Loading...
Browsing Category

Reviews

Why Isabella Oliver is a Boss Maternity Brand {Video Review}

I’ve blogged about in the past how much I really like Isabella Oliver maternity here, here and here!

I am a fan  and have been for a while and so much so that I joined as an affiliate and brand ambassador. It’s also a popular brand among celebrities.

It’s having a big holiday sale of up to 50% OFF and FREE Shipping on orders over $149 so I decided to do a quick YouTube video to plug why particularly I love this fashionable brand of maternity clothing. 

If you Want to cop some of this brand’s stuff! Happy Shopping!

Stylish Gear For Cool Yet ‘Good’ Dads? Please and Thanks! {Otter Pass Review}

I believe firmly that new (and vet) parents really ought to invest in certain premium products and heirloom quality baby-related pieces and products that can and will stand the test in time, and can be used over and over again as new members of the family join.

Such items include the baby glider, crib, stroller, car seat and diaper bag which will endure lots of miles of use and as such, and in my opinion, should be made of the best material, pass the highest value standard and overall be considered a genuine investment — meaning perhaps more money is spent on them. This is true for moms and dads.

Now, traditionally, a lot of men prefer not to carry around a typical “diaper bag” because they are usually styled for a mom and have extra feminine flare to them.

Fortunately for modern Millennial dads and beyond, many brands and companies in recent years have sprouted up to cater specifically to the discerning tastes and needs of dads who prefer sleek, styled yet masculine products for when they’re doing “daddy duty” on the go.

A new brand on the market, Otter Pass fits squarely in that categorization because the products are made with top-of-the line leather, canvas and other materials for the “brand spanking new dad“, and the “dad  on-the-go” and we cannot forget, the “old school dad”.

We inspected the Leather and Waxed-Canvas 13″ Laptop Case in black which features a tapered bottom that can be slipped into my husband’s work briefcase yet it is sleek in design on its own that he could stand on its own and be carried to a meeting at headquarters.

We were able to squeeze in a notepad, his laptop, a few pens and his mobile phone, earbuds, keys and wallet in one of the few pouches. The sleeve retails for $145.  

If we wanted to go with a complete look, we could slip the sleeve into another item in the Otter Pass executive collection, its messenger bag (retail $245)  made up of the same materials with a superb cotton twill interior, featuring an adjustable cotton strap with antique brass finished hardware. *swoon* Did someone say “antique brass*?

The Otter Pass Messenger Bag

It is certainly a signature piece with one exterior back slip pocket, 2 front slip pockets,  and 1 front zipper pocket. There is more space to store stuff inside including 2 cell pockets, 1 laptop compartment, keychain

Now imagine a small portable organizer with a fob to hook onto the bag  or, better yet, a pacifier. It can stand on its own and hold quick wipes, ID cards, credit and library cards for library story time and every thing needed by a work-from-home or working dad doing weekend duty. 

I love this brand because of the transparency about the journey its traveled to bring these wonderful products to modern fathers. 

The Austin, Texas-based company is named for a lodge built on stilts above water called Passo do Lontra in Otter Pass, in the wetlands in far west Brazil. It is where its founder Jonathan Goudeau used to frequent with his brothers learning from their dad how to hook piranhas, avoid the reeds where alligators hid,  spot spider monkeys at dawn, and listen for the wing-beats of the jaburu, according to the company’s “about us” page.

The company’s name and ideals honors the memory of Goudeau’s dad who sadly perished at the hands of a drunk driver when Goudeau was just 17-years old.

You can sense the connectedness and passion for serving fathers who, according to the company’s mission, are better ready for anything and able to connect with their kids when they are organized and have all the tools they need.

Otter Pass’ collection include everything from wallets and Dopp Kits to hold anything from snacks to shaving supplies, to baby bottle holders to travel cases that are really manly diaper holders!

The one-year old brand also has a social conscious and altruistic presence as well. Up until yesterday, December 2, it donated 25% of sales from last Giving Tuesday, November 17 to Refugee groups in Austin, Texas. 

Right now, if you head over to the company’s website and join the newsletter,  you’re going to get 10% off your order! Sweet!



We love it so much, we added it to our Gift Guide of things to get that Posh Parent on your Holiday gift list!

I love the brand message, history and more to Otter Pass and plan to keep up with it and have followed it on all its social channels!

