Photo Friday - January 31st, 2014

Here is Baby E, in the middle of walking around with a bottle of Simple Nature Orange Smoothie Shampoo. In case anyone was wondering, the Simple Nature products are food grade, and technically safe to eat. So it would be okay for him to walk around with even if I weren't supervising him! 16 months, week 5.

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Disclosure: The watermarked photo above is the property of Found Frolicking. It may not be used, sold, or distributed in any way without first gaining permission to do so. The links above were provided only because they are relevant and may be beneficial to my readers. I was not asked to share them by any source, nor was I compensated for sharing them.

Flushability Made E.Z. with #Majesta!

More and more households are switching to low flow toilets. If you don't currently have a low flow toilet, you might be wondering why. Environmental concerns, and money-saving benefits are big reasons why low flow toilets are becoming more and more common. The one problem with low flow toilets, is that the toilets evolved while toilet paper... well, didn't. If you are thinking this sounds like a disaster in the making, that's because it is. Toilet paper just turns into a soggy, blobby mess as soon as it hits the water. And these blobs are what often can be a challenge for your toilet, low flow or not. Which, of course, is where things get icky.

Personally, our household toilet is not a newer model designed to be low flow. The keywords here being "not designed to be low flow." It is, however, a low flow toilet. I am not sure whether it was always that way or if there's some funny piece that fell out or needs to be repaired... but it may give regular low flow toilets a run for their money. Which translates to us having to unclog it with a plunger constantly. Things get even better, too! The tank refills very slowly, which means after we've unclogged it, we end up standing there, frustrated, for several minutes, waiting for the tank to refill enough to flush it properly. My toilet and I are, as you can see, not good friends.

Majesta designed their soft E.Z. Flush bathroom tissue to provide maximum flushability. As soon as your toilet starts to flush, the E.Z. bathroom tissue breaks apart into tiny pieces, so it can then flush those tissues without any issues! The Majesta E.Z. Flush bathroom tissue is 2-ply and their basic packs comes with 12 double rolls, which is equal to 24 single rolls. You can use the E.Z. Flush bathroom tissue knowing that Majesta uses sustainable measures to create their products. For every 1 tree used to produce Majesta products, they plant 3 trees. This commitment to the environment is precisely why Majesta has been our household brand for facial tissues, and paper towels.

As everyone knows, not all toilet paper products are created equal. There is no contest between the cheap, stiff, and scratchy bathroom tissue found in public washrooms, and the soft, thick, and fluffy stuff you stock up on at home. Majesta's E.Z. Flush bathroom tissue brings you all of the comfort, without all of the headache. I was skeptical at first, because I am used to dealing with toilet-clogging toilet paper like the next person. So I was very eager to try out Majesta E.Z. Flush bathroom tissue for myself. My challenge was to do a shake test so I could see first hand how their E.Z. Flush tissue compares to a leading competitor's product. Any doubts I had certainly went out the window at that point! There was no denying that Majesta E.Z. Flush does just what it is supposed to do, and that it does it well. It certainly has exceeded my expectations! My husband and I were equally impressed by how well the Majesta E.Z. Flush toilet paper broke apart, and were surprised in contrast by how impossible it was to even get the leading brand toilet tissue out of the bottle! We've been using Majesta E.Z. Flush bathroom tissue for weeks now, without a single incident.

Below you can find the pictures I took of our shake test. We simply took 5 sheets of each bathroom tissue, put them in two water bottles with the same amounts of water, shook them five times, and looked at the results. Even in just 5 shakes (which really didn't seem like much to me when I thought about it!), Majesta E.Z. Flush bathroom tissue breaks down just like it is designed to. It's very nice to see such a product finally on the market. This will certainly be our go-to toilet paper from now on!

To learn more, please visit Majesta on their website, by clicking here. You will see their full range of products, and read about the advantages of each product. To learn more about Majesta's E.Z. Flush bathroom tissue, click here. To hear about contests, giveaways, and product updates, "like" their Facebook page!

Be sure to also enter the Majesta sweepstakes! Use the link above to go to their Facebook page to enter, or click here to enter through their website. There are so many wonderful prizes, so be sure to check them out! This amazing sweepstakes is going on all year long!!!

