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Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Blissmo Bites Box {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I think a common goal many of us have for ourselves and certainly as parents is to eat good food. Not just tasty food, but food that is actually nutritious. The problem is it can be really hard to find and/or prepare healthy food, especially if you’re just starting out on a path to eating better and don’t necessarily have a mentor guiding you along.

I know as mom this is a constant struggle. I want to establish healthy eating habits for both me and my boy. However, when snack time rolls around I can be seen with a thought bubble filled with question marks above my head as I scout to cupboards looking for something not fried in oil or loaded with unpronounceable ingredients.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Dandy Giveaway receives free products for review purposes and may sometimes be compensated for posts but all opinions expressed are 100% my own. See Dandy Giveaway’s disclosure policy for more details.)

My biggest problem is I don’t know what to stock my cupboards with. I want to open them and not see fruit snacks, goldfish and gram crackers, but I don’t even know where to start looking for reasonable replacements.

I contacted Blissmo, and was really excited when they offered to let me review a Blissmo Bites Box.

You see Blissmo has this awesome subscription service, where you sign up for a single month subscription, a 6 month subscription or an indefinite subscription ($19-$24/month depending on what you choose), then you get to choose the types of products you want sent to you. You’ll generally have the option of beauty products, snack products or season items, and you can change the type of box you get every month. You make your selections and they will ship a box chock full of good stuff to your door step.

Each box is loaded with organic, non-toxic and/or eco friendly products. This month they had a Blissmo Beauty Box or Blissmo Bites Box. The Beauty Box has high quality beauty and personal care items, think non-toxic, sustainable soaps, make up, shampoos, etc.

I was sent the Bites Box, which was full of delicious and healthy snacks. Snacks I didn’t feel guilty about indulging in or sharing with Dmitri. I loved that the gave me such a broad spectrum of sample to try, and it gave me a chance to taste test some things I would have blindly walked passed at the grocery store. (Now I know what brands/products to look for so I can stock the cupboards with better stuff.)

 

I was sent:
Chic-a-peas, 2 flavors of Ricky’s Lucky Nuts, a Rawr Bar, Glee Gum, Bola Granola, Mary’s Gone Crackers ‘Love Cookies’, & Gaia Herbal Energy Plus.

I love that the ingredients in the chickpeas are: chickpeas, safflower oil, and sea salt. That’s it!  I thought they tasted a bit like half popped popcorn kernel, but I loved how crunchy they were.

The Rawr Bar is made only of Sweet Potato Puree, Apple Puree, Lemon Juice & Cinnamon. It was delicious fruit leather and tasted a little spicy from the cinnamon, both Dmitri and I went to town on this one.

Ricky’s Lucky Nuts in Sweet Chai had only peanuts, cane sugar, organic masala chai blend & salt. Dmitir’s not quite old enough to eat nuts but my husband and I loved these! They were thick coated, flavored, peanuts and they were gone about ten seconds after we opened them!

The other products are not pictured specifically but they were still awesome and delicious products. (Bola Granola, Mary’s Gone Crackers ‘love cookies’, Herbal Energy Plus, and Glee Gum.)

Blissmo is a great company and reading over their about us pages and FAQ’s it seems like they are really out there to make a positive impact on the world. I know that I would rather eat something sustainably harvested, high quality, and eco friendly than some unknown unpronounceable chemicals and I love that they take care of research for me and ship only best products.

If you’re looking for an introduction to some new healthy products, or you just loving having surprise food shipped to your door then you’ve got to check out Blissmo!

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / YouTube/ Instagram

One Use the code “blissmokm” to get $10 off a new subscription, and one lucky winner will receive a Blissmo Bites Box!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of June 26th and will be emailed. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Top Ten Tricks to Surviving Flying Alone with a Toddler

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Flying alone with a toddler

Please excuse the cell phone quality photo. This was definitely taken at the start of the trip, you can tell because I don’t look totally exhausted yet.

Unfortunately my husband and I live across the country from our parents, which results in lots of airplane flights home. Since my husband is also a full time student I often end up taking our boy alone on these flights to visit the grandparents.  We just got back from our most recent excursion and I thought I would jot down my tips for surviving flying alone with a toddler since summer is upon us and it’s prime time to brave the airlines.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Dandy Giveaway receives free products for review purposes and may sometimes be compensated for posts but all opinions expressed are 100% my own. See Dandy Giveaway’s disclosure policy for more details.)

1. Pack light and check as much luggage as you can.

It might be worth that $25 fee to not have to watch, haul, and maneuver your suitcase while chasing your toddler down the terminal or trying to get your little one settled in their seat.

2. Make sure you can handle everything you’re bringing by yourself before you’re standing helplessly at the TSA check point.

I ended up pushing my boy in a stroller, which I had tied the car seat to the back of with a little strap, while carrying a backpack and pulling a suitcase. I could maneuver it around but it was a huge pain, and trying to haul all of it around while my boy was trying to get some energy out before the flight was a joke. (See number 1)

3. Have all your liquids in a plastic bag on the top of your diaper bag to speed up going through security.

Strollers, car seats, diaper bag, and everything else you can image have to go through security, which will probably mean a little bit of unpacking and repacking.  Make it as easy as possible on yourself; having all your liquids in a plastic bag on the top of your diaper bag is a lifesaver, (and know you can bring all kinds of liquids for babies and kids, so pack up that milk. Most airlines will let you bring 70 oz of liquid, but double check with yours.)

