UrthBox Subscription Box Review

I recently received the UrthBox subscription box and boy was I amazed at all the stuff jam packed into this little box! UrthBox is a monthly collection of healthy snacks, beverages and more, focusing on Non-GMO, Organic and All Natural products. Each month you’ll be surprised with Full-Size products from trustworthy brands.

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Here’s what I got in my Gluten Free box:

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Look how loaded this box is with lots of healthy goodies!

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Seaweed Love – Roasted Seaweed

These remind me of dried sushi wrappers without the sushi. So if you are a sushi lover you are bound to love these.

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Katapult – Tomato Basil Flax

This is a bunch of super foods blended together and dried into a crispy “chip”. It is well seasoned and even my 2 year old liked it! That’s a big WIN in my book!

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Missy J’s – 3 Truffley Treat

Carob chips with coconut, almond, and sea salt. It’s a pretty tasty combo. Satisfies a sweet tooth without being loaded with sugar.

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Peeled Snacks – Apple Clusters

These are yummy little balls of dried apples. Lots of crunch to satisfy that crunchy texture craving.

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Smooch – Strawberry, Blueberry, Banana Fruit Snack

This blended fruit snack pouch is great for fruit on the go or as a delicious but healthy toddler snack.

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Saffron Road – Bombay Spice Crunchy Chickpeas

Another great crunchy snack with a mild kick. This is a very generous sized bag to ensure lots of happy munching.

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Home Free – Mini Vanilla Cookies

Really, how can you go wrong with cookies? Especially if they aren’t bad for you! Double WIN!!! My toddler loved these. I kept hearing “more cookie” until the entire bag was gone!

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Natural Sins – Crispy Pineapple Thins

Pineapple is by far one of my favorite fruits, and this is a great portable way to enjoy it. This is probably my favorite product in the whole box.

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Ground Based Nutrition – Strawberry Creme Superfood Protein Smoothie

Don’t have time to make breakfast or need a snack after your gym workout? Just whip up this smoothie quickly for all the protein, fiber, and nutrition you could possibly need.

This month’s box had tons of variety and offered a healthy snack for just about every snacking desire. I’m looking forward to seeing what surprises the future boxes have in store.

HOW URTHBOX WORKS

Every month you’ll receive a box that prioritizes health. You will get fantastic full size products that must pass strict ingredient, sourcing, calorie, nutrition and manufacturing standards.

CHOOSE A BOX

Select a box size and choose from one month, three month, or six month subscriptions. Select from Classic, Gluten-Free, Vegan or Diet box options.

START DISCOVERING

Enjoy up to 30 brand new full-sized products every month at up to $100 in retail value.

EARN POINTS
Purchase more of what you love at member discounts. Plus earn big loyalty points for every purchase, redeemable at the UrthBox Shop.

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Jessica

Changing Table Makeover

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I’m finally beginning my nursery, and one of the first things I’ve finished has been this changing table. I went on the hunt for something cheap that I could paint myself, and I found it! $5 on my local facebook marketplace. Except it was in bad shape when I went to pick it up.

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Really, really bad shape.

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The first thing I did was take it apart and take the shelves out. Then I sprayed it outside with a powerwasher, and scrubbed it with bleach water. Next step-sanding. I sanded it enough that the loose pieces of paint came off, but  not all the way down to the wood. Because…that would take forever, and at this point I wasn’t feeling too confident in this.

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Then, back outside to spray it with a primer. I wanted to do a primer so the unevenness of the paint would look a little less obvious.

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Then I painted! 3 coats of Sherwin Williams Mint Condition, to go in my Coral and Mint nursery.

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I found this adorable fabric at Hobby Lobby! The selves were beyond fixing, and I was feeling a little skeevy about putting things on them anyway after seeing those whatever-they-were stains. So I bought this jersey fabric, and cut around each shelf.

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I flipped the boards over and hot glued the fabric down on the bottoms.

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Make sure you pull the fabric tight at this point! And make sure your lines are even if you have a fabric like this.

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That was it! This part was easy, and added so much to the table.

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Here it is all together!

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Stay tuned for more cute nursery projects! Signature

 

Burley MyKick Balance Bike Review

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If you haven’t heard of a balance bike yet, you need to check them out! Talk about one of the coolest toys I’ve ever seen. Learning to ride a bike takes some time but why should your kiddo have to miss out on the fun of one?! They shouldn’t. Burley‘s MyKick is one of the coolest balance bikes there are out on the market right now! The benefit of a balance bike is that your kid gets the fun of a bike without the pedals. Sound a little odd? I thought so at first too! The point is that they get comfortable on a bike before needing the added stress of learning how to pedal. Not only do they get to have fun by simply kicking off, but it makes the transition into a bike with pedals SO much easier.

