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Personalabs.com Review

I recently discovered I have issues with my TSH levels. Without getting into the nitty-gritty details of it, my TSH levels are affecting other systems in my body. I started medications and have been waiting for a re-draw, but, as my six-year-old says, I’ve got ants in my pants and I am impatient. I have made some massive  dietary changes, and the idea of keeping up the dietary changes if it’s not working, sounds like torture. While researching more on dietary changes that benefit people with high TSH levels, I found some information on a website called Personalabs.com.


Personalabs.com

I wasn’t really sure about it at first. I watched the videos and read about how it works, but I was still uncertain. Some states are ineligible to participate, but if you’re in an eligible state, it’s a pretty simple process.

  1. Order your tests
    Really, it’s as simple as buying something off of amazon. You find the test you want, add it to your cart and checkout. Easy peasy!
  2. Make sure your patient information is filled out
    After you checkout, make sure you fill out your patient information. I didn’t realize I needed to and there was a slight delay on getting my orders back because of it. My second order from Personalabs came in almost instantly, since my patient info had already been filled out.
  3. Check back for your lab orders
    It can take about 24 hours for your lab orders to appear in your patient portal. Once they arrive, print these out! You’ll need to take them with you!
  4. Take your lab orders to the nearest approved testing site
    Personalabs has approved collection sites across the country. Once you have your lab orders in hand, take them with you to the nearest collection site, which you can find by using Personalabs locator tool! You may or may not need an appointment, so if you’re unsure, call the collection facility. Because I had to travel a bit to get to the one nearest me, I made sure to schedule an appointment.
  5. Update your patient portal with the date your sample was collected
    Once your specimen has been collected, be sure to update the date in your patient portal. By entering the date you had your labs collected, Personalabs is better able to make sure you get your results in a timely manner and will get after the laboratories on your behalf if it takes longer than expected.
  6. Kick back and take it easy while you wait for your results!
    It really couldn’t be any simpler! Once your results are in, they will appear in your patient portal! You can then use your newfound health data however you choose, or print it out and bring it with you to your next doctor appointment.

My experience with Personalabs was amazing. I was stunned at how easy the process was, and even more stunned at how quickly the results came in! My labs were drawn in Anchorage, Alaska, shipped to somewhere in Washington and I had results available to me the next morning when I woke up, less than 18 hours after the initial blood draw! I couldn’t believe it. I have had labs drawn at the local hospital that take days and days (sometimes even weeks!) to come back; yet this came back ridiculously fast! I couldn’t believe it!

I never knew that you could order blood work online prior to using Personalabs.com but I am so glad I found them! I am not able to take control of my health, reduce the costs associated with my lab work, and get timely results from my lab work! Ordering lab work online has never been easier thanks to Personalabs!

Overall Rating: 4.8 Stars

Fulfills Purpose Well
Design & Visual Appeal
Ease of use
Affordability
Earth-Friendliness

Fulfills Purpose Well:

Personalabs.com is amazing. I didn’t even know it was possible to order your own labwork without visiting a medical provider. Personalabs helps cut out the middleman and allow you full control over your health! I could not have been more pleased with the service.

Design & Visual Appeal

Personalabs.com has an easy to browse website. You can sort tests by function, system, condition, or even just view them alphabetically. Each test page has an informative description of the test, what it is for, and the estimated wait time for results.

Ease of Use

Personalabs.com was simple to use. I found the test I wanted, added it to my online shopping cart, paid for my purchase, filled out my information and waited for my orders. Once my orders were in and the lab was drawn, all I had to do was update my testing date. The only thing I would change is an email notification; Personalabs.com did not email me when my results were in. It would have been nice for an email alert.

Affordability

Personalabs.com is extremely affordable in comparison to traditional physician-ordered bloodwork. Instead of paying for a doctor appointment AND lab work, you simply pay for your labs. It includes the lab draw fee as well, so long as you use an approved collection facility. In my case, my TSH test only ran me about $40 after a coupon code; much cheaper than what I was recently billed for a TSH lab.

Earth Friendliness

Personalabs.com works in conjunction with thousands of testing facilities to make the experience easier on the consumer, delivering results directly to the patient portal online. There is no faxing or mailing paper copies of results from clinic to clinic. I’d say that’s about as earth friendly as a labwork company can get!


Blood Testing for your Healthy Well Being

*Disclaimer: I was not provided any compensation for this post, nor did I receive any complimentary products. I have purchased these items on my own, with my own money. My opinions expressed in this review have not been influenced and are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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Bearpaw Boots Warranty Service Review

I love boots, but not fancy-and-cute-but-hurt-your-feet boots. I like the relaxing kind. You know what I’m talking about; they could be boots, they could be slippers, the world may never know! Unfortunatelly, Ugg boots just are NOT in my price range, so finding an alternative that was just as cute, was the next logical step. Several years ago, I started wearing Bearpaw boots. I absolutely love them and have bought a new pair every year since. It’s been great and I have never had an issue with them… until this year.

This year was a little different. I ordered my boots a bit too late. I had planned to buy them at Fred Meyer but all they had was the tall ones and I prefer the short, so I ordered online and waited patiently. They came in, looked great, felt great. I went about life like normal. Then, while taking kids on a walk, I felt like there was a golf ball in the bottom of my shoe. I shoved my hand down the side of the boot and nothing. I looked at the bottom and bam. The soles had split in a few places and there was snow from the ground clumping behind the sole, but beneath the fabric against the bottom of my foot.