4. Consider a toddler leash.

They have cute backpack ones that make your child look less like a pet, and having one gives you the option of freeing up your hands for a few seconds without having to worry about losing your child.  This is extremely useful when trying to get situated after going through security or while collapsing a stroller, for a gate check, before getting on the airplane.

5. Bring a car seat and stroller if you need them

Most airlines will let you bring both a car seat and a stroller at no extra charge, they consider them an assisitive device (but double check with your airline, a few of them will let you bring one or the other, but not both).  Bring the stroller you want to use for your whole trip, don’t bring a light one just to conserve space.

6. Don’t check your car seat

Even though it’s a pain to haul around, I would highly suggest not checking your car seat. You don’t know what’s going to happen to it between being check and getting it loaded on the plane (micro cracks from it being dropped or dirt from it falling out of the transport vehicle etc.) and you definitely don’t want to get to your destination and have your car seat lost along the way.  You can gate check it when you get on the plane, and if you’re lucky, and if they have an extra seat, they might let you bring it on the plane for your child to sit in at no extra charge.

7. Ask if there are any extra seats on the flight

If you’re traveling with a lap child ALWAYS ask if there are any extra seats on the flight. If there are, the airline will often move people around so you can have the extra seat. More space for you and your tot makes the flight go so much better.

8. Be prepared to entertain, possibly for hours. *sigh*

Don’t underestimate the power of a cell phone or tablet to help here.  Fill it with new games and favorite games, home videos of your child and anything else that your child might find entertaining. Will your child watch a movie?  Consider getting a portable DVD player, even 15 minutes of distractions helps.Bring anything you can think of in terms of entertainment, comfort and distraction.  Bring snacks, a favorite toy and a toys that your child has never seen before. I found a dollar store Magna Doodle that was a life saver.

9. Bring something to eat or to suck on for takeoff and landing so your child’s ears pop.  

My boy hasn’t had a problem with this so far, but other children on the flights have, and it seems miserable.  A sucker, a juice box, some crackers or anything that encourages your child to swallow can help your child avoid this particular misery.

10. Unfortunately, you should just plan on your child having a melt down (you can be relieved if it doesn’t happen).

It may be unavoidable, and that’s okay.  It’s okay for your child to cry, and to be bored and to be uncomfortable. Heck everyone else on the plane is too, your child is just young enough to voice it.  Know that you and your child have as much of a right to fly as anyone else, and the rest of the passengers can rest assured that they will be free of the noise when they exit the plane.

Take a deep breath, tell yourself you can do it, survive the fight, and enjoy the destination.

Do you find these tips useful, or do you have any others you would add to the list?  Let me know in the comments, so all of our flights can be that much easier.

House of Glam {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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I’m embarrassed to admit this, since my baby is almost a year and half old, but I’m still rocking my maternity pants.  Why? Because they’re comfortable, flexible and they look a heck of a lot better than most of the post maternity pants I bought – those are so unflattering my husband has mistaken them for his. *Sigh*

The thing is, I need comfortable pants.  Pants that work me on the good days and the bloated days, pants that cover my behind when I’m crouching on the floor to play with my boy, pants that don’t end up glued to my thighs in the sweltering summer weather, and it wouldn’t hurt if they could be semi attractive as well.

I realize that is a tall order.

But guess what I found at House of Glam?    It’s a little something I would describe as stylish, comfortable, high waisted, and summery.

House of Glam

Linen Pants!

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I think these pants are kind of amazing.  The top has a fitted, elastic like fabric that reminds me of my yoga pants. The pants themselves are linen, which is a lightweight breathable fabric, allowing you to wear them in the summer without getting super overheated.  And they are really stylish.  I actually pulled them out of the bag and my husband, raised an eyebrow and asked what I was going to do with “dress pants”.  The thing is, he’s not wrong about them being dress pants-ish.  They’re comfortable like yoga pants, but have a classy kind of look to them.

A few words of caution.  They run big.  I ordered a medium that supposed to fit size 6-8, though I’m probably closer to a size 10 in regular pants.  They fit my waist just fine and covered my long frame and then some.  If you don’t like your pants trailing on the ground, I would suggest ordering a size smaller than your normally would. Also, I want to give you a heads up that due to the thin, lightweight nature of the linen fabric they tend to wrinkle easily.

Bottom line: These pants are comfortable, and perfect for summer.

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House of Glam doesn’t have just linen pants, they’ve also got some sweet linen shorts, knit shorts, chevron tops, Aztec tanks and a bunch more stylish clothing at affordable prices.  Add that to their FREE SHIPPING FOR EVERYTHING awesomeness and you’ve got a winner in my book.

Let me give you a little preview of some of the other fashionable finds House of Glam has to offer.  (My sister was positively drooling over that Aztec tank when I was checking out their website at her house.)