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In three bright colors, you are sure to find the perfect MyKick for your kiddo. They absolutely look awesome and are just as much fun as they look! It’s pretty simple. Kids will just start balancing with their feet and kicking off to go. Eventually, they’ll learn to put their feet up and coast, getting them completely comfortable with balancing a bike. Many kids don’t even need training wheels when transitioning from a balance bike to a regular one! Of course Burley’s MyKick grows with your kiddo. The seat is SO easy to adjust without having to unscrew anything which was a huge bonus for me, especially when finding the initial perfect fit. Honestly, that was all we really even had to mess with when we got it too, since the bike came completely assembled with the exception of the seat! Trust me, that is a blessing that we all know as parents if you’ve ever spent hours putting together a toy. We all have! These awesome bikes are made to hold a kiddo for up to 50 lbs, so it truly will last until they are ready for a big bike!

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As soon as my son got a hold of Burley’s MyKick he had it figured out! He was so excited and incredibly proud as soon as he got going. I was so surprised at how easy it was for him to figure out. It instantly became his favorite toy!

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Look at that smile! You just can’t beat that! Since we’ve gotten the balance bike he has gotten quick on it and loves to coast downhill. He had originally gotten a regular bike for Christmas and after months of trying to teach him how to use it, we were both getting frustrated. Bikes aren’t supposed to be frustrating! They’re supposed to be fun! The MyKick made riding a bike for my son. When we brought back out the regular bike a few months after getting the balance bike, he hopped on and just started peddling as if it was natural! I couldn’t believe it! He still prefers his MyKick, but I now know that when they say that the balance bike will help them learn to ride a bike, they are absolutely correct. This is by far one of our favorite toys and it isn’t going anywhere soon. Make sure you pick one up for your kiddo HERE. Don’t forget to leave a comment with what you love most about your Burley MyKick balance bike!

kristin2

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Flying with a Toddler

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Have a major trip coming up? Flying to see the in-laws? Flying with a toddler can be a little (or very)  overwhelming, but with the correct amount of planning you can have a much less stressful trip. My 3 year old has been on a plane at least 8 times and I think I only recently started to figure some things out. To save you the stress of some unnecessary tantrums (trust me, there are plenty of them) I figured I would share some of the tips I’ve learned with you.

First: Make sure you bring a sippy cup or a pacifier (if your kiddo still uses one) so they have something to suck on for take off and landing. You know how bad your ears can hurt from the pressure right? Just imagine how much that can hurt little ears, and how frustrating it can be not understanding why you hurt. Fill the cup up with your kiddo’s favorite beverage (yes, even the dreaded juice) because you want them to be willing to take it when their ears start popping. This simple piece of advice can make or break an entire flight!

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Now that you’ve got that settled, you may have a wiggling toddler on your hands. Bring your car seat on the plane. Don’t check it. Don’t even gate check it. Not only is it dangerous to check a car seat that’s not in its original packaging but why would you give up such a helpful device for a stressful flight?! I was not smart enough to bring our seat the first few flights we took and honestly, I have no idea what I was thinking! Strapping your munchkin in is not only safer for turbulence, but you don’t have to hold on to a squirming kiddo. I can’t tell you how wonderful that simple thing is. You will be less stressed and so will the little one. No toddlers pressing the call attendant button or trying to flip over the seat onto a strangers lap. You may even both get a nap!

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See that kid not having a meltdown? Heck yes. I didn’t even need to hold him down. He’s also super content because I stocked up on snacks. Bring snacks for them! I have never had a hard time from staff with snacks I packed for him to keep him occupied. Keeping them busy is a MUST. Whether you bring a tablet (my sons favorite, with preloaded tv shows and movies on it), coloring books for them to draw in, or a few favorite toys… make sure you keep them busy. Bring A LOT of toys. Does your kiddo need their own carry-on? That’s fine. In fact, it may even help while you’re walking through the airport to keep them happy then too. Double win.

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Is your kid a bit too little to walk the whole airport alone? No worries. Keep your hands free by bringing a baby carrier. So many carriers have higher weight limits making it super easier to bring your child whether a baby or a toddler through the airport while wearing them. I can’t even tell you how many times this saved me while traveling when he was smaller. You don’t have to cart around your stroller and walk through lines with it. Check the stroller for your destination and be done with anything bulky until you get there!