UGH!

Of course, like anyone who pays good money for footwear, I was a little annoyed. I only had the boots  a few months and they were split? Whatever. I’ll just deal with it. Maybe I can duct tape it later? Of course, I would always forget to tape them and then regret it the second I went outside and got snow clumps in there again (or worse, wet feet from melting snow clumps). Finally, I got a spare moment to myself and when I went to email the company, I realized they had a warranty on all of their products.

 

The warranty process was simple. They collected a few details, including the style, color and size of the boot, nature of the defect, a picture of the defect, a copy of your receipt, and of course, your shipping details. I was shocked that within an hour, I had confirmation that my warranty replacement had been approved! A new pair shipped the very next business day and I was holding them in my hands less than four days after submitting the request (despite an “animal exception; animal interference” issue on the tracking somewhere in Nevada).

Overally, I was very happy about how quickly they dealt with it. I wasn’t required to send the shoes back to them (which meant I wouldn’t have to wait even longer) and they processed it extremely quickly! Although I wasn’t happy with the defect, I was pretty happy about how they handled it!

*Disclaimer: I was not provided any compensation for this post, nor did I receive any complimentary products. I have purchased this item on my own, with my own money. My opinions expressed in this review have not been influenced and are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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Whirlpool WDT720PADM Built-in Stainless Dishwasher Installation Review

NOTE: Due to the length and nature of this particular review, I will be writing two reviews; one on the installation process, and one on the dishwasher’s function and performance.

 

We bought our current house in April of 2016 and moved in June of 2016. Like most mid-range homes on the market, the appliances the old owners left behind weren’t the greatest. Our “new” dishwasher was no exception. The tiniest specks of food on a plate and the thing would clog and back up. We took the shop vac to the lines, cleaned and gutted everything, but it just wouldn’t drain well and it certainly didn’t wash well. In October 2016, that dishwasher completely bit the dust and I was washing dishes 3x a day just trying to keep up with a family of 6 (plus two bonus babies). We needed a new dishwasher and pronto. Unfortunately, it took us a while to get one (partly saving and partly the local store being out of stock).

Let’s start this with a funny story. In our very first house, we had a very old avocado green dishwasher keel over on us. My husband bought a new one and set it in the kitchen; and there it sat for months and months while he repeatedly told me “I’ll install it on my next day off.” In a fit of rage over having cracked and blistered hands from handwashing the dishes for months, I decided to install the dishwasher myself. Problem was, I couldn’t get it out from under the counter. I was so angry and frustrated, I took a sledgehammer to it. I broke it out, bit by bit, only to realize when I was done, that the entire reason it wasn’t working anymore was because it had come unplugged from the outlet behind it. Oops. I just sledgehammered the crap out of a dishwasher in a fit of pregnant hormonal rage, only to discover it wasn’t even broken, just unplugged. Needless to say, I installed the new one (and struggled to do so; many tears were shed) and didn’t breathe a word about the sledgehammer incident to my husband for almost three years. In our second home, I was lucky enough to have the plumber install the dishwasher and didn’t have to deal with what would have been a day full of tears and frustration.

As you can see, dishwashers and I do not quite get along. It’s not that I don’t like them; don’t get me wrong. I love dishwashers… But I don’t love installing them. The Whirlpool Gold Series WDT720PADM built-in stainless dishwasher was no exception to this.

First, I need to get something off my chest. The Whirlpool WDT720PADM Built-in Stainless Dishwasher is part of what Whirlpool has designated the “Gold Series.” Can someone please explain this to me? They are stainless steel. Maybe there were black and white ones, I don’t know. Dan picked it out and had it delivered. Either way, I searched online and there was nothing available in gold color. Maybe they’re supposed to be worth their weight in gold? I’m no marketing expert, but the name threw me off. Regardless of the name, this dishwasher is a beauty. I got so excited looking at the stock photos online! Way better than the one that came with the house and was probably made in the 90s.

  

I’ll admit. I was feeling way more confident about my dishwasher installation skills than I apparently had a right to. I woke up the morning of delivery and told my husband I would go ahead and get the old one out on the porch for the delivery guys to haul away. He was supposed to do it the night before, but someone (I’m not naming names) procrastinated and had to go to work by the time he remembered. No big deal. I’ve done it before, I can do it again, right? Dan heads out to work. I go flip the breaker to the dishwasher, test that it is off and start undoing the wiring. We’re all good, the coast is clear and I’m still feeling pretty confident.

Then comes the water valves. And boy, was that a fiasco.

I’m not stupid, and I’ve done this a time or two. Obviously, when working on appliances or plumbing, you MUST shut off the water valves to avoid a flood. I know this. You know this. I get under the sink and shut hot and cold water both off… And flood my kitchen. What the hell? I look again, and joke’s on me… There’s 3 valves. One is just super small and apparently contains nothing but scalding hot water eager to flood my kitchen and burn my arm. High pressure too, might I add. Holding my thumb over the end did NOT work.