You can too keep up with Otter Pass, the brand, the story and the mission on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

I can already see that they are out here supporting free trade and challenging slave labor among dis-empowered communities worldwide! Right on! My kind of company! 

Editorial disclaimer: Product and monetary compensation were provided in exchange for this review, however, my opinions are mine and my review of the products are made without regard to the complimentary nature and the fact the review may be sponsored.

Here is $5 To Get This Conversation Starter ‘Mom’ Tee

To promote the Bellyitch Mom Charm Store, I’m giving all of my readers $5.00 towards the purchase of these funny “World’s Okayest Mom” Tee shirt that I sell in the shop!

This comfy cotton blend lightweight tee shirt is a head turner and conversation starter. Every time this summer, fall and pre-winter I have worn this shirt out and about, I get commentary, people stopping me to tell me they like it and generally hat’s off.

We all know motherhood (and parenthood for that matter) isn’t easy. No one is perfect. We are judged harshly by our partners, kids, society, parents, and everyone in between so owning up and having a sense of humor about it can be endearing! 

I get it!

And now you can too!  GET YOUR contemporary, durable tee SHIRT HERE! 

LIMITED QUANTITIES AVAILABLE!

and enter code JJSpecial at check out to get your $5.00 OFF brining down the cost of this shirt to just $20 and knowledge that your purchase will support one of your fave parenting sites! ha! j/k But no really! 

Appreciate your support, friends! 

Get your shirt TODAY!

While you’re there, check out some of our other shirts and sweatshirts!





Amazing! Organize Your Notes & Life with this Intelligent Reusable Notebook {Video Review}

By now, parents of school-aged children have received first quarter grades and can gauge, after attending a parent-teacher meeting, how well their child is doing in school.

Early in the semester, I was offered a Rocketbook Everlast 36-page reusable intelligent notebook (retails: $29.49) which allows users to send handwritten notes jotted won on the notebook to their favorite cloud service.

Cloud services include Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, OneNote, Evernote, iCloud etc.  You have to use a FriXion erasable pen or marker on it.

The pens come in all shapes and sizes tho the original notebook comes with one black one.

The patented pages look and feel like paper, but they are actually made up of a proprietary page that lets erasable pens and markers bond to them until moisture is applied.

That’s the beauty and genius of this notebook. The notes can be wiped clean after they are scanned and uploaded to the cloud.   

It’s like having a 7-subject notebook powered by tech but in one.

The first page of the notebook includes 7 symbols you can assign each subject. After penning notes, the student or biz owner (depending on who is using the notebook and for what purpose), scans the pages and QRC code on the corner and sends it to an associated Rocketbook app which files the notes into the pre-determined category.

After a few uploads or so, students will see a continuous stream of notes. They can use them to create outlines to study from, to print out note cards, or simply to review before class or skim before a quiz or exam. 

It cuts out the trauma that would occur if the student were to lose a notebook. It’s great for that kid who loses papers and struggles with organization.

My 16-year old son Caleb tested it out. Now the kid is an honors student tho he misspelled the word “pineapple” in this demo. I think we was joking around but who knows. (ha) Overall, I was impressed that he used it all semester long and took it out frequently. He plans to continue to use it.

Get yours for $29.49 and although that’s a bit steep, the fact that you can reuse it time and time again and get more than a year’s worth of value from it makes it more cost efficient to disposable notebooks! WATCH my son’s demo here!

WATCH!

 

Cyber Monday Deals From Your Fave Parenting Blogger!

photo-1527578444645-85bbbb91d53c

It is Cyber Monday!

Last year, for Small Business Saturday, I encouraged my readers to support the brands for which I am an affiliate for but this year, I’ve opened up three online shops and am offering discounts and deals in hopes that you will continue to support this platform and purchase from me.

Shop by Bellyitch – The Mom Charm Shop

My Mom Charm Store is an online store of this Parenting blog, Bellyitch Blog. It sells novelty tees, and lifestyle items like mugs, pillows, a fun quirky clock and more.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqkv0G5B794/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

Take $5.00 off a shirt when you purchase today.

FREE TEE SHIRT

download

My Etsy shop Digital Publishing Academy sells legal, marketing and productivity templates for online digital business owners like Podcasters, YouTubers, Bloggers, Vloggers and eCommerce shop owners!