Sweepstakes from January 1st until December 31st, 2014.  Consumers can enter daily on the contest site or Facebook for their chance to win:
  • 1 or 5 grand prizes of $3,000 shopping sprees
  • 1 of 24 monthly prizes (2 per month) of $50
  • 1 of 360 daily prizes of MAJESTA product prize packs ($25.00 in coupons)

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Disclosure: I am part of the MAJESTA e.z Day blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

The set up for the shake test.

Bottles filled with water and ready to go.

Five sheets of each bathroom tissue brand.

Bathroom tissue has been placed into the bottles, and is ready for the shake test!

The bottles have been shaken up, now for the pour test!

The Majesta e.z. Flush bathroom tissue pour test, pouring nice and steady.

The Majesta e.z. Flush tissue was excellent, clearly little bits in the bowl, and not a speck left in the bottle!

My husband is pouring the bottle with the leading brand tissue, and it was one clump making it hard to pour.

In the end, only one piece of tissue came out into the bowl, even after shaking it! Obviously not up to the task.

A package of Majesta e.z. Flush bathroom tissue as you will find it in your store.

Thanks to Tortle, You Can Say Goodbye to Flat Head Syndrome! (Giveaway)

I'm pretty sure no one on earth becomes a parent prepared with all of the knowledge needed for baby's first year. Despite growing up with four siblings, all younger, it became apparent upon my first weeks as a mother that I didn't know everything. At my core, I felt sure about my abilities, and confident that I knew how to do the most essential things. But there were a lot of little details I completely forgot about babies when my siblings were infants. One of those things is: Flat Head Syndrome.

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Baby's head has to be pretty flexible to handle coming through the birth canal in once piece, so of course they are born with a soft head. It hardens every month, and eventually becomes the hard skeleton that acts as a sort of helmet for their brain. So especially while baby is in the newborn stage, their delicate little heads are very sensitive to any surface it comes in contact with for a long period of time. Whether it's during nap time, or overnight, baby's head molds to the surface it is exposed to. It shapes your baby's head over the hours and days, and eventually there can be a very, very noticeable difference in baby's head from one half to the other.

I didn't realize just how bad it could get until I saw an illustration showing a very severe case of Flat Head Syndrome, and it definitely looked very odd to me. Luckily, with a lot of effort, I made sure to switch sides of the bed every other week, so that Baby E was alternating the side he was sleeping on. In this manner, we were able to avoid Flat Head Syndrome. But I can tell you, when you are going through the sleepless nights of the newborn stage with your little one... having to think about Flat Head Syndrome is just another one of those things that gets stacked onto your pile of worries, and drives you crazy.

More than a million babies are diagnosed with Flat Head Syndrome in the U.S. alone. It has reached epidemic proportions since 1992. Treatment for Plagiocephaly and Torticollis (Flat Head Syndrome) is costly, and can be uncomfortable for baby. Left untreated, it can cause long-standing problems. One out of two babies are diagnosed with the Syndrome, so Dr. Jane Scott, a Board Certified Pediatrician and Neonatologist, created the Tortle.

A Tortle is a lightweight knit beanie designed to prevent and treat Flat Head Syndrome. Tortle works by gently deflecting a baby’s head from side to side when they are sitting or lying on the back of their head. This helps baby's head stay nice, round, and even! Plagiocephaly and Torticollis are almost 100% preventable using the Tortle. To prevent Flat Head Syndrome, it is recommended that your little one wear a Tortle at least 8 hours a day, until the age of 6 months old. If you are currently an expecting parent, it is best to order one Tortle in each size, to keep up with the rapid growth of your baby's head.

Had I known about the Tortle before having Baby E, I certainly would have purchased them, and used them everyday as recommended. When my husband and I finally decide to have a second baby, this will certainly be going on our baby registry! There is no price tag you can put on peace of mind!

You can conveniently find the Tortle at BuyBuy Baby, Babies R Us, and now You can also order the Tortle directly from their website. For more information, visit the Tortle website, by clicking here. You can also find Tortle on their Facebook page, follow them on Pinterest, and follow them on Twitter. You can also watch videos about Tortle on their YouTube channel. Follow Tortle on their social media to stay updated on new products, promotions, and more.

