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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Freeloader promotion

Via my association with US Family Guide as a contributing blogger, I am often privy to promotions and new products that I hadn't otherwise known about. One such product I have been selected to review, is the Freeloader. 
At first, I wondered what type of product could possibly turn the word "freeloader" into something useful. After all, a freeloader is someone who takes advantage of others to get what they need. So quite the laugh I got when I saw the toddler carrier! Yes, a Freeloader is a carrier device for adding ease to toting around the toddler-sized child. As a mom, I am thrilled to test this out! See below for more information and look forward to a review! 
The Freeloader is the First Child Carrier Built Specifically for Toddlers! It is a new, better child carrier. Compact, lightweight and portable, the Freeloader child carrier uses advanced materials and design to create a better experience for parents who love spending time with their kids. Whether you are traveling by air, going to the zoo, or hiking with your little ones, the Freeloader is ready to help carry the load. When not in use, the Freeloader's integrated aluminum seat folds up neatly to the size of a daypack. The Freeloader is a perfect fit for parents that want a lighter, more versatile carrier. The Freeloader features an easy-to-use, 5-point safety harness. The safety harness is specially designed to fasten securely and safely out-of-reach of your child.
The Freeloader provides wide, ergonomic shoulder and waist straps to evenly distribute your child's weight to your hips and core. The contoured shoulder straps are adjustable and provide extra padding for comfort and support. Padding in the back panel and seat offers extended comfort for your child.
The Freeloader is small enough to carry-on and stows away neatly, making it perfect for air travel, road trips and more! See more at http://www.myfreeloader.com/ and find Freeloader on Facebook at Facebook.com/myfreeloader

Freeloader FUN with the Family - 10% off your Freeloader Child Carrier when you enter the code "freeloaderfun" Take your children on the adventures of their dreams!
Coupon direct link here.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Falling in love with Sasquatch!

No, I'm not a Big Foot fanatic. And my husband, while somewhat hairy, is nowhere near being considered a Sasquatch. He's too short. 

No, I'm referring to the pizza company!
We have tried, and now love, the Sasquatch Pizza Co. In our search for tasty pizzas, full of flavor, we tested out a variety. DiGiorno was our go-to for quite some time. But you get burnt out after a while. My kids always want Tony's (its like cardboard for me). Yes, they are weird ones. My husband discovered the joy of Screamin' Scicilian pizzas next. They have great toppings on theirs. We still love them, but they don't have as much of a variety as we would like. So on we went to try others.
We came across Sasquatch Pizza Co. A pizza that boasts a weight of 3 pounds! They weren't kidding. While most of the weight is in the crust, they have huge slices of pepperoni and chunks of sausage on their supreme version. My husband and I usually finish a whole pizza in one sitting. This one was so heavy, we only finished it because the kids helped! We were stuffed after just a few square slices. But it was so delicious! 
The crust is thick. The sauce has a slight sweetness to it. All the other toppings were in a decent quantity and tasted great. Quite pleased overall with this one! 
So far they only have three flavors, but we would hope to see more of a variety one day! If you happen to give them a try, be sure to share your 'Squatch sightings on their Facebook page! #SquatchOut They are a Walmart exclusive. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Time to start Christmas shopping with Groupon!

I'm on a roll trying to create my Christmas shopping list. Between my family and my husbands family, we are having to get for a lot of people. Especially, since the family grew larger this year!
One of the best go-to's for me, is Amazon! There are all kinds of amazing deals. My in-laws even have Wishlists set up, so that I know ahead of time what they like or need. I set up lists for each of our family members for them. All year long, I add to those lists and refer family back to them. After all, how easy it is for me to think of a great gift idea, but then I forget the minute I'm asked what they need! And that list won't be just for Christmas. They are good for birthdays as well. 

On top of the deals you can score without a special promotion, now I'm finding out that there are Groupon Coupons! A friend of mine recently tuned me in to Groupon. I'd heard about it, but never thought it worth my time. Let's face it, I don't often go places or to events. And that is what I thought Groupon was for. Now I know, its deals span far more than that! My association with the US Family Guide turned me towards it as well.
This whole time, I had no idea of the potential that Groupon holds. There are coupons for Amazon, among a multitude of other merchants. Brands that I personally have an interest in would be Shutterfly and Lego, for a start. However, Amazon is my primary interest.
Click the link above or right here, to see the updated coupons they have to offer for Amazon. I'm looking at the Free Shipping, 70% off, and 50% off ones. I don't have Prime, so saving with coupons and deals, and especially to get free shipping - its the icing on my cake! They have so many items you can clip coupons for and use as you order. Lots of the items they have listed are things you use daily. I know that our family with 4 kids, needs every extra penny we can pitch!

So take yourself over to Groupon! You owe it to your wallet to save a little extra. And let me know what you think of it. What merchant excites you most on there?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Getting fit with Post-it!