Get 20% off any item when you purchase today, Small Business Saturday thru Cyber MONDAY! ENTER Promo CODE: ETSYCYBER2018 at checkout for discount!

il_570xN.1198268633_tnhv

Also, I’m offering a steep discount of $20 OFF for my Blogger’s Legal and Marketing tool kit, regularly priced $29! This Brings the price down to $9!!!! Available to the First 25 buyers!

marketing kit for 9 bucks


discount valuation ebook

Get my Ebook on “How to Valuate Your Blog for Venture Capital Sale” for just $2.99, which is 60% off the Original Price. GET IT HERE! 

We are new

Get Over 500 Stock Photography Images from Picnoi for $34.00 OFF the Original Price!

picnoi for $25

USE CODE CYBERWEEK at Check out of CLICK HERE!

party hair

Finally, my beauty blog, JJBraids, sells hair and if you wear your hair in ethnic braided styles or know someone who does and is looking for a new hairstyle to rock at the Office Holiday party or an upcoming New Year’s Eve bash, invite them to shop my Hair store and get 5% off their purchase when they enter the promocode JJNewbie at checkout!

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Photo: Gift Habeshaw

Bellyitch’s Fave Things: Naipo’s Home Shiatsu Massager

Whether you are expecting, just had a baby, are an overworked stay at home, work from home or working parent, you’re going to have aches and pains related to stress.

Stress can take a toll on the body in the form of muscle cramp, soreness and fatigue. There is a similar pain associated with working out or doing athletic activity to peal off baby weight after giving birth or simply, while you’re on your fitness and health journey.

To ease the pains, having a durable, reliable and effective non-medicinal home remedy and option can be ideal. I use balms and salves and pain medicine and an occasional trip to the massage therapist for a deep tissue massage.

But that is not always an option and can be costly and that is why I was grateful to have been able to test out Naipo’Neck Massager Adjustable Intensity Shiatsu Back Shoulder Massager with Heat and 3D Deep Tissue Kneading Electric Massage Machine. (complimentary in exchange for an honest review)

It’s  a portable massager, wrapped in quality leather and mesh material and delivers some serious kneading. You can position it on  your neck or lower back and it delivers the best in relief EVER! I swear! This is good stuff. It comes with two connectors: one for a standard plug at home and one that connects to the car cigarette lighter so you can get treatment on the go!

Perfect for long car rides during the holidays or over summer break, for people who drive for a living like Truck Drivers and Lyft, Uber and taxi drivers. The long periods of time sitting can give the body a beating after a while.

It has an ergonomic design perfectly fits your body to provide you an optimum use. Heating function works effectively on relieving tightness and poor blood circulation.

This massager would make an EXCELLENT give this holiday season as well and retails for just $43.99 on Amazon! A steal at  under $50 compared to over $1,000 in chiropractor or masseuse bills.

I did a video review too. LOOK:

https://amzn.to/2JVFnSg

Review: Engage Your Picky Eater With This Food Explorer Tool

If you have a picky eater at home, one way to get him or her to be a more adventurous eater is by exploring it first! That’s right! It is the premise behind a book by Dina Rose, “It’s Not About the Broccoli: Three Habits to Teach Your Kids for a Lifetime of Healthy Eating” Rose suggests that if you get your children to learn more about food, its color, its texture and nutrition benefits, they become more informed. Dr. Rose describes the three habits – proportion, variety, and moderation – all kids need to learn, and gives you clever, practical ways to teach these food skills.

She believes that all children can learn to eat right if their parents change the way they interact with them around food. “Just like children need to be taught how to walk, read or dress themselves, healthy eating habits must be taught. Once you do, children will benefit from a lifetime of happy and healthy eating.”

With It’s Not About The Broccoli you can teach your children how to eat and give them the skills they need for a lifetime of health and vitality, Rose explains.

To supplement her ideas, her health food company, The Happy Bite Company, released a Super Food Explorer kit with experiments you can use to guide your child through learning about the food he eats.  It retails for $35. 

Each Kit includes:

  • 32x Magnifying Glass
  • Child-Sized Tongs
  • Eye Droppers
  • Mini Cups
  • Tasting Spoons
  • Exploration Tray
  • Colored Pencil Kit
  • 60 Discovery Activities
  • Specialized Vocabulary List
  • Color Chart
  • Discovery Food List
  • Laminated Discovery Card
  • Progress Chart
  • Insulated Carry Bag

We have the kit and cannot wait to start exploring with the little ones in the blog family! Learn more about the kit here:

Make Up Tips for Nights Out, Indian Brides and More

Sponsored Post

Because a large part of my audience includes readers in India, I’m sharing some awesome tips from India-based online fashion and makeup tutorial site called Fabulive.com which offers tips and suggestions for Indian women from Indian Brides to every day working women on how to make up their face beyond the typical dark eye makeup worn to adorn the eyes and make them look brighter and wider.