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Overall, you know your kid best. Bring what will keep them happy and distracted. As long as they aren’t stressed, you wont be! You’ll be amazed at how accommodating the flight attendants can be to parents so if you need anything (like you ran out of juice or paper to color on), feel free to let them know! Enjoy your trip!

kristin2

Kickin Cowboy Dip with El Yucateco Hot Sauce

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and it’s advertiser.

All opinions are mine alone.  #collectivebias #habanerosauce #sauceon #shop

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We’re coming up to football season and everybody has a house full of guests cheering on their local team!  You’ve got all of your friends and their spouses and kids yelling in your living room and screaming at the ref on tv, meanwhile you’re trying to figure out what to serve the armchair quarterbacks.  It’s especially hard to find something quick if you’re nothing like me and actually WANT to be in there watching the action, haha.  You need something easy to make that’s warm (it’s going to start getting chilly in the next couple of months), somewhat filling, flavorful, and a crowd pleaser.  This Kickin Cowboy Dip with El Yucateco Hot Sauce is absolutely the way to go.  It’s got a delicious Habanero kick thanks to El Yucateco’s delicious flavors, with warm cheeses and yummy sausage to help even out all of the flavors.

spicy3Luckily, El Yucateco Hot Sauce is easy to find at most other grocery stores, I picked up my bottle (ok, 3 bottles because it’s really good and we go through it like other people go through water or, ya know, oxygen) at Walmart.  Unlike other hot sauces you can find El Yucateco in the aisle with the Hispanic foods because of its delicious authentic taste.

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All you’ll need to make this crowd pleasing dip is El Yucateco Hot Sauce, italian sausage, shredded cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and rotel tomatoes.  Seriously, SO easy!

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Adding the hot sauce right to the sausage helps really infuse the meat with the Habanero flavor to give it spice, not just heat!

spicy6Once it’s all mixed up you’re going to be tempted to hide in your kitchen and eat it all up.  Fight this urge.  Just make more for yourself later, it’s really that easy!  Serve it with some Fritos or even tortilla chips and it’s absolutely delicious!

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Kickin Cowboy Dip

Ingredients:

  • El Yucateco Hot Sauce (1 tablespoon or to taste)
  • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes
  • 2 packages cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1lb italian sausage

Procedure:

  • brown italian sausage completely
  • once sausage is completely cooked through add in the El Yucateco hot sauce
  • microwave the cream cheese for 2 minutes in a large microwave safe bowl
  • stir cream cheese and then add in the cheddar cheese and microwave for an additional 2 minutes
  • once the cheeses are thoroughly melted, mix in the sausage/hot sauce mix, and tomatoes
  • Serve with Fritos or tortilla chips and enjoy!

I hope you love this Kickin Cowboy Dip as much as my family does.  And remember, for more great recipes featuring El Yucateco Hot Sauce, check out their website, El Yucateco Recipes.

 

Bring On The Celebrations with Hallmark Value Cards

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #ValueCards #CollectiveBias

hallmark1With my daughter’s eighth birthday right around the corner I’ve been in hardcore “frugal mommy shopping” mode lately.  Between gifts, her party, and all the extra expenses that pop up, I’ve been looking to save money any chance I can.  She’s gotten to the age where everything has to be fancy and unique for her, so saving money can be difficult since she has such specific taste.  Not to mention, I really wanted to make a big deal out of her birthday!  She’s a pretty great kid (not that I’m bias or anything, haha), so I like going to extra mile for her.

Luckily that was made pretty easy with Hallmark Value Cards!  I was able to pick out 8 different cards for her, one for each year, and give them to her throughout the day!  She woke up with one on her pillow, one on her breakfast plate, and this one was attached to a balloon in front of the playroom door…

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She absolutely loved finding her cards all over the house!  It made her day so special to find them…even one from the cat that was sitting atop the cat food when she went to do her chore of feeding the kitty.  Every time I turned around she was opening a new one, either laughing at the pictures or commenting on how sweet they were!

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The cards were so easy to find in the card section of my local Walmart, with such a huge variety of them!  There was truly something for everyone’s taste there!

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Plus Hallmark has an awesome rewards program where you get a reward with every 4 cards that you purchase!  So not only do you only spend between $0.47 and $0.97 cents on a card, you also earn rewards!  I mean, seriously??

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I was able to get a wide variety of cards and it was so inexpensive to do so!  The value cards were so great that this is definitely the start of a new tradition for our family!

Be sure to go Hallmark to see what other bloggers are doing with their cards and to sign up for Hallmark Rewards, too!  You can also join the conversation on Twitter by using #VALUECARDS !

