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Category Archives: Product Reviews

Conscious Box {review}

BoxIt’s pretty much one of my favorite things – getting packages in the mail. I mean, who doesn’t love Christmas-time with lots of boxes being delivered? And all those mini-Christmases all throughout the year? My babies know how much I love the Big Brown Truck and that I beg the driver (from inside my home, don’t worry) to stop at our house next. Opening the door to find a package (who cares if it’s just wipes!) is so super fun.

So when I was asked to review Conscious Box I thought about it for all of two seconds.

Conscious Box is a wonderful way to try out the best natural and eco-friendly products on the market right now. With everything vying for our attention, sometimes it’s tough to know which products are right for our families without investing hundreds of dollars in each item. So Conscious Box saves us that work, time and money!

They hand pick items they know we’ll love and ship them out to us on a monthly basis:

Conscious Box has created an easy, fun way to discover new favorites! The Conscious Box subscription is a monthly delivery of pure and sustainable products that are handpicked from businesses that care for the planet—just like you! We selectively choose our products, only allowing the purest companies working toward the most ethical goals. Each month, you meet 10-20 of these companies right at your doorstep!

As you discover new favorites, Conscious Box makes it fun (and rewarding!) to leave reviews and ratings so businesses can improve their product, packaging, and business as a whole. We place YOU at the core of helping natural products go from good to great! Earning points along the way, you’re then able to apply savings to your favorite products. Simply choose how many points you’d like to spend and boom! You’re on your way to enjoying your favorite product at a fresh, low price.

The best part of all? They are offering a box to you for free! If you haven’t yet tried Conscious Box, you can use the code FIRSTBOXFREE to try it out (just pay $7.95 for shipping)!

Oh, what’s in the box? Well, check out what I got in this month’s delivery:

Box Contents

Yup. There’s pretty much a ton of stuff packed in here. I have been reeeeeally wanting to try Earth Paste – and, lo and behold, I got a full-size tube of it ($8 value!)! I’ve been wanting to try the Ecover dishwasher tabs – got two loads worth of samples. And there’s a full-size shake for the kids and a couple of all-natural sleep aids for the ‘rents! There’s a fun snack that I tossed in my diaper bag to try when I’m out and get the munchies. And they somehow packed lots more samples of supplements, teas, sunscreens, etc.! Plus, tons of coupons to try these same products.

What are you waiting for? Get your first box free (with just $7.95 for shipping)! Click the link below and use the code FIRSTBOXFREE. Don’t forget to come back and tell us what your fave item is!

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links which basically means, for introducing you to them, I earn a small amount that goes right back into running this site.

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Bon appétit, bébé! {overview}

One of the topics I receive questions about most frequently (besides “are they natural?” =) has to do with how I made baby food for the babies. Now, I’ve only been feeding the triplets for about a year, but during that year I have made a lot of baby food. A lot. And, if you know me, I’ve done more than a little research on this region of parenting – nutritional aspects, cost analyses, time efficiency, product reviews, etc. So, I am happy to finally be able to share my efforts and experiences with you!

making real food

Some of the most frequent questions I hear from you are:

  • When did you first give solids to the babies and what did you give them?
  • How did you decide what to give them?
  • How did you keep them from being picky eaters?
  • Did you do baby-led weaning or puréed baby foods?

You asked, I’ll answer. =) Additionally, over the next several weeks I’ll be tackling the following topics, as well. Topics like:

  • Organic vs. non-organic
  • Cereal – why it’s not so good for Baby
  • Baby against mommy – how to deal with a picky eater
  • To season or not to season – is salt really bad for babies?
  • Coconut oil – what’s the big deal?
  • The egg question
  • The only equipment you really need (skip the Baby Brezza!)

And of course I’ll share a meal plan, shopping list, baby-friendly recipes…and how to prepare two weeks’ worth of food in two hours. That’s right. Two weeks’ worth or 45 meals…in two hours.

So join us each Wednesday as we dive into the world of feeding Baby…real food.