 

So, my dishwasher installing day… Was certainly not off to a good start. I flooded my kitchen. And when I say flooded, I mean that hot scalding water was shooting out of this stupid hose all the way across my kitchen and dining room. High pressure. High speed. When I was disconnecting it from the old dishwasher, it was spraying out, but I figured it was just releasing pressure as I unscrewed it. Every other dishwasher I have disconnected did the same thing. Not a big deal. right? Wrong. I keep unscrewing and by the time I realize that it’s not just releasing pressure, it’s too late. Water everywhere. I’m trying to kink the hose and begging the three-year-old to get me a pot to contain the massive stream of hot water long enough for me to grab the pliers on the counter just out of reach and the kid just stands there with her hands on her cheeks saying “Oh no! Oh no!” At this point, I just have to let it flood. I crimp it and do my best to stretch across the kitchen while holding onto this really hot metal hose I have crimped in my hand and grab the pot. Let go of the hose in the pot and get the pliers, while the pot didn’t contain too much of the disaster… Finally get the water shut off, but my entire kitchen and dining room have standing water. And of course, I start crying at this point, so add those tears to the standing water situation and I had to use every towel in my house and a few bedsheets to mop up the disaster.

I contained the disaster, cleaned everything up, and got the old dishwasher taken out, wiring removed and hose removed. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling the urge to take a sledgehammer to this one too.

So, the delivery guys get there. They get a kick out of the story and tell me I should have waited for them, they could have helped me (which is funny because the delivery contract specifically says they cannot and will not help with removal or installation of any appliances). They get the new one upstairs for me and I’m ready for action. I thought “Well, it can’t get any worse, can it?” Installing them has been tough in the past, but not nearly as bad as taking the one I just took out was. The rest should be a piece of cake.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

 

So, I search my house for a box cutter. No box cutter to be found. I swear, I just saw one a couple days ago. Where the heck did I see it? I check the garage. Check Dan’s random box of stuff that often contains tools. Can’t find anything. GAH. I considered using a knife, but I didn’t want to hurt the dishwasher, especially with it being nice and stainless steel. Scratch the knife plan. I end up using scissors with a plastic coating on the edge, mostly because I felt like it would protect it from scratches. Two extremely cramped hands and ten minutes later, I have my Whirlpool Gold Series WDT720PADM Built-in Stainless Dishwasher out of the box. It’s a start. And of course, it’s beautiful and I get an excited renewal of my motivation to get this bad boy installed. It can’t be much harder than it was to get the old one out, right?

Side note: Whirlpool, PLEASE start labeling your pieces with what they actually are and not just the part number. It would really make everything so much easier for the consumer.

If I pull hard enough, maybe I won’t have to finish installing this?

 

I decide to start with something easy. I’ve already had my mishaps for the day and don’t want to tempt fate by jumping in too hard and too fast. So let’s just leave the dishwasher where it is and run the lines. That will be easy enough. The water line is already run, and so is the waste line… But do I need to replace it with the new one that was inside my new Whirlpool Gold Series dishwasher? Heck if I know. So I do what I do in every situation I’m clueless… I call my grandpa. He asks me what condition the old one is in… Dirty. Really dirty and gross. Yellowed. He tells me to replace it with the new one then, or I’ll end up having to do it later. Got it, gramps. So I hang up and onto the instructions for that. Everything is going great until I find this green tag on the hose.

I guess mistake #1 is that I removed the tag, when it clearly says “Do not remove tag.” Perhaps it’s the universe’s way of punishing me for not following instructions. No matter how I try, I can’t seem to figure out what plug I need to knock out in the disposer… And frankly, the image of taking a hammer and screwdriver to the garbage disposal does not sound like something I feel comfortable doing in the first place. I hate garbage disposals. They make me nervous. I’ve seen too many horror movies where people shove their hands down a sink looking for a ring and they lose an arm. No sir. Not happening to me! So…,. I call my grandpa again, because I can’t figure it out. He says the dishwasher company is assuming my garbage disposal is new as well, and when brand new, there’s a plastic plug where you hook up the dirty water line. Alrighty then. That’s been done. I get the waste water line hooked up and threaded through the cabinet wall. My confidence is renewed. I’ve got this and I’m doing great. I’ve got this!

Now, onto the easier part. Wiring! I go downstairs and double check that the breaker is off. I am paranoid about these things and I figure, it’s just extra exercise running downstairs again, so it doesn’t hurt to check and possibly prevent your own self-electrocution. In the past, I had always wired my dishwashers to a cord. I never bought the cords they designed to wire to dishwashers, since you can actually just buy a cheaper extension cord in the length you want and cut the receiving end off of it and wire it that way. Those were always pretty easy. This was my first time wiring a dishwasher into the electric on the house. I figured it would be about the same. You connect the proper wires. Electric tape them. Cap them. But the wiring on the house was difficult. It was actually really thick and I couldn’t just twist the wires together like I had with the extension cords in the past. After cutting my thumb trying to twist it together I ended up hunting down that pair of pliers again and using that to twist them together. I was kind of worried about it because I didn’t feel like I was able to twist them well enough, but I twisted, taped and capped, ran downstairs and flipped the breaker. Ran back upstairs and sure enough, the dishwasher turned on. The electrical worked. Ran back downstairs and shut the breaker off, so I could go back upstairs, connect the water lines and put the dishwasher under the cabinet.