Okay, so everyone might not be as thrilled as I am to have more Post-it Notes. I'm a bit OCD about my organizational skills. I love to have lists and reminders. My phone, my calendar, my fridge, my husbands desk... I keep notes and lists everywhere. Doesn't mean I always get those things done, or am on time with them, but I do try! And they are helpful. 
I was very happy to be chosen for the Chatterbox pack that promotes Post-it Notes. I was sent these products, free of charge, in order to get the word out about them. I was not otherwise paid or endorsed for my opinions! They are my own and honest to the fullest.
This little paperweight does more than keep my papers in place. It keeps my ideas on the roll!

I'm liking where they are headed with their ad for this product. Its all about setting up goals and working to reach them. What better way to do that than to leave notes about what you want to accomplish and give yourself some encouragement along the way! They have this idea to create a goal board. I love it! I have goals, but all too often I find myself giving up on them. I suffer a setback, a failure, or I fall short of what I aimed for. Next thing I know, I don't want to try anymore. I know that I have to push harder. That giving up won't accomplish anything. Without that steady push and encouragement, however, I slip into the rut of, "Why bother?"

These Super Sticky Post-it Notes can help with just that. They are 42% more likely to stick. So stick them where you know you will see them repeatedly. Where you have no choice but to read and see them often. 

I'm trying to lose weight. I want to do this to improve my health and get more energy. So I'm going to push myself and encourage myself with these. I'm going to place them on the fridge as a reminder to grab water instead of milk to drink.
On the pantry door, they can remind me to eat fruit or veggies or even some nuts before I grab the Nutella and crackers.
On the mirror, one can remind me to put in some squats while I brush my teeth.
And maybe one at the computer to remind me that I need to sit up straight with my feet flat on the floor while I type out my blog posts... 

I'm going to set my goals. And this time, I want to be a Goal Getter! What would you use Post-it Super Sticky Notes for?? 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Journey to Pain Relief: Hot and Cold

When we suffer pain, we often turn to heating pads or ice packs. But did you know that that might not be the best option? In some ways, it makes things worse. Let me explain. 
I've learned from various medical professionals, that heating pads are tricksters for your pain. It soothes the tension and the warmth lulls you into a false sense of being pain-free. In reality, its a mask that once removed, sends you spiraling as you feel that sudden jolt of sharp discomfort all over again. I do still use the heating pad. It has its time of being needed. My time for using it would be bedtime. I need sleep. I'm not a nice person when I don't get enough sleep. I'm grouchy and irritable. So when you add my lack of sleep to my daily, chronic pain... lets say that I make fire-breathing dragons look like kittens. 
So when I'm feeling especially bad, I will take the heating pad to bed with me. Sometimes, I even wrap it around my lower back, under my shirt to keep it in place in case I roll over in my sleep. 

The one I have, I love! I have the SoftHeat heating pad. Mine has three settings of heat. And it turns itself off after a while. The one I linked to, actually has been updated from my older one to have 4 settings of heat. Walgreens also has a deluxe model that straps on. Getting fancy! Though they cost the same. Usually, I'm asleep before it turns off. I also love that it has a washable cover that comes off with a snap. And the best bonus to this? Being a natural popsicle, this also ensures I won't be shivering in my bed! Hey hey! I like to turn it on, set it in bed under the blanket, get ready for bed, and finally lay down feeling warm. Just remember, I'm fully aware that my pain will return in the morning with my consciousness. For now, its a short term fix to get more, restful sleep. 

Now to talk about ice. Ice is actually better for your muscular pains. For me though, I feel like it freezes everything so while I'm on it, I have that same relief as in the heating pad arena. I used this when I would have to sit for hours at my desk job. The problem I had, was when I would try to stand up and walk after being chilled. I would tense up and stumble awkwardly until everything got loose again. 
How do we get these two to work in our favor? My chiropractor actually told me to alternate. You do 15-20 minutes of heat, then 15-20 of ice, and finish with 15-20 minutes of a break. It was a release pattern. Didn't help much, but I chalked it up to being pregnant and nothing would work during that time. I found this article that gives lots of details and information on making the most of your treatments with heating pads and ice packs. This type of treatment might not work for everyone. It sometimes does good for my back pains though. Always worth a shot, right? Let me know your thoughts on these methods in the comments below! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Family Photos with Bast Creative!

This week, a friend of mine did something amazing. He took some family photos for us. Sure, anyone can use a camera, right? Hmm... no. Not in the way he did. Luis Basurto is an incredibly creative guy. Thus, he has started his own business, Bast Creative. He has degrees in Communication Design. And he is quite passionate about it. He loves it! And now he is finally branching out. Finally sharing his talent outside of his day job. 

He was incredibly patient. Setting up a time that worked with everyones schedule was tricky, but he made it work. We chose an evening and a destination, Hemisphere Park. He brought the gear, I brought the family.


