Saturday, December 13, 2014

November-February Reading Pile + Reader's Bundle #Giveaway (INT)

So it's been a month since we arrived in Poland and I've been trying to read as much as possible! I realized, I am really bad at sticking to my TBR list. Like, really, really bad. It takes a conscious effort on my part to not stray away from *the path*.

Also, I have since signed up for a couple new tours, so I added a bunch of books to my pile. Not many, just a couple, but still!

Anyway, here's an update on my progress...

Books I have planned to read:

Books I have already read:

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley (3/5 stars)
Revival by Stephen King (5/5 stars)
The White Plague by James Abel (3/5 stars)
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (5/5)
Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay (5/5)
The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose (4/5)

From outside of the list:

The Fog Diver by Joel Ross (4/5 stars)
The Dragons at Crumbling Castle by Terry Pratchett (4/5 stars)
Little White Lies by Katie Dale (4/5)
A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas (4/5)

Currently Reading:

There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake
Audacity by Melanie Crowder


Read 6 out of 24 books + 4 outside of the list


Because I enjoyed all the books I've read so far, and because many of them are hot 2015 releases, and also because I am having so much fun reading and eating European chocolate and drinking delicious coffees and teas and using European cosmetics, I decided to put together a Reader's Bundle giveaway - give you some love and share some of my favorite European things! (am I awesome or what?!)

What you can win:

One person will get this in the package:

- choice of one (1) book from my Poland TBR reading list (you can choose from the books I add to the list later, too) 
- choice of 3 MILKA chocolates 
- choice of 3 MOKATE duo-sachets 
- choice of 1 FARMONA cosmetic bundles (they include body butter, bath gel and facial peeling)
- choice of 1 DILMAH tea
- one JOANNA NATURIA coffee + cream bath/shower gel

The giveaway will run until February 5th and it is open to INTERNATIONAL entrants. 

Enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

[3rd Annual] Travelin' With Baby Giveaway Hop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome to the [3rd Annual] Travelin’ with Baby Giveaway Hop Event, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network.
We’ve got a fabulous group of bloggers that have come together to offer giveaways on the best products that make traveling with baby a success - so be sure to hop around to them all. Don't miss out on the amazing new stroller from Combi USA - the F2 Stroller which is the ultimate lightweight stroller that makes traveling with baby a breeze and a fabulous set of reusable snack pouches and bags from Yummi Pouch! Enter the Grand Prize Here.

So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Keeping Cool in the Sun participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Amber Teething Necklace - Does it work? | MacRae Naturals + Giveaway

My experience:

I have always been intrigued by the idea of amber teething necklaces, though I certainly wasn't a firm believer in their healing / anesthetic power. It took some researched and talking to fellow moms to convince myself to give this idea a try. 

The wonderful Kimberly from MacRae Naturals offered to send me one of her gorgeous hand-made teething necklaces to test out and then share my honest thoughts about it - thank you Kimberly! This was just the perfect opportunity to see if these things actually make a difference - and, as it turned out, just the thing Victoria needed!

So did it make a difference for us? I believe so. Just 3 days after we put it on, we noticed Victoria wasn't drooling as much and within a week she stopped drooling altogether. And I am pretty sure the lack of drool can be attributed to the necklace, as I did try taking it off for a couple of days and the drool was back. Then after putting it back on, it was gone within 2 days. Just like magic. 

Did it help with the pain? The itching? I can't say for sure that it did (it's not like the baby can tell me, right?), though it certainly looked as if my daughter was in less pain. She was less agitated, went back to sleeping 10-11 hours at night, and chewed less on her teethers (before they were in use 90% of her waking time and she would bite down on them with incredible viciousness). 

I heard horror stories about teething babies - their painful screams, sleepless nights, fever, crankiness, tears.. I was dreading the moment my daughter first tooth would break through. I expected a living hell! And you know what? It honestly wasn't that bad. It wasn't bad at all! Call me crazy or naive, but I really believe the necklace made a huge difference. 

Victoria started wearing hers at about 6 months old. She is now almost 8 months old and she just got her second tooth! And we haven't had a single sleepless night, she did not break out in fever, she was merely occasionally agitated (and where the necklace didn't help, the various teethers came to the rescue), we didn't have to give her any pain medication - not even a single time - and she was just really content and cheerful throughout the whole thing. I was amazed and speechless. 