Did I miss anything? What would you like to see discussed?

 

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Boutique For A Week – sale week!

Children are expeeeensive! I mean, seriously. And mine are only 18 months old! I figured teenagers and food, college, sports would equal a lot of money. But 18 monthers??? Yep, it’s true. I’ll break it down for you:

Clothing

BabyClothes

Ohhh, such tiny clothes!

Since I got my kiddos all at once, I had to buy anything they needed. No hand-me-downs from previous siblings, even though I have two girls! I’ve been able to borrow a bunch of Noah’s clothes off and on, but I really like having the girls match (you would, too!! =). And, since mine started out in size “preemie,” we’ve gone through 18 sets of clothes in the first 18 months. That’s right. Eighteen. Eighteen full sets of clothes. That’s like buying an entire new wardrobe every single month for the past 18 months! I don’t have a bin of clothes from one of their older siblings to go through. And when they’ve outgrown them, I’m not packing them away wondering when a future sibling will wear them…they’re getting sold! All 18 sets of them. Y’all, that’s a lot of clothes.

Equipment & Toys

Two of the three cribs!!

Two of the three cribs!!

This is where the money flies out the window. We are on our 4-6th car seats. We bought three cribs and two pack n plays (since we were given a third, we only needed to buy two!!). We have three high chairs, three Bumbos, five strollers (read why there are so many here) and two rocking chairs. The list goes on and on (here). And the toys are too numerous to list. Fortunately, I typically don’t have to purchase these in “threes!”

What To DO With It All?!

OneMonthsDipes

One month’s worth of newborn dipes! I got some of these from a BFAW sale!

I knew you’d be wondering! Well, I consign and sell it at a local boutique consignment sale. Boutique For A Week is a phenomenal sale that takes place a couple of times a year. So I sell hundreds of dollars a year in these sales and buy tons of nearly new clothing, toys and equipment for about 10-20% of retail prices! It’s amazing. And it’s happening this week! For a list of the days the sale is open to the public, click here…or follow them on Facebook and get real-time updates! If you’re pregnant or a new mom, you can shop tomorrow (before the public!) and come see me – I’ll be volunteering!

Are you shopping or consigning with BFAW? What deals are you looking for? What’s your strategy for shopping at this sale? Leave a comment!

Please Note: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links.

 
 

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Our New Wheels

Our New Wheels #wagon, #radioflyer, #triplets http://growinguptriplets.com/2013/03/21/our-new-wheels/

I clearly didn’t attach the shade correctly. But the babies are still adorable, right?

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! Our new Radio Flyer Triple Play Wagon arrived the other day and I could hardly wait to get the babies in it! (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read about my stroller addiction here.) And it really is fantastic! I love that the babies are engaged with what we’re doing now. In the strollers they tend to sit back and zone out (which is not always a bad thing =). But in this they sit up, look around, laugh, play, hit and fight (of course!) and point and chatter.

I also love that we fit on the sidewalk now! I never would have imagined that’d be a plus for kids’ wheels but it is! I don’t have to watch for traffic; though when crossing the street they are now behind me rather than in front…which took a while to get used to. =)

It has tons of cup holders on the inside (and outside for me and David), seatbelts for three, and a massive supported bag that stows away when not in use. I also love that when I let go of the handle it doesn’t slam to the ground. I remember that annoying aspect from my little brothers’ wagon years ago…

Now, I just have to get used to pulling instead of pushing the 75-ish + pounds of weight. …Anyone want tickets to the gun show? I don’t know how my MoM friends in the hills do it! Move to Florida, y’all! =)

So my overall assessment? I love it! Do you have one yet?? What’s your kiddos’ favorite ride?

 

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Product Review – Local Organic Moms

http://wp.me/pHw3o-pe Local Organic Moms - #produce #delivery #organic #farmfresh #orlandoWhat’s up, ladies?? Ok, so the guys can listen in, too! But since we are the ones usually meal-planning, grocery-shopping and meal-making…listen up, girls! If you’re in the Orlando area, life just got easier for you…well, it’s about to!

