Monday, November 30, 2015

Sponsored: Green Your Hair with Shielo

I wrote this post while participating in a campaign and received a gift to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced or reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

Green Your Hair with Shielo
Written By Renee Arbia

We have been trying to slowly incorporate more green products into our lives. With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is important to look our best and give gifts that make an impact. You not just want the receiver to love and appreciate the gift, but it is important to buy from your country and from small family friendly businesses that want to make the world a better place for us all.

I have been growing out my hair to be very long. I have been having a hard time finding hair products that happen to be green and eco-friendly. Then, I was introduced to Shielo.

Shielo is a small company based in New York City. Their philosophy is to create products with integrity and to ensure that they preserve the future well-being of our environment. Shielo has been around since 2001 and all of their products are made from plant botanicals. They use local farms and ingredients. All of their plants are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or chemicals. There are no parabens, formaldehyde or preservatives. Their ingredients are certified organic by Organic Certifiers in Ventura California. They are against animal cruelty and testing. In fact, all of their products are vegan friendly. Even their packaging is made of HDPE #2 plastics which are recycled and BPA free. Sure to please even the most eco-conscious consumer.

Shielo makes great hair care products for every type of hair. From smoothing, hydration, volume, color protection to leave in conditioners there is something for every hair type. Products are in large bottles and a little product goes a long way. No more squeezing half a bottle of conditioner for your long hair, with Shielo you can get a small nickel size and you are on your way. They also offer skincare for your complexion that is extremely gentle and all natural.

I am a big fan of the Shielo Shine Restoration Oil. I barely need a dime size amount to smooth on my hair and make it shine like never before. It also makes a great Christmas stocking stuffer.

Be sure to treat the one you love this year with a hair care product that reflects her values as a person and makes her hair sparkle like her personality. You can purchase Shielo products from their website

#sponsored, #haircare, #Shielo, #NextGenerationSAHM, #HolidayGiftGuide2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sponsored: Baby Go-Green Silicone Bibs

I wrote this post while participating in a campaign and received a gift to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced or reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

Sponsored: Baby Go-Green Silicone Bibs
Written By Renee Arbia

This is by far one of my favorite products that we have tested in the last year. I am so excited to tell you about this. I cannot believe no one has invented this sooner.

The great people at Baby Go-Green have come out with a line of silicone bibs. Sold in a two pack, these bibs are made of food grade soft silicone that are perfect for your little ones comfort. They are BPA free, made of non-toxic plastic, with no Bisphenol A and no Phthalates.

These silicone bibs are awesome. Even though Xavier is three he is a very messy eater. To save on laundry he still wears a bib when he eats. For a while this did not always help us save on laundry as eventually I would have to wash the bibs. The bibs end up ragged and moldy over time. None of the bibs we used when Xavier was a baby are useful now. I only wish we had been introduced to these Go-Green Silicone Bibs earlier. 

The Baby Go-Green Silicone Bibs not only save you money, but time and water as well. They are extremely durable and long lasting bibs. You can clean them easily by just rinsing. They air dry fast and are ready to be reused. Unlike most silicone products these are also stain resistant. So go ahead and pour that glass of grape juice or have that spaghetti dinner. A simple rinse will wash it all away with no traces left at all. It has a great easy to adjust clasp as well as a food catcher pocket that does not get stuck on the high chair or table. Water proof and stain resistant the Baby Go-Green Silicone Bibs work for babies aged three months to children around six years of age.

Never worry about multiple bibs again. Buy your Baby Go-Green Silicone Bibs in a package of two for the entire life of your child. You can pick up your Baby Go-Green Silicone Bibs from Amazon.

#Sponsored, #babygogreenbib, #NextGenerationSAHMBlog

Friday, November 20, 2015

Guest Post: 5 Ways to Make This Year's Thanksgiving Dinner Stand Out

Today's guest post is from the very talented Maurine Anderson who runs the blog Check out her great tips to make your Thanksgiving dinner stand out this year!

5 Ways to Make This Year’s Thanksgiving Dinner Stand Out
By: Maurine Anderson

If you’re looking to make your Thanksgiving dinner this year especially memorable, you’ve come to the right place. Here are five great ways to make this year’s Thanksgiving dinner stand out from the rest—and start a few Thanksgiving traditions while you’re at it.

Make gratitude a fun tradition.

