Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Gutsy Chewy Review

Do you ever suffer from a queasy, refluxing stomach? When I was a senior in high school, I was diagnosed with acid reflux after suffering with pain in my tummy almost every single time I ate. I was given a prescription, and told to use that to counteract the pain and that was that.

Back then, I wasn't as naturally minded as I am now, and so I did take the prescription, but after awhile I noticed it wasn't really working, so I stopped. Had I had something like Gutsy Chewy, I would have had a natural way to deal with my acid reflux pain.

Gutsy Chewy is a supplement invented by Dr. Doug Haghighi, and contains a perfect balance of apple cider vinegar, licorice extract, papaya extract, and xylitol to help support your gut and oral health along with calcium and magnesium. I was super happy to see that they are all natural, gluten and lactose free, vegan friendly, and made in the U.S.A., all things that make it a good choice of supplement.

I received both the wildberry and citrus flavors and found both to taste very good. I liked wildberry just a bit more. I don't suffer from acid reflux pain as much as I used to, but these definitely came in handy and actually worked when I did notice that familiar pain in my stomach.

Make sure you keep up with Gutsy Chewy on facebook and twitter. Gutsy also has a great summer promotion going on right now: Buy 2 tubes get one free, buy 4 tubes get 2 free, buy 8 tubes get 4 free and buy 12 tubes get 6 free. More info on their page:

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet Program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this produce and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My 1st Stitch Fix Review

About a year ago, I started seeing a few fellow blogging friends post about something called Stitch Fix. The posts I saw had all these incredibly cute clothes and my blog friends were bragging about not even having to go to a store to shop for them. I was intrigued and immediately checked it out. Was it really as easy as they said? Pay $20 for a styling fee, fill out a detailed personal style profile, received 5 hand-picked items, keep what you like, return the rest.

I checked it out, read a few more reviews, and talked to Chris what he thought about it. His response, "I'm sure you'll end up wanting to buy all the clothes and right now we just don't have the money for it, so I think we should skip it." I thought a little bit about what he said, and did a little more research, and then decided to not sign up at that time. A couple of months ago, I was getting sick of my wardrobe and the fact that if I want to buy any new clothes, I had to buy them at Target or drive at least an hour away and spend gas money and out to eat money. In the long run, I started realizing that Stitch Fix would be a way for me to get stylish clothes, save money, and not have to shop with 3 busy girls. So, after over a year of agonizing over it, I decided to give it a try!

The box came when I wasn't home and Chris sent me a text saying, "Look what came!" Eek, I was so excited and could hardly wait to get home to this!

Right away I felt very pampered just with the packaging. Next, I found a note from my personalized stylist welcoming me to Stitch Fix and telling me how much fun she had looking at my Pinterest board for clothing ideas! This was definitely better than going to the store, and trying to contain three girls within 5 feet of me!

Then, when I opened my box,  my heart fluttered as I saw the first piece at the top of my box. I may have fallen in love right then, and said a quick prayer, "Please let this fit"! I pulled out each individual item and laid them on my bed.

Item #1: Just Black Adora Ankle Length Colored Skinny Jean: $78

I have never spent more than $30 for a pair of jeans in my life and the only pair of skinny jeans I have ever bought were a size too big, but I bought them anyway because they were on the clearance rack for $7. So knowing that, I was a bit hesitant with these from the start. I LOVED the color, but skinny is not what I would describe my body. I tried them on and loved the feel of them! They were definitely fitted, and I immediately regretted not working a bit harder this past winter to lose 10 extra pounds! When my hubby looked at them, he thought they were too tight. We disagreed over this, but ultimately I decided to pass on these as I couldn't justify spending that much on a pair of jeans that may have been a little tight.

Item #2: Honey Punch  Layla Striped Elbow Patch Detail Cardigan: $48

I saw this and was immediately in love! Also, if you could feel it through the computer, you would be amazed at how soft the whole shirt was, not just the patches, but every part of it! It was a tiny bit big on me, but I feel like cardigans typically are and I can pair this with so many different outfits (and wear it any season) that this was undoubtedly a keep for me!