Tortle has kindly teamed up with me to offer you a giveaway! One lucky reader will receive a Tortle in their choice of print and size. Watch the video about Tortle for some more information, and then enter to win the giveaway using the form below! Good luck.

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Disclosure: These products was received by myself free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my thoughts that are expressed above. All opinions expressed are my own, and were in no way influenced by the brand or any other sources. The review and all photos with the watermark are the property of Found Frolicking, and should not be used or distributed in any way without first receiving permission.

Fine Print for Giveaway: Giveaway open to individuals in the US and Canada. Entries are limited to one person per household. Giveaway ends February 10, 2014. Please make sure your email address is correct, so that you can be reached if you win. If the email bounces back, winner forfeits the prize and a new winner will be selected. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email sent out to them, and should a response not be received within that time, they forfeit the prize. Please follow the instructions for each entry, as you have to have done what was instructed for your entry to count. All entries will be verified. Found Frolicking is in no way responsible for recipient receiving their prize, but will work with the sponsor in all ways possible to ensure the winner receives their prize.

Photo Friday - January 24th, 2014

Baby E figured out how to stick his tongue out the other day, and obviously decided it's the best thing ever. I am sure the moment when he discovers how to blow raspberries is just around the corner! Naturally, I couldn't resist the opportunity to take a picture. 16 months, 4 weeks.

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Disclosure: The watermarked photo above is the property of Found Frolicking. It may not be used, sold, or distributed in any way without first gaining permission to do so. The links above were provided only because they are relevant and may be beneficial to my readers. I was not asked to share them by any source, nor was I compensated for sharing them.

5 Ways To Get the Most Out of a Cell Phone Plan

After a lot of headache and drama with our cell phone provider, it gave me an idea. Why not share a post with all of you, in the hopes that it will save you from some of the mistakes I made? From roaming charges, to surprise charges for "background data," to modifications in my cell phone plan that I didn't know about... I feel like I've seen it all. So I will share with you a few things I've learned since getting my very first cell phone in 2006. Hopefully it can spare you some of the hassle that I wasn't able to avoid.

#1. Buy Your Own Phone.
Something that hardly anyone seems to do, and yet is the best idea? Buying your phone, completely independently. Getting a phone from a cell phone provider is the number 1 way they trap you in a contract. Your contract is bound to outlive your phone. This means your options are either to buy a phone at a premium---which you were trying to avoid by getting a contract in the first place---or renew your contract early to get another phone, which keeps the cycle going forever.

To avoid this frustrating situation, either use a legitimate online source, or an electronics store to buy your own phone. The most economical way is to catch a sale. The one thing you have to keep in mind, is each phone has a SIM card, there are two different frequencies that SIM cards run off of, and so it may be best to check with the carrier you plan to sign on with to make sure the phone you have in mind will work with them. Otherwise you have to look at getting another phone, or another carrier. Overall, this is the most ideal situation. Generally you can buy insurance for the phone at the place you purchased it, if that's a concern. But buying your own phone gives you the ability to replace when you want, for whatever reason you want---whether it's broken, outdated, or you just decided the phone doesn't work for you.

#2. Shop Around.
Look at a lot of carriers, their rates, their plans, and their coverage. You may not find the perfect solution, but by looking at all of your options, you're likely to find something that's pretty close, at least.

Coverage is a big thing to consider. Smaller cell phone providers will not have as wide a range that is "in their zone." Which means when you use your phone outside that zone, you'll pay higher rates. If you never leave the city, a smaller cell phone provider is probably a great option, because they also offer lower rates. If not, move on and keep looking!

Look for a rate that you can reasonably afford, keeping in mind that unless you find a wicked plan (which isn't likely), you need to leave some wiggle room for months where you incur fees for extra services, such as when you go over your minutes, or end up roaming.

Last but not least, it is important to look for a plan that suits you. How many minutes do you typically use in a month, and what is the most you've ever used in a month? Do you need data or can you live with just using WiFi when you find an open connection? If you text message a lot, where do you text message to? Make sure you know the answer to these questions when you sign up for a plan. Personally, I signed up for a student plan that gave me 250 anytime minutes a month. That sounded like plenty, but I went over nearly every month, and the rates per minute when I went over were absurdly high.