He also captured my family as we are, and not as people think we should look for those "family pictures". You know the kind. Where everyone is stiff, posed, and "perfect". I'll be the first to admit, those pictures might look nice, but they aren't real. With four kids, it can be difficult. And chances of getting it just right are very slim. Luis let us do our own thing. And what came from it, was beautiful! It is us. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, these pictures tell our story. They show us, just as we are. I highly recommend Luis Basurto at Bast Creative. For photography, for design. He does it all. And he does it well. Check out his website here. He is also on Facebook. And don't hesitate to tell me what you think!

Care packages from Mom!

What better way to get through the summer than with things sent by my Mom?! The kids and I are like children in the toy store every time. Even though she tells me mostly what she is sending, its like that surprise gift. 
She sent this one Priority, but as usual, the Postal Service took its sweet time. I told her to save her money and stick with regular post next time. After all, they earned the name, Snail Mail, for a reason! 

She had sent a large stack of clothing for the weed I call my baby girl. She is shooting through her 9-12 month clothes already. So its time to start getting those next sizes. And since my Mom loves to spoil her grand babies, she sends what they need as often as she finds them with great deals. Most of these were clearance deals. 
Then we have a Wonder Woman shirt for me!
Yay! And this cool bracelet with a note about painting it gold for a Wonder Woman cosplay.
I love my Mother! She read my mind without knowing... or did she? I had been thinking that it would be cool to find cuff bracelets that I could use for that cosplay. One down and 1-2 more to go! 
Mom also sent this big bag of pearls. Not sure what I will do with those yet. And some Pez dispensers for the kiddos. There was also some little princess figures for my oldest daughter.
And lastly, a gift that I will give to my brother for Christmas. 

But I don't have to wait for packages to get some neat finds. I went this past Saturday to the nearest flea market.
Its not something I indulge in often, but since I only had my youngest baby why not! I'm quite surprised at the things I came across. My first purchase was a Padme Amidala doll for $5.
I'm collecting them and she makes my second one. I found some Disney Infinity characters for $3 each or 2 for $5. This game is being discontinued, but the figures, or game pieces, are still out there. We have the console piece and I pick up the characters for it when I find them decently priced. So I grabbed a couple of them to offer the kids as incentives for doing more chores around the house.
This summer has been busy building a chore list and teaching them responsibility. I also picked up Star Wars action figures. My oldest son loves these! He plays by himself or with siblings, imagining the stories he loves so well with the figures in his hands. Those I got for .50 each.

We might not be able to afford Schlitterbahn or 6 Flags, but we are finding fun in other ways!

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Journey of Seeking Pain Relief

I recently wrote about trying to see the good while plagued with pain. The comments I received on that post gave me such encouragement! 
Pain is a fickle matter. It cannot be definitively measured, no matter how science tries. Each individual struggles with what their maximum limit is. Take for example, James Bond. Last movie I saw him in, he was getting his balls hit and still asking for more.
Okay, okay. I jest. But lets peek into reality for a moment. Everyone has their limits. Everyone responds to treatments differently. 
As I have mentioned before, I've been on over the counter pills for quite some time. Since getting pregnant in February of 2016, to be exact. Before that, I was taking pain injection (steroid?) shots. However, those were doing nothing since I was taking them on a day in the middle of my 4-ten hour shifts while working for Amazon. The shots require you to take one, rest for a couple days, and then resume life. Didn't help too, that they had me taking them once a week instead of upping the dose so I could go longer between them. My Nana was given the ones that were supposed to last a month. She always said she was lucky if the pain relief made it to two weeks. These shots are administered directly where your pain originates. For me, that was in the area right above a pinched nerve. This pinched nerve is above a slipped disc. That disc rests on two others that are degenerating. Yes, I'm literally falling apart here. So the doctors would numb the injection site. Then using a real time x-ray machine, they inject the medication in the bubble around the nerve. I admit that I only felt a sharp pinch and then sudden calm. For the rest of the day, I felt slightly tired and sore. But if I rested the next day, I had some relief for a while. Working for Amazon, though great as far as a job goes, did not help my back. The constant motion and heavy work was degrading my bones further. So I quit there and was given an administrative job that lasted a good year before I was laid off. 
That brings me to now. I have exhausted Ibuprofen and Tylenol. They no longer affect the pain levels I feel. They take care of headaches, but not the spinal strains. 
So what can a person do? I've been trying other methods. And I think it is about time I start sharing them. I'll write several posts. A series, if you will, of my journey seeking relief. And before anyone asks, no, I won't be trying recreational drugs. I have heard about their help. But I'd rather suffer than take that route. And no, I won't drink myself stupid to drown out my sorrows. Because then I wake up to four kids, reality and probably a mess... That, and I just don't drink much.  

I want to help others who are in the same boat as me. I know we are limited, but at the same time I feel that there has to be more. We just have to hope and keep searching. So here goes! My journey to pain relief starts now. Join me in it!