and forth so it was wrong with Owen. 

Nice Hairline
According to a Native American tradition, you can predict the gender of your second or subsequent children by looking at the hairline of the child born prior to the one you're pregnant with. If your child's hairline in the back goes straight across, your baby will be the same gender as your child. If your child's hairline in the back comes to a point, your baby will be the opposite gender of your firstborn. 

After taking a peek at Owen's hairline, this predictor is pointing toward a GIRL because his hair comes to a point (it's hard to see though because the hairdresser tried to trim it straight last time it was cut and now it's all weird) and that supposedly means the next baby will be the opposite gender. It's easier to see that it comes to a point when he's in the bath and his hair is wet. 

Queasy Does It
Sick as a dog during the first trimester-or still? Signs indicate you're having a girl. Little or no morning sickness points to a boy.

Absolutely no morning sickness at all, so signs point to a BOY. This predictor was right for Owen as well. Though I've known people with boys who had morning sickness as well as people with girls who didn't have morning sickness. My mom never had morning sickness with me so maybe it's a genetic thing? Maybe I will never have morning sickness regardless of the gender of the baby? Not sure what the explanation behind this predictor is. 
Photo from Baby-gaga.com.
You Drive Me Crazy
Some say that if you are feeling more emotional and moody, you are having a girl because of all the extra estrogen and other female hormones. 

I have been feeling a lot more emotional and moody than I was with Owen. This predictor points to a GIRL
Photo from Baby-gaga.com.

Sweet Dreams
One old wives' tale says that if you dream your baby is a boy, it will be a girl. And if you dream that you're having a girl, it will be a boy. Apparently, dreams show the opposite of what you're having. 

I have dreamed twice that the baby is a boy, so according to this, we're expecting a GIRL. When I was pregnant with Owen, I dreamed that the baby was a boy. So the idea of dreaming the opposite did not hold true for him. 

Name That Baby
Another old wives' tale says that if the couple can only agree on a baby name for one gender, they will have a baby of that gender. 

Tim and I agree more on girl names than boy names, so this predictor is indicating a GIRL. With Owen, we agreed on both a girl and a boy name, so while I don't believe this is an accurate way to guess anyway, I can't say whether it was right or wrong for our first pregnancy. 

So according to this:

BOY: 6
GIRL: 10

          The funny thing is that with Owen we had more old wives' tales predicting that he was a girl. So you can't put too much stock into these things. There's only one way to find out. So we'll have to wait for our ultrasound to know for sure. 
         According to statistics, the mom's intuition is right 71 percent of the time. I started off feeling like this baby was another boy, but after our most recent ultrasound I feel like the baby is a girl. What do you think? Leave your guess in our poll on the top right of the page!
         If you have kids, did you have a feeling about gender before you found out? Were you right?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bump update: 13 Weeks

      Yes, you read the heading correctly. 13 Weeks. After our ultrasound on Friday, the ultrasound tech measured the baby and moved our due date up a week. The baby measured approximately 2.5 inches long from head to rump. So we're now due on August 31. 
     According to our pregnancy app, the baby is similar in length to a kiwi and is busy moving around inside my uterus. The baby is estimated to be 2.5 inches long from crown to rump and weighs approximately half an ounce. The baby's digestive system is beginning to flex and contract to practice pushing food down through the digestive tract after birth. Its pituitary gland has started producing hormones. And the baby's bone marrow is making white blood cells, which will one day help the baby fight infections. 

         For the most part, I'm feeling good. I have been able to exercise some and have a bit more energy and I'm able to eat most anything I want. I haven't gained any weight yet and am still able to fit into my regular jeans. I have had a cold this past week and have been really congested so that's not been much fun. 
        Our ultrasound on Friday was really special. In just the four weeks since our last one, the baby looks so much more like a baby. You can see his or her little fingers and its legs were kicking. It's amazing how quickly the baby has changed in just a few weeks. After seeing the ultrasound, I got the distinct feeling that I was looking at a baby girl, but we won't know for sure for at least another month. Our anatomy scan is scheduled for eight weeks from now, at which point I will be 21 weeks pregnant. We found out Owen was a boy at about 18 weeks, so I don't think I'm going to be able to wait that long. We are going to start looking for a boutique ultrasound place so that we can find out whether the baby is a boy or girl earlier. In the meantime, we've been checking out some old wives tales to predict the baby's gender and I will be posting those soon for fun. We will also add a poll on the blog so everyone can begin making predictions. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Citrus Lane review (February box)

