Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales *Review*

*Disclosure: I received this product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and may differ from yours.

To say we love "My Little Pony" in my home would be a gross understatement. Audrey is slightly obsessed. 

When we received  My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales for a review, she let out a LOUD (and I do mean loud) excited shrill! We had to watch it right then. No question.

She loved it, and she has loved it the other million (okay, maybe that's a light exaggeration) times that she has watched it since then.

Halloween is coming up, and if you have a child who loves My Little Pony, you will want to check this out. My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales was released on September 9, 2014 just in time for Halloween (it's coming up soon!). The DVD features six episodes AND a sing-along. This DVD comes with pumpkin carving stencils and a Halloween poster! PERFECT for the upcoming holiday.

On this DVD, your child will be able to join the ponies they love as they take on some spooky adventures! All of their favorite characters from Ponyville (Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, and Spike!) will have your My Little Pony fan entertained and ready for Halloween in these 6 fun episodes and bonus sing-along.

The episodes include:
Boast Busters
Stare Master
Luna Eclipsed
Sleepless in Ponyville
Castle Mane-ia

You can find this DVD on Amazon HERE!

*Disclosure: I received this product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and may differ from yours.
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What are you eating?

Do you really know what you are eating? Do you know what you are putting on your body every day?
I think that I can thank Barrett for my new outlook on a few things because when he died, I lost that "It won't happen to me" attitude. I learned "it can happen to me". I've spent A LOT of time reading and researching and checking multiple sources and looking for legitimate studies on so many different things--the food I eat, drinks, beauty much.
I started by ditching my shampoo for natural options. The "detox" was tough but I don't regret it. Since I quit using commercial shampoo, my hair actually has a red tint to it. It is growing SO fast. Apparently, commercial shampoos were not only altering my natural color, but were hindering my hair's growth. My hair has always taken FOREVER to grow. Since ditching my shampoo, it has gone from a short bob to below my just three months.
Then I looked into more. The lotions and beauty products we put on our bodies. Our skin is the largest organ we have. When you think of it that way, it makes sense to take care of it. Your skin absorbs. It's important to look at what you are putting on it.
Deodorant. I didn't think much about this one until all of a sudden I started having allergic reactions to it. I'm talking horrible, painful, itchy rashes all the way from my chest to my elbows from deodorant. AWFUL. So I started looking into ingredients. Aluminum. What? Then "fragrances" <----what exactly are the fragrances? Because apparently something in the "fragrances" of a particular brand are something I am EXTREMELY allergic to. But, guess what? I don't even know what it is I am allergic to because they don't have to list what goes into "fragrances". Comforting, right?
Photo curtesy of:
Food. Oh gosh. That will need to be it's own post. Just look into. Look into the ingredients of foods you eat EVERY day. Foods your children eat EVERY day. Even things such as bread. That whole wheat, whole grain bread I was buying that I *thought* was good for me...yeah, not so much. The third ingredient listed on the packaging (along with a TON) of others is "high fructose corn syrup". Why? I just made homemade bread the other day. I used water, organic white flour, yeast, and a little salt. Cheaper and doesn't have a whole list of ingredients. (And it was SO good, we ate the whole loaf in two days--my family who never finishes a loaf of bread devoured it!). I just gave bread as an example because something that should be a simple list of ingredients, isn't. I encourage you to really look at the ingredients of the foods you are eating.

I also hear that "eating organic and healthy is sooooo expensive". It does cost more. There is no sense in denying that. BUT it's doable even on a strict budget. I have personally cut costs in other places by making my own beauty products (SO much cheaper and LOADS better for you), reusable snack bags instead of ziplocs, "unpaper" towels and napkins, and the list goes on and on (for us it also includes cloth diapering and wipes--another way to be easier on Cate's skin and saves tons of money!).

I was never taught to question things. I learned a lot of valuable lessons growing up, but one thing that was assumed was that you just did what you were told and they wouldn't be able to sell a product if it wasn't "safe". Wrong. 

I'm thankful for my husband who is willing to go along with changes I make (even if he lovingly calls me a hippy while I do!).

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own;  you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body." 
1 Corinthians 6:19-20

^^^That's my motivator. I'm taking care of my temple and those of my family. I know it's impossible to do an immediate complete purge. Trust me, I know, because I am doing it one product at a time. How? Well I'll be blogging about it along the way. This is just your intro. I hope you will follow along as I transition my family from a "commercialized" home, to a natural, local grown home.
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Monday, September 29, 2014

$5 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

It's been awhile since I've posted a giveaway, so here is my gift to you to celebrate the start of Fall! Enter below to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. Giveaway runs from 9/29-10/1. Good Luck!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*This giveaway is in no way associated with any social media platform. 
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Salcura Natural Skin Therapy *Blogger Opp*

Health & Beauty 
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Safe, Effective & Natural Solutions

To soothe and maintain problem skin conditions
Register Here

Please, mention referred by Luker Family Tales

Start Time/Date:   12:00 AM (EST) 10/01/2014
End   Time/Date:   11:59 PM (EST)10/31/2014

You will get 2 FREE Links (Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram Only)

Co-Host spots are available.

