I first discovered this earlier this year. And I really loved the idea of this company.
Basically you rent toys on a monthly basis, and send them back in the same box, and stick on the provided shipping label. You can keep them longer if you want, or choose to purchase certain toys at a discount.
You can customize your piñata or have the company send you toys based on age. I like choosing the toys myself since both kids aren’t the same age.
The toys are mainly wooden toys, all from reputable companies. My favorite is plan toys which is a brand I also purchase from often.
First I wasn’t sure if it was for us. But I’m definitely sold now. I was worried if it was a good idea, but with two toddlers a month is more than enough time to get bored with a toy, and sending it back is so much better than trying to store all the toys they are currently bored with. We also use it to test out weather a toy truly is as good of an idea as we think. Will it keep the kids attention over time or do they just like it because it’s new and shiny.
Another thing I really love is the waist reduction. Instead of taking in new toys that might end up just being tossed or never used again, we get to ship them back and another family can enjoy them while our kids get something new.
Click here to use our code
Top 10 songs this week
In no particular order.
I’m wanting to dive more into my love for music and thought I’d start by sharing a little of what I’m currently listening to.
Charon - Little Angel
Nightwish - Sleeping Sun
Amorphis - House Of Sleep
Stratovarius - Eagleheart
Apocalyptica - Seemann
Cradle of Filth - Nymphetamine
Korpiklaani - Journey Man
Vanguard - asylum
The 69 Eyes - Brandon Lee
Leaves Eyes - Elegy
I have been pretty inactive on the blog the last few months. I just needed a little break and felt completely uncreative.
I was drained.
So lately I have I have been 'returning to my roots'. Things that I used to love to do, watch and be inspired by.
We got our netflix subscription back and I started binging way to many shows during long nights of being up with my boy or just killing time while he or his sissy naps.
I am a huge geek and it felt good diving back into my favorite fandoms and discorvering some new ones along the way.
So I am compiling a few of my favorite shows and the coolest merch.
My passion is still very much in healthy living, toxic free prodcuts and ethical businesses. But I needed a little break from all that.
Stranger Things.- Netflix original.
Oh my word. I was captivated half into the first episode. And the two seasons flew by way to fast. I cant wait for season 3, and I plan to rewatch the first two soon.
By the way- Total Joyce Byers here !
Supernatural - CW
I have watched supernatural for close to 10 years. It was one of the first shows I got super obsessed with. It has it all. Lore, angels, demons, great lines.. And Cass!
I am pretty sure Castiel is my spirit animal, eventhough the 5 'What supernatural Character are you?' test say otherwise. I managed to get -Sam, Dean, Ruby and Crowley.
The Gifted.- Fox
Even though this is a new show, I was hooked from episode one, and may or may not have obsessed way to much over it during their winter break. Reading just about every fan theory out there. I am embarrsed to say I have yet to watch the actual X-men movies, but I plan to while I await the return of The Gifted in the fall.
Character quizez agreed more with me on this show. Blink/Clarice here.
Thunderblink or Thunderdreamer? I cant choose.
The Vampire Diaries - CW
This has been one of my guilty pleasures for many years, but I kind of stop watching when I wasnt cought up on the seasons. But thanks to netflix I am getting cought up in all the latest drama in Mystic Falls.
Btw Team Damon or Team Stefan? - I cant make up my mind
The Runaway - Hulu original.
Another show that only has one season so far, and already got me super hooked.
But when I started watching it I almost gave up, it took me several episodes to really get into it. I kept going since I have a taste for Marvel and I am so glad I kept watching.
Favoirtes are Nico and Karolina.. Though Nico wins.
So many deals so little time.
I thought I would share some of the great deals, from some of my favorite stores.
Pink blush : new steals everyday and 40% with code Blackfriday (clearance is included, but steals are not)
Olive ave : Details coming, so far door busters, give aways and much more.
Paige avenue : 30% off + free shipping with code BF30
The Stock place : More info to come - Be sure to sign up for their newsletter
Feed : TBA
H&M : different daily deals.
Valfre : 30% off site wide. Fun clothes and accessories.
Roolee Boutique : 25% off site wide
Rapha house : 30% off site wide with code invest
Bannor toys : Different deals everyday starting Friday, and some days free shopping.
Cuddle and kind -No discounts, as they want to give back as much as possible. But they aid a surprise is coming up. Subscribe to their newsletter for more.
Little saplings : Daily deals on their cute wooden toys. Deal sneak peaks on their Instagram stories.
Cotton babies : Currently doing deals on toys.
H&M : changing daily deals
Kleynimals : Free shipping.