      My February Citrus Lane box came yesterday and I wanted to share all the fun products that came inside. February's box was the second box we received after Citrus Lane made several changes to their subscription box program. For instance, they have done away with monthly themes so that they aren't limited by them as to what they can send each month and they can give out new products quicker without having them need to fit a theme. Though there is no theme, products will still be chosen based on the season and of course age and gender. 
       Also, starting in February, Citrus Lane began offering boxes for preschoolers in addition to infants and toddlers. You can have a subscription for kids from newborns to age 5.
      Here's the description from the new insert provided in the box: "Baby, it's cold outside. We're all anxiously awaiting the first signs of spring. This month's assortment of hand-picked products is a morning-to-night activity box of sorts, filled with things to make your days (and evenings) a little easier. From musical instruments to get everyone shaking and moving to bedtime stories that explore the great outdoors while we're stuck inside. And, don't forget to treat yourself to a little pampering too, with a beauty product that soothes and rejuvenates."
      Owen, of course, loved opening his box by himself again this month. He recognizes the Citrus Lane box and comes running to unpack it when I bring it in from the mailbox. We really loved our box this month and were happy with every item included. 

       This is the newly redesigned insert that came in the box. I really love the look of it. Once again, it features the little cartoon drawings at the top of the insert  that will at some point be used for activities, according to Citrus Lane. I do miss having the retail price listed on the sheet so I don't have to look it up on the Internet. 
      And here's what we received in our box this month. Owen received a box for a 22-month-old boy. (I included the product description from the box as well as my opinion on the product in italics):
  • Hand Drum from Hohner Kids: Let them march to their own beat with this easy-to-grip hand drum from the musical geniuses at Hohner Kids. A child-safe mallet produces a pleasing sound and attaches to the side of the drum when the jam session is done. We thought you'd enjoy introducing your child to the love of music now, so we are sending it a little early for them to grow into. Owen is loving this drum. He hasn't really shown an interest in musical instruments in the past, but he really likes drumming on this. Retails for $12.00.

  •  Sea Animals from Chronicle Books: Introduce your mini marine biologist to the mysteries of the ocean with this beautifully illustrated board book. Using simple and informative text they'll learn about everything from sea otters and sea turtles to whales, sharks, and dolphins. This book is really beautifully illustrated, but maybe a little too wordy for Owen right now. He seemed to be bored when I read it to him and kept trying to turn the pages. But maybe he'll like it better when he is older. And we love getting books so we can't complain. Retails for $6.99.
  • Little Buddy Wipes from Me4Kidz: With flu season in full swing, add this pack of antibacterial wipes to your diaper bag arsenal for on-the-go cleaning of messy faces, grimy hands, and even small scrapes. Infused with a fresh cucumber and tea-tree scent that kids love, the wipes kill 99 percent of germs without the sting of alcohol. While not the most exciting product to receive, I love getting practical items like this. I don't think I've had to buy antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizer since I've started getting subscription boxes. Retails for $2.49. 
  • Tooth Gel from Branam: Keep those pearly whites sparkling from the start with this tooth gel, free from fluoride, SLS, and saccharin. Developed by a pediatric dentist - and recommended by dentists, pediatricians, and pharmacists - the gel contains Xylitol, which is clinically proven to reduce cavity-causing bacteria and is safe to swallow. Perfect for 6 months - 4 years or whenever the first tooth emerges. We recently switched Owen over to real toothbrush (over a finger brush) and have been using Thomas the Train toothpaste. I am interested in trying this toothpaste to see how we like it. Another practical item, this is one we will for sure use. Also, the tube is huge compared to most of the tiny kid toothpastes at the store. Retails for $5.69.

  •  Lip Balm from Pangea Organics: We're so happy to share Pangea Organics' fair-trade, cruelty-free cosmetics with you! This full-sized tube of vitamin-rich, organic lip balm will protect your lips from winter's cold, dry air. We love its delicious but hard-to-place lavender cardamom scent. Plus, you'll feel good knowing that their products are always nurturing, hadncrafted, and organic. I am not generally all that excited to see products for mom in these type of subscription boxes, but this seems like a really great brand Though honestly, I hope I don't like it too much because $12 is way too much to spend on lip balm. Retails for $12.00.