House of Glam Shirts

If you liked what you’ve seen then you’ve got to check out their online boutique! You’re also going to love hearing that House of Glam has offered a $50 gift card to one Dandy reader, so you can go enjoy some of these fashion finds yourself.

*Warning* – If you find something you love don’t wait around to order, these fashions sell out fast!

Online Store / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

One lucky winner will get a $50 gift card to spend at House of Glam’s online store!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of June 20th and will be emailed. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Kendall Jane Boutique {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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My summer wardrobe kills me!

I grew up in Utah where June-Sept its easily reaches 90+ degrees. It’s hot but at least in Utah it’s a dry heat, Boston is a whole different story.  I’m still dealing with 90+ degree weather, but there’s also this thick layer of sauna like wetness, known as humidity, that coats you whenever you walk out the front door. I feel like I’m getting steam roasted.

Another big problem is I’m a fairly conservative dresser. Spaghetti strapped tank tops don’t really suit me.  So, I grudgingly pull out my thinnest t-shirt and brave the wet heat whenever I need to go anywhere. (Did I mention we’re city folk and don’t have a car? I do lots of summer walking…)

I have a handful of shirts for these kinds of adventures. Shirts that are light, but not so light that they are see through – which would force me to wear an undershirt and defeat the purpose of wearing a light shirt.  Such shirts are hard to come by.

Now I would like to Introduce Kendall Jane Boutique.

kendall-logo

They have fantastic, trendy clothing at great prices.  You can find shirts that range from about $10-25 with great summer styles like color block, chevron, Aztec and more.  Check out these little numbers and tell me you’re not interested:

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Want leggings, Bermuda shorts or linen pants?  How about some of these?

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And don’t forget dresses and accessories.

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I was sent the Coral Basic Dolman for my review and I love it! (My window makes it look ombre, but it’s actually a solid color)

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Guess what?! It’s currently being sold for only $15! This is a perfect spring/summer transition shirt.  It’s bright, comfortable, lightweight, and breathable, but thick enough that I didn’t need to wear an undershirt with it to keep my bra from being exposed.  It’s gathered on the sides, which works as a nice little accent and allows it to drape loosely across your stomach.

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It’s also super versatile. It easily transitions between dressy and casual.  I paired it with a skirt and wore it to church one week, then turned around and paired it with leggings for a BBQ.

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I’m thrilled to have a lightweight shirt to add to my summer wardrobe.  If you like what you saw here then you’ve got to check out them out:

Website/ Facebook/ Instagram


Kendall Jane Boutique has also generously offered Dandy readers a discount!  During the next week use “DANDY10” with any purchase to receive 10% off.

*The products in this review were provided to me free of cost for the purpose of writing this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.*

 

Ostrim Jerkee {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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My dad is a pretty manly guy (works at an auto body shop, hunts, fishes, builds stuff, etc.) and he was blessed with five wonderful children, who all happened to be daughters.  I’ve never heard him lament our girlyness, but he also made sure we all knew how to enjoy more than dress ups and dollhouses by teaching us how to fish, camp and hike.  A staple for all of these outings was jerky.  We LOVED jerky, and now every time I eat it, I think of holding a fishing pole or talking by a fire pit.

Since Father’s Day is coming up, I’ve been brainstorming ideas for both my father and husband and you better believe I jumped at the chance to review some of Ostrim’s Jerkee.

ostrim-logo

I love that this jerky doesn’t just taste good, but it’s actually good for you.  Lot of good protein, low fat and no fillers make it a filling snack without tons of calories.  In fact a full stick has less than 100 calories.

They also have a bunch of tasty flavors including classics like teriyaki, BBQ and pepper, and then they have some sweet and spicy flavors like applewood, maple, and habanero (my husbands favorite).

ostrim-nutrition

Now I need to backtrack to the girlyness a little bit.  I like meat.  I like red meat.  I love steak. But I do not like the chewy, fatty, or gristly bits that show up in meat and VERY often in jerky.  This jerky stands apart in my experience. They weren’t oily, chewy or gristly in the least, instead they were delicious, savory, firm and 96% fat free.  Which meant there was not a single questionable bite in any of the samples.

ostrim-jerky

If you want to mix it up a little bit they also make jerky trail mix, full of nuts, berries and (you guessed it) jerky! I expected a lot of meat from a trail mix sold by a jerky company, and they definitely delivered.  The nuts were a little soft, but the blueberry infused cranberries in it were delicious, and there was tons of meat…  I ended up thinking of it more as a hearty jerky with some added textures than a run of the mill trail mix.

ostrim-trialmix

I’ve found the Ostrim Jerky to be delicious snacks, a great post workout food, and something nutritious I can grab on the run. Can’t wait to try them for yourself? Pick up a few meat sticks at your local Albertson’s, Fred Meyer or Costco.  (You can view the full list of retailers here.)

You can also follow them on their website http://ostrim.com or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

And now for the fun part!  One lucky winner will receive an Ostrim gift basket filled with jerky for your own enjoyment, or for your fathers/husbands if you’re feeling generous.

 

*This giveaway is open to entries in the US only.
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of June 8th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway are sponsored by Ostrim, but all opinions are my own.

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