Thursday, August 28, 2014

Usborne Books Review and Giveaway (Ends 9/6)

I received a product for review.  No other compensation was given.  All opinions are my own.

We love to read books over here, and even when I'm not reading them to her Eleanor will sometimes grab one and sit for 10 minutes flipping the pages.  Sometimes it's upside down or backwards, but the point is that she likes it and is developing those reading skills. We also visit the library a few times a month and Eleanor loves it.

So when Cara reached out to me wanting to work together on a review and giveaway I knew it was a perfect match.

Cara is an educational consultant with Usborne books.   Usborne has books for babies all the way up to middle school age.  They carry board books, chapter books, sticker books and even e-books and story apps.  

Cara gave me the opportunity to pick a few books and I spent almost a half an hour trying to decide.  I checked out the books by age, by season, by style before making my choices.


Books generally range from $5-$20, which is pretty typical prices compared to what you would pay at a store or other online retailer.

What's really cool is that when you order from a consultant your books have a 50% lifetime replacement value.  So if your baby has the nickname of Princess Destruction (I'm looking at you sweet Eleanor) and decides to rip it up or throw it in the bathtub you can replace it for half price.

The Under the Sea book is a chunky board book.  I didn't realize actually how chunky until I received it.  I thought it was cool because she has no other books like that.  We also loved it because she has so many books about farm and zoo animals but oddly none about sea animals.


Comparison of the page thickness compared to another board book.






Reading it in the car











I also choose two other books as well.  I think I'm going to hang onto That's not my fairy until Eleanor's birthday but we have read When I love you at Christmas a few times.  I love Christmas anything and will probably read that one all year long. 

That's not my fairy is a touch and feel book and has the different textures on each page.  When I love you at Christmas is not a true baby friendly book (because it's not a board book) but the pages are of a thicker paper so she probably couldn't destroy it before I caught her.  Haha.  It is super cute though and is short and repetitive (each page ends with the phrase 'That's when I love you')





Cara has generously offered one reader a $50 credit to shop her site.  This could get you some great
books.   Enter below on the form.  

But even if you don't win, you still kind of do because Cara has also offered a 10% discount for those who order from her.  You will have to directly let her know your order as Usborne books doesn't have a coupon code option yet.  You can do so by emailing her at usbornecara@gmail.com and she will send an invoice to you.  Shop Here!

But but wait, there's more.... You can enter to win a free book on her page. and then everyone who's order totals over $30 will be entered in another drawing to win more free books.



a Rafflecopter giveaway




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Girls Crochet Headbands Review and Giveaway

It's no secret that I LOVE headbands for Eleanor (and yes that totally deserved caps!).  So when I was given the opportunity to review some from Girls Crochet Headbands I was excited.  I didn't know what they would look like until they arrived so it was fun anticipating the arrival. 

She has a lot of pink in her closet so finding something to pair with the pink bands was not really difficult.  She wore the cherry blossom to church with a pink and orange dress (seen below).  The black and pink shabby chic flower I paired with a pink top/skirt to accent the pink in the headband.

I'm really not that awesome at styling clothes/accessories though so coming up with something for the blue bands is harder.  I really do love that blue bow and have never seen anything like it.

All the pretties

Close up of a few






Some of the headbands were a little snug on her.  I know they should not really be loose though and it's basically because my sweet child has a huge head.

The headbands are well made.  None of the embellishments came loose, and I always try to tug them loose before putting them on Eleanor just to be safe. 

Girls Crochet Headbands sells more than just headbands however.  They sell rompers, tutus, dresses and all things girly.

They have offered one reader a $10 credit to use on their site and will include free shipping as well.  Enter below on the rafflecopter form. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Eleanor Update: 46 weeks




Sleep
One night last week she slept 13 hours! She woke once in that time frame to nurse, but I was like whoa!  

Actually she's been going to bed around 8:30/9 and sleeping until around 8 and usually waking once to nurse as well this week.


Oh and then I wrote that and that night (Saturday night) she wouldn't go to sleep until after ten and was up for 2 hours in the middle of the night.  It never fails that I write that and then she does that. She did however sleep from 9:30-7 last night without waking.  We took a walk this morning about 45 minutes after she woke and she fell asleep and slept for 2 hours.  Falling asleep in the stroller isn't unusual but falling asleep an hour after waking, and staying asleep during the transfer to the crib kind of is. 

Feeding:
We went to Logan's this week using a gift card we had from Christmas.  Rob got a steak and shared it with Eleanor and she seemed to like it. And she loooved the rolls!  But who doesn't?




Rob gave her some honey bunches of oats.  I wouldn't normally because it's sugary but I was sleeping when he did.

Also she had raspberries and seemed to like them even if she was hesitant at first.


Misc:
Working on birthday stuff.  I'm having a hard time not falling into the whole pinterest party trap.  I wound up ordering invites from Sam's Club (picked them up today and they turned out nice, and super cheap! $11 for 30).  My budget was $200 for everything (food, gifts, decorations etc...)but I'm right there and don't have food   We went to  Party City over the weekend and had a little bit of fun,

She stood for 2 seconds on Sunday before lunging at me.

Earlier this summer I bought this plastic rocking toy from an online yard sale but she was to young/small.  I put her on it on Friday and she loved it.

My parents picked her up a water table at a sale and that was also another fun toy she has enjoyed.














Monday, August 18, 2014

The Eleanor Update: 45 weeks




Sleep:
I started a cry it out sort of routine.  I started at 5 minutes and am up to 7 minutes (assuming she's dry, fed and I think she's just tired). If she's just fussing and whimpering it will be longer. I've heard people say not to pick her up, but stay in there and calm her, and I've tried that but she screams ad stands up in the crib if I try sitting next to her.  Usually I'll last two rounds of the screaming before I give in and nurse her.