So here’s the part that really makes me mad. I’m upstairs, feeling pretty damn good about it all. I’m almost done, it’s going great. I just need to connect the water line and waste line and we’re golden. I get the waste line on and secured. Perfect. I go to connect the water line and I can’t freaking find it. Uhh… I’ve done this before. The water line is pretty standard. They’re all the same, look the same and should fit the recieving end of the water line. The dishwasher doesn’t freaking have one!!!! Color me confused. I go back to read the manual again and apparently, you have to buy a rotating elbow fitting that goes between the dishwasher and the water line.

What. The. Hell. Whirlpool.

I call my grandpa again and talk to him about it. My husband is at work. I have three very grouchy toddlers running around the living room. I’ve had a day from hell. And now, I have to go BUY a dinky little part for this dishwasher that frankly, should have been included with the damn thing, just to finish installing it?! Not cool, Whirlpool. REALLY, not cool. My grandma is amazing though and she volunteered to come over and sent me to the hardware store where I proceeded to wander around like a lost puppy with a dishwasher manual desperate searching for some metal part that looked like an in-counter public bathroom soap dispenser. Some old guy took pity on me, realizing that I was not in my natural habitat and found the part for me.

$8.97

A freaking part, that was $8.97 and Whirlpool couldn’t include the damn part with the dishwasher? Seriously? It wasn’t an optional part. There was no way around it. You had to have this part or you could not install your dishwasher, end of story. Jack the price up $8-10, Mr. Whirlpool CEO, but at least include the part so you don’t cause so much unnecessary stress on your consumers after being forced to follow your extremely unclear and poorly drawn installation instructions on your products. Talk about adding insult to injury. This process was tough enough… Now I have to go search a hardware store for a part?

I get home. Get the stupid-and-should-have-been-included-part installed. Hook up the water line and tighten it with pliers to be sure there won’t be any leakage. Set the dishwasher back upright. Back it into the spot, only to realize I forgot to put the insulation around it. Pull it back out, line up the insulation on it. Push it back very slowly, wedging the insulation into the space between the dishwasher and the cupboard. It’s a tight fit, but we get it. I screw the feet to adjust the height on the dishwasher. Then I get to the brackets. I see where they slide into the top of the dishwasher, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how the heck to insert them. I consult the manual. Again, the drawings are soo poorly done that despite the clear differences in the two sides of the brackets, neither my grandma nor I can figure out which way they go. I get pissed and decide Dan can deal with it when he gets home. It’s in. Everything else is done. That’s all I care about.

It’s in. The kids obviously have to touch it and leave their fingerprints and handprints all over it immediately. But it’s in. Now for the moment of truth. I run downstairs and flip the breaker. I come back upstairs and turn it on. VOILA!

It lights up. Good sign. I didn’t screw up the electrical pulling it in and out from under the counter a few times. I get all excited and start doing my “Oh yeahhhh” celebratory dance, when my grandma tells me we should run a rinse and drain cycle just to see if it leaks, if it’s got water flow, etc. I guess I was excited prematurely. Way to rain on my parade, Gigi. Parade raining or not, she’s right. We probably should check to make sure there are no leaks. We start the cycle. Let it run a few minutes. Open it up, there’s water in the bottom. Steam everywhere. Nothing on the floor. Nothing leaking out. We cancel the cycle. It drains how it should. Everything is perfect. At that point, I install the footboard for it and we call it good. I do need to say I love the footboard on it. It’s a flexible plastic that lines up almost perfectly with the floor so crud doesn’t get stuck under the dishwasher when you sweep. It’s great.

The three-year-old who just threw her hands on her cheeks and said “oh noooo” repeatedly while the kitchen flooded.

 

Of course, my husband gets home and tells me “You didn’t have to do all that. I could have done it when I got home.” Seriously, dude? It took me all flipping day. He couldn’t have just done it when he got home. I tell him he gets to do the brackets because I am just done. I did everything else. He can deal with those because I can’t figure it out. He looks at the brackets, looks at the manual and thirty seconds later, they’re installed and screwed in. My grandma and I tried for HALF AN HOUR to figure those stupid brackets out. Although, he did enjoy telling people “She did all of the hard stuff… Water, waste line, electrical wiring… and for some reason, the brackets were too much.”

At the end of the day it took me, a toddler, a pot, every towel in my house and a couple sheets, a whole lot of tears, some pliers, a few phone calls to my grandpa, some insane acrobatic stretching on my part, a lot of frustration, a Gigi to babysit, a trip to the hardware store, $8.97, several trips up and down the stairs to flip breakers, electrical tape, a screwdriver with a bit I’ve never before seen in my life, and thirty seconds of my husband’s time, but it’s installed.

*Disclaimer: I was not provided any compensation for this post, nor did I receive any complimentary products. I have purchased this item on my own, with my own money. My opinions expressed in this review have not been influenced and are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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Sprouting Fail to Sprouting Win…

I’m a weirdo. I absolutely love vegetables and sprouts are definitely one of my favorites, especially while re-lactating, as they can actually help to improve my breast milk supply when I eat sprouts like red clover blossom, fenugreek and alfalfa. I just love sprouts though. Especially on sandwiches, in wraps or I will even munch on them plain! My youngest kid must be like me because I can hand her a bowl of sprouts and a fork and she’ll eat it like spaghetti, twisting her fork and slurping them up. There were a few problems with it though.