Avoid the porcelain doll look and opt for bronzer, the folks at Fabulive suggest.

Lip and Cheek Makeup Tips

Choosing a lip color and doing the cheek makeup is also very difficult. You need to ensure that you pick up the right shades so that it complements the apparel of a  bride, for example. There are loads of makeup tutorials available at Fabulive to help them balance a neutral lip with a strong eye so it doesn’t come off too gaudy.

Eye Makeup

Eye make up must complement the outfit and therefore, choosing the right shade of the eyeshadow is equally essential. Another thing which Fabulive says is commonly used in the makeup of Indian brides is kajal or kohl, which requires precision. It is essential to stick to classic black eyeliner and create a natural effect with the help of brow powder and brush. Also, it suggest not missing mascara and eyelash curler, or even eyeleash extensions.

Common Makeup Tips

Exfoliate the face – The first thing to do is exfoliate the face  to make sure it is clean and there is no oil or dirt.

Moisturize the face – Retaining the softness of the skin is very important and for this, you need to moisturize the face. This will give an even tone to the face, and by gently rubbing the moisturizer you make the skin soft. You may use tinted moisturizer as well.

Make the face blemish-free – Apply a primer two minutes after applying moisturizer. This ensures that the foundation and the concealer remain intact on the face when you apply it. Now, cover the blemishes with the help of concealer, as this will brighten the skin tone of the bride.  Afterwards, apply foundation without SPF (Sun Protection Factor), as it can lead to undesirable flash effect in the photos.

Highlighter, Blush, and Bronzer – Do not forget to apply highlighter on the high planes of the face. Furthermore, to give a sharp look in the photo, it is vital to apply bronzer properly. It is better take brush angular and then on the sides of the chin, sides of the forehead and nose bones apply the strokes. Also, do not forget to apply the blush blending upwards in a circular motion.

Eyeshadow and Eyeliner – Usually, Indian brides, for example,  the Fabulive editors say, go with gold eye makeup as it suits the bright shades of lehengas and saris. As far as eyeliner is concerned,  pick the waterproof one and draw a thick line so that it highlights the eyes well. As kajal is used,  do not forget to use the smudge powder and translucent setting powder.

Lip liner and Lipstick – There are two ways of making the lips look beautiful. The first way is to stick to the natural line of the bride’s lips and apply the lipstick. However, these days to make a lip look fuller and more significant, applying lip liner natural lip line is quite appreciated.  Make sure you do not overdo it, as it might make the lip look too plump.

These tips are useful not just for Indian Brides but for anyone who wants a fabulous look for any formal event, a photo shoot or a night out on the town with their friends or husband or partner.

11 Books On My Bookshelf

One morning, I shared a photo of my morning Wheat Grass shot with my friends on Twitter and Instagram. In the background was my very full and messy bookshelf. I realized that many of the leisure books were gifted to me from others. Thought it would be fun to share some of those books that I return to time and time again:

1. How to Form a Nonfprofit Corporation, 8th Edition by Attorney Anthony Mancuso – Because I have helped a few friends, family and clients set up their non profits and 501(c)3 organizations, I purchased this book to get a handy resource guide. It’s an excellent resource guide for professionals and the everyday lay person. Recommend for those who cannot afford the usual $2,000 that many lawyers will charge to set up a 501(c)3.

2. Making Babies Book by Shosanna Easling – I am reviewing this book and giving away a copy which includes a DVD to one of my readers on my pregnancy blog, Bellyitch. I will review it this week, but so far, I love the imagery in the book and it seems like it was written from a nice place. It is based on organic, holistic, all natural principles. Good for the earthy mother types.

3. The Soul of a New Cuisine, A discovery of the foods and flavors of Africa by Marcus Samuelsson – I once did PR for the man who photographed many of the vibrant images in this book Gediyon Kifle, a phenomenal photographer who was the official MLK Memorial photographer and also captured my maternity portraits for my last kid. Samuelsson, who won Top Chef Masters on Bravo TV does a wonderful job capturing international cuisine from the mother land.

