Your Child will be Amazed Seeing Her Name in a Personalized Story Book; Win It (Bellyitch’s Fave Things $34.98)

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Next up on our list of favorite items is a gift that would certainly surprise and put a smile on the face on any child that receives it!

Put Me In The Story is an innovative children’s platform that takes nationally bestselling children’s picture books by celebrated and award-winning authors, and integrates personalization—creating personalized books that make your child the star of beloved children’s stories.


This is a great trend in storybooks because it brings the experience of reading a book even more alive for a child. I think it creates a love of reading and getting lost in a good book if a child can see his or her name in it and can further imagine herself or himself as the characters in the book.

With Put Me In The Story, authors are allowing readers to personalize their copyrighted, bestselling books to create the ultimate gift.

The guys at Put Me In The Story will gift one fortunate Bellyitch reader with their own book, “Ginger, Can you Help an Elf“, one of the newest titles, which would be PERFECT for the holidays!

Enter below thru midnight!

Put Me In The Story Personalized Storybook ($34.98)

Have a Healthy Pregnancy and Eat Well Package (Bellyitch Fave Things $39.98)

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This is the fourth and final day of my Bellyitch Favorite Things week and today, I’m giving away a copy of a book we just reviewed and loved: “Yeah Baby! The Modern Mama’s Guide to Mastering Pregnancy, Having a Healthy Baby, and Bouncing Back Better than Ever.”

An excerpt from the review:


In this meaty 350+ page book, Michaels aims to help enrich the unborn baby by making sure mom is educated on ways to eat properly, exercise adequately and avoid the toxins and other hidden dangers and misconceptions floating out there in the interwebs while she is pregnant.

The book is part information handbook, part autobiographical experience and part friendly resource and written from the New York Time’s Best Seller‘s perspective  as she did some researching and digging to uncover some truths about the pregnancy experience. There are sections dedicated to various experts and doctors she and Heidi consulted while on their journey to baby.

The team of experts that contributed to the book include:

  • Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, MD is an Ob-Gyn, a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, and board certified in Integrative and Holistic Medicine.
  • Andrea Orbeck is a PregnancyFitness Specialist who holds an advanced degree in Kinesiology and Intracellular Physiology.
  • Katja VanHerle, MD is one of America’s Top Physicians in Endocrinology as named by Consumer Research Council of America.
  • Cheryl Forberg, RD is an award-winning registered dietitian, chef, and New York Times bestselling author.
  • Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP is a pediatrician who specializes in infant nutrition and breastfeeding.

Together, the author team, help new moms navigate the hidden dangers in their immediate environment; understand the check-ups, tests, and treatments a doctor recommends; and provides powerful solutions for all  issues, from heartburn and swollen feet to more serious medical concerns. Also, readers learn how to optimize every facet of their child’s development, from IQ and long-term earning potential to future level of physical fitness and even taste preferences! Yeah Baby! also features a complete meal plan with delicious, nutrition-packed recipes, and a one-of-a-kind, trimester-specific fitness program, to ensure you bounce back stronger and better than ever.

Also, to pair  up with a book about having a healthy pregnancy, I’m throwing in this fabulous veggie slicer, the Art and Cook 13-Piece Super Slicer!

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This kitchen tool is able to slice, julienne, grate, separate egg yolks, etc. in one simple device that provides an easy to use non-skid bowl and all-in-one lid to grate, slice, clean and separate yolks in to prep for a variety of meals. Also includes a hand guard to protect your hand while using all blade attachments. (retails: $9.99)

The Super Slicer Includes:

  • All-in-one lid
  • Attachment lid
  • Hand guard
  • Non-skid bowl
  • Salad spinner
  • Yolk separator
  • Stainless steel triple blade
  • Egg beater blade
  • Zesting blade
  • Grating blade
  • Slicing blade
  • Ultra-fine julienne blade
  • Julienne blade

Win These! Contest Open thru the end of the day!

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Jillian Michaels and 13 Piece Super Slicer ($39.98)

Transform the Interior of Your Home on a Tight Budget

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Photo Credit: BeeYoutifullife

When most people hear the words interior design, they imagine work being done in the home by experts who are handed blank checks to transform the design and layout. Interior design in the coming year is all about more for less, meaning more functionality on a more efficient budget. The following home decor tips are from the online interior design retailer GoHaus and will help you completely change the look of your home and interior design while not busting the bank.