Yesterday was Rob's day to get up early with her.  I started it a few weeks ago because I wanted a chance to sleep in at least one day.  She woke up at 7:30 ish, I nursed her and she fell back asleep until 9. The day before was my day to get up early.  She was up by 7:30 and Rob got to sleep in until 9.

Naps have been rough this week.




Feeding:
She's done a few cluster feeds this week.

At the same time there was a day where it seemed like she was a bottomless pit.  She has been eating a lot more solids though.




Misc:
We had a little beach day yesterday.  I had free passes so we checked out this beach we had never been to.  It was a nice beach and the weather was warm but overcast which kept a lot of people away.  It was a calm lake and there was even a splash pad.  She was a little intimidated by that, but maybe if we go back next year she would love it then.





Exciting news!  She's finally said 'mama' But she only says it when she's mad.  When she sees Rob she will smile and say 'hi dada'  but when I walk away from her or she's not happy she will say mama or make the 'mmm' sound.  That's a new thing this week.



Saturday we took my niece on a train ride for her birthday.  Eleanor had fun on it too.  She likes to people watch and looked out the window. She loves her cousin and my niece is so amazing with her.









Thursday, August 14, 2014

9 & 10 Month Favorites



There wasn't enough new things we used to make a nine month favorite edition so I'm combining this month. Here they are.  Do you have any things you would add?

1) Nuby molds.  These are a perfect way to get her to take purees.  She likes table food, and usually she get's that, but sometimes I like her to have veggies or fruit in more natural (read less additives) form so I freeze some in these and she enjoys it.  It keeps her occupied for a few minutes (but she does chow them down quickly).  





2) Momma cup.  Every time we've used this cup in public I've gotten questions about it.  It's one of the few that she has figured out. And when looking up the link to this product I learned they have a straw version which is awesome.

So I don't have a picture of her drinking from it, and this isn't even that good
of a picture anyway, but at least it's in the picture. :)


3) Playskool Vacuum
She's been so into the vacuum when I do it (and the floors have never been cleaner-ha) so I was looking at garage sales for one, and then my sister in law gave Ellie one she had got her her.  She didn't even know of Ellie's love of the vacuum so it was great.
The vacuum talks (and actually says some pretty funny things) although the eye moving kind of creeps me out.
 


4) Tylenol/Motrin
She's been so fussy, but no new teeth that I've noticed have popped through.  We give her a little bit of this on the nights where she wakes back up in pain (or so we think that's why) within an hour of going to bed.


5) Ergo
I used this here and there since she was born, but since learning how to back carry last month I've been using it a ton.  It's still sometimes tricky to get her in/out because I'm concerned about the carrier not being high enough on her back.  I can usually get it though- but still always check to be sure.

Picking Blueberries

Sleeping



6) Groovebook:  This is an app and for $2.99 a month you get a book of up to 101 pictures from your phone.  The quality is a little lower but I've gotten two books and still think it's totally worth it. If you want to try it out use the code URBAN164 and you can try it for free! And on a random note the covers are different each month and are fun prints.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Target #cartwheel #coupon

I just posted a Target gift card giveaway earlier so it's no surprise that I love Target. 

I love their cartwheel app.  The savings are small but they add up over time.  I've saved $16.49 just by using it. 

Purex has a special cartwheel deal where you can save 10% on Purex detergent and if you click the link below you can also download a coupon and save even more.  Perfect!

Purex Coupon

$150 Target Gift card Giveaway


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Target Gift Card $150



August 11  12:01 EST  To August 24  11:59pm EST.

Valid only in the Continental United States.
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Winner is chosen through random.org

All entries are optional.

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Disclaimer: Urban Times in Michigan is not responsible for the awarding of the prize. If you have any questions about this giveaway, please email the host at nysavingspecials@gmail.com. This blog, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media network is not associated with this giveaway.

The Eleanor Update: 44 weeks


Every time I write a new weekly update post and I write the week number I just want to cry.  She's getting so close to the 52 week mark.  Ugh!

Sleep:
Her sleep Saturday night was horrible.  My mom babysat so we could go to a wedding kid free.  She went to bed earlier than normal which was fine, but then she woke up and was up for 3 hours.  She didn't go to bed until almost 1 am.  It was ridiculous.

Then last night she fell asleep really quickly, slept from 8:30-3:30, was up for almost 2 hours and then I had to wake her at 8:30 (we were going to the zoo or I would have let her sleep in).



Misc:
I joined the local baby wearing group.  I checked out a woven wrap from the lending library but just need to learn how to use it.  I've tried a few times, but I can't quite get a good wrap.  She pops her seat or is wrapped to loose.

We visited a farm run by a family member of my dads.  She loved sitting in the tractor and seeing the cows.




We also went to the park and even though we have a swing at home a change of scenery was nice.




She learned to play she drop it game.  You know where I pick it (cup/spoon/block/whatever) up when she drops it?  Gets old real fast, but at the same time it's hard not to laugh

She's getting better at independent play.  There are times where she whines if I am more than two feet away but other times she will just happily play by herself for 10-15 minutes.

Feeding:
 She is still hit or miss on watermelon.  She'll eat it but doesn't really eat it with enthusiasm.  Does that make sense?

She loved loved macaroni salad.


She's starting to eat more solids.  She ate a whole jar for my mom.

I dumped a jar of pureed peas on her high chair and she ate some of it with her fingers and just made a huge mess.  But I was calling it a sensory experience. haha.