Briar handmade : several popular bonnets restocked and sitewide sale. Be ready at 9 am as these will go super fast.
Plum + Sparrow : 10% off. Moses baskets etc.
Billy bibs - 25% off store wide wide cose Blackfriday17
Loved By Sofie Claire : 40% off bows and pacifier clips
Little adventures : 20% site wide with code BF2017 .. the cutest dress up clothes for littles and adults.
Burt’s bees baby : pajamas marked down to $10 and some pieces as low as $4.
With Black Friday and Christmas coming up I bet most of us have a good deal of shopping to do, so I thought I would share places to buy where you can feel good about spending your money.
I am trying to avoid buying from places that don’t give their workers a fair life. I can’t enjoy something knowing little children or their mothers were forced to make this for little to no money, so I can buy it cheap. I know it’s expensive to buy from many more ethically conscious companies, but I try, and I have found more and more that are reasonably priced.
Another tip is buying second hand, that’s what we do for a lot of clothes.
Cuddle + kind
These amazing dolls are handmade in Peru and 100% fair trade, on top of that each doll gives 10 meals to children in need.
They are some of my children favorites and they just look amazing.
We have a lot of toys from here. I bought the first piece more than a year ago, and it’s now been chewed on, thrown and manhandled by two little ones and hasn’t shown any sign of wear and tear. This is a family owned company and they make all their toys toxic free in the US.
Smiling Tree Toys.
Cute and durable wooden toys for kids of all ages. This company is own by a couple in Minnesota and they make all their products locally and support other local businesses when they purchase their materials. They also donate to the peace Corp for each purchase made.
Another amazing little company making adorable heirloom quality wooden toys.
I can’t wait to get one-off their pieces. For each toy purchased they plant a tree.
This organization is very close to my heart. They rescue and help children who where trafficked into slavery and sexual exploitation. They give the children counseling, support and a safe place to be. They teach thm skills like sewing and then sell their creations to help them. You can help my donating or purchasing some of their many great items. Also take a minute to read a bit more about their work and their stories, some of them are heartbreaking, but the work is so important. They also care for the girls who come there pregnant and then later their children. So they need all the help they can get.
Neena and Co
Boho-hippie-chic bags that are so colorful that just looking at them makes you happy. I love their style. They are more pricy than most of the other companies I a, suggesting, but all their products are ethically made in Peru. Last year they had some of their seamstresses design a bag themselves and then it was Auctioned of, and the creator got all the money. You also got to see how working for this company had blessed these peoples lives.
A while back I needed a new purse. I wanted one that wasn’t made of toxic chemicals, that wasn’t to expensive and that was made ethically. My search led me to this amazing company. All of their bags fees children in Africa and all over the world. Their purses and bags are fashionable and cool. I can’t wait to get another. They just launched a new designer collection that feeds 100 children pr purse.
Most of their clothing, Acceories and housing products are fair trade. The selection varies from store to store, but all the Whole Foods I have visited have had a gorgeous selection.
Made by Mary
The most gorgeous handmade jewelry made in Utah. Most of the pieces are costum made and you can get it it personalized for every occasion.
Fawn and Lace
One of my favorite bonnet makers. A Stay at home mom from Canada, making these cute limited edition bonnets. They are made out of eco friendly fabrics and often from scraps. 5$ of each purchase go to women who were trafficked or are at risk.
Soft star shoes (handmade shoes, made in the US,)
Bryr Clogs (gorgeous handmade clogs)
Welcome (ethically made one of a kind designs)
Poppy lane and co. (Handmade bracelets)
Wild bird (baby carrier made by moms in Utah)
Kinnd (amazing project focusing on kindness)
This is not a blog post I have been really wanted to write. Who wants to talk about a topic that brings so much pain and sadness, but I have found so much strength from other mothers sharing their story. So I feel I need to do the same.
I have mainly struggled with post partum anxiety and OCD.
At first I didn't even know I wasn't okay, I didn't know my thoughts were controlled by fear. I didn't know that living in this shadow of worries and deep raw fear wasn't good. To me it became my new normal.
My biggest source of fear is my children dying, or me dying and leaving them without a mother. As I write this, I still remember the fear these thoughts caused, it was like drowning in a darkness only I could see. It hurt so deep that I felt I could never heal. I could spend hours looking online about stories about children dying of SIDS, cancer etc. all stressing about how I could prevent this. How could I make sure I could keep my babies safe. I would cry for these moms, their pain and their loss.
The fear of having to go through what they went through would paralyze me. It still does, it was like a I could feel their pain, and I felt it was needed. If I allowed myself to be happy, those bad things would happen to my babies. But now I know to stay away from certain triggers. I shouldn't click on a link regarding infant loss, no new sids statistics for me.