  1. Sprouts are reallyyyyyy expensive here. A small 8oz container at the stores here could run as much as $6.
  2. Sprouts are reallyyyyy hard to find here. No joke. Nine times out of ten, I’d go to the produce section and wouldn’t be able to find any sprouts of any kind. It’s kind of depressing, but I guess they’d be a more fragile produce item to transport to Alaska.

Because of these two things, I decided to start sprouting myself. It’s actually really simple and I didn’t even buy any special gear. Just a few mason jars and some plastic mesh. Maybe I’ll write up a tutorial on that soon. The problem I kept having though, was that the water would pool at the neck of the jar and my sprouts would rot. I am not kidding when I tell you that they rotted. They were full on rotting. It smelled like something died in my kitchen. I was rinsing them twice a day and setting them to drain, but I just couldn’t figure out the best way to do it. It was pretty hit and miss. Some batches, I guess I had them lined up perfectly, yet the next batch I would do what I thought was the exact same thing, and my sprouts would rot.

Needless to say, it was frustrating.

Initially, I had two jars propped up in an aluminum bowl like this, which was fine and dandy the first batch… But not the second… or third… or fourth…

After three &*%&()* batches of sprouts that were rotting and getting nasty within just days, I decided to go for plan B. I found a long narrow container in the home department at Fred Meyer that looked as though it would fit perfectly. It worked great at first.

The first few days it was great. The water drained. The seeds started sprouting. Then they started growing. I thought we were in the clear. Then, of course, it all went south. As soon as the sprouts were about half-way done, they started blocking the holes in the mesh, which was directly pressed against the bottom of the container. Cue more rotting sprouts.

At this point, I considered building some kind of little miniature wooden table to fit over the long container with holes for the necks of the jars, but I just never got around to doing it. I was about ready to give up. Then, while washing my pump pieces, I realized that my Boon Countertop Drying rack was sturdy, solid, and well-aerated. Perhaps that would work for sprouting seeds without the issues I was having previously.

 

I gave it a shot. The sprouts turned out perfect. Nervous it was just a fluke like my last “perfect” batch, I tried again a few times. It worked perfectly every single time!

Happy Sprouting!

 

*Disclaimer: I was not provided any compensation for this post, nor did I recieve any complimentary products. I have purchased this item on my own, with my own money. My opinions expressed in this review have not been influenced and are my own. This post contains affiliate links.4

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BabbaCover by Jessica Kim in Airy Cotton Review

Living in Alaska, bugs are a huge concern during the summer months. I really don’t like to use chemical-laden bug repellants on my sensitive little baby, but I also don’t want her to be eaten up by the giant mosquitoes Alaska is famous for. Not to mention, even though we live in Alaska, we still see enough sun during the summer months to get sunburn. It can be hard to know what to do with a baby during the summer months to protect them.

The BabbaCover by Jessica Kim in Airy Cotton is a great tool to help protect baby from sunburn while keeping pesky bugs at bay. The BabbaCover in Airy Cotton is a lightweight, yet durable and resiliant car seat cover designed to protect baby from sunburn and pests while out and about. The BabbaCover is made with a specialized SPF fabric that protects baby from sun exposure and the sides are made with a very fine netting to prevent bugs and other bothersome pests from bothering baby. The cover fits snugly and securely over nearly any infant carseat with a special elastic hole to provide parents with access to the handle, as well as a roll-up window to allow baby to see the world around.

I discovered an additional use for the BabbaCover. Although I loved it on the car seat, the BabbaCover could be used on rockets and bouncers that had a play bar, making the BabbaCover an even more versatile baby product. I even brought the BabbaCover along when our family visited the lake to keep my little one safe from mosquitoes, bugs and sunburn. Simply pull the BabbaCover over the entire seat, just as you would with the car seat, and baby is protected from bugs and the sun, with a light, airy, well-ventilated cover. The BabbaCover is a great way to keep baby safe from the sun and bugs during the warm summer months, especially while he or she is napping!

 

 

Fulfills Purpose Well
Design & Visual Appeal
Ease of use
Affordability
Earth-Friendliness

Overall Rating: 4.4 Stars

View more pictures of the BabbaCover by Jessica Kim by clicking here.

Fulfills Purpose Well:

The BabbaCover is a great way to keep baby safe from the sun and from pesky insects that may harass or even bite your baby. The fine mesh keeps pests out while the soft, but durable fabric along the front and back keeps the sun from burning baby.

Design & Visual Appeal

The BabbaCover is cute and durable. It looks great and is well designed.

Ease of Use

The BabbaCover is simple to use. Simply wrap the large elastic bottom around the sides of the car seat and line the elastic handle hole up with the handle. The BabbaCover is a great, cute and effective way for parents to protect their baby while in the car seat.

Affordability

The BabbaCover is a little more expensive than most car seat covers, however, the BabbaCover in Airy Cotton provides SPF protection; something most car seat covers do not offer. This SPF protection spares your baby’s skin from burning.

Earth Friendliness

The BabbaCover is durable and resilient and has withstand even the most rough use by my husband and I during our countless summer trips.