       Another new change at Citrus Lane is the referral program and current coupon codes. Currently, new members can save $10 on a subscription if they sign up through a referral link from someone who is already a Citrus Lane member. The Citrus Lane member will also receive a $10 credit. My referral link can be found HERE. I am unaware of any additional coupon codes currently since they started this new referral system, but the great thing about Citrus Lane is that they offer deals for subscribers to renew their subscriptions a few times a year and that is how I've gotten a big discount in the past. 
     I have subscribed to several subscription boxes for babies and toddlers and Citrus Lane has been the only one to consistently impress me with the quality of their products, their customer service, and their price. In fast, I have canceled my subscriptions with all their competitors because I was tired of being disappointed by them.
     If you want to see more of my reviews, you can check out the December box HERE and included in the post is a link to the boxes all the way back to June. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pop Sugar Must Have review (February box)

  Even though my first Pop Sugar Must Have box was a bit of a let down, I was still intrigued by the company and I still really loved the variety of items the company includes in their subscription boxes. So I was really excited when Tim bought me the February box for my Valentine's Day present. I was interested to see the variety of full-size products from categories like beauty, food, fitness, fashion, home, and entertainment. And I was pretty certain it would be a good box with some Valentine's-themed items. The boxes cost $35 a month and are guaranteed to be worth more than $100.

     I received the my box on Saturday and was so excited to see what I got. Tim was really excited about it too and brought it inside and made me open it as soon as we saw that it had been delivered. I think he enjoyed checking out all the items almost as much as I did. And it made a really great Valentine's Day gift because it included a ton of really girly and fun items. He was so happy once we opened it up and saw how much I liked everything.  

     Each box comes with an awesome fold-out brochure that details all the contents of the box. Here is the description for this month's box: "Whether you're single or coupled up, love is in the air in February. Spoil yourself with a luxurious after-bath wrap, pucker up with a new lip color, and update your undergarments. Get wrapped up in a romantic love story before seeing it on the big screen while indulging in classic Valentine's Day treats: chocolate and conversation hearts. We hope you enjoy these special valentines from us."

And here's what came inside!

Must Have Fashion
  • Brokedown Spa Wrap ($84): This spa wrap is from the same company that sent the infamous scarf in the September Pop Sugar Must Have box. I received the white one, but it comes in five different colors. This wrap was launched exclusively in this box. The box also included a code for 30 percent off a purchase at Brokedown Clothing. This wrap is super soft and really cute. It is one size fits all and fits me perfectly (for now). It is really stretchy around the top so I see how it could fit a variety of people. It is rather short though, so I can imagine that a really tall woman would have a problem with it. But since you basically wear it in the bathroom while you're drying your hair, I don't think it would be that big of a deal. I am surprised at the high value of this item, which more than makes up for the entire price of the box. 

Must Have Entertainment

  • "Safe Haven" by Nicolas Sparks ($7.99): The insert says to "embrace your inner romantic with a copy of this book and a download code for a song from the soundtrack, "The Journey" by FM Radio. This book was appropriate since the movie was released in theaters on Valentine's Day. I have read several Nicholas Sparks books and while I find them pretty cheesy and formulaic, I won't mind reading this one. And then maybe once the movie goes to video, I can convince Tim to let me rent it from the Redbox and watch it together. 

 Must Have Home

  • Connoisseurs Quick Jewelry Cleaner ($7.99): This quick and safe cleanser gel and toothbrush set is easy to use and won't harm your jewelry or irritate your skin. It works on gold, platinum, and gemstones. I was so super excited to receive this in the box. I had jewelry cleaner back when we lived in Washington, but it was one of the items we had to toss because the moving company refuses to ship liquids. So my wedding and engagement rings have been getting pretty grime-y. I used this cleanser and my diamond is back to disco ball shiny again. 