Item #3: Sweet Rain Krista Heart Print Tank Top: $48

I rarely ever wear tank tops alone as I have keratosis pilaris that I am working hard on curing, but in the meantime, I have red, bumpy upper arms. Thus, I never wear tank tops alone. But I figured I could maybe pair this up with a nice light sweater, or even a jean jacket and could wear it. However, as soon as I put it on, I noticed a small rip in the shirt. Thankfully, when I contacted Stitch Fix, they immediately offered to make it right and give me 15% off if I wanted to keep the shirt. I did think about it, but ultimately it just really wasn't my style and I felt it did fit a tiny bit snug across my chest, so I passed on it.

Item #4: Papermoon Wynn Arrow Print Front Pocket Blouse: $48

I loved the design on this blouse! I also loved how it was sheer so it would be a perfect shirt to wear this spring with a light tank underneath. However, when I put it on, it was just a little snug (what's up with that?) and it just kind of hung on me without any sort of shape to me. It seemed a bit "mom like" in appearance, so ultimately, I decided to pass.

Item #5: Ezra Ellyse Floral Print Flutter Sleeve Dress: $48

This one was on the top of my box when I opened it and I'm quite certain I let out a little shriek when I saw it. It is SO me!! I seriously heart dresses, especially in the summer. I also have quite a few weddings & special occasions to attend this summer and I needed a nice dress. My first impression when I put it on was that it seemed a bit short. However, it wasn't so short that it was inappropriate. I also noticed that the style guide that comes with it showed a belt with the dress. I searched my box, but was unable to find one. I once again contacted Stitch Fix and they offered me 15% off for this. I definitely wanted to keep this dress and figured I could pair it with a belt I already owned, so this one was a keep!

Overall, I only kept 2 items out of my 5, yet I felt very happy with what I kept! I spent a total of $68.80 which I was very happy with being that a typical dress that I would buy would be at least that. Also, the cardigan was such quality, that it was well worth the money spent! I decided it was definitely worth it to try it again, so I already signed up for my next fix. Next time I promise to take pictures of me in the items! Somehow I never did that this round and it isn't quite the same with them on a bed, but I promise you, they are great!

Have you joined Stitch Fix yet? Interested in doing so? I'd love to have you sign up under me here, and come back and share with me what you thought of your fix.

Monday, May 19, 2014

On Your 5th Birthday (A Letter to Meridian)

Happy 5th Birthday to our quiet, independent, sweet, snuggly, ringlet curled, five year old, Meridian Piper!

It's been 5 whole years now sweetie! You are now one hand! I can hardly believe it! To think that five years ago yesterday, you were still wiggling around, pushing up in my ribs, and ready to surprise us all with coming out a little early (and very quickly) the next day. Thus making you and your older sister 2 years and 1 day apart. From the moment you entered this world, you took in the world around you quietly. You never even cried, instead just looking up into my eyes as if to say "hello mama".

For some reason, this milestone of five years old is hitting me hard. I'm pretty sure it is for your daddy too. Maybe it's because it comes with the realization that it has been five years since I was pregnant, or maybe it is because you seem like such a young five year old to me? Either way, it is hard for us to see you growing up. But grow up you will and you are doing.

This year will forever be known as the year of stripes for me! Almost everyday, in good clothes or play clothes, you had to be wearing stripes. I don't want to ever forget how much it made me laugh, or smile to hear you say, "Mama look, stripes again" and then smile that beautiful smile of yours! This year, you did your second year of preschool, but if I'm honest, we didn't do a lot of it. Instead, I let you play on the days you wanted to, which was most days. That doesn't mean though that you weren't learning and listening to your big sister as she did school. It surprised me the very first time I saw you write your name this year! It again surprised me when I saw you knew your letters and letter sounds. I don't know why, but you seem so young to me and somehow I wasn't expecting you to know all that when we haven't done formal school with you. This year you got your hair cut for the second time, and you were so nervous that she would cut your ringlet curls off that you love so much! You love to snuggle and a dozen times during the day, you seek me out to cuddle and kiss me, and then off you go playing again. I think your affection is a way for me to know that you are here as you go about your days just content to be quiet and play on your own. This year you finally started going to sleep on your own. Of course, you still beg daddy to snuggle you before bed, and most times, he does. You still end up in our bed most nights, and I secretly love it as it is my only chance to truly get to spend time with my Rinnie (Xiomara's nickname for you) as you are so independent. Every once and awhile, you let it be known that you want things to go your way and a little stubborn side comes out in you. Most times, it makes me smile as I'm reminded all over again how much like your daddy you are. Quiet, content, sweet, and gentle are all the words I use to describe you.