An affordable way to change the appearance of a living or dining room is to change the color of the blinds covering the windows. Traditional wooden or white mini blinds are common in a majority of homes still, but you can make a huge difference by just changing the to color. Painting wooden blinds one of the accent colors in the room helps to tie everything together while giving it a fresh look and costs a fraction of doing a full replacement.

Blending Room Colors
One cool interior design trick that will look like you spent a fortune is painting your kitchen with blended colors. To pull off this home decor trick, you need to start with the solid color you want to use in that space, then mix a gallon 50% lighter and one gallon 50% darker. Now you can paint the walls the solid color with strips of light and dark shades to accent. Stools can be painted in one color while the seats or legs a blend darker. Cabinets can be painted with the solid color, with the trim and knobs the shade darker or lighter. Not the best when it comes to color matching? Check out this tool from Adobe to find the perfect compliment, triad or monochromatic color to any shade in your home.


Transform Open Kitchen Space

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Photo Credit: Budget Dumpster

That open space above the kitchen cabinets is a perfect pallet for giving the room some real character. Think themes here, so if you are going with a mid-century modern theme in the rest of the house, utilize that open space to help blend the kitchen with the rest of the home. Place different accessories and lighting fixtures that reflect the mid-century modern design. Stick with neutral colors when you accessorize here so it doesn’t become the focal point of the room.

Install Vinyl Plank Flooring
Having new hardwood flooring installed in the kitchen, bedrooms, hallways, dining room, or living room, can be extremely costly, time consuming and often require professionals to do the job. Look for budget friendly flooring choices like vinyl plank flooring. Often it is a fraction of the cost and you can get the vinyl flooring in a click and lock construction to make installation extremely do-it-yourself friendly. Vinyl also comes in every color, grain pattern and size that you would want. You can find the perfect color to accent your color scheme or match a previous flooring in another room. Vinyl is also significantly more durable that hardwood. Making it the perfect budget friendly install for any room.

luxury penthouse apartments living room with designer features

luxury penthouse apartments living room with designer features

Faking Square Footage
One of the ways to increase the size of the bathroom is to simply fake the increase of square footage. While most bathrooms have shower curtains or frosted glass showers, this cuts down the size of the room to the eye. Clear glass shower doors add instant square footage to the bathroom and really open things up. Making this one change in the bathroom makes the room feel larger instantly.

Now you know some of the tips for transforming the interior of your home on a budget. Sometimes the simplest home decor tricks can have the biggest overall impact, so give one a try and see how your home interior improves right before your eyes.

 

Advent: 50 Acts of Kindness Kids Can Do Before Christmas

Bellyitch Rewind
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We are in the third week of Advent, the period of time counting down to Christmas. During Advent, those preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ are expected to do acts of kindness, to show gratitude and give back to their family, friends, and community. The season is about giving and traditionally, Christians are asked to give back and do charitable works.

Children too can participate in Advent. If you are looking for activities or things your child can do during Advent, we’ve put together a list of 50 things in a Printable you can download and paste up on your refrigerator or pin on a bulletin board in your kitchen, office or school.


Enjoy!

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Download these printables HERE and HERE!

 

Win this Scandinavian-Designed Tot to Teen High Chair ($189 WIN IT!)

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It’s Day Two of our Bellyitch’s Favorite Things Giveaway

Today, we’re sharing our love of this very creative high chair that grows with your baby from infancy to adulthood:

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Unlike traditional high chairs that are big, bulky, and cost a ton of money, the versatile Abiie Beyond Junior Y High Chair will grow with your child. It’s a chair that’s guaranteed to last a lifetime. Simple to convert, this beautifully crafted, all-in-one high chair can transform into an adult size seat in less than 20 seconds. It’s an inexpensive and long lasting gift that new moms or parent will appreciate and love.

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Created by highly skilled engineers, the 2015 gold medal winner of the National Parenting Publications Awards, is a practical solution to daily-life situations. From holiday festivities to birthday celebrations, you’ll be ready to welcome any extra guests with Abiie Beyond Junior Y High Chair.
Abiie Beyond Junior Y is a one-time purchase that can last a lifetime and is loaded with features:

  • Easy to transportWith Abiie’s compact design, traveling is hassle-free.

  • Cleaning is easy – Comes equipped with waterproof seat cushion and one-hand removable tray that can be easily thrown into the dishwater.