#3. Do Not Sign Up for a Contract.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to avoid signing into a contract if you can. Signing up for a contract is like signing over your freedom, and your power. Once you've signed that line, cell phone companies pretty much cease to care about you. This means that when you have any issues with your plan, they'll basically tell you, "Too bad!" Why? Because they know you're stuck with them until your contract is up, since your only other option is to pay a lot of money to buy out your contract.

Going on a month-to-month plan also means things will be worry-free if you decide to switch carriers, or if you move. Hardly anyone plans to make a move out of state, across the country, or even out of the country when they sign up for a contract. But a 2- or 3-year term is a long time, and a lot can change. Should any of your circumstances or your feelings about your carrier change, you will then have to worry about the headache and stress of buying out your contract. At only 1 year until the end of our contracts, the buy out for my husband's phone and my own would have been approximately $600.

#4. If You Do Sign Up for a Contract, Read It First.
Under the circumstances where you feel you have no choice but to sign up for a contract with a carrier, or if you really think it will work for you... My advice is: when the employee slides the contract over to you, hands you a pen, and looks at you expectantly to sign it without so much as a glance.... don't. Instead, take the time to read it.

When I went to the store of the cell phone provider my husband and I signed up for in 2011, I really had one big thing in mind. I send a lot of text messages in North America, so I mentioned this to the employee, and she told me of a plan that included unlimited text messaging for all of North America. Great! Well, fast forward a year and a half into our contracts, and I was getting several bills that were quite high. Looking at the detailed invoice, I noticed I was being charged for my text messages outside of the country. A call to the service provider, and I was informed they decided to start charging for any text messages to the US. Because this was an "optional" feature to my service plan, it did not violate my usage of the plan within Canada, and was therefore within my contract terms. So, basically, "Oh well! Too bad. Nothing you can do about it." They claimed Canada-to-US text messages were costing them so much, they were faced with no other option than to start charging their customers for those text messages. Go figure, when my contract finally went up a few weeks ago, they offered to give me back that feature, along with several others, to keep me as a customer.

So read all the fine print, and make sure everything that is an important feature to your plan is fixed, and cannot be changed.

#5. Look At Every Bill. If You See a Problem, Call Your Provider.
Last but not least, make a habit of looking at a detailed invoice of your monthly bill. You may find yourself catching things. It is helpful to see the patterns in your own behavior so you have the opportunity to adjust behavior to stay within the limits of your plan if necessary. Once in awhile, you may even spot things such as charges for features included in your plan, or new charges for changes to your plan that you didn't know about it. When this happens, be sure to contact your service provider immediately. Most service providers will put in your contract that charges are technically disputable for about 30 days, but after that period it is assumed you looked at your bill and agreed with all charges. So be on top of it. There are plenty of people out there who pay their cell phone bills, no matter how astronomical, without ever looking at a detailed account of their invoice. Take charge of your cell phone plan by making sure everything looks right with your bill, every single month.

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MAM Cold Water & Microwave Steam Sterilizer (Review)

Bottles were not something I intended to use when I had my son. I originally only intended to directly breastfeed my son until he was weaned. But, when my mother was about to visit us for two weeks from California, I knew we'd be using some bottles. On top of that, my supply was so high initially that I had tons of extra milk, and I decided to store them in bottles for later, rather than having the milk going to waste by soaking through breast pads. It became obvious at that point that we'd need a sterilizer. We ended up purchasing an electric steam sterilizer and a bottle warmer. They became items we used on a regular basis for months. Had I known before Baby E was born that that would be the case, we would have been prepared and purchase them beforehand!

I received a MAM Sterilizer for review. The MAM sterilizer comes with one of the MAM 5 oz. anti-colic bottles, and a pair of tongs to properly handle bottle nipples. The MAM sterilizer is suitable for steam and cold water sterilization, giving you the freedom to do what works best for you. The sterilizer is small enough to fit in most microwaves, but large enough to hold up to 6 bottles at one time. The two levels allow for larger capacity, letting you sterilize many bottle components at once. The most innovative function is a built-in drainage system.