Thanksgiving is a holiday for expressing gratitude, so why not help family members participate by making expressing gratitude a fun tradition? Here are a few ideas for fun ways to express gratitude together:

  • Have family members write what they’re grateful for on small pieces of paper and add them to a gratitude bowl or jar. Then, later in the evening, read out these small pieces of gratitude together and toss them into a warm fireplace or outdoor fire pit as you go.
  • Start a gratitude tablecloth. All you need is a simple tablecloth and permanent markers. Have family members write three or more things they are grateful for this Thanksgiving, and then reuse the tablecloth every year and continue the tradition.
  • Create a thankful tree. You can decorate one corner of your home with a bare tree, and then have family members write what they are thankful for on paper “leaves” and attach them to the tree.
  • Create a Thanksgiving garland. Alternatively, you and your family can create a Thanksgiving garland together, writing things that you are thankful for on paper leaves of Thanksgiving shapes, and then stringing them together to make a garland for hanging over the fireplace or on a banister.
  • Create a Thanksgiving wreath. SImilarly, you can use your decorative pieces of paper to decorate a wreath for hanging on your front door or in your home.

Go gourmet.

No, you don’t have to overexert yourself in your Thanksgiving dinner preparations this year, but you can spice up some traditional Thanksgiving dishes for a dinner that manages to be both traditional and unique. Instead of classic sweet potatoes, for example, you might opt for a sweet potato gratin or for sweet potatoes stuffed with cranberries, pears, and pecans. Instead of pumpkin pie, meanwhile, you might instead create a pumpkin pecan cheesecake or some pumpkin custard. And instead of a full-on turkey, you might instead create turkey roulade or skillet turkey with roasted vegetables. Think of your favorite Thanksgiving foods and look for similar, alternative recipes online to mix things up.

Decorate with detail.

You’re likely already making things festive in your home for the big Thanksgiving dinner, but there are a lot of fun decorative details that you likely haven’t thought of, all of which will work together to make your Thanksgiving that much more special. You might create place cards for placement on a well-set table, for example, fashioning them with colorful leaves, miniature pumpkins, or burlap and paper. For the middle of the table, you might put together a long centerpiece that runs the length of the table, featuring candles, colorful leaves, florals, and more. For the silverware, you might choose to wrap it in decorative fabric napkins and tie them off with jute and cinnamon sticks. Use your imagination, scour the web, and come up with something that gives your Thanksgiving dinner table that extra touch of “festive.”

Play Thanksgiving games.

To add to the fun and keep your family entertained during dinner preparations on Thanksgiving, you might try organizing a fun Thanksgiving game or two. Here are some examples:

  • Thanksgiving bingo, featuring different things that might happen at the dinner table—a pet stealing food, someone saying “turkey,” or someone dropping their eating utensil, for example
  • Candy guessing jar, where guests write down their guessing for how many of a Thanksgiving themed candy there are in a jar—the closest guess wins the jar of candy
  • Thanksgiving photo booth, where family members can take fun photos together against a festive backdrop holding Thanksgiving-themed props
  • Thanksgiving word building, where dinner guests compete to see how many words they can create from the word “Thanksgiving,” such as “tank,” “sit,” and “sting”

Take it outdoors.

I know what you’re thinking: “Won’t it be freezing?” But if you have a deck or patio, there are ways to warm it up for late fall outdoor enjoyment. You can install an outdoor fireplace or firepit, space heaters, or specialized deck heaters to keep you and your family warm. And with the deck materials available today (seen on this site, for example) an outdoor deck can resemble a true extension of your home’s interior, making it a warm and inviting space for guests. And you don’t necessarily have to do dinner outdoors; you can bring just part of Thanksgiving outdoors with warm drinks, desserts, or expressions of gratitude around a fire. Bringing a part of Thanksgiving outdoors will help family members remember their gratitude for the outdoors and for the wonderful fall season.

Maurine Anderson originally hails from Washington, DC, but is now enjoying life out west in Salt Lake City. She is a professional writer and blogger who in her free time loves to create new cake recipes, travel, and practice her hand at photography. She tends to geek out over linguistics, cats, and all things Scandinavia.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sponsored: Simplicity Kids & Adult Winter Wear

 I wrote this post while participating in a campaign and received a gift to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced or reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guideline

Sponsored: Simplicity Kids & Adult Winter Wear
Written By Renee Arbia

The holidays are among us and most of us have already started thinking about our shopping lists. Some of us have already started checking them twice and checking them off. Every year inevitably people decide to end up giving away some sort of winter apparel. The winter hat, scarf and gloves combination is an ever popular choice. So is the very stylish winter scarf for the fashion diva of your family. 