*Disclaimer: I was provided a sample product for my reviewing purposes. My opinions expressed in this review have not been influenced and are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

 

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BabbaMat by Jessica Kim Review

None of my kids have ever liked grass. My oldest couldn’t stand it and would shriek at the top of her lungs even we so much as looked at the grass when we were holding her. My second would whimper, cry and attempt to pick all of his limbs up off of the grass. My youngest was no different. She would scream as loudly as her little lungs would allow and would desperately attempt to get her arms and legs away from those little green blades of horror. I took blankets out with us to put on the grass, but the ground always felt especially hard and lumpy beneath the blanket.

The BabbaMat by Jessica Kim was one of the easiest play mats I’ve ever used. It is self-inflating and seals by simply clicking a dial. One of the best things about the BabbaMat is that it doesn’t feel like a balloon beneath you. It simply feels like a soft, almost spongy mat beneath you. It’s thick enough that it provides cushioning and protection from the ground beneath, making a much more comfortable and soft play area for baby, but it’s firm enough that baby isn’t likely to feel unstable or unsteady.

 

Going outside to play with my four-year-old and two-year old had been a bit of a chore prior to getting the BabbaMat. Sure, I could carry the baby around on my hip or in the baby carrier, but it was hard to coax her to lay down and play with us because she simply hated the grass and the ground was hard. With the BabbaMat by Jessica Kim, she was willing to play, babble and enjoy herself in the sun with her brother, sister, mommy and daddy without any complaining.

The BabbaMat is one of our go-to baby gear products now, whether we’re indoors and out. Since we first got the BabbaMat, our daughter was diagnosed with some health conditions which affect her motor skill development. The BabbaMat by Jessica Kim has been a great tool for us to use while we’re doing her physical therapy. We’re often able to get her to work hard and push herself further on the mat than we are when she’s off of the mat! We can’t come close to explaining how great the BabbaMat has been for our youngest!

Fulfills Purpose Well
Design & Visual Appeal
Ease of use
Affordability
Earth-Friendliness

Overall Rating: 4.4 Stars

View more pictures of the BabbaMat by Jessica Kim by clicking here.

Fulfills Purpose Well:

The BabbaMat by Jessica Kim is a simple, yet innovative baby product. The BabbaMat provides a soft, cushioned surface for babies and young children to play on without worrying about aversions to grass, or the hard ground beneath blankets. The BabbaMat isn’t overly balloon-like in the way many inflatable play mats are and doesn’t feel as if it’s a typical inflatable mat at all. Instead, the BabbaMat simply feels like a soft cushion.

Design & Visual Appeal

The BabbaMat was designed with storage in mind. As a parent who owns a relatively small home, I can’t stand having a million different baby products cluttering up and taking over my house. The BabbaMat is self-inflating and is easily deflated when the dial is turned and the mat is rolled up. The BabbaMat comes with a great storage case making it easy to roll it up and set it in the closet until we use it next, all within a matter of minutes.

Ease of Use

The BabbaMat is as simple as it comes. Simply remove the BabbaMat from the carrying case, turn the dial to allow air in and allow it to inflate, then move the dial to block air from escaping. Once you’re done with the BabbaMat, open the dial to allow the air to escape, roll the mat up, secure it with the elastic bands and place it back into the storage case until next time.

Affordability

The BabbaMat is a little more expensive than most play mats, however, the quality of the BabbaMat makes it worth it. Unlike most play mats, the BabbaMat doesn’t feel like a balloon or air mattress. The BabbaMat feels like a soft, supportive cushion.

Earth Friendliness

The BabbaMat is semi-earth friendly when I take into consideration how often I was washing blankets whenever we went outside with my daughter. To clean, simply take a wet rag and rub away dirt and grime from the BabbaMat.

*Disclaimer: I was provided a sample product for my reviewing purposes. My opinions expressed in this review have not been influenced and are my own.

 

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Salter 914 Electronic Baby and Toddler Scale Review

In September of this year, my youngest child was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy as well as failure to thrive. Her weight was much lower than it should be. In fact, her weight wasn’t even on the baby growth chart. It was a very frightening time. I was (and still am) breastfeeding her, but it was difficult for us to know if she was getting enough just by nursing. We decided to purchase an infant scale so we would be able to monitor her breast milk intake, as well as to keep aware of any fluctuations in her weight.

I wanted an infant scale that was accurate down to to the ounce, as we would be measuring approximately how many ounces she was taking in through breastfeeding, as well as how many ounces she was gaining. The Salter 914 electronic baby and toddler scale is accurate down to as little as 0.5 ounces. This was close enough that we would be able to get an accurate idea of how much she was taking in at each feeding. I took the scale to my father-in-law to have him test it (he owns a weight and measures company) and the scale checked out fine, accurately responding to the different weights.

The Salter 914 electronic baby and toddler scale has a maxium capacity of 44 pounds and can be used either with or without the baby tray attachment, making it great for small infants all the way to toddlers and young children. The large LCD display is easy to read and the hold button makes it easy to record a weight even if the baby is fussing or moving around. Even better, the scale comes with a five year warranty.

Fulfills Purpose Well
Design & Visual Appeal
Ease of use
Affordability
Earth-Friendliness

Overall Rating: 4.2 Stars

Fulfills Purpose Well:

The Salter 914 baby and toddler scale works well and is highly accurate in comparison to most home scales. The Salter 914 baby and toddler scale is accurate down to as little as half an ounce and the buttons are simple, easy to read and easy to operate.