When your household even occasionally has a use for bottles, a good sterilizer is an essential. My favorite method is to use the MAM sterilizer for the microwave steam sterilizing function. It's quick, easy, and knowing the bottles have been exposed to a lot of heat makes me feel confident that they are ready to use again. Since I have owned an electric steam sterilizer in the past, I can compare the electric style to the MAM sterilizer. The MAM sterilizer is, for me, a superior product. It is smaller, easier to maintain, and effortless to store. My electric steam sterilizer was a nuisance since the cord was very short, and so I had to leave it out at all times, taking up valuable counter space. My kitchen has very few outlets to plug into, so it wasn't easy trying to keep an outlet free when it was time to use my electric sterilizer again. With the MAM sterilizer, I simply put it on my dish rack upside down to dry completely, and then store it in a cupboard. No muss, no fuss! For anyone I know in the market for baby supply essentials, I would recommend the MAM sterilizer without hesitation.

MAM makes many great baby products that are essentials your family can use every day. Toothbrushes, cooler teethers, personalized pacifiers, and anti-colic bottles are all some of the products that MAM offers, designed especially for your little one.

For more information about MAM, visit their website today! You can also find MAM on their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and follow their Pinterest boards. Following MAM on their social media is a great way to stay informed about sales, giveaways, and new products.

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The MAM Sterilizer in the box as you will see it in stores.

The back of the MAM Sterilizer box.

All of the pieces that are included in the box.

The MAM Sterilizer as viewed from the top, when closed.

The well-designed interior, showing the two drying levels of the MAM Sterilizer.

The MAM anti-colic bottle that is included in the box with a MAM Sterilizer.

Despite the fact that our microwave is small, the MAM Sterilizer fits with room to spare!

Another example of how nicely the MAM Sterilizer fits in our fairly compact microwave.

Disclosure: This product was received by myself free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my thoughts that are expressed above. All opinions expressed are my own, and were in no way influenced by the brand or any other sources. The review and all photos with the watermark are the property of Found Frolicking, and should not be used or distributed in any way without first receiving permission.

The #Markerly Blogging Network Helps You Get Paid to Write for Top Brands!

Who doesn't like getting paid to do what they love? If you're a blogger, you can do just that by joining the Markerly Blogging Network. Markerly Choice, the blogger program, is certainly one of the best blogging networks that I am a part of. Information about campaigns relevant to my readers go right to my inbox. Which means I don't have to worry about constantly checking a website to see what's new, or deal with sifting through all the content that just won't work for me. A link is provided in the email to apply, and Markerly is always very quick to get back to me. Markerly also has a chat conveniently located on their website so that customer service is there to answer your questions, any time. If there's something that really keeps things fun, it's great customer service that helps make things easy all around!

Influencer Marketing provides the opportunity to connect with bloggers, and their audiences. Which means it also helps you make money! As all established bloggers know, sponsored content is one of the major ways that they monetize their website on a daily basis. Markerly is the perfect platform to connect bloggers with brands. They do a lot of the work, which saves you time and energy. You can read more about what Markerly is all about in this article written by Pando Daily. There is also plenty of information about Markerly on their website.

Need to know more things to love about Markerly? Here's a list!

-Markerly is a full-service managed network with 24/7 blogger support
-Markerly gives you heat maps of your entire post so you can see what people were clicking on
-Markerly pays bloggers within 48 hours of the post going live
-Work with brands like Levi's, Super Bowl, TruMoo, eMeals etc.
-Get free products to review like wine from companies such as Last Bottle Wines and Invino, or cool earbuds from Jaybird.
-Markerly's network is open to anybody to join that has over 10,000 page views per month or an average of 3 comments per post
-Markerly is very focused on quality blog posts and bloggers that have engaged audiences

I personally enjoy that Markerly sees and appreciates the value of bloggers beyond just the numbers. They recognize that creative, quality content and blogs mean more than just big stats to boast about. This allows even smaller, newer blogs to be able to apply and get the most out of everything Markerly has to offer. Even if you do not meet their criteria for minimum requirements, join anyway! Markerly is still more willing to keep you in the loop and work with you on select campaigns. Then, once loyal readership has grown, you'll have the opportunity to join Markerly Choice. This is something pretty unique to Markerly, as a lot of other websites with paid sponsored posts and advertising will essentially tell you to get lost if you aren't already a big blogger (yes---been there, done that). With Markerly, that simply isn't the case.

To get all the benefits mentioned above, join Markerly today! Click here to sign up. You won't regret it!