  • Anti-microbial heat sterilization – Keep your child’s environment hygienic and safe.

  • Dual restraint system – Adjust for a 5-point harness or 3-point harness.

  • Go green – Material is biodegradable and recyclable making it eco-friendly.

  • Toxin-free – No harmful substances* such as BPA and Phthalate.

The Abiee chair retails for $189 but given that it will have multiple, life-long nullity, that’s a perfect price point! You can WIN you very own chair by entering our contest below!

abiie High Chair ($189)


4 Tips for Parenting A Curious Child

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A high level of inquisitiveness is one of the more common signs that your child is gifted, which is a blessing for most parents. Still, the never-ending flow of questions from a curious child’s mouth can be a challenge at times. Learning how to deal with the special needs of an inquisitive child without squelching her natural curiosity isn’t always easy, but it is possible with a bit of dedicated attention.
1. Encourage Her Natural Curiosity
It can be tempting to lay ground rules regarding how many questions your child can ask, and it’s easy to even become so frustrated with the constant requests for information that you shut down completely. It’s important to keep in mind that if the special needs of your child aren’t met, she could begin to shut down altogether and fail to realize her full potential. Nurturing the thirst for knowledge will increase your workload as a parent, but it’s also one of the best ways to ensure that she stays engaged and eager to learn. Rather than discouraging your child from asking so many questions, look for ways that you can nurture her inquisitive nature.

2. Talk About Privacy and Respecting Boundaries
Curious kids just want to know more about the world around them, and they’re not always burdened by the knowledge of social mores. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find yourself making apologies for hurtful or rude questions that your inquisitive child asks without realizing that she’s violating the social contract. Making sure that you take time to discuss the importance of respecting others’ right to privacy and maintaining some boundaries can help cut down on these embarrassing situations. Letting your child know that it’s okay to ask touchy questions when it’s just the two of you will satisfy her urge to discover new things without subjecting unwitting friends and loved ones to a barrage of delicate questions.


3. Find Toys and Games that Fuel Her Inquisitive Nature
The technological advances in the toy industry aren’t restricted to shoot-’em-up video games. There’s a wide selection of toys and games designed to foster learning and knowledge in kids that can help encourage a habit of independent learning. When your child is able to find some of the answers to her questions or access new information on her own she’ll be able to take pride in her accomplishments while you escape at least a few of her questions about the world.

4. Make a Habit of Looking Up Answers Together
It’s embarrassing to admit that you don’t know the answer to a child’s question, especially if it happens on a regular basis. Rather than becoming frustrated as a result of your humiliation or offering an incorrect answer as a means of buying some silence, why not make a habit of finding the answers to her questions together? You’ll be able to make sure that the information your child finds is accurate, she’ll begin to learn the basics of independent research and you’ll be able to learn a few things in the process.

After Baby, this App helps Extended Families Schedule Casserole Delivery

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A relatively new desktop app is on the market for brand new moms who may need support from family and friends after having her baby. One of our blogger reviewers and blog friends just had her baby and she had a very difficult delivery.

A lot of people have generously offered to make her family meals while she spends an extended time in recovery. But, as you can imagine, that is a set up for more food than one can eat and a lot of spoilage and thrown out casseroles.


Enter Meal Train. Family, friends and colleagues can organize and schedule meals for a new mom, or anyone who is dealing with surgery recovery or an illness. It’s relatively simple to set up an account and sign up.

The company estimates that 2 million people from 40 different countries use the service each month. Plans start at free. There is a $10 plan for those that want to make arrangements for more than meals: childcare, housework, visitors, meals, lawncare, rides. Finally, there is an option for those organizing potlucks as well that is free!

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Here is a NBC Nightly News report about the service:

Trend: More Parents are Opting for Wood Floors in Nurseries

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There is a current trend in baby nurseries: wooden floors. Traditionally, it may have been thought that carpeted nurseries are best with the thinking being that carpeted rooms are cozier and warmer. Also, carpet is a natural shock absorber for when baby starts to clumsily toddle about and have slips and falls.

But the fact is that carpet is also great for trapping allergens which are not necessarily great for a newborn’s lungs.

Wall-to-wall carpeting is difficult to clean and can quickly become a haven for dust mites, mold and mildew–less than ideal for those suffering from allergies or asthma. What’s more, new carpets, especially those made of synthetic fibers like nylon or polyester, often contain VOCs and other toxic chemicals that could make your little one sick.