Simplicity makes winter apparel for adults and children. Their products are made from eco-friendly materials and are very affordable knitted apparel. Everything they offer comes in a wide array of colors, patterns and styles to fit even the discriminatory recipient.

I especially love Simplicity’s Seasonal set. It comes with a beanie hat, scarf and pair of gloves. They are the newer type of gloves that do not have hand holes. It is more like a sleeve that you wear over your knuckles to keep your hands warm and fingers free. I am not sure how well these types of gloves would work in the snowy northern part of the country. However, this type of gloves is perfect for our southern winters. Xavier could barely figure out gloves or mittens for the maybe four days a year he wears them. However, with the sleeve gloves, once I showed him how to wear them, he really loved them. I loved the bright color and snowflake pattern on the set also. It does come in many solid colors and patterns.

The second item we tried out was Simplicity’s InfinityScarf. The Infinity Scarf is one size fits all. I love this type of gift. One size fits all is the best type of gift to buy. That way you know you will not buy the wrong size and you do not have to ask the person what size they are giving them a hint into what they are getting for Christmas. The Infinity Scarf is great for the fashion diva of your house. It comes in a wide array of colors and patterns. I chose the turquoise chevron pattern. It is so incredibly soft and lightweight I love snuggling in it. The Infinity Scarf is so easy to wear. I cannot believe we have ever had regular scarves. It is one big circle of fabric. You can wear it as a long circle or double it up as a scarf. It is easy to use and extremely comfortable. You can even wear it inside or outside.

I love Simplicity’s idea to add something different to the boring set of winter apparel you will inevitably get for Christmas. So if you want to be the one who gives out the cool gloves and scarves this year. Check out Simplicity apparel and order your set or Infinity scarf while you can!

#Sponsored, #winterwear, #NextGenerationSAHMBlog

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sponsored: Zubels 2015 Holiday Collection

I wrote this post while participating in a campaign and received a gift to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were not influenced or reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guideline

Sponsored: Zubels 2015 Holiday Collection
Written By Renee Arbia


The holiday season is here. Are you looking for something unique and special to get that adorable baby or child in your life? You should definitely take a look at Zubels. Zubels make everything from 100% cotton (some organic). Their hand knit toys, hats, sweaters, pants and booties will be loved and cherished by children and parents. 

Zubels started with a creative group working together to bring smiles to children. There was a need for an eco-friendly yet purposeful toy whose only requirement was a little love and imagination. Zubels is a family owned company. The company, which has been in business for over 30 years, offers traditional, eco-friendly, hand knit toys, quality gifts, accessories and apparel which are available at various boutiques and online retailers.

This year for the holidays Zubels has come out with a great holiday collection of themed items. You can get great holiday and Christmas themed items such as Santa dolls, snowmen sweaters and hats, and reindeer rattles. They even have entire sets of a hat, sweater and doll or rattle. Their rattles and small dolls make great stocking stuffers. 

Zubels are each hand knit with 100% super soft organic cotton yarns. Zubels uses eco-friendly low-impact dyes and has minimal packaging to reduce environmental waste. Each one is also hand stuffed to make them huggable and loveable. Their subtle textures, vibrant colors and hand embroidered details spark imaginary play. Every doll has a distinct personality just like every child!

To order from Zubels check out their website at
Xavier and I are big fans of Zubels toys. Check out a video of us playing together! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to see all our latest videos!

#ZUBELS, #MYZubels, #Sponsored, #NextGenerationSAHMBlog, #HolidayGiftGuide2015 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sponsored: Family Meditation with Tibetan Meditation Bowls

I wrote this post while participating in a campaign and received a gift to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were neither influenced, nor reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

Sponsored: Family Meditation with Tibetan Meditation Bowls
Written By Renee Arbia

Meditation is a great way to reduce stress, and help you achieve a peaceful mind. There are millions of different ways to meditate. A great thing to do is introduce meditation to your family. Families who meditate together tend to be a lot less stressed and have more peace together. Children who meditate tend to have less behavioral problems and temper tantrums.

Children can actually learn mediation as young as two years old. We have been working with our son who is three on starting meditation. However, like most parents one of the most challenging things when first teaching your kids meditation is getting them to sit still and focus (or not focus) quietly.