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received compensation for sharing this content. I chose to share this post with my readers because I believed it could be valuable information. I will continue to only share relevant and valuable information with my readers. This review was written by and is the property of Found Frolicking. All photos with the watermark are the property of Found Frolicking, and should not be used or distributed in any way without first receiving permission.

Photo Friday - January 17th, 2014

Baby E decided snacking is best when done with friends. Eating a tortilla chip while hanging out with our chocolate lab, Copper. 16 months, 2 weeks.

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Disclosure: The watermarked photo above is the property of Found Frolicking. It may not be used, sold, or distributed in any way without first gaining permission to do so. The links above were provided only because they are relevant and may be beneficial to my readers. I was not asked to share them by any source, nor was I compensated for sharing them.

Another Day, Another Delay

Things have been stressful for me lately. I mentioned the other week that we're currently dealing with all of the joys that come along with immigration. My husband applied in December of 2012 to become a US citizen through me, so that we can move to California and be closer to my family.

Last week, I received an email, the latest update in our case. Immigration requested four supporting documents, only one of them being in our current possession. A lot of running around last weekend, and we're on our way to receiving the paperwork we need, but it'll be weeks before we have it all. Just another day, and yet another delay in our immigration process.

I am sure most people who have made a very big move can relate to the feeling that there's nothing in your heart that can quite compare to where you grew up. The familiarity of all the things you knew are a comfort, and it's hard to find that peace somewhere else. Especially when you never loved that somewhere else in the first place. Don't get me wrong. I have been in Canada for almost 5 years, and there are so many things I have learned. Canada is a beautiful country, with so much to offer to tourists, and all of its residents. I fell in love with British Columbia when my husband and I had a road trip there two summers ago. But it's not my home.

If I could live anywhere, and money was not a limitation... it would be Vancouver or somewhere on Vancouver Island. That is how breathtaking Vancouver was for me. Who can argue with getting the best of both worlds? Both the ocean and mountains right there, for whenever you want them. Yet all the advantages of a metropolis setting---diverse foods, plenty of culture, activities, festivities, you name it! However, it is certainly challenging for people to make it there financially without some decent income. Considering how modest our income is, I know it isn't realistic for us. Then, of course, there's a matter of family. It's been hard living in Edmonton since my husband and I have no support system here. I also constantly feel horrible about Baby E being away from his grandparents, who would love having him nearby. So moving back to California just makes sense to us.

When I first discovered we'd hit another delay in our immigration proceedings, I felt as if someone had tied an anchor around my heart, and then let go. It just dropped. I felt so frustrated. I never would have thought when we first applied that things would take so long. On top of Eli being super grouchy (which is really understandable) while getting in his molars, this just wasn't the news I needed. For about half an hour, I just let myself be upset. I had to get out the frustration, so that it wouldn't bottle up and eat me from the inside out. But then I took a deep breath, and I let it go. The end is in sight, even if it's a little further along than I thought. It will happen. We will get there. In the meantime, I am just holding on to all the things I am thankful for. The health and wholeness of my family.

This is definitely one heck of a way to start of 2014! I hope if any of you are experiencing big challenges this month, you also hold onto the positive. Because it is truly they only thing worth holding onto. I'll keep you all updated on our progress!

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Stonz Booties (Review)

When it comes to winter, there's a lot to think about. The colder it gets where you live, the more you have to do to prepare and deal with it on a daily basis. Dressing older toddlers or children is pretty straight forward, but gearing up an infant or younger toddler for winter can be something else! It's frustrating to bundle them up, only to have to undress them when you get to the car, redress them before you get out of the car, and then undress them again when indoors so they don't overheat. As any parent knows, it can be hard to get out of the house with one child, and even harder to get out of the house with multiples. Most parents can relate to thinking, "Oh forget it, it's just easier to stay home."

Baby E was only a few months old when winter hit in 2012. I was a bundle of nerves. How would I know if he's too cold? My husband's idea of cold and my idea of cold are very different, so how could I know what cold was to my little baby, when he couldn't tell me? What if I didn't bundle him up enough and he was freezing? Or what if I overdressed him and he was uncomfortable? Having to constantly to remove and put on layers didn't do anything to take away from my stress about it. My tension and worry about it lasted all winter, and my worries melted away with the snow in the spring.