Design & Visual Appeal

The Salter 914 baby and toddler scale is cute, featuring a teddy-bear like face when the infant tray isn’t attached, making it more attractive and appealing to older children. For babies who require the use of the infant tray, it is sleek and professional looking, much like you’d expect to see in a doctor’s office.

Ease of Use

The Salter 914 baby and toddler scale is simple to use, however, attaching the infant tray was a bit difficult at first.

Affordability

The Salter 914 baby and toddler scale isn’t the cheapest scale on the market, however, it is a great deal at approximately $60 when considering the scale is accurate down to as little as a half an ounce.

Earth Friendliness

The Salter 914 baby and toddler scale doesn’t exactly meet any requirements to be considered an earth-friendly product, however, it will save you trips to your child’s doctors office to check his or her weight.

 

*Disclaimer: I was not compensated, nor did I receive any sample or trial products in exchange for writing this review. I paid for this product using my own money and the opinions expressed in this review are solely my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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Wisey Added a Giveaway!

Wow! Wisey graciously agreed to add a giveaway to their review! Now, TWO lucky readers will win their very own Wisey Chic Mommy Bag! You don’t want to miss out on this giveaway, because these bags are AMAZING!

Check Out the Giveaway Here!

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Wisey Chic Mommy Bag Review & Giveaway

I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter, I was browsing through the diaper bags in the baby section and all I could think was that they were all so boring, bland and definitely NOT my style. After all, I was eighteen and carrying around a giant ugly tote covered in teddy bears wasn’t exactly on my agenda! For a while, I actually used a large purse as a diaper bag! This is where Wisey Products came in!

By the time I had my son, almost two years later, I still didn’t have a dedicated diaper bag. I usually just threw what I needed into an empty grocery sack or a reusable grocery tote. For me, it was easier, and less embarrassing, than to run around with some bag in puke-green, emblazoned with teddy bears and rattles. I had found a diaper bag I liked through a company my sister-in-law was a representative of, but I just couldn’t afford to pay what they asked for it, so grocery sacks and totes it was!

The never-ending challenge of the diaper bag only seemed to intensify when I switched to cloth diapering. Cloth diapering, although amazingly economical, didn’t always fit well in bags designed for diaper-carrying. So, again, I stuck with the grocery sacks and totes. After all, when I went places, I needed to carry three cloth diapers, a spray bottle and some cloth wipes with me. I can’t pack it all without room to do so!

When I first saw the Wisey Chic Mommy’s Bag, I was in love, although I was skeptical that it would suit my need for space! However, I loved the design and decided it was worth a try! I absolutely loved it! I had enough room in my diaper bag for three cloth diapers, the inserts for them, my earth mama angel baby bottom balm, a handful of cloth baby wipes, an empty grocery sack (for dirty diapers) and my spray bottle!

The bag, although it’s tiny and chic looking, is incredibly spacious! With several separated areas in the bag, as well as a zippered pouch, there was room for everything! Included in the bag was even a removable changing mat, making diaper changes on-the-go a breeze! I also loved that the bag could be used in a clutch fashion, or the strap could be placed on the opposite side making it a short-strap bag, capable of being worn just like a purse!

Fulfills Purpose Well
Design & Visual Appeal
Ease of use
Affordability
Earth-Friendliness

Overall Rating: 4.4 Stars

Fulfills Purpose Well

The Chic Mommy’s bag is not only amazingly stylish, but it’s spacious as well! The diaper bag was able to hold enough for my outings with baby, and with cloth diapering, not every diaper bag can meet that challenge! This bag definitely beats a grocery bag or tote any day of the week!

Design & Visual Appeal

The Chic Mommy’s bag is well designed, cute, fashionable and amazing! I loved how compact is looks, but how spacious it really is on the inside! Best part of all, it’s not covered in teddy bears and ducks!

Ease of Use

The Chic Mommy’s bag is very customizable and adjustable. The strap can be kept in a short loop on one side, fully extended as a purse strap, or removed altogether, making it easy to make it your own! The diaper bag is easy to open and close, and easy to pack and search through with the separate compartments and dividers within!

Affordability

Most diaper bags aren’t cheap (even the ugly duck and teddy bear ones), but this diaper bag is extremely affordable at only $39! I was shocked at how low the price tag was, as I had expected to see something closer to the triple digits! This diaper bag is great and can fit any mom’s budget!

Earth Friendliness

Earth-friendliness wasn’t emphasized in this product, however, it is capable of holding cloth diapers, and that’s earth-friendly! The bag works amazingly well and is quite durable, meaning it won’t need to be replaced as often as cheaper, inferior-quality bags would need to be, thus creating less waste.

Onto the Giveaway…

Wisey is going to give TWO lucky winners their very own Chic Mommy Bag! This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and ends December 28th.

Please leave a comment with your mandatory entry and any other entries that specify to leave a comment. You do NOT need to leave multiple comments for tasks worth more than one entry. You MUST leave your mandatory entry in a comment, or no other entries will be counted.

Mandatory Entry
Describe the UGLIEST diaper bag you have ever seen… and if you were the owner of it, ‘fess up!