This is where it gets hard for me, I keep thinking I need to - I have to check these, because I mean, what if this is the one article that make the difference, the one that will help me keep my babies safe? It's became like an obsession. And I started to noticed I annoyed the people around me, so I couldn't talk about all these scary thoughts, the battle in my mind that was forcing me to read this, the thoughts just kept popping up, and wouldn't leave. It wasn't something I could control. I could no longer control my fear, and I felt so alone. It felt like screaming under water and no one was ever going to hear me. I didn’t feel better, I just became better at hiding my pain. I learned to only cry when I am alone, I learned how to fake happiness. But inside I was hurting so bad, and still do sometimes.
Not reading these articles can cause me anxiety, and reading it causes me even more stress, so I try my best to keep focus on staying away from it.
After I started taking medication I have found that I can sort of identify if I am being ruled by irrational fear. I still feel it, but I can take a step back and stop myself better. Instead of the fear taking control, not allowing me to be happy, thinking if I don't do something certain I'll loose by babies, I can now rationally tell myself to stop.
So the fear and OCD are still there, I can just call myself out on it now. But finding the right medication wasn't easy, I started in Zoloft and it just made me drowsy and that brought on more anxiety. I am now on buspar, and I feel it's slowly helping.
I guess the hardest thing to realize for me that my fear wasn't normal - not everyone spend that much time obsessing over their own death or their children's. A day shouldn't be filled with articles about cancer and infant deaths. And the next thing that was hard to realize was that it's okay, that I wasn't okay. What was happening to me wasn't fine, but I could be okay again. I needed help, buygt it's not my fault. I wasn't to blame for this, and I didn't need to be ashamed. Suddenly I read about so many other mothers struggling with this. This is where reading articles helped. I saw them describe their fear, and realized that was my new normal. I finally could relate, and see I wasn't alone.
Seeing other moms open up has given me the courage to be more open about it.
I have good days, and I have bad days. Some days fear is stronger, but those days are further apart. Some days I cave in, because I have to know if I can save my children. But the next day I am ready to stand up to my fear again. I hold my children tight and praise God he has given me opportunity to get help and to overcome it.
I really hope we can soon raise enough awareness that other mothers (and fathers) don't have to go through this, that they and their close ones know what to do early on. That we don't make it something to be ashamed of, that we see it for the illness it is, and treat it as fast as possible.
To me these are some of the most helpful things.
~ Awareness of triggers
~ Seeing other mothers who struggle and knowing they made it through.
If just one mother going through this can read it and feel better it’s all worth sharing. Or if someone knowing a mother going through this can read it and understand what’s going on. I would also like to add, that just because it’s in our minds doesn’t mean we have control. Asking someone with fear to stop being anxious is like asking someone with a cold to stop having a runny nose.
A few helpful links.
Friday favorites - new beauty purchases.
Mineral fusion sun screen powder - when I saw this product I had to try it. I mean a little powder to protect your skin, instead of sunscreen that makes you look shiny! Yes please!!! And I think I like it? Well let me put it this way the powder is very fine, so I am not 100% certain I got full coverage. But overall I like it, and I hope I can get a little better at using it.
Mineral fusion mascara - So far I really like this mascara, it seems to keep my eyelashes better separated than most, and I didn't feel like I was wearing any, no annoying heavy feeling, while still having the look I wanted.
Whole Foods volumzing spray. - I have tried many. Many . Many of this kinds so I didn't have to high hopes, but wow! This is amazing, hands down
my favorite new product. Easy to use, it gives volume without leaving me looking like a haystack, and it last for days.
365 bath bomb - So I have never tried a bath bomb and when Whole Foods had a sale on them I felt like it needed to try it. And while it was fun, and made my skin super soft, I'm not sure I totally understand the idea of it. Probably because I come from a country without bath tubs in every apartment. But if you are a bath bomb lover, this is a good non toxic choice.
Alba botanica make up remover - I was getting tired of using make up remover wipes, so just went with a completely normal no fuzz make up remover. I kind of want to try others to compare, but I don't use make up enough to justify having to many.
As a mom of two littles I don't always have time to make a meal for myself, let alone a healthy meal. I try to eat healthy, not only to get of my baby weight, but also because I feel so much better when I do, and the times I eat some unhealthy stuff, I feel tired and like I can't keep up with my babes.
This week I have tried to make a list of my favorite snacks, and treats, either to curb your in between meal cravings, or if you are to busy that can replace a meal if needed. Or if a mama just needs a little spoiling.