This year, I'm no longer a newbie mama, and with a little research, I have found the perfect system. It has allowed me to leave behind the stress this year and actually enjoy winter for all the things I love about it. One of the things I really wish I knew about last year, are Stonz!

Stonz has a variety of products that help you be prepared for whatever the elements throw at you. Stonz Booties are available in a range from newborn to 3 year olds. They also make Winter Bootz and Rain Bootz for ages 1-14. You can get a lot of your essential winter shopping done by purchasing their excellent Mitz and Hatz to match your Stonz Booties.

I received a pair of Stonz Booties in the adorable "Alien Blue" style for review. The size large is very flexible, I was impressed the size large fits children from the age of 1 to 2 1/2 (which means if timing works out, you can get use out of your Stonz Booties for two winters). From stitching to material, Stonz Booties are, without a doubt, well-made. Any parent can appreciate how easy they are to use, too! There are three options for using Stonz Booties:

1. Use alone, putting only socks on your little one before putting on the Stonz Booties.

2. Use with Stonz Linerz, thick and soft, pairing Linerz with your Booties are a very warm option.

3. Use over your little one's shoes, making it quick and easy to slip on when you head outdoors, and take off when you're back inside.

Putting hard shell boots on an infant or young toddler can become a long process. Between all of their squirming, and having to triple-check whether their feet are really in the foot bed like they should be, it can be a lot of hassle. I noticed immediately how very effortless it was to slip Baby E's feet into the Stonz Booties, tighten them up, and get out the door! Because they are not clunky like regular boots, too, they are easy to throw in the washing machine once they've gotten dirty---just turn them inside out and wash on a gentle cycle. I would recommend putting them in a mesh dryer bag when washing them to ensure they stay in tip-top shape.

I love how adorable Stonz Booties are, too! There are many designs Stonz come in, and they have a cute chunky look when being worn by your little one that reminds me of a pony. At $43.99 per pair, they are also competitively priced and very reasonable. It's also worth noting that unlike a lot of the competing brands, Stonz are made in Canada! I'm grateful to have Stonz Booties to make it easier to get out the door with Baby E, for work or play.

Purchase your own Stonz Booties, and check out all of the products they have to offer today. You can see all this and more on their website, by clicking here. You can also find Stonz on their Facebook page, their Twitter account, follow them on Pinterest, and check out their YouTube channel StonzVideos!

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Alien Blue Stonz Booties size Large on my son at 12-month-old.

An example of how Stonz Booties look before you put them on your little one.

What Stonz Booties will look like when worn. Two quick adjustments, and you are done!

Detail on the adorable alien design on the Stonz Booties.

Baby E standing up in his Stonz Booties.

In this photo Baby E is checking out his Stonz Booties for the first time!

Stonz Booties are soft and flexible, perfect for your little one's growing feet.

With Stonz Booties, your little one will have no trouble walking, or crawling!

Disclosure: This product was received by myself free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my thoughts that are expressed above. All opinions expressed are my own, and were in no way influenced by the brand or any other sources. The review and all photos with the watermark are the property of Found Frolicking, and should not be used or distributed in any way without first receiving permission.

Photo Friday - January 10th, 2014

Baby E is obviously thrilled about getting bundled up for a walk to the grocery store! 16 months, 2 weeks.

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Disclosure: The watermarked photo above is the property of Found Frolicking. It may not be used, sold, or distributed in any way without first gaining permission to do so. The links above were provided only because they are relevant and may be beneficial to my readers. I was not asked to share them by any source, nor was I compensated for sharing them.

My Kitchen Gets a KitchenAid Mixer!

Yesterday, my Christmas present finally arrived. I can't believe I can say this, but: my kitchen is now equipped with a KitchenAid Professional 550 Plus Stand Mixer.

When I moved to Canada in June of 2009, it didn't take me long to really discover and begin to nourish my love of cooking and baking. By the end of 2009, I had realized how many things I really needed to purchase to upgrade our kitchen. I first saw the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer on display at Bed Bath & Beyond, and I oohed and ahhed over it in all its glory. One day, I told myself.