Must Have Fashion

  • Hanky Panky Lace Original Rise Thong ($20): According to the insert, these panties are "comfortable, colorful, and just sexy enough to be worn for both your everyday and special occasions. Avoid visible panty lines with the flattering cut and fit." These are marketed as The World's Most Comfortable Thongs. I have heard of them before, but I have never spent $20 for one pair of underwear before. So they must be comfortable. I received the Diva Blue color, but they sent out several different colors in the boxes this month. Again, this is another "one size fits all" product that supposedly fits a size 4 through a size 14. A coupon was also included for 15 percent off a future purchase of Hanky Pankys. 

Must Have Beauty

  • Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain ($7.49): The insert says, "This lightweight stain works double duty, moisturizing your lips while also keeping the color on for hours." The container looks like a big crayon. I received the color Crush. It is a darker color than I would pick out for myself, but it seemed to fade some throughout the day and looked better. 

Must Have Food 

  • Mariebelle New York's Tresor Box ($12): I received the dark chocolate pearls. They are pretty tasty, but the pieces are really small so they are something you'd eat by the handful. Chocolate was a must-have for a February box though. The packaging is super cute too. 

Must Have Extra

  • Sweethearts Conversation Hearts ($1): These don't really add to the value of the box, but are a great nostalgic candy to include in a Valentine's themed box. I have hardly eaten these since I was a kid in school and it was a fun treat to share with Tim one afternoon. Though I distinctly remember the yellow ones tasting like banana and these were definitely lemon. That was a bit of a let-down since those were my favorites. I was interested in these flavors because they were quite different than I remembered. For instance, the green one is lime flavored and I don't recall that being the case when I was a kid. Mainly they just tasted chalky. 

      After tallying up the price for all the products in the box, I came up with a total value of about $140. I think this is a great value for the price of the box and I was really happy with everything included. And while I've heard of some of the items and brands, I have never tried any of these products before (well, except the conversation hearts.) I love trying new products and getting things that I normally wouldn't splurge on to buy for myself.    
     If you are interested in signing up for Pop Sugar Must Have, don't forget to use the code REFERFRIENDS or REFER5 for $5 off your first box. The boxes sell out quickly sometimes, but currently the March box is still available. And if you are not happy with your subscription, you can cancel easily online through your profile. No having to call a phone number and sit on hold to talk to a customer service rep!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bump update: 11 Weeks

       According to our pregnancy app, the baby is similar in length to a fig and is busy moving around inside my uterus. The baby is estimated to be 1.61 inches long from crown to rump and weighs approximately .25 ounces. This week is the beginning of a three week period where the baby will double in length. Tiny fingernails are beginning to form. Bones are beginning to harden and tiny tooth buds are forming under the gums.

       I have been feeling pretty good this week. I am not as tired as I have been and I've had the energy to exercise a bit more, which feels great. I have been doing a Sara Haley workout DVD and Tim and I have been doing some of the P90X workouts as well, particularly the abs workout while I'm still able to exercise on my back. I am hoping the weather will begin to warm up more over the next month so that I can go on walks with Owen. I have been planning my meals out each day to make sure that I am getting enough fruits and vegetables and dairy (for those growing bones). I typically eat about five times a day: breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert. Dessert recently has been either strawberries or fruit sherbet of some kind. This week's flavors are cherry, mango, and raspberry. Having this many "meals" helps me to feel good all day long since I can get kind-of queasy if I let myself get too hungry before eating. 
       Other than that, I have had very few pregnancy side effects/symptoms/whatever you want to call it. My nose has been pretty stuffy and dry and I'm still feeling a little bit of the first trimester fatigue. I also have the use the bathroom about a million times a night. I have been more emotional this week and feel like I could cry at the drop of a hat (and have). But overall, I'm feeling really good and I am looking forward to feeling more "pregnant" in the coming weeks. 
       We have a doctor's appointment for an ultrasound coming up later this week. That and a blood test will help the doctor's look out for any abnormalities and a week later, we will have a follow-up appointment with my doctor to check the baby's progress and discuss the results of the testing. We are so excited to see the baby on the ultrasound again and I can't wait to have more photos to share with our family and friends. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bump recap