So do I recommend buying one for your child? Absolutely! Why wouldn't you? Even if for whatever reason it won't work as well on your child as it did on mine, it still won't hurt to try, right? And it's beautiful, fashionable and completely safe (even to sleep with it on). And - very affordable!

Amber properties - the facts :

Baltic Amber is a natural analgesic and healing agent containing succinic acid. Our bodies naturally produce succinic acid, which works like a natural ibuprofen.  When Amber is worn against the skin, your body warmth causes the amber to release oil containing trace amounts of the acid that your skin absorbs. When absorbed into the skin, it can relieve the following:

  • aches & pains
  • arthritis, carpal tunnel, & joint pain
  • headaches
  • stress & anxiety
  • inflammation
  • pain & inflammation in teething infants/children
  • excessive drooling in teething infants
  • back & knee pains
  • jaw pain & dental issues
  • neck & shoulder pains

Is it safe? Can my baby wear it to sleep?

The way the necklace is made - each bead has knots on both sides - ensures that even if the necklace breaks, only one bead will come loose and the rest of them will stay intact. The necklace is just the perfect length for your baby's neck - not too long but just perfectly snuggly, with just a little bit of wiggle room for comfort. Your baby won't be able to put the necklace in her mouth and I have never seen Victoria actually grabbing it and trying to pull it. 

The beads are small enough not to cause any discomfort while lying down. 

On her page, Kimberly advises to always remove the necklace before bathing and sleeping, though I must say we didn't take it off for Victoria's naps and she was sleeping with it on just fine. Still, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Kimberly also says that: "The beads are the size of a pea or smaller and in the highly unlikely event the string breaks, they are small enough that if eaten they can be passed without harm."

If you have any other questions or concerns, I recommend to check out Kimberly's helpful FAQ on the website, or just ask Kimberly directly - she is very helpful and wonderful to talk to, and will get back to you super fast!

About MacRae Naturals:

Kimberly, the founder and owner of MacRae Naturals, is a stay at home mom who runs her business all by herself. She is very passionate about helping moms and children get through the hard teething time. Her store bursts with amazing, carefully put together necklaces for both children and moms. She continues to add new items to the store all the time. 

You can find her on INSTAGRAM, where she often posts beautiful pictures of the necklaces as she adds them to the store!

To browse her store click here: MacRae Naturals Store

To help promote Kimberly's beautiful amber teething necklaces I am hosting a giveaway! You can choose items from the store - up to $50 worth - or $50 paypall cash! 

Please enter through Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 3, 2014

DIY Tutorial: Adorable Mini Glitter Jars

Ever since my lovely daughter started going through 4-5 jars of 1st Foods Carrots, Apple and Sweet Potato, I've been having a hard time disposing of the jars. In other words, I finally got a good excuse to try one of the awesome Pinterest tutorials I've been salivating over for months. Only today, I'm sharing with you the mini version of the glitter jar tutorial :)

What you'll need:

- Gerber Baby Food jars or any other small jars
- Mod Podge 
- Foam Brush 
- Glitter 
- Strings, Beads, Charms, or anything else you want to decorate it with (optional)

Step by Step Walk-through

1) Peel off the labels from the jars. Don't worry about getting the glue off, it really won't matter in the end.

2) Using the foam brush, cover the jar in a nice and even coat of Modge Pod

3) Apply glitter. Shake it a bit to even out the coat. Use a newspaper or some other piece of paper underneath for the glitter that will inevitably fall down.

 4) Wait about 2-3 hours for the Mod Podge to dry, then apply a top coat of Mod Podge to keep the glitter in place. Allow to dry completely for about 3-4 hours. Side note: Mod Podge goes on white, but it clears up 100% once it dries.

5) Decorate with whatever sparkly, shiny, pretty things you have on hand :)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Elizabeth Arden Summer Escape Limited Collection | The Look

The Elizabeth Arden Summer Escape Limited Collection is beautiful, elegant and chic. It brings to mind sandy beaches, deep ocean tides and soft summer breezes. You instantly feel like putting your cute little lady sailor's outfit on and throwing a glam party on your yacht. Or, if - like me - you don't actually own a yacht, to at least enjoy a long, romantic walk on the beach, soaking up the last rays of the evening sun. 

The colors are soft, yet very vivid, and the contrast between the shimmering beige/pink and the rich deep ocean blue, is simply striking. Add to that the gorgeous warm glow of the bronzer, the popping blue of the mascara and the radiant eyeliner, and you'll be turning heads wherever you go. 