Finances have never been great, but are starting to look up, and just a week before Christmas I noticed there were several colors of the KitchenAid Professional Stand Mixers in the 550 model which were on sale for a very good price. I mentioned it to my husband, J, as we passed by it. Mentioning a KitchenAid for, I'm sure, the millionth time in the past 4 years. To my surprise, my husband told me that I should finally get one, as my Christmas present.

Of course, my initial reaction was, "You're kidding. Do you see this? The price tag says $330! THREE-HUNDRED-AND-THIRTY-DOLLARS! You do see that, right?" But he assured me he did, and told me I certainly deserved it. Still being skeptical, and feeling uncomfortable about spending that much money, I told him I'd think about it and perhaps get it on Boxing Day instead (which is Canada's Black Friday, in case my American readers are wondering).

I had hoped to see a better promotion for the KitchenAid mixer on Boxing Day, but there were none to be found. On a whim, I decided to check one place online, and they had it. Not only did they have it, but they had it only in the color that I wanted. I can't remember a single big purchase I have even made in the past 4 years, due to how thrifty we've had to be with our income. With the new "Buttercup" color that was recently released for the KitchenAid mixer, I was worried this color was discounted because it is being discontinued. So it was now or never. So, although I did hesitate... I took the plunge. After a rebate, I will have only paid $280 for my dream mixer. If you know KitchenAid stand mixers, you know that's a very good deal!

So here it is, in all its glory... my brand new KitchenAid Professional 550 Plus Stand Mixer in Majestic Yellow. It is majestic, indeed! Now all I have to do is figure out what our first baking project should be together. I'm leaning towards my husband's favorite potato rolls, but I may decide to go with something a little fancier.

Next on my wishlist? A Vitamix. But guessing by the amount of time it took me to make this investment, I'd say that is, unfortunately, at least 4 years down the road!

Tell me: What big kitchen upgrades are on your wishlist?

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Disclosure: All photos with the watermark and the signature image are the property of Found Frolicking. It may not be used, sold, or distributed in any way without first gaining permission to do so. This post is a personal post written by myself about life experiences, and are not associated with KitchenAid or any other brand or business mentioned. Nor was I compensated in any way for anything associated with this post.

Flavored Matcha from Red Leaf Tea (Review)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. The full disclosure can be found at the bottom of this post.

For me, my first encounter with matcha was love at first taste. The first time I had it was in a smoothie at my favorite juice bar. It was creamy, intense, and filled with green tea goodness. I couldn't get enough. It actually became my favorite drink. Not long after, matcha gained a lot of popularity, and now you can find it all over---even at Starbucks (Green Tea Frappuccino + extra matcha = amazing)!

Now you might be wondering, "What is Matcha?"

Matcha, also sometimes spelled "Maccha" is a high quality, finely ground green tea powder. This creates a strong, but sweet flavor. Whether you simply enjoy the strong flavor, or need a natural energy boost in the morning or early afternoon, matcha is a great option.

I received a sample of Red Leaf Tea's caramel flavored matcha for review. It can be enjoyed hot or cold, and I have tried it both ways. I use 2 tsp per 8 oz. milk, which is double the amount instructed in the directions. I used a whisk the first time to incorporate the matcha into warm milk, and it did leave lumps. The best method is to use a food processor or blender to mix it, so it is nice and smooth. With 2 tsp, I think it has a nice, pleasant flavor. Red Leaf Tea matcha seems to have a more bitter flavor than some matchas which is not my favorite. I am not personally a big fan of the caramel matcha, but I look forward to trying the vanilla matcha sometime in the near future! 

Red Leaf Teas offers a wonderful matcha that is 100% natural, 0g of fat, no MSG, no food coloring, no artificial sweeteners, and no preservatives. It is also low-calorie, at only 4 calories a serving. Red Leaf Teas has over 100 flavors to choose from, and it is also affordable, at under $1 per serving. If you love the Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino just like me, Red Leaf Tea even has a green tea that is comparable to the Starbucks one, available here.

To purchase some matcha today, visit the Red Leaf Tea website!

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Disclosure: This product was received by myself free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my thoughts that are expressed above. All opinions expressed are my own, and were in no way influenced by the brand or any other sources. The review and all photos with the watermark are the property of Found Frolicking, and should not be used or distributed in any way without first receiving permission.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.