Our ultrasound at 7w6d. The baby looks like a gummi bear.
        Well, where should I start? I had always thought after having Owen that we would begin trying for our second at his first birthday. Well, that date rolled around and the idea seemed crazy at the time. We were living in a hotel after all. And the idea of two children scared the living daylights out of me. So we waited and enjoyed each new stage and milestone that Owen reached. I started taking prenatal vitamins in the late fall (I always, well both times, try to start taking them at least a month before we start "trying") and one day (night?) we threw caution to the wind and decided that God would know when the time was right. 
        I got pregnant in the month of December and I took a pregnancy test that confirmed it on Christmas Day. It was three days before my period was supposed to show up and Tim had gotten up early to read the Bible. Once he left the bed, I was so anxious that I couldn't go back to sleep. So I snuck into the bathroom and then brought him the test so he could read the results for us. But we both already knew the test would be positive because I was napping nearly every afternoon and an Odwalla bar on the early morning drive to Tim's parent's house made me want to vomit. Plus I was getting up to use the bathroom about six times in the night.
       This pregnancy has been very similar to my pregnancy with Owen. Sometimes I feel more tired, but last time I didn't have an energetic toddler to chase around. I am craving many of the same foods that I craved with Owen, though I have had a major sweet tooth this time around. And I feel like my appetite is larger too. Sometimes I wake up in the night with my stomach growling and have to get up and have a small snack like a granola bar or a glass of milk. Like with Owen, I still haven't really had morning sickness. I've had aversions to a couple of foods, mainly the aforementioned Odwalla bar and coffee. Overall, I would bet that I will have another fairly normal pregnancy. And I can't wait until another few weeks have passed and I start feeling the baby move and start feeling pregnant. 
       I had my first doctor's appointment at 7w6d. We love our new doctor. She is super straight-forward and explains everything really well. She also took into account a lot of information about my first pregnancy. For instance, the fact that I make gigantic babies. She said they will monitor this baby's weight more closely so that I hopefully won't have to go through another labor with an almost 9 pounder. The other thing I really liked was how nice all the nurses and other support staff were to Owen. They didn't seem to mind at all that he was there and he was his usual charming self. I'm super excited that I get to have more ultrasounds this time around. With Owen, we got one at 7 weeks and then had to wait until 18 weeks to see him again. And after 19 weeks, after a trip to a local ultrasound boutique where we got more photos and a video, we didn't see him again until he was born. With this pregnancy, we had an ultrasound at my first appointment and we'll get another one at 12 weeks. We are so excited to see the baby again, especially because he or she will look more like a human being this time. 
       So far, we have been talking baby names quite a bit. We have several girl names that we like, but boy names are proving to be tougher. We have leftovers from when we were deciding Owen's name, but for some reason I feel weird naming a second son one of the names we decided wasn't good enough for his big brother. Does that make sense? So we're starting from scratch with boy names. Feel free to comment with suggestions. 
       We started taking weekly pictures of my "baby bump" at eight weeks and I've photoshopped in some information about each week so I can remember. I will be 11 weeks tomorrow and I will try to do a post each week about this pregnancy. (If for no other reason than that my mom wants to read about it every week.) We haven't announced this pregnancy on Facebook yet, but I'm fairly certain the majority of my Facebook "friends" don't read the blog. We will probably announce there after our next ultrasound unless we decide to do it sooner.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

More to love this year

We are happy to announce that a new little love will be 
entering our lives in September 2013!

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Friday Five

  •  Valentine's Day. I've really been a slacker in getting ready for this Valentine's Day. Last year, I was so on top of it and had gifts for Tim and Owen planned, dinner planned, art projects and sweets planned, all of it. This year, I haven't a clue what we're doing, eating, etc. I do have a gift for Tim (see the tennis shoes above), but only because he'd shown them to me on Amazon several times and I just said, "Order them for yourself. Happy Valentine's Day." Owen and I did do a Valentine's Day-ish craft this morning where we used a bent toilet paper tube to stamp hearts on some paper. I'm thinking I will fold the paper in half and use them as my Valentine's Day cards this year too. What are you planning for this Valentine's Day? Have you planned everything or are you behind like me?
  • Ebates Big Check Time! I am really excited because it's time for Ebates to mail out their checks for this quarter. I am not expecting a ton, but free money is free money, right? I made some of my money from shopping, but you also get cash back for referring friends who then go on to make a purchase. I have referred five people, but only one person has actually made a purchase. So if you are one of those four people, don't forget to use your account when you shop online! It is sometimes hard for me to remember to use it, so I just bookmarked Ebates so I will see it and remember. If you haven't signed up for Ebates and would like to, I would be happy if you would use my link HERE.
  • Happy Family + Bluum Giveaway. I found out earlier this week that I won a giveaway online from Happy Family and Bluum. I will be receiving more than $60 worth of snacks and treats from Happy Family. I really love this company, which sells organic and natural baby and toddler foods. I bought primarily from them when Owen still ate baby food and I really love their unique variety of flavors. They have since introduced tons of snacks for toddlers and I'm excited for Owen to get to try all of their products. 
  • Goodies Co. I signed up for a new subscription box company to give it a try. For just $7 a month, the Goodies Co. Taster's Box features an assortment of trial sized food samples. The company is still in beta testing, so they are only available through invitation. You can request an invitation HERE. Just FYI, that is not a referral link. It took about three weeks for me to receive an invitation and I am not set to receive a box until March, but I've heard really good things about this company and it seems like great value for the price. 
    Okay, so that's only four things for this week, but I got nothing else. Have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Graze box review

