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FamilyLife's Passport2Purity Getaway Kit 3rd Edition

Sometimes in life you need a tour guide. It would be nice to have a chef, concierge, and maid too. The latter three I cannot help with -- maybe Angie's List can? The tour guide though...that is something I've found--at least for navigating uncharted territory with teens regarding dating, peer pressure, and all of those rough waters that come with having kids.

This kit includes a tour guide for the caregivers (mom, dad, grandma...whomever), a Travel journal for the tween (with devotions), and eight CDs with lessons, scripture songs, and all that is needed to make this journey as a family.

Is it any wonder we would need a tour guide these days? There is so much violence, sex, and disrespect that greets us with open arms, every single day. Sexting. Selfies. Online predators. Bullying. Peer Pressure. The list goes on and on. Sure, it was and always has been tough for kids growing up -- it's a right of passage to be able to become a responsible adult, BUT today's teens have it much worse in my opinion. This FamilyLife Passport2Purity kit can help!

Since this is all about a journey together, the kit is best put to use on a getaway. Take it to a resort or a cabin or a family gathering. Go where there are few distractions. Take the course together, intensely over a weekend.

Good luck and bon voyage! I really hope that this will help your parenting journey. When the time comes for us, I know that we'll be trying to board any lifeboat we can to keep from drowning in the Sea of the Unknown!

*Disclosure: I received a complimentary kit as part of a partnership with FlyBy Promotions.

Peachtree Publications - Birding Books for Young and Old(er)

Have a budding birder? These books by Peachtree Publications are sure to keep them curious about our ornithological friends! Great illustrations and easy concepts make these books great for about preK - Grade 2, I'd say!



My favorite was the ostriches. So dazzling but realistic!



There is no better time than NOW to foster a sense of stewardship in your children -- birding together is a great way to do so! How do you get them interested in birding? Well, I've found that almost all children LOVE stories! Finding books like these published by Peachtree is a fantastic way to introduce your love of the natural world to them in a fun way!

Taking time out together each evening also gives me and my oldest some quality time to bond. Peachtree has fantastic books that link learning and love for our family -- I get to "geek out" about living organisms and biological concepts with my son and he just thinks we're hanging out, reading about bugs and birds! Winning.

*Disclosure: I received a complimentary book of each title from Peachtree.*

Healthy Summer Treats with Stonyfield and Yaylabs [review + recipe]

It's been hot. And sticky. And we go through ice cream in this house like crazy. I'm talking a gallon a week. It's a vice. An addiction. We fully admit it. But sometimes you need to enjoy the sweeter things in life, right?



Recently, life got a little sweeter (and healthier) thanks to Stonyfield and the idea to use yogurt in our night time treats. Partnering with Yaylabs and their awesome ice cream ball, we were able to create frozen yogurt sweetened with our own local honey for a delectable delight.

Bonus? We got to spend around an hour of uninterrupted "together time" as we loaded our ball, rolled it, checked it, scraped and mixed ice cream, and of course, enjoyed the fruits of our labor. Speaking of fruits, we are going to be trying blueberries and mangoes in the mix tonight. Pineapple juice is also on the list for a little light and refreshing sorbet.

Next weekend we're camping and we plan to take the ball along there too! What a fantastic way to while away the summer nights outside the tent or camper and then be rewarded with a cool treat -- S'mores are great, S'mOreos are better, but a cool treat on a summer night in the bush is the best!

The retail price is around $30 depending on where you pick up a Yaylabs ball, and they are sold in a variety of colors and at several vendors.


Our Recipes [tried so far]:

Classic Vanilla
1 pint 1/2 and 1/2
1/3 C sugar + 2 Tbsp
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

Frozen Yogurt
1 pint Stonyfield Whole French Vanilla Yogurt
1/4 C fresh, local honey



That's it! Both were delightful! Our only advice is to make sure you check inside the ball regularly so that you don't have to spend much time scraping to free very firm ice cream off the edges of the vessel. It's very easy to get carried away playing "roll the ball" while visiting on the floor!

Enjoy!

*Disclosure: This post and recipe set was brought to you by a partnership with Stonyfield Organics and YayLabs. It's awesome! Thank you! I did receive yogurt and an ice cream ball to try it out.*

Summertime is Snacktime with Late July Snacks and Stonyfield Organic! Got Dip?