You must agree to promote this giveaway a minimum of 3-4 times a week on Twitter, facebook, and another Social Media site of your choice. 

 This giveaway will be valid in
the Continental United States only. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.

Start Time/Date:   12:00 AM (EST) 10/01/2014
End   Time/Date:   11:59 PM (EST)10/31/2014

There will be comments on your blog for this giveaway!

Register Here

Please, mention referred by Luker Family Tales
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"CooCoo for Costumes" Halloween Giveaway *Blogger Opp*

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Welcome to the first of many Blogger opportunities for the Holiday Season! Hosted by: Adventures of a Military Family of 8

For October we will be doing: "CooCoo for Costumes" Halloween Giveaway event

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pretty Little Liar

Corny title, I know. But it's how I feel this week going through the motions; trying to choke back the tears at every turn. I want to let it all out, but while part of my world was frozen in time on August 23, 2012, the rest of it still spins.

I want to cry. I want to scream. Sometimes I feel like, maybe if I scream loud enough and long enough, the heaviness I feel in my chest every time I realize how close his birthday is will go away; maybe I'll be able to breathe again.

As a child you hear people tell you sometimes "life's not fair". That's true. It's not. 

It's not fair that instead of planning an adorable birthday party for Barrett on Saturday, I'm trying to decide what kind of flowers to take to his grave and deciding on a memorial to do this year. 

I spend every day wrestling with emotions. I go from being so overcome with joy from the time I was given with him to being angry that he is gone. It will
make you question your sanity. But burying a baby isn't sanity. And it doesn't get easier.

I saw a quote from Carley Marie that has resonated with me this week. "I will never stop grieving because I will never stop loving". There is so much truth packed in that statement.

I have three more days of pretending this week. Three more days of choking back tears with a smile. Then Saturday will come and the mask will melt away. 

I can't wait to visit you Saturday sweet baby boy.

Where We are Today

It's been over a year and a half since we lost Barrett. In that time, not one day has gone by that he hasn't crossed my mind at least a dozen times.
To most, it probably seems that I am "over it". They don't see me post about him every day on Facebook. I no longer burst into tears when I think of him. In fact, I talk about him a lot without crying now. I can now tell his entire birth story without shedding a tear. But that doesn't mean I'm over it. It means that I have learned to live with the pain and I am incorporating him into our life as a family in different ways.
I post pictures of our rainbow baby, Cate, a lot. And when I do, I feel as if I am posting Barrett too. For me, he is part of her. She is here because he isn't. If Barrett were here, it would be physically impossible for our precious Cathleen to make me laugh every single day. She is my gift from God and her brother. I imagine that his looks and personality would be so similar to her, my little goofball. She will always carry a part of him with her just as Audrey will.
I smile when I talk about Barrett and when I think of him. I smile every time I finish a blanket for Barrett's Blankets. I smile because I am so blessed that he is mine. But the truth is, I miss him. A lot. I miss him every time I think of what milestone he would be hitting right now had I carried him to term and had a 15 month old baby boy now. I imagine him running alongside Audrey in the yard and fighting over toys with Cate.
I love that Barrett is buried in a family cemetery, but I admit that sometimes I wish the drive wasn't so far. It's just not possible for me to make it to his grave as often as I'd like. So I bought apple trees for each of the kids and planted them. Barrett's has a plaque and when it gets bigger, I plan to put a bench under it where I can just sit with him awhile.
I have not forgotten. Spreading his name is still just as important to me. It's being done through Barrett's Blankets (which is slow right now due to having Cate, but I fully intend to hit the ground wide open again in a few months...but I am still slowly but surely sending out blankets). I wear a ring every day with a tiny footprint that says "You are with me every step of the way". I love having the ring since I haven't been able to wear my necklace with his handprint with his little sister being so fond of pulling on necklaces.
When Barrett died and there were so many days that seemed impossible to get through, I often wondered where I would be a year from then or ten years from then. I wondered if it would always be this hard. Here is an answer to those of you who are freshly experiencing loss: No.
I'm going against the norm here. So many people say "It always hurts just as much" and so on. And that's true. Oh man, is that true. Sometimes I think it hurts worse the more I think about it. But everyday living is easier for me now than it was in August 2012. Not just because of Cate, but because I am adjusting.
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