At 5 you LOVE the color purple! No other color will do, it has to be purple! Your favorite food is sandwiches (must be a Frozen thing).  You love to spend most of your days playing Lego Friends, Olivia, or off playing quietly somewhere by yourself. You love flowers and spend a good amount of time collecting them outside and then bringing them inside for me to put them in a vase. When you grow you want to be a mama (and what a sweet one you will be).

I'm so in love with you my little Meridian in the middle (you came up with that nickname all by yourself). So many times, being in the middle, you are seemingly forgotten. I want you to know that I could never forget you. You may be a daddy's girl and only ever want to snuggle with him, but I see you and I'm proud of the little girl you are. I love your sweetness, your beautiful eyes that aren't quite blue and aren't quite green, and I love your ringlet curls just as much as you do! This is the first year you weren't in my bed when I woke up on your birthday. My heart sank as I realized that you truly are growing up. So early this morning, I prayed for you to know that you are loved at all times this year and to feel that this day is special and just for you. May you keep shining sweetness wherever you go little Meridian Piper. We love you! Happy 5th birthday!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

On Your 7th Birthday (A Letter to Zoelle)

Happy Birthday to the sweetest, funniest, kindest, sensitive, yet spirited seven year old girl I know!

Writing that number "7" out, I'm in disbelief! It is quite unfathomable to me that the day you were born was seven years ago! I spent most of today reflecting on what I was doing seven years ago at this time. You asked me to tell you the story of your birth again and I don't think I will ever tire of telling you. Your birth gave me a title that I forever will cherish and love: mama

You are growing up! Right before our very eyes, you have matured this year. Tonight, we were at a wedding and as I glanced over at you, I saw you had your legs crossed like a grown up and were intently reading the wedding program. All of a sudden you were 21, not 6 going on 7. Oddly enough, I'm pretty sure it will go that fast too. Today I'll be writing out your birthday letter for your 7th birthday, and tomorrow I'll be writing one for your 21st!

This year, I watched as your two front teeth fell out and were replaced with grown up ones....and just like that you were grown up too! I've watched you work hard in everything you do. You don't love violin as it is challenging, yet I watch you work hard to make sure you do your best. Piano is a favorite of yours, and you spend hours practicing and even teaching your little sisters. You still love school, although for the first time, math is a challenge. Multiplication does that to a person, yet you don't let it stop you. Your determination to understand things in admirable! You love to sing, and have the clearest on-pitch voice for your age. This year you even had a little solo at your choir concert. You beamed with pride when you finished and your dad and I were smiling from ear to ear too. You love to read and pile your bed with books each night before you go bed so you can read yourself to sleep. Your voracious love of learning sometimes has me scratching my head, or scrambling to find the answers to your questions. "Mom, what is Antarctica like? Mom, what is the moon made out of? Mom, what is assassination? Mom, how does it rain? Mom, what do you think heaven is like?"  The questions are never ending and so many times I don't have the answers so we go off to the library to search for a book that does. I love that! Don't even stop asking questions Z, it is what makes you smart and it makes you learn & think about others.

At 7 you still love the color blue, but have decided that you may just possibly like green too! Your favorite food to eat is macaroni and cheese (gluten free of course). You love going camping, to the zoo, and riding the carousel. A highlight of your year is the local county fair! You like playing for hours outside on your bike, trampoline, and imaginary play with your sisters. You spend a good portion of your day singing (Frozen is all the rage right now). You love to help cook and bake with us in the kitchen. When you grow up, you want to be a doctor (and I don't doubt that you will).

I'm so proud of the young girl you have become! You truly are amazing! The kindness you show to others has me wanting to do the same with others in my life. Daily you make us laugh and there is nothing better than your laugh. It is the cutest belly laugh, especially when followed with that beautiful smile of yours that lights up your pretty blue eyes! Keep laughing, loving, and showing kindness to others this year sweet Zoelle Grace. We love you! Happy 7th birthday!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Restless by Jennie Allen Bible Study Review

For the past five weeks, each Wednesday night, I've been opening my home up to six amazing women. Most never knew each other five weeks ago. Most I only knew a little bit through different connections. Now, I count these women as my friends and feel so blessed to have gotten to know them.

But first, let me back up on how I ended up opening my home up to these women.

In January, I randomly mentioned to Chris one day that I felt as if I should maybe open my home up and lead a Bible study. He looked at me like I was a bit crazy and then said, "Are you sure? That really isn't your thing!". I knew exactly what he meant. I am by nature