Not too long ago a friend alerted me to the company Local Organic Moms (heretofore referred to as LOMs…hey, all the cool people do!). It’s a produce delivery company and I thought, “Ok how is this one different than the others I’ve checked into? C’mon, wow me!” And they did. First off, their website is pretty. I’m all about advertising and good marketing when the product is good. I’m impressed because it conveys a lot of thought and attention to detail. I like detail. Anyways, I did a quick search around their website and continued to be impressed…but they don’t deliver to Orlando. Boo. Very big boo.

Ok, so how is my life going to get easier??? Glad you asked. They are going to be delivering to Orlando now!!! That is, if enough of us tell them we want them here. And I knew we could do it. But I don’t want you to take my word for it!! Listen in on a convo I had with a friend, Dusti Stoneman, who has been there, seen it, done it and loves it!!!

JF: What is Local Organic Moms (LOMs)?
DS: LOMs is a company that delivers truly farm fresh, (picked within 24 hours of arriving at your doorstep) organic, local produce currently with plans to add MUCH more (meat, dairy, bread) in the future.

JF: How did you first hear about LOMs?
DS: We were approached by Joel and Michelle Morris, two of the partners, about their idea and were instantly hooked – we wanted our delivery then!  They needed crates to deliver the food in and my husband owns RetroFit Custom Design, a small company that specializes in building various furniture and other wood projects out of repurposed pallet wood and anything else that he can reuse that still has purpose. RetroFit’s mission fits so well with LOMs to do the best for our families and the earth that it was a natural fit.  

JF: What was your first impression of LOMs?
DS: IMPRESSED! Couldn’t wait for the deliveries to start. I struggle with a very hectic schedule (don’t we all?) with running our businesses and having two little ones (our son is 4 and our daughter is 2) running around and it was tough to find time to seek out the good-for-us-food that we wanted. The farmer’s markets are great and amazing and we will absolutely still get to them as much as we can but it just isn’t feasible in our schedules to get there every single week to help with our meal planning. When they let us know that LOMs would deliver to our home – I was sold!  

JF: What is your impression now?
DS: Beyond impressed. I am so thankful for our family to have even a small part in helping LOMs grow and succeed. The farm crates my husband makes for LOMs to deliver the food adds to the nostalgic, good feel that you already have knowing that every single week (or bi-weekly if you choose) you will have fresh, organic food in your house. The items LOMs is planning to add to the delivery service are so wonderful. I am looking forward to having better options for meat, dairy, and even bread coming to my house every week!

JF: I heard you visited the farm – what was the farm like?
DS: The farm is exactly what you picture in your head when you think of farm fresh veggies growing!  We visited only a small portion of the farm and were amazed at how neat and tidy (is that weird to describe a farm that way?) everything was. Seeing my son being able to run around the field in bare feet without worrying about harmful chemicals is something that just gave me a sense of comfort. The fields that we went to had TONS of carrots growing!

JF: What is your favorite thing about LOMs?
DS: The delivery directly to my doorstep. There are no additional fees for delivery. The price is what it is. There are NO contracts. You have control over what you get or don’t get.

JF: Who will most enjoy using LOMs?
DS: There are SO many different demographics that will love LOMs. It’s not just for moms. Anyone who has a busy schedule will greatly benefit from the delivery. Anyone who wants to know their farmer and exactly where their food is coming from will love the farm days that LOMs is planning to have their customers come out and visit the farm and meet their farmer!

JF: Are there any downsides to using LOMs, like an additional delivery fee?
DS: No extra fees! The price is what it is! I haven’t found a downside yet!

JF: What happens if I get something funky like a rutabaga?!
DS: If you don’t want a rutabaga, you won’t get it! The seriously awesome thing about LOMs is that you decide what comes in your crate. If you want 30 rutabagas, you’ll get them!  If you never want one to get near your crate, you won’t get one! They are currently working on releasing their entire website where customers will be able to log in and take full control over their weekly menus!  If you go on vacation, you can put a hold on for that week or two you’ll be gone. It’s amazing what they have coming to give us a voice in what WE want when WE want it!