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hardwood floors

More families are going for wooden floors, in particular hardwood floors. They have a classic and clean look and are ageless. Furthermore, many wood floors are durable and can stand the test of time. To handle the time when baby starts crawling about, a rug, which can be removed and cleaned regularly, will come in handy.

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An eco-friendly option is bamboo floors. That material is less expensive to hardwood floors. Per about.com, Bamboo is the ideal renewable resource, taking only 5-7 years to reach maturity.  The site notes that bamboo is naturally pest resistant, requires no dangerous pesticides and ensures a completely organic product. Because bamboo fibers can be spun into the softest of cloth, as a flooring material, it is harder, more scratch resistant and less prone to warping than hardwood . Score one for bamboo!

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Cork is one of the most eco-friendly materials. It is naturally anti-allergenic and anti-microbial. It is warmer and softer than wood flooring, cork provides a comfortable, safe play surface for your little one, cushioning their falls and eventually their footsteps—a feature you’ll appreciate more and more as your little one grows.

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Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak tree. The bark, which is harvested without harming the tree, takes only 3 to 4 years to grow back, making the practice highly sustainable. Organic cork does not emit harmful VOCs and is even energy-efficient, providing excellent home insulation.

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Why This Toy Won for Most Oppressive and Destructive to Young Children

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Why start as a teenager when you can start building insecurities in your child at the tender age of 3? Sounds crazy, right? Well, that is the message that some may take away from this year’s winner for the most oppressive and destructive toy for young children: a make up kit targeting 3-year old’s.

Each year, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood awards The TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children), acknowledgment of toys that “stifle creativity, lionize brands, and promote screen-based entertainment at the expense of children’s play.”


CCFC selected six exceptional finalists for 2016 and this year, Lulu’s Pink Fizz Beauty Essentials Little Bow Chic Collection 11 piece makeup set won.

In addition, the products has a list of  eight ingredients known to be toxic or carcinogenic, as per the Breast Cancer Fund’s report! Yikes!

1. Talc: Talc may be contaminated with asbestos. Contaminated talc has been classified as carcinogenic by IARC. Inhalation of talc may cause respiratory distress, mesothelioma, and inflammation. Application of talc near the pelvic area can lead to irritation, infection, and inflammation. Talc may also be associated with ovarian cancer.

2. Mineral Oil: Mineral oils are used in personal care products as skin conditioners, hair conditioners, and solvents. Mineral oils are derived from crude oil, and mildly refined mineral oils always contain significant amounts of polycyclic aromatic carbons (PAHs), which are likely carcinogenic. The NTP considers PAHs as a class to contain reasonably anticipated carcinogens. Untreated and mildly treated mineral oils are classified as known carcinogens by IARC and the NTP.

3. Titanium Dioxide: A suspected or known carcinogen.

4. Propylparaben: Parabens are potential endocrine disruptors due to their ability to mimic estrogen. In cell studies, parabens have been found to weakly bind to estrogen receptors. Studies demonstrate that at sufficient concentrations, parabens can increase cell proliferation in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells, which are often used as a sensitive measure of estrogenic activity. Propylparaben is also a reproductive toxin as it affects the male reproduction system and reduces sperm production and testosterone levels.

5. Fragrance (Parfum): The constituent ingredients in fragrance are not listed on product labels or disclosed to consumers by companies and manufacturers. The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) lists almost 3,000 chemicals that have been used in fragrance. Ingredients like acetaldehyde, benzophenone, dichloromethane, styrene and titanium dioxide are suspected or known carcinogens. Chemicals like benzyl salicylate, diethyl phthalate, and propyl paraben are endocrine disruptors. Others are allergens, skin irritants, and toxic to the liver, lungs, and kidneys, among other organs.

6. Hydrogenated Styrene/Isoprene Copolymer: The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption classifies styrene as a Category 1 endocrine disruptor. Furthermore, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classify it as a reasonably anticipated human carcinogen. If ingested, styrene can be toxic to red blood cells and the liver and if inhaled, it is toxic to the central nervous system. Exposure to solvents including styrene can result in an increased risk of breast cancer.