I love the subtle, yet very charming and seductive look you can create with this fabulous collection. The gloss sticks are surprisingly soft and pigmented, and they keep your lips moist and delicious looking. The mascara really makes your eyes pop, with both the lovely blue color and the way it visually lengthens your eyelashes. And the bronzer gives you a hot, shimmery glow that brings to mind hot sandy beaches and topical destinations. 

The Elizabeth Arden Summer Escape Color Collection for 2014 includes the following:
  • Pure Finish Summer Escape Bronzing Powder
  • Pure Finish Cool Radiance Highlighter (not pictured)
  • Beautiful Color Gloss Stick
  • Beautiful Color Lash Enhancing Mascara
  • Beautiful Color Define and Highlight Eyeliner Duo
  • Pure Finish Cream Eye Shadow
  • Beautiful Color High Gloss Nail Lacquer (not pictured)

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Baby Essentials That Will Make Mommy's Life Easier

I can honestly tell you, I wouldn't survive without all these baby products! They're life savers through and through. I own all of these, use them on a daily basis and they really make my life easier - and keep the baby happy!

1) Snugli Carrier - We got ours at a second-hand local sale and it was quite a good deal! I use it whenever there's something I need to do / somewhere I need to go, and the baby just won't sit in her stroller / saucer patiently. For instance, I once baked cupcakes and then loaded the dishwasher while Victoria was snuggled in her Snugli. She was so comfy in it, she eventually fell asleep. How awesome is that?

2) Evenflo Excersaucer / Jumper - We got this awesome device from our family friends. It is the single most used baby product in the household. Victoria loves spending time in it - thanks to this jumper her legs are very strong now (like seriously, this girl can kick!). I can put her in it and she is content playing with the moving parts for as long as 40 minutes at a time. And guess what? After a 40 minute jumping session is ready for a nap :) Mommy loves this thing!!!

3) Organic Swaddle - This beauty is so big (47x47 inch), not even my little kicker can get out of it! She sleeps soundly through the night. No more struggling to swaddle your baby in a too small blanket, no more getting up at night multiple times to re-do the wrap. My nights have been made! And did I mention it's ORGANIC?!

4) Chewbeads - Whether your baby is teething or not, they probably enjoy chewing on things. I know my daughter does. I also know she struggles with oddly shaped chewing toys and slippery teethers. Chewbeads makes amazing silicone teethers that are healthy for the baby, easy to grab and hold on to, and really quite fashionable! Love these!

5) Soundspa - A very helpful little lullaby system that also works as a projector! It has 3 lullabies, 3 white noise recordings and 3 discs for the projector (ocean theme, nigh sky theme and jungle theme). I don't use the projector and the lullabies all that often, but I do play the white noise for my daughter every single night. It helps her sleep for sure, especially when mommy is working on a blog post just a few feet away from her crib.

6) Large and spacious Diaper Bag (Indigo Maldives Tote)- And the LARGE and SPACIOUS is the key phrase here. I finally have a diaper bag that works as a, well, diaper bag, but can also hold my bulky wallet, my phone, a book, and possibly some groceries. Seriously, it's that awesome! And it doesn't look like a diaper bag at all - just look at it, it's gorgeous! Stylish mommy, hello!

7) Baby Swing - Great for getting baby to take a nap. I love this swing, really. When it's warm enough, I drag it outside on the porch and Victoria is either happy swinging and looking around, or - even better - sleeping. And mommy can have a cup of coffee! 

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer Sweeping Blog Hop

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Summer Sweeping to Win Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network.
Summer is coming to a close, but it's still HOT, HOT, HOT outside. Each blogger in this Event has a giveaway worth at least $25 to help you stay cool and keep Summer Sweeping with this fun Giveaway Hop - so be sure to hop around to them all below!

So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Keeping Cool in the Sun participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Throwback Thursday: My Baby Pictures a.k.a Communistic Baby

These are just a couple of photos I happen to have scanned and stored on my computer, but trust me, there's more and I am going to dig them all up for you as soon as I arrive in Poland at the end of this year :) 

I joke when I say "communistic baby", of course. Kind of. Well, I was born in 1985 and during that time period Poland was a communistic country, but I don't actually remember much of it all. I have heard stories from my mom and grandma, and if that's something you'd be interested in, I'd be more than happy to tell you. One day. 

Today, let's just laugh at that chubby little kid with her Dumbo-the-Elephant ears (a lovely feature of mine that caused lots of insecurities in the years to follow). Isn't she adorable? 

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