Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Into Green Giveway!

Welcome to the Spring Into Green Mothers Organic Giveaway!

I've teamed up with Eco-Crazy Mom and an amazing group of bloggers to celebrate the grand opening of the Mothers Organic store, and bring you the chance to win a fantastic prize pack valued at $375.00!
Mothers Organic Logo

Come check out the Mothers Organic Grand Opening March 25, 2013!

The Mothers Organic motto is simple: happy shopping for the everyday eco-mama. Why? Because we've all been there before. Confused by labels and not knowing which products were safe for our kids. Overwhelmed with information. That's why eco mama Kelly McKnight and her husband created Mothers Organic. They wanted to make it easy for moms to find a variety of safe, tried and true eco-friendly products in one convenient place. Every product at Mothers Organic has been hand picked and carefully reviewed by Kelly and her team of eco mamas with the belief that if it's not good enough for their family, it's certainly not good enough for yours. Finally, a place where moms can shop with confidence - we invite you to give it a try!
Shop their amazing selection of stainless steel baby bottles and sippy cups. Check out their line of Melissa & Doug puzzles and toys for babies and toddlers. Stock up on your nursery layette - complete with swaddle blankets and bunting. At Mothers Organic you'll find a great selection of natural bath and skin care, organic apparel, health care essentials and much more.
Shop now and save with free shipping on all orders over $75!

Celebrate with us and enter to win!

One lucky eco mama will win this awesome Mothers Organic prize pack worth $375.00:

Boba Carrier ($120.00 RV) Green Toys bundle ($70.00 RV) Kid Basix Safe Sippy 2 ($15.00 RV) In2green Eco friendly baby & kids blanket ($70.00 RV) Seventh Generation bundle ($100.00 RV)
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Friday, March 22, 2013

Combi USA Catalyst Stroller Review and Giveaway!

I have a fantastic guest review and giveaway for you today!
Brought to you by
Enjoy the review and be sure to enter the giveaway!

Logo   I am so, so excited to bring you this review and giveaway! After 5 kids, our old stroller was looking pretty rough. So when I got the opportunity to try out the new Catalyst Stoller from Combi, I was thrilled! The stroller looked amazing and when they offered to include the Shuttle Infant car seat, I jumped at the chance! A few days later, I came home to two big boxes on the porch. I took the infant seat out first. IMG_1984   One thing I love about this seat is that it accommodates infants from birth to 35 lb and 33 in. Seats we've had in the past only went up to 20lbs and my boys had outgrown them by the time they were 6 months old. Little Miss will be able to use this seat for a long time! IMG_1990 IMG_1991 The Shuttle features the EZ Harness™ Height Adjustment System which makes it SUPER easy to adjust harness to fit your child perfectly! You just turn the red headrest adjustment knob and slide it up or down to position the shoulder harness slots right at or just below the shoulders. Tightening the straps is just as easy! To loosen the straps you just push on the button located on the middle of the front of the seat. To tighten the straps you simply pull the strap. This is SO nice this time of year when Little Miss is wearing a sweater or coat one day but doesn't need it the next. IMG_1993 IMG_1994 I also really like how padded the seat is. It's nice knowing that baby girl is comfy in her seat. I found that the Shuttle seat was easier to carry than my old one. The handle just seemed to fit in the crook of my elbow better. Of course, safety is the most important factor in a seat and the Shuttle delivers on that as well. It features the Tru-Safe® Anti-Rebound Bar (ARB) and Tru-Safe® Side Impact Protection (SIP) which provide superior protection in the event of a accident. I did notice that the Shuttle can be a little harder to get out of the base but at the same time, it also feels very secure once it's snapped in. After trying out the seat, I opened up the Catalyst. IMG_1998 IMG_1999 IMG_2167 IMG_2161   It was super easy to assemble and comes with a travel system adapter and a reversible seat/bassinet. An infant seat snaps securely on to the adapter and it also has the added safety feature of a strap that snaps around the infant seat. IMG_2004 IMG_2239   I really like the looks of the Catalyst. It's very well made and the design is eye catching. I love having the option of using the seat as a bassinet. Little Miss tends to fall asleep during walks so this is perfect! I don't have to worry about her slumping over. Plus, if she does fall asleep, I can just remove the entire bassinet and carry her inside without waking her up! The fact that you can have your little one face you or face outward is a huge bonus. This is true even when using the seat in the baby or toddler seat position. The five-point harness system keeps Little Miss snug and secure in the seat as well. IMG_2249 IMG_2250   The canopy on this stroller is amazing! The ones on our previous strollers have not been big enough to fully shade a little one. This canopy is very large and shielded Little Miss completely from the sun. It also has a mesh window that allowed me to take a peek at her during walks and allowed for air circulation. One feature my hubby really appreciated was the fact that the handle easily adjusts for different heights. And can I just say, I LOVE the large cargo space in the bottom of the stroller! Other strollers we've had had a tiny little compartment that I had to fight with just to get a bag in or out of. This one has tons of space and I was easily able to access both my purse and diaper bag. IMG_2168 IMG_2005 IMG_2242 IMG_2248   The bassinet transforms from a bassinet to two different seat positions by pulling on the gray latch on the back of the seat. There is also a strap that connects under the end of the seat to create the bend for your little one's legs. You can adjust the incline of the seat using the pull strap on the back of the seat as well. I was also really impressed with how well the Catalyst maneuvered . It was very easy to push and turn and provided a nice smooth ride. The only downside for me was that although it folds up easily, it is a little bulky. However, the fact that it can be used in so many ways makes it worth it. The Catalyst Stroller can be used up to 50lbs so we are able to use it for Little Miss, our almost 3-year old and even out 5-year old! The kids are loving it and knowing that they are riding in comfort makes it a hit with me as well! Check out the Combi website to learn more about the Catalyst and Shuttle and to find a retailer near you! Thanks to the very generous people at Combi, one VERY lucky reader will win a Catalyst stroller for themselves. That's a value of $379!!  
Disclosure: I received the above product to facilitate the review. The product(s) offered for the giveaway are free of charge, no purchase necessary. Any opinions expressed are my own honest opinions and are not influenced by any form of compensation. This giveaway is not in any way endorsed by or affiliated with Facebook. Thankful For Thorns is not responsible for the delivery of the prize.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Grow It, Build it, Save it. A Book Review.