We were very excited to be able to try out the Tibetan Meditation Bowls to help with family meditation time. Geshe’s Dharma makes Tibetan Meditation Bowls in Nepal. They are hand made, 5 inch or 4 inches in diameter bowls. You can get them hand painted or plain. All of their Tibetan Meditation Bowls come in a beautiful gift box that includes the cushion for the bowl and wood mallet. Tibetan Meditation Bowls use a resonance of music to help you meditate for a peaceful mind. They are easy to play and are great for any meditation technique, especially beginners.

To use a Tibetan Meditation Bowl you simply put the bowl on its cushion on the floor where you are meditating. You strike the bowl once with the mallet (like a bell) and close your eyes and just listen to the beautiful sound. They are very similar to bells in sound and how you would use them in meditation. You can also hold them in the palm of your hand and run the mallet around the outside. Running the mallet around the outside was too complicated for our son. So for family meditation we just strike the bowls one at a time until the sound is gone. For personal meditation it is fun to play them yourself. You can also use Tibetan Meditation bowls for Yoga or spiritual ceremonies and practices.

We found using the Tibetan Meditation Bowls very rewarding. It was so much easier to help my son figure out how to listen while you are meditating and to focus on the sound. Not to mention getting to hit the bowl every once in a while when the sound goes away brings a big smile to his face. We especially loved the large 5 inch bowl as it made a very rich and long lasting sound. The smaller bowl is a little higher sound and lasts about as long. Both my husband and I who meditate a lot found the Tibetan Meditation Bowls were extremely useful for meditating. I especially liked using the Tibetan Meditation Bowls if I was very distracted, in a hurry or particularly stressed. They are so easy to close your eyes and listen to and just be in the moment. 

There is nothing better than to teach your family to really be in the moment through meditation. Tibetan Meditation Bowl are great tools that will help you to de-stress and have a peaceful mind and atmosphere. If you are new to meditation or particularly if you do family meditation I would highly recommend these Tibetan Mediation Bowls. They are a wonderful way to teach children to learn to meditate with adults so you can share in the moments together.

You can buy the Tibetan Meditation Bowls on Amazon.

#Sponsored, #NextGenerationSAHMBlog, #familymeditation, #tibetanmeditationbowls

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sponsored: Post-Natal Recovery & Support Belly Band

I wrote this post while participating in a campaign and received a gift to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products or company itself are my own and were neither influenced, nor reviewed by the company prior to posting. I am disclosing this according to the FTC guidelines.

Sponsored: Post-Natal Recovery & Support Belly Band
Written By Renee Arbia

Belly Bands have been popping up all over the place as a great thing to wear after you give birth to your baby. Why are they good and how can they help you in your recovery?

One of our favorite belly bands is from the great people over at Mamaway which is now offering their products in the United States. The Mamaway Post-Natal Recovery and Support Belly Band is one of the few Post-Natal Belly Bands that we really think would be a big benefit to moms. It is made of 12% Polyester, 48% Nylon, 20% Bamboo Charcoal and 20% Rubber. The Mamaway Post-Natal Recovery and Support Belly Band is designed to wear right after birth. It is perfectly safe for a c-section birth or a vaginal birth. Each fiber in this belly band contains 20% nano-bamboo charcoal, which is known for its powerful anti-odor and antibacterial properties. By putting this in the fibers it allows you to wear your belly band while preventing any bacteria or odor build up. This keeps the belly band, soft, breathable and non-irritating.

The idea is to wear the belly band after birth when you still have the hormone, Relaxin in your body. The far-infrared technology boosts blood circulation and provides support and medical-grade compression to your wound area to speed up the recovery of your uterus, pelvis, back and belly.

The Mamaway Post-Natal Recovery and Support Belly Band is safe to wear all day, everyday even during sleep. It is designed to comfortably bend, twist, and move with your body without ever riding up. Providing great abdominal area and back support the Mamaway belly band is a triple compression band with a three step fastening for a secure and tight hold. In fact it even has two extra compression belts to reinforce key recovery areas and give you an immediate waistline. It comes in different sizes so you are sure to get one with the right fit. It is also machine washable and will not lose its shape after washing and drying.

The Mamaway Post-Natal Recovery and Support Belly Band can help you speed up your recovery process after giving birth so you can focus on the more important things, like your new baby.

You can order your Mamaway Post-Natal Recovery and Support Belly Band on Amazon.

#NextGenerationSAHMBlog, #Sponsored, #mamawayus, #postnatal


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