7. Silica Dimethyl Silylate: Silica may be toxic to the liver, respiratory system, and kidneys.

8. Tosylamide/Epoxy Resin: Epoxy resin is most commonly made with bisphenol A (BPA). This can result in some residual BPA contaminating the product but not being listed on the label. BPA is a synthetic estrogen that is recognized as an endocrine-disrupting chemical because of its effects on hormone systems. Studies raise concerns that exposure to even low doses of the chemical can cause adverse health effects. These include abnormalities in breast development that can increase the risk of developing breast cancer, and harmful effects on reproductive development, prostate weight, testis weight, puberty onset, body weight, metabolic and immune system functions, and gender-related behaviors including aggression and some social behaviors.

Okay now…

h/t Tree Hugger

These 10 Tricks Will Help You Get Your Child to Try New Foods

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Kids simply can’t get the nutrition they need by existing on a diet that consists solely of macaroni and cheese or chicken tenders, nor can they acquire healthy eating habits, but it can sometimes seem impossible to convince them to give unfamiliar foods a try. Because working healthier fare into your child’s diet is so important to his health and the formation of dietary habits he’ll carry with him for the rest of his life, the time you spend helping your child try and appreciate new foods is sure to be an investment that pays off in spades.

  1. Start Early – When children are routinely introduced to new foods from the time that they first begin eating solid fare, they’re less likely to regard unfamiliar items with suspicion. Attempting to change your child’s diet becomes more of a challenge as she gets older, so it’s best to start as early as possible.
  2. Introduce New Items When Kids Are Hungry – Just as adults are more likely to spend more money at the grocery store when they’re hungry, kids will find new foods more appealing when their tummies are rumbling. Limiting snacks before mealtimes to encourage a good appetite will make the process of introducing new foods much easier.
  3. Don’t Force the Issue – Resorting to threats of reduced privileges or punishment when a stubborn child refuses to try a new food will only make him more resistant to unfamiliar dishes, so it’s best not to force the issue. Sometimes foods will need to be introduced several times before kids will accept them, so try to convince your child to simply taste a new food, rather than insisting that he eat every bite unwillingly.
  4. Offer One New Food at a Time – When new foods are served alongside familiar favorites, kids won’t feel as if they have no palatable options on their plate. Keep the number of new dishes to a minimum, and allow your child to branch out into uncharted territory with a safety net of sorts in place.
  5. Be Persistent – Rather than giving up on a new food the first time that your youngster refuses to try it, make an effort to persistently introduce a new food until it becomes more familiar. When they realize that everyone else at the table is enjoying a particular item on a somewhat regular basis, curiosity may win out over stubbornness and suspicion.
  6. Model Adventurous Eating Habits – It’s hard to convince your child to try new foods when you’re stuck in a dietary rut yourself. Remember that kids’ behavior and habits are often the result of mimicry, and make a point of modeling adventurous eating. Being openly excited about the prospect of a new dish can help to foster the same excitement in a child.
  7. Let Little Ones Choose New Foods – Allowing your child to choose his own new vegetable from the produce section will make him more eager to try that item than he might be if it were simply presented to him. Consider taking your child to the grocery store or produce market with you periodically, encouraging him to choose a healthy food item for inclusion in that night’s meal.
  8. Get Kids Involved With Meal Prep – Helping to prepare a meal gives kids a sense of pride and ownership, making them eager to test the fruits of their labor. Giving your child an age-appropriate task related to the preparation of the new food item you plan to introduce is an effective and exciting way of fostering a sense of culinary adventure, and perhaps a love of cooking as well.
  9. Think Twice About “Sneaking” – When you’re desperate to get some healthier, fresh fare into your child’s diet, the prospect of hiding vegetables in familiar foods can be tempting. While this practice does effectively provide the nutritional value of fresh vegetables, it does nothing to help your child learn healthier habits or gain a more adventurous attitude.
  10. Presentation is Key – Kids are attracted to fun shapes, bright colors and appealing presentation. Where a mound of steamed carrots might be boring and unappetizing, steamed carrots that were first cut into interesting shapes might be a treat. Experimenting with new ways of preparing and presenting foods can help your child feel more interested in them than he would be with a traditional appearance.

Unless you’re blessed with particularly adventurous eaters, introducing new and unfamiliar foods to your child will require a certain amount of patience and acceptance. He may not touch his parsnips the first five times you serve them, but they will become less threatening to him when they’re a regular dinnertime guest. Keeping your frustrations in check and encouraging your child to try new things without threats or coercion is almost always the most effective approach to expanding his palate.