Additional Entries

1 ENTRY:
Tweet about this giveaway! (1 entry per day! Leave a comment on this post with your twitter name for each tweet!) Feel free to use the tweet below:
@AnotherTeenMom Wisey Chic Mommy Bag Review & Giveaway! http://anotherteenmom.com/reviews/?p=759
Update your facebook status about this giveaway (1 entry per day! Leave a comment on this post with your facebook link for each update!) Feel free to use the status below.
Wisey Chic Mommy Bag Review & Giveaway! http://anotherteenmom.com/reviews/?p=759
Follow AnotherTeenMom on twitter by CLICKING HERE.
Become a fan of AnotherTeenMom by CLICKING HERE (you must be logged in!)
Vote for AnotherTeenMom in the top baby blogs by clicking the banner on the left and confirming you vote, or CLICKING HERE and confirming your vote. (1 time per day! Leave a comment for each time you vote!)

2 ENTRIES:
Subscribe to AnotherTeenMom’s youtube channel by CLICKING HERE and then clicking the yellow “subscribe” button.
Subscribe to AnotherTeenMom via email. (Look for the box in the right hand column!)
Subscribe to AnotherTeenMom via google/atom/Yahoo/RSS. (Look for the buttons in the right hand column!)

3 ENTRIES:
Comment and rate the “Wisey Chic Mommy Bag” review video on AnotherTeenMom’s channel by CLICKING HERE.
Write a short review about Reviews @ AnotherTeenMom on Alexa by CLICKING HERE!
“Like” Wisey on Facebook by CLICKING HERE.

5 ENTRIES
Blog about this giveaway!
Place the AnotherTeenMom button on your blog! (Email me for the code!)
Place the Wisey button on your blog! (Email me for the code!)

10 ENTRIES:
Forward a copy
of your receipt for a Wisey purchase to me.

**Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I was provided with a sample product in order to provide a fair, honest and accurate review. My opinions and thoughts are solely my own and were not influenced in any way. This post contains affiliate links.
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Zero Water Filter Review & Giveaway

Clean drinking water is essential. Humans should consume 64 ounces of water per day and with that much intake, you need to be sure the water you’re drinking is both healthy and safe! Even some of the water pitchers and filters you find available in stores aren’t making your water as clean as they claim to be! This is where the Zero Water filter comes in.

Before I could move into my new home in August of 2009, we had to have our well inspected. We live in rural Alaska, outside of town, so the house we were buying was hooked up to a well as city water was unavailable at the home’s location. The inspector discovered something known as coliform in the water and we had to treat the well for this. Since then, I have always been paranoid about our tap water. I don’t like drinking my tap water; it looks cloudy and discolored. I went as far as filling up containers with water at my grandmother’s house, located in town and on city water. This became cumbersome and tiring, especially having to drag two children to my grandmother’s house and fill up over a dozen empty milk, soda and juice containers.

We considered purchasing a water filter and even browsed them at the local store a few times, but we couldn’t settle on one we liked. We looked up reviews, ratings and more for the ones we found at the store, but everything was conflicting! I was thrilled when I was presented with the opportunity to try out the Zero Water filter for myself.

The Zero Water filter is the only water pitcher to meet the FDA’s requirements for purified bottled water. Most water filters rely on gravity to filter the water, however, the Zero Water filter works by using a patented five-stage ion-exchange system, leaving you with clean, pure water.

Each water filter comes with a TDS tester to measure the total dissolved solids in parts per million. When I tested my tap water, it ranked in at 71 parts per million. After running the water through the filter, it tested in at 0 parts per million. I was impressed. I even tested my husband’s bottled water at 16 parts per million, and my grandparent’s tap water at 41 parts per million.

The taste was noticeably different between my tapwater and the water run through the zero water filter! It was amazing how crisp and clear the filtered water tasted in comparison to my tapwater! After enjoying the Zero Water filter water, I don’t think I’ll be drinking tapwater again!

Fulfills Purpose Well
Design & Visual Appeal
Ease of use
Affordability
Earth-Friendliness

Overall Rating: 4.6 Stars

Fulfills Purpose Well:

The Zero Water filter drastically and noticeably changed the taste of our tapwater! It wasn’t only visible in taste, but in appearance as well! And when I tested both the tapwater and filtered water, there was no denying the difference!

Design & Visual Appeal

The Zero Water filter has a stylish, sleek look! You can pour water from the pitcher, or use the spicket at the bottom to dispense water into your cup!

Ease of Use

The Zero Water filter was incredibly easy and simple to use! Simply pour water into the top reservoir and wait for it to filter through. Dispense.

Affordability

The Zero Water pitcher runs for $35. Although this might seem expensive compared to some other water filters, it also does a much better job removing solids and other particles from your water! And with long-lasting filters, it’s well worth the money!

Earth Friendliness

Zero Water understands the importance of being earth friendly! The filters can be sent back to Zero Water to be recycled! Zero Water will even thank you for this (and offset shipping costs) by giving you a $5 coupon towards your next filter purchase! On average, a household can eliminate 2,800 plastic bottles per year just by switching to the Zero Water filter!

Onto the Giveaway…

Zero Water is going to give one lucky reader their own Zero Water filter! This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and ends December 17th.

Continue reading “Zero Water Filter Review & Giveaway”

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