      Graze Box is a new snack subscription box that offers weekly deliveries of yummy, healthy, natural foods like nut and seed mixes, dried fruits, crackers, trail mixes, dips and dippers, and other natural treats. You can pick from a "nibblebox" (pick from more than 100 snacks) or a "lightbox" (pick from 50 snacks between 50 and 100 calories). The company will select four snacks for you each week. You can then rate the snacks after you've tried them - "trash" if you don't want them to send it to you again, "try" if you want to give it a try, "like" if you want it sent occasionally, and "love" if you want it sent regularly. You can also postpone your shipment if you don't want to receive it every week. The box costs $5 a week.

        I signed up last week when they first started shipping in the United States. They are originally a British company. I love their box and I love that the snacks are packaged in perfect portions. And I was really pleased with the selection that I got in my first box. The website actually lists what will be coming in your box so it wasn't a surprise, but I think in the future I will try not to peek so that I can be surprised next time. 
       A super cute insert welcomed me to the Graze Box program and listed my invitation code to give out to friends. It lists information about the subscription and where to find other information online and how to contact the company. 
      The back of the insert listed the nutritional information for each of the snacks included. The complete ingredients list can be found on their website, but they do list any common allergens like milk, nuts, soy, and wheat. It also lists "best by" dates for the snacks so you can make sure to eat them while they are fresh.
          I chose the "nibblebox" because I wanted to have the most options. I feel like I got a pretty good mix of snacks in this box. Isn't the packaging super cute? Each snack pops right out of the box so you can toss it in your purse, backpack, car, or wherever. 

Here's what I got in my box:
  • Lightly Toasted Pistachios: Whole pistachios roasted with a touch of salt. 192 calories. I really love pistachios so I'm sure that I will enjoy this. Graze offers several flavors of pistachios and I will happily try any of them. 
  • Toffee Apple: Sticky toffee sauce with dried green apple slices. 67 calories. This snack was pretty tasty. The dried apple wasn't my favorite, but the toffee sauce was scrumptious. The apples pieces are pretty small and the container isn't the best size for dipping so it did get a bit messy, but I wouldn't hold that against them. 
  • Fruity Mango Chutney: Fruity mango chutney with black pepper dippers. 80 calories. This snack was probably the one that I was least excited about since I don't love mango and it just sounds kind-of odd. But after giving it a try, I was actually pleasantly surprised. The flavors tasted really gourmet and interesting. I definitely liked it. 
  • Light Lemon and Poppy Slice with Afternoon Infusion Tea: A small piece of lemon and poppy seed cake with an afternoon infusion tea bag. 84 calories. I tried this snack first because its best by date was the day that I received it. I was not disappointed. It tasted like a lemon poppy seed muffin and the tea was really yummy too. I would be happy to receive this in my box each week. Currently, this snack is no longer available on their website, but hopefully it will return. 

      I received this box for free and was planning to cancel after I received it. But now I'm kind-of hooked and I want to try out some of their other snacks. They are so yummy and convenient. If you want to check out Graze, you can go to their website HEREBecause the box is new and still not open to the public, you have to use a code from a current member to sign up. You can use my code NC7LWWND to try out Graze, you will get your first box for free too! If you stick around for three weeks after that, you will also get your fifth box for free.