Cheesy Baked Manicotti

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Do you ever just crave something utterly delicious and just dripping in gooey melted cheese? That’s exactly what I was craving the other night, so of course I just HAD to make some cheesy baked manicotti! Plus it helps that my husband who hates most pastas (no, I don’t know what’s wrong with him!) absolutely loves it. So, I’ll cut the chatting and just get to it.

Ingredients:

1- 8 ounce package of manicotti shells

1-16 ounce container of ricotta cheese

6 cups of mozzarella cheese shredded

1.5 cups of grated Parmesan cheese

2- large (26 ounces) jars of pasta sauce or around 3 cups of homemade sauce

1 egg

2 tablespoons of dried basil

2 tablespoons of garlic salt

Great! You’ve got everything. First you’ll want to boil your manicotti shells until thoroughly cooked. Don’t worry if some of them break or tear, that’s why there are so many! Just make sure that you are a bit gentle straining them so you don’t rip all of them. Rinsing them in cool water is a necessity as you are going to be handling them and don’t want to burn your fingers, that’s never fun. While the manicotti noodles are cooling it is a good time to start mixing all of the filling for your cheesy baked manicotti together. Combine half the mozzarella, one cup of the Parmesan,  the egg, basil, garlic salt, and the ricotta cheese together in a big bowl.

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This is a great time to go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. After you have all of the filling mixed evenly, it is time to get ready to fill your manicotti shells. First, put about a quarter of the filling into a ziplock. You don;t want to fill it too much or you’ll just squeeze the filling out of the top. Using a ziplock will make it SO much easier to fill the shells, I promise. Seal the ziplock and then cut off the tip of one of the corners.

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Now you are pretty much ready to fill the cheesy baked manicotti. First and foremost, pour one of your jars or half of your homemade sauce into your pan to place the filled manicotti into. Place the tip of the ziplock into one end of a manicotti shell and fill it till the end. Flip that same shell over and fill the other end so there is no empty space. Put the filled shell in your baking dish and keep repeating. Your cheesy baked manicotti should already look incredibly amazing!

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After you have all of your manicotti lined up and filled in your baking dish you are almost done! Add the second jar of sauce (or other half of homemade sauce) on top of the manicotti in your baking dish completely covering the pasta. Top the sauce and stuffed manicotti with the remaining shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese and you are ready to toss it in the oven.

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Bake on 350 for 25 minutes until the mozzarella cheese is bubbly and golden. It will come out looking absolutely mouth watering. Go ahead and let me know how much you love it! Enjoy!

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kristin2

Egg and Banana Pancakes

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If you’re anything like me you have seen this egg and banana pancakes recipe everywhere on the internet and have just been to hesitant to try it, or just simply haven’t  thought of it while making breakfast yet. It sounds way too easy, and too healthy to be true! Well, I finally got the ambition to give them a chance and thought I would share the experience with you all. First, the ingredients. Watch out, you may have a hard time getting some of them (just kidding)

Makes 3 pancakes:

2 eggs

1 banana

a sprinkle of ground cinnamon- totally optional

That’s it! Just two or three super easy ingredients that I would be willing to bet are already in your house. So not only do you not need much but you probably already have the ingredients and they are crazy cheap to make if you don’t. First, mush the banana(s) in a mixing bowl. Anything to smush them with is just fine, I personally used a fork. This is a great activity for your toddler if you have one, mine loved it. It’s perfectly ok if there are chunks of bananas in there, we did not make ours smooth at all and it came out just fine. Add two eggs and stir it all up like you are making scrambled eggs. A fork is just fine for this as well! Here is where I added some cinnamon to ours, but you can easily leave that out if you like. I tried both with cinnamon and without it, and I will say they tasted amazing either way. The toddler really didn’t have a preference either! Pour pancake-sized glops on your pan just like you would with pancake mix and bam! You’re ready to go!

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The biggest difference I noticed while cooking the egg and banana pancakes vs regular pancakes is how they cook and when to know to turn them over. I was always taught once pancakes bubble in the middle it is time to flip them. That’s not what happened with these. Egg and banana pancakes cooked more like, well… eggs. So when the edges started solidifying is when I pretty much decided to flip them and that worked just fine for us. Once we had our 3 pancake batch cooked up it was ready for the hard part… feeding them to my very picky, almost three year old. This is the kid that wont eat anything remotely healthy ( I have a feeling he got that from his dad) and wont eat pancakes unless drenched in syrup. Well. I gave him a plate of the banana pancakes WITHOUT syrup.