Friday favorites - toys
Finding toys that I felt were safe for our littles, and that we could also afford has been a pretty rough task. There are many great companies out there, sadly many closed shop after a short while. But over the last long time I have managed to find several places I trust to get things for our babes.
1. Melissa and Doug. I first thought I had hit the jackpot with this brand, they seemed to be fair priced, safe and have many options. They I was super sad when I read that there had been found lead in their products. We choose to test for ourselves and all our Melissa and Doug toys were fine. No lead! So far we have been happy with all the toys we have gotten from them.
2. Hazel village. Oh I feel in love with these dolls when I saw them. So cute and vintage feel dolls and animals. Made from safe materials, and at an okay price. Only downside is their dolls are on the smaller side.
3. Cuddle + kind. As soon as I read about this company I knew I wanted to support them. One doll gives 10 meals to children in need. And it's fair trade, so I ordered as soon as we had the money. Their dolls come in two sizes. And let me tell you the big doll is a huge hit with our daughter, she normally isn't a fan of dolls, because the likes to carry heavier things, and this doll is just perfect. They are so cute and I actually hope to get more from them, either as a gift or just more for our kiddos. They also sell prints with motivational quotes from each of the dolls. Those prints gives 5 meals. So charity, fair trade and cute dolls. Yes please.
4. Lamaze. We really love our toys from them, and they have held up with a lot of abuse so far. I also like that each toy often serve a few purposes.
5. HatchlingCo. Activity gym! This is so gorgeous and safe for baby to chew on, it comes with 3 teething / play strings and a teething ring. You can choose different color combos.
6. Bannor toys. These wooden toys are so gorgeous, made so little can safely chew on them and play with them, and they come in so many different styles and sizes. We have a rattle, and a limited edition key set from them and I love it. They have these super cute state rattles that I can't wait to get, and bonus you can get them personalized
7. Misc. When we were in Denmark last year we also picked up some brands there, and I plan to get a few more there, as the standards for what they consider safe for children are higher than here. I hope I can find places where these can be purchased in the states.
8. Crocodile Creek - I found them at whole foods toy section, and I was so happy since we had been on the lookout for safe balls for our girl. I looked them up while i was in the store to check out info about the brand and make sure they were at the standards I have for toys and i was very pleased. I love the ball we have and hope to get another in a different shape soon.
3 sprouts. They have such a great variety of sizes and styles, we will for sure be getting more. For our daughter they even double as toys sometime.
What are some of your favorite non toxic toy brands?
Seventh generation - First brand of diapers we used on Grace and she still uses them when she is not in cloth, they aren't the most pretty one, but I love them and she rarely has any accidents in them. Now Ezra has often leaked threw them, I don't know if he just pees a lot for his size or why this happens. But Grace never experienced this issue. With amazon subscribe they also come down to a nice price. I really wish we had used this feature sooner.Only downside, they seem to run a bit small.
Seventh generation (overnight) - I really feel Grace sleeps better with these, other than the fact that they are over night diapers everything else applies from normal seventh generation. I wish they would come in size 2, as that might help with Ezra leaking at night.
Earths best - So I tried these once with Grace and they were fine, but we just went back to seventh generation out of habit. Then when Ezra started having issues with leaking I read about these again on mama natural. She mentioned their absorbency. So we tried them, and so far we have much fewer accidents and Ezra seems to sleep better with these.
Babyganics (swim diaper) - We haven't actually been in a pool, but we did try them out in the tub, to see how they held up and so far they were fine. I wanted a cloth swim diaper, but we had trouble finding one that would accommodate a bigger toddler.
Honest company - the print on these are so so cute, it's like a cloth diaper in some ways. But when it comes to use, Grace got a rash every time, so I haven't dared to use them again. We tried them a few times and each time it was the same result.
Seventh generation - 110% my favorite, we only switch from them, if we are in dire need. I even clean our babies hands in them, so they don't just get used for diaper changes. We also use amazon subscriptions for these.
365 - I liked them, no annoying smell, Grace reacted very well to them and they come in a reusable box. Downside if you don't live close to a Whole Foods, you can't really get them.
Honest company - Not a huge fan of them, Grace did not react well to them, but they do come in convenient small sizes that I think is really neat for the diaper bag.
Water wipes - So these were some my husband got at the grocery store, and for a pee diaper I thought they were fine, but not sure if I trusted them for more heavy duty needs. But no issues at all with rashes or anything.
Diaper rash cream :
Desert Essence - We got this when Grace was born, and honestly we never had to try another. I love that it's safe enough that when Grace accidentally ate some of it nothing happened since the ingredients are so natural, but it still helps a diaper rash fairly fast.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.