4. Enchantment, The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and actions by Guy Kawasaki – I once sat on a panel with a Hollywood agent in Kingston, Jamaica. We were talking radio and cable piracy. When we were done, the agent gave me this book as a favor to Guy who asked him to spread the word about his book to influencers. Love it. Very insightful book. Great for thought leaders. If you are in the business of needing to build a brand or sway audiences, this book is a must read!

5. The Warrior Method: A Parents’ Guide to Rearing Healthy Black Boys by Raymond A. Winbush, PhD – A blogger friend of mine who once authored the very popular and award winning Ebonymommy.com for years before abandoning it a couple years ago, gave me this book as a gift as I have two black boys, my sons, that I am raising and she thought this would help. Good advice. Worth a read. Easy to get through. It is very focused on African American boys though as I have to blend it in with some West Indian and African sensibilities since those kids are of mixed national heritage.

6. Home Comforts, The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson – A friend gifted this to me and my husband when we purchased our first home 11 years ago. Wonderful resource book for anyone and any home. It’s pretty lengthy and there is lots of type and not much images to distract but the information in it is priceless and great for those who did not grow up in a home where the parents stressed housekeeping details. Perfect for ME!

7. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to The Bible by James. S. Bell Jr. and Stan Campbell. – I purchased this book because I wanted an easy to understand, simple book that broke down the bible. It’s great and very very easy to get through. You understand the entire bible in a way the puts it all in one big perspective for you.

8. The 4-Hour Work Week, by Timothy Ferriss – A friend of mine suggested this book at least a year ago to me and she was able to put the principles in place and actually quit her job as an attorney and has developed a successful career doing what she loves, being a travel photographer and working 4 hours a week. The advice in it is immeasurable. I’m enjoying combing through it still.

9. A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ismael Beah – I picked this book at one of my second homes, Starbucks, mainly because it is authored by one of my native country mates from Sierra Leone about his experiences being a soldier in Sierra Leone’s decades long civil war in the 90s. It’s a sobering story but quite informative while captivating.

10. Ancestor Stones by Aminiata Forna – My husband got this book for me as a Christmas present because it is written by a Sierra Leonean woman. It is a novel that provides a nice look inside the life of a Westernized woman (like me) who returns to her native land and discovers much about her roots. Love it!

11. The Writer Got Screwed, A Guide to the Legal and Business Practices of writing for the Entertainment Industry by Brooke A. Wharton – Because I once practiced entertainment law, I picked up this book to get some insights on helping my clients who were song and script writers. I recently rediscovered it as I am now looking into become a ghost writer for celebrities. I think if you are in the industry, this is a worthwhile read to avoid mistakes others have done and to know what to expect when you negotiate a deal

That’s it! I rarely find make time to read much anyway, but when I do, it is usually one of these 11 I like to return to often.

Vitamins to Take At Every Age

 

Vitamins are essential in our daily routine, but how do you know what you should be taking in your 20’s compared to your 40’s, or 60’s? Dr. Christopher Calapai D.O., a New York-based Osteopathic Physician board-certified in family and anti-aging medicine, is sharing his top recommendations for vitamins you should be taking through the generations:

 ·       Your 20’s –In our 20’s, we’re super active, so Vitamin B is really important. Vitamin B will keep you energized throughout the day and prevent you from crashing. Vitamin C is another important vitamin that will boost your immune system and slow down the skin’s aging process.

 ·       Your 30’s – Our 30’s require a lot of vitamin D, which helps strengthen bones and keep your teeth healthy. Vitamin D deficiencies can cause health issues such as bone abnormalities and increased bone tenderness, which can lead to osteomalacia. This is especially important in the winter months as Vitamin D levels from the sun are harder to absorb.

 ·       Your 40’s – Once you reach 40, be sure to get a lot of calcium and potassium. You should also be taking a multivitamin daily. A multivitamin helps with memory loss and lowers the chance of cancer.

 ·       Your 50’s – In our 50’s, Omega 3 is a key vitamin in your 50’s since it lowers blood pressure and prevents heart disease. There are three types of Omega-3’s, one being DHA, that improves eye health. These fatty acids can also fight off inflammation in the body.

 ·       Your 60’s – Come 60, Vitamin B12 is known to keep nerve and blood cells at its healthiest, while also preventing anemia, making you tired or weak. Iron maintains healthy muscle function as well, so this is a must.

Be healthy!