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I think the picture speaks for itself. He scarfed them down! I’m sure it helps that they completely tasted like dessert. They were super sweet and tasted amazing. I will tell you, they didn’t taste just like pancakes but they are an incredibly healthy alternative. The kid loved them and so did I. The best part aside from getting my toddler to eat a better breakfast? I have something that I can eat whenever I get a sweet tooth without killing my healthy eating program! Turns out I have to cook these for breakfast more often. So go ahead, finally give them a try like I did and let me know how they turn out!

kristin2

Baby Bjorn Smart Potty Review & Giveaway

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BABYBJÖRN Smart Potty

PottyWhen my son received his new Baby Bjorn Smart Potty in the mail, he was so excited about it, he immediately insisted on using the potty. Potty training in my house has been full of ups and downs, successes and messy floors. Since the Baby Bjorn potty has arrived in our home, we have been practically accident free. From my personal experience, I can say that if potty training isn’t going well, it might be a good idea to try a new potty. What I love about this potty is that it is compact but has a very long bowl for little boys to aim into. Some potties have a short bowl, something through trial and error I have found does not work well for boys. The Baby Bjorn potty is the perfect size, especially for little bathrooms.  It has a sturdy base with non-slip rubber at the bottom, a nice easy-to-clean design so little accidents aren’t a problem, and they come in kid friendly colors!  I highly recommend the BABYBJÖRN Smart Potty!

BABYBJÖRN Gold Smart Potty Giveaway

BABYBJÖRN is SUCH an awesome company with a mission to help parents and kids that not only did they create this awesome potty, but they’re even giving one away to one of our fantastic readers!  Not just any old potty seat either, they’re giving away the limited edition (not available in stores) gold seat, a golden throne for your little prince or princess!  After checking out the amazing potty training tips provided by BABYBJÖRN, enter at the bottom of the page to win the super amazing BABYBJÖRN Smart Potty in fancy pants gold (not official color name… it’s simply our opinion of it’s fanciness)!

 

Potty Training Tips from BABYBJÖRN

by Pediatrician Dr. Robyn Strosaker from UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital

 

When?

  • Most children can be ready to start potty training between 18-24 months. Children will train easier before 24 months; some can become willful after that point.
  • Both the family and the child need to be ready. Review the signs of readiness and make a plan with your significant other.
  • If your child is having trouble, stop for 2-4 weeks and then try to restart.
  • Find a time when you can be around during the week to start potty training. Summer vacations or holidays are the best times.

How?

  • Sticker charts are great. If your child earns a certain number of stickers, they can earn a non-food reward.
  • If your child still wants to go in their diaper, take them out of it. If they are wearing underwear, they will feel uncomfortable when they are wet. If you are concerned about the mess, you can put the underpants on under the diaper. For those kids who don’t like wearing underpants, encourage them to wear them for a short time and offer rewards when they keep them clean and dry.
    • As a side note, there is nothing developmentally different between pull-ups and a diaper. Training will go quicker with underpants.

Where?

  • If your child has a certain area of the house he/she prefers to go potty in, it might be a good idea to get a portable potty and let him/her try that.
  • Put the portable potty in a room where the child typically plays to help them get used to the idea.

Other Considerations

  • Most kids aren’t ready to be dry at night until they start waking up dry from naps and some mornings.
  • To help keep them dry at night, stop liquids 2-3 hours after dinner, depending on your child’s bedtime.
  • When traveling: take a portable potty or potty seat with you, but you may need pull-ups for long car trips or plane rides.

 

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How about Free Books ? Amazon titles you can buy for nothing and read on your phone !

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Photo Courtesy of Amazon

If you didn’t think Amazon was already amazing after trying on eBates and monthly delivery for size, prepare to have your mind blown. Free Books.

“You don’t need to own a Kindle device to enjoy Kindle books. With our free Kindle reading apps, you can buy a Kindle book once, and read it on any device with the Kindle app installed. And of course, you can also read that same Kindle book on a Kindle device if you own one.”

Yep. For Real.

If you go to the following Amazon App Site, you can download apps that will allow you to read any book you have downloaded. Now here is the fun part :

Amazon constantly does free books. I fully believe in supporting websites and stores I love with e-commerce, but the fact Amazon does free makes this deal a little sweeter.

Today’s Deals include the following for you to download for free now – stash to read later – and keep for all time!

 

Herbal Remedies: Herbs that Cure Sickness, Improve Health and Fight Disease

Permaculture Chicken: Pasture Basics – For my fellow chicky friends

Mexican Cooking: Hot & Delicious

 

This is a Pre-Order so DON’T miss it ! Every DIY Pro should have it !

 

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