JF: Do they just do produce?
DS: For now, but in the very near future there will be SO many more additions – bread, meat, dairy, etc. MUCH more to come!

JF: What is your connection to LOMs?
DS: My husband’s company, RetroFit Custom Design, builds the farm crates (out of repurposed heat treated – not chemically treated – pallet wood). We take great pride in knowing that we are a very small part of helping such an amazing company bring good health and good convenience to busy families and people who want good, fresh, organic food!

Awesome, right??? Now, if you have ever been with a produce co-op or delivery before, you’ll know that sometimes you end up with something you’ve never eaten before or are unsure how to use. With LOMs, they will have recipes posted on their website for you!

One of my questions to the staff at LOMs was about the history of the farm. It turns out that, prior to this farm-turned-delivery-venture, they were long-time local restaurant suppliers. Their produce is quite famous as some of the best tasting produce!! And apparently the farm is HUGE. Seriously, have you seen the list of produce that they have available on the website??? This farm has the capacity to grow exponentially which is great for us because it means they can handle the Florida crowd! …I know, we’re not that easy to handle sometimes. =)

Ok, so what’s the bottom line? Here it is: the produce is all organic and all from the same farm. Lots of other organic delivery services gather from farms around the area or even from farms outside of the US (it is very questionable whether these “organic” produce items from outside the USA are truly organic!). This produce is on your doorstep within 24 hours of being picked on the farm. … Did you read that??? That is INSANE. I haven’t come across any other service that guarantees this kind of fresh! Y’all, this stuff is for real!

I know, I know…you’re convinced. Now what? Well, in my veryveryvery humble opinion, the best deal is the “Family Crate.” This delivers a massive box of 30 lbs worth of produce for $75. (There are other options available if, for instance, you want to try a fraction of this amount to see how much you’ll go through.) You can choose weekly or bi-weekly deliveries. Now, $75 may sound like a lot. But if you break it down it averages out to be only $2.50 / lb for the freshest produce delivered to your doorstep – produce you can choose from online while drinking your coffee in your pjs!  I know. Amazing. So, when you go to sign up (click here) you’ll see a link that says “View City Waitlist.” This is the important part. We have to show them we want them to deliver to Orlando! So follow the prompts and you’ll be notified as soon as they are ready to begin delivering down here. Oh, and share the love and let them know who told you about LOMs…k? Thanks! =)

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Family, Product Reviews, Real Food

 

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Ohhh, I LoveLoveLove The HairBow Company

sugarandspice

I have lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked where I get the girls’ cute tutus and all their pretty hair bows! The answer? The HairBow Company. I am a sucker for having my girls match but finding and buying two outfits that do is often incredibly difficult. I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg to get cute hair bows and headbands, too! The HairBow Company sells many of their items in bulk and offers a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge variety of items (leg warmers, flower clips, hats, marabou, rompers, ribbons, etc.). When I came across their website, I realized they were selling those adorable crochet headbands for about $0.33 apiece! So I may have bought a couple…dozen. And when I saw the tutus, I came up with the “grow with me” picture idea that I did for their first year. If you haven’t seen those pics yet, you can check them out here: Say “Cheese!”, part 2. Oh, and their first birthday shoot is full of tutus and lace, as well: A Frog Prince and Two Princesses.

Well, fast-forward a year and they came across my blog. They asked if I would do a review of their products. I had to think about it for all of 3 seconds!!! They also have provided a discount code for you to go shopping with and save 10%!!! Just enter the code “triplets” at check-out to save even more money…but hurry, the deal ends April 5, 2013!!!

