Thursday, May 29, 2014

May BarkBox

Getting the BarkBox at our house each month never gets old.  And can I mention enough that I love that I don't have to add any puppy treats to the grocery list now except rawhide?  Because rawhide-we go through it like it's 1999 in our house.  Sheesh.  Without further ado:

What this month's box lacked in quantity, it made up for with quality.

Z-Bones from Zuke's ($6.69): These dental chews pack a punch with their size, which will keep my Big Girl occupied for at least a few minutes.  She loves carrots, so enticing her to help her teeth with this treat was a snap.  And, any bone full of antioxidants is a plus in my book!

Bionic Urban Stick ($24.99) Bionic Rubber was made with the most voracious chewers in mind!  It even has the FDA stamp of approval, so if those tough jaws do break off bits and pieces, they'll digest without making your fur baby sick.  Awesome!  There are holes on each end for stuffing treats for an extra adventure.  So far, Aggie Belle and Daddy have had some great games of fetch and tug-o-war with the stick. 

Snicky Snaks Apple Cobbler ($9.99) With all of the news about pups getting sick from foreign made dog treats, I'm always glad to see American sourced and made products.  Snicky Snaks is one of those!   These organic treats are made from GMO-free ingredients and smell tasty!  Does anyone else get weirded out when dog treats leave a yucky smell on your hands?!

Nooties' No Grainers Jerky Chews ($12.99) We've had goodies from Nootie before, and I was glad to see these again.  These jerky sticks can be broken into any length, which is great for Bailey.  Another USA made jerky, these are always a winner with the pups!

Coming in at a grand total of $54.66, this month's box blows out the $19 we paid for it.  These two give BarkBox 2 paws up for May!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WFMW: Fair Trade Children's Clothing

Linking up with Kristen today.

I don't like spending money.  I do love shopping, but I find I prefer to not spend the money the last several years.  However, clothing has become on of the things I won't scrimp on, not so much because of brands but because I don't want what cover my rear end to have a part in the on-going slave trade. 

So far, I haven't really bought any clothes for the Man Cub aside from a couple of rompers.  We have an entire dresser and two plastic drawer sets full of hand me downs, which is awesome.  As I tend to do, I became curious about the brands we'd been given, and as I assumed, most are made in sweat shops in various parts of the world.

However, when Mom, Nanny, and I went on our big shopping spree at Tot-N-Teen in April, I realized that the higher prices weren't just due to boutique quality but because so many of these brands are fair trade.  Now, nearly anything sourced and manufactured in the US is considered fair trade because of our strict labor laws.  Granted, there are loop holes to nearly any law, but the chances are so much better.  Here are a few of my favorites from that now grace the Man Cub's closet:

Glorimont: This Christian company from Pennsylvania has adorable clothing made here in the USA since 1979.  I can't wait to get my hands on this piece for Christmas:
Kissy Kissy: This company began in 1995 and has quickly turned into an international boutique staple due to their super soft Peruvian Pima Cotton clothing.  My mom and grandma bought a ton of Kissy Kissy at Tot-n-Teen, and the two things I bought are Kissy Kissy.  It. Is. Fabulous.  I needed this as a kid because I couldn't stand anything itchy or with stiff seams.  Kissy Kissy is adorable and solves all of those problems.  And they work closely with the BASC to keep all of their employees and the environment well cared for.  Pricey, but in my opinion, totally worth it.

There are a few others that claim to be made in the US, but I can't find if they are truly American sourced too.  I'm going to keep digging, and I suggest you do too.  Bailey Boys, CachCach for Baby, and Magnolia Baby are all some to keep an eye on.

Fair trade clothing for my kid works for me, even when it means I have to yes to a higher price to do what I know is ethically best.  What fair trade brands for little ones have you found?  I'd love to hear about them!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Man Cub's Zambian Safari Shower

On the 17th, these Fab Five threw us the most incredible baby shower for the Man Cub!!  Each one of these ladies is so incredibly talented, and they cut no corners in making every detail exquisite.  They knew we were making the Man Cub's nursery as authentically Zambian as possible (minus the furniture...anybody want to pay import prices for us?!), so they turned our shower into a Zambian safari.  Oh, they know our hearts well!  Isaac and I were absolutely blown away!

I had requested a 'no wrap' shower after learning about them on a few different blogs.  I loved the idea of simply visiting with the families and friends that came to see me instead of spending the majority of the time unwrapping presents.  I'd much rather talk!!  And, it's pretty eco-friendly too!  They surprised me with the addition of the books.

When Isaac and I arrived, we first saw this:

and then walked in to this:

 This beauty will hang in the nursery, and I can't wait to add it!

So many dear friends and family members came to celebrate the Man Cub with us.  We had a fabulous time visiting, oohing and awing over tiny treasures.  Having the shower right smack at 30 1/2 weeks was perfect.  I had energy and felt great, and that made all the difference!  And since one of my besties couldn't make it from NC, I wore her dress.  I kept with the safari theme well, didn't I?  It reminded me that she was there in spirit cheering us on!

These are two of our three flower girls.  Um, just how did they get so big?!

Friends since we were babies thanks to our awesome mommas!

 Precious friends from church.

Mom, daughter, and friend's baby.

Awesome ladies from church who love on us and let us love on their teens (since they were in diapers!)

Church friends

Church and Teacher friends

Sweet friends since '89!

Mom, Daughter, and Grandson

The younger daughter!

Oh, these two who challenge me to be a better example to them of Jesus each day!

Teacher friends!!

Grandma lovin!

And then there's this maid of honor and precious, most cherished friend who kept it an absolute surprise that she was driving into town just for a few hours to celebrate with me, even leaving her own little man at home with his daddy.  I was so stinkin surprised, and having her there was the best present of the whole day!

I am so grateful my family lives so close.  Mom and Nanny did a lot to make this day extra special.

 My sis-in-law Laura and her mom came to love on the Man Cub too.  I'm so glad they live so close too!!

Man Cub needs to grow a bit more, but we sure are ready for him when he comes! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Works for Me: Hotdog Wraps

Ok, I know hotdogs aren't the healthiest of choicest.  Yet, sometimes, I need something quick, easy, and tasty to feed us on busy nights.  And, with all the organic, grass-fed hotdog options out there now, I'm not sure hotdogs are the no-no food they used to be.  :)

This is actually an oldie that Mom would whip up for us on crazy nights when she wanted us to eat together but knew we were short on time.

Hotdog Wraps

Package of hotdogs
Roll of croissants
4 slices of cheese, cut in half

Grease a cookie sheet. Unroll the croissants.   Lay one 1/2 of a piece of cheese on the croissant.  Wrap around a hot dog.

Bake per the croissant instructions.


Quick dinners work for me!

Linking up with Kristen.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Puppy Cake

A few weeks ago, Isaac made this adorable puppy cake. Please excuse the awful quality in the photos.  I was a bit lazy that day!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day to Moms Here and in Zambia

I spent time loving on these two today (and our significant others, but today wasn't about them...).  It was at treat to have lunch on the lake and visit over superb Italian food.

The pups and Isaac spent time loving on me with sweet cards and my favorite tulips.  It's hard to believe that next year I'll have to make room for three kids in my lap instead of just two.  Although, if they could talk, the pups would say they're already having to share my lap with their littler brother.  :)

But while all this loving was happening here in Texas, my heart and prayers kept turning to my mommy friends in Zambia.  These women are just faces I've seen in a magazine.  They are true warriors with names and stories that Isaac and I know intimately. 

These moms refuse to measure their worth by the size of their house, the quality of their vehicle, or the brand of their purse.  Instead they measure wealth in the health and education of their children, their time spent in worship, and the number of hugs they receive from their precious, wiggly bundles.  They seek Jesus daily to be their sustenance, and they find joy in Him in each curve life throws at them.  They conquer pregnancy and child birth with a fortitude and courage that I only dream of having.  

Some of these moms aren't even raising their own children, but instead are simply big sisters tragically left with big shoes to fill.  They are doing excellent jobs, and they encourage me with their determination to keep their families together.

These are my hero mamas that I look up to and who remind me to stop my fussin' when I don't like my situation.  They have taught me so much about mothering, and I am grateful to know them.  Gertrude, Patience, Maureen, Chalala, Matrida, Matlidah and all the others who love me so well and always have extra hugs for me, may you feel God's arms around you today.  I love you deeply.

If you'd like to help mamas who are struggling to keep their families together due to financial strain, consider making a donation to Milk and Medicine.  This is the root of our child abandonment prevention program in Zambia through ACE/CACZ.  Happy Mother's Day!
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