If you have been reading my blog for a while (or have gone back to look at previous posts) you know that my husband and I are trying to get out of debt. When we got married we had a credit card, 4+student loans, a car loan, no emergency money, and were living very paycheck to paycheck. Barely making ends meet and expecting our first child.

It was extremely important to us for me to stay home with our kids.
Both of our moms growing up were able to stay home and we love the memories we have from that. We wanted to be raising our kids and not feeling like someone else was doing it for us. (This is not to say that if you have to work outside the home or choose daycare for your family that it’s wrong or that it makes you a bad parent. Not at all! You have to do what is best for your family and this is what we felt was best for ours.)

With all of that debt we felt weighed down and it looked like it would be close to 15 YEARS before we could get it all paid off. Talk about discouraging.
We want so badly to buy our own home and not be renting forever.
We want to be able to put money away for the future.
But all we could see was money going to people we owe….and no real end in sight.

The average family today carries $8,000 in credit card debt according to the American Bankers’ Association.(Source)

While we didn’t have that much in credit card debt, we did have credit card debt and it was rarely fully paid off for long if at all.

The average American household debt: $117,951!
Isn’t that crazy?! And it doesn’t seem to be slowing down either.
But there is hope and help.

Recently I was given the opportunity to read
Britni Ross' book "Grow it, Build it, Save it!"

I’ve read several books and have taken a class on getting out of debt but honestly they tend to be so much information packed in that it gets very overwhelming quickly.

As I started reading Britni’s book it really hit home with me….
Her story starts out much the same as mine. Married, new baby, and having “Too much month at the end of your money”. Student loans, car loans, new furniture, and credit card bills filled her with dread as well.

Britni is honest and tells you what they have done to change spending habits, cut costs, and get out of debt in a light hearted and easy to read format. With 34 pages I found this very informative and not at all overwhelming. It was almost more like sitting down with a friend and chatting over a cup of coffee rather than someone telling you what to do.

The assignments at the end of each chapter are really helpful for thinking things through differently, changing your perspective, and overall changing the way you think about money.

Her book retails for $2.99 on Amazon (Pricing as of 3/3/13).
It is definitely a great starting book to read about getting out of debt.

Now having personally taken some intense get out of debt classes, I didn’t feel like I read anything new per say but it did motivate me again to keep moving forward. It’s easy to get discouraged and wanting to give up but after reading that “Over the course of four years we [the Ross’] have paid off over $66,000 in debt and secured three months of living expenses in our emergency fund. Having a new found financial freedom has brought a lot of contentment into our lives. We have enjoyed multiple vacations that we paid for with cash. We quickly discovered that a vacation is more relaxing when there isn't a credit card bill waiting for you when you get home! The holidays have been much more enjoyable without that credit card bill too! Our most recent financial victory was being able to pay cash for a lightly used 4-wheel drive vehicle.”
I want to get out of debt more than ever!

If you’re just starting out in this get out of debt journey this is fantastic place to start.
Again it’s not overwhelming and the price isn’t overly high putting you into more debt.

Get the book HERE!
From March 4th-6th 2013 you can get her book for Kindle for free!
The great thing about this is you can read it anytime anywhere from your computer, Smartphone, or tablet. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Christmas in July Sneak Peak!

We're teaming up with The Parenting Patch for a cloth diaper giveaway!
To celebrate Christmas in July (cause come on who doesn't love having an excuse to celebrate Christmas more than once a year?!) you will have the chance to win a great cloth diaper!
The Best Bottom Birthday Bash will be from July 11th-July 25th 2013
One lucky winner will win a Best Bottoms Diapers cloth diaper prize pack.
Sponsored by The Parenting Patch, the Christmas in July Best Bottom Giveaway consists of one (1) Best Bottom shell in color/print of your choice, one (1) Stay Dry insert in size of choice, and one (1) microfiber doubler in size of choice. The value of this prize is $24.40.

This cloth diaper has some great features including double leg gussets which are essential to keeping blowouts where they belong... INSIDE the diaper to snap in inserts which helps them stay in place and keep from shifting around.
While I haven't personally had the chance to try out these diapers I have heard GREAT things from other cloth diapering families and from what I hear they are a winner in The Parenting Patch house!

And if you're a blogger you can sign up to be a part of this awesome giveaway.
Sign ups for Christmas in July BB Giveaway start today and go until June 20th, 2012 or till all 20 blogger spots are filled!
Hop on over HERE to get the full details and to fill out the form.