Chips and dips are one of my favorite comfort foods! Who wants mashed potatoes and gravy when it's 90 degrees?! So, when it's hot, I go for a little bit lighter, cooler combination. I love ranch on my chips -- something not everyone in my family can appreciate -- so I got creative and made chipotle ranch dip instead! What really rocks is that Stonyfield tubs are super convenient to mix dip inside! You just make a little pocket (like a volcano) for any spices, seasonings, and freshly minced veggies you want in your dip and stir away! No need for dirtying more dishes AND you get to reuse a container! I also like to write the date on top of my container so that there is no guesswork (though we RARELY see any leftovers last that long!)

My son thinks ketsup is spicy, so it didn't even make it to his lips. My husband on the other hand devoured it. He didn't even realize that I had replaced my usual sour cream in the recipe with Plain Stonyfield yogurt! He just said it tasted "lighter" which was great for a hot summer day!

I made the dip AGAIN for his birthday and his family when nuts, not only putting it on the Late July Organic Sea Salt by the Seashore Multigrain Tortilla Chips, but also on veggies that I had chopped up for snacking that day too! It pairs well with homemade hummus, to give some flavorful mix n match options to summertime snacks! If you want a nice, organic go-to when your family comes in hungry from outdoor play, try out one of these recipes from Stonyfield!





*Disclosure: This new tastebud experiment was brought to me and you by a partnership with Stonyfield Organic and Late July snacks. It's delicious and that's my honest opinion!*

OsoCozy AIO Version 3.0 Cloth Diaper [Review]

The OsoCozy All-In-One (AIO) cloth diaper is available in TWO sizes and FIVE colors. We are happy to add another Made in the USA diaper to our stash and we chose Aqua. It's gorgeous -- I'd call it teal in color.



PROS


The fabric that is the waterproof outer shell is crazy. It's lightweight but a little puffy (but the kind of puff like down, not like foam...) It's cushy fluff! It reminds me of the material of my childhood snow pants. I know this all sounds crazy, but it's just the most unique material I've felt in a cloth diaper. Most PUL feels the same. This feels extra plush and luxurious but does not feel any more bulky.

It's a husband/grandparent/daycare pleaser because it's an AIO and you don't have to fuss with inserts. I also like that you can order an unbleached version -- options are great! We opt for unbleached whenever we can.

Made in the USA



CONS


I appreciate the cross-over snaps, but if you only want to use the first then it does line up strange. Putting it on the second cross-over is more convenient but not a perfect fit (for OUR son.)

These are a longer dry time diaper. Most sewn-in insert styles have a little longer dry time. If you tend to use mostly Mother Natures' "dryer" (wind and sun) on the line, then you just need patience. Otherwise, it may take two or more dryer cycles indoors. We usually do outdoor drying and then fluff up in the dryer.





Disclosure: I received a complimentary diaper for the purposes of completing this review. 

Three Cloth Diapers to Help You Celebrate the 4th of July

The cloth diapering industry is expanding and with growth comes diversity. Well there are a few schools of thought on imported diapers and outsourced work, I'm not here to talk about that. At least not today. BUT, if you are looking for a great brand-name, American made/designed cloth diaper, here are three fantastic options for this Independence Day.

OsoCozy 

OsoCozy makes a diaper I am crazy about. The material is different than any other PUL fabric I've ever encountered and the soaker does the work of many. I'm really swooning over this design - it's like a puffy jacket but it's not puffy at all. It's ample in material yet light as well -- I'd never even held an OsoCozy diaper until last week and I've found a new favorite to add to my starting line-up! This is a winner that deserves a fireworks display!

Smarti Pants

A simple diaper that works, Smarti Pants has a very lightweight sleeve pocket diaper that will not be too bulky in the warm July weather but will also keep the babe from wetness on the bottom. Daddy is a big fan of this diaper since the stuffing sleeve is generous for big hands. I'm a big fan because our chubby thigh guy has more room with the design of Smarti Pants, so I'm not ever worried the gussets are too tight. I get a perfect fit, every time. This is cause to celebrate.

Best Bottoms 

The sly little foxes drew me in (as well as the American-made label) and the design and quality finished calling to me the rest of the way. I like that this diaper isn't plain - it's adorable. We chose to go with hemp inserts and they fit well inside the envelope cover, making use of all the space but not becoming bulky. Again, the diaper feels like amazing quality, even in the hand, so I can only imagine how comfortable it is on the bum! A girl can day dream about a parade that throws diapers instead of handfuls of candy, right?!

There you go folks. Have yourself a Happy Independence Day and try these three favorites next time your in the market for an American made diaper. Stay tuned for in-depth reviews of all three diapers! Have a safe holiday!