So, now, where are these pictures you say? I’m so glad you asked! My dear friend Sheree Phillips at Sheree Rae Photography captured these shots. I was incredibly impressed. If you have ever had an almost-18-month-old, you’ll know how challenging it is to get one good picture. Imagine trying to corral three almost-18-month-olds and it’s next to impossible. Seriously. I was sweating. And needed a good drink. And was beyond exhausted dancing and waving and baby-talking and running outfit changes and carrying babies through our tall, unmowed grass, etc. And yet…she got so many great ones I had the hardest time figuring out which ones to post!!! You’ll just have to look at lots and lots, I guess…you tell me which ones you’d pick!

And my favorite:

Cute, cute accessories for girls! #couponcode, #hairbows, #photography

So…what cute stuff did ya get at The HairBow Company with the coupon code “triplets?” I wanna see, I wanna see!!!

 

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My Addiction

I confess. I have one. At least, it is a slight addiction…. “Hi, my name is Jennifer and I’m addicted to strollers.” I have five. To be fair, though, each one serves their purpose. No, no they really do! And actually, many moms of multiples (MoMs) have far more than this…so there! And honestly, we’ve been blessed with so many of them we have only had to purchase two!

double and single

First walk in the stroller(s)!!!

I have a single stroller. Yep. With three babies. Originally, I wanted a single and double so we could snap the infant carriers into them and each push a stroller. I hoped that would minimize the attention that so many of the triple strollers get. Now I use it if I take one out at a time…or I will.

I have a double stroller. This was especially nice in the first 9 months because I could wear one and David could push this one. People often ignored us…score! This one was amazing but has the least functionality for us now that I don’t wear one, so I will be selling it in the upcoming Boutique for a Week sale (see you there!!!).

jogger

First walk in the Triple Jogger!!! They are thrilled, can you tell?

I have a triple jogger. I.love.this.stroller. I do. My absolute only complaint is that it won’t fit through doorways. Betcha never thought about that challenge before! Have to take the kids outside to load them in….follow that thinking. This means I have to leave Baby 1 and then Baby 2 in the stroller to go back inside and get the others. Yup. But I still love this stroller. They sit side by side and there’s a HUGE storage compartment below, a massive sun shade and it’s very easy to maneuver…for a triple stroller. Now, jogging? Yeah, I’m not there yet. Since I hate running, I probably never will be. But it’s our dedicated neighborhood-stroll-er, for sure.

valco

Blowing kisses at you from the Valco with Joey seat!!!

I have a Valco. Valcos retail for over $1000. We got ours used-used (third hand…are you seeing a pattern here?) for $250. We added the Joey seat for another $100, still saving us about $700!!! And I love this beast. This is probably my only complaint with this one. It’s massive. It’s heavy. It’s all I can do to lift it in and out of the van. If David is with me (who am I kidding, I don’t take them out without him!) we will evaluate whether the Joey is needed or not. If it is, it takes about 30 minutes to set it up. Ok, not quite…but it is a process. Back to why I love it, though: it is narrow and so it does fit through doorways. It has a big compartment below and TONS of storage. Seriously, there are pockets I haven’t even found on this thing! And similarly, this stroller gives us the option of going a bit more incognito if we separate and carry one – it becomes “just” a double stroller. This one stays in the van.

Finally, I just purchased (with a gift card!!!) a Radio Flyer Triple Play Wagon Deluxe. (Why does everything for triplets sound so complicated?!) I am beyond excited about this. From what I’ve heard this baby replaces the “Choo-choo” I’ve been wanting in coolness and efficiency. It has great storage. It turns easily. It gets less attention and stares. All of these were great incentives for me. Plus, it’s narrow and I can bring it into the house, load the babies and walk around the neighborhood. I can unload it from the van for quick trips somewhere (like to our chiropractor). The possibilities are endless. I’m looking forward to more freedom with this bad boy, as described in Monday’s post: Doing “Normal.”  I can’t wait for it to arrive!

I’ll post pictures soon of the babies enjoying their new wheels. =) In the meantime, which one do you like best?

***Update: Ahhhhh! I was alerted that the RF Wagon is now $30 off. So, normally $199, I paid $109 and got free shipping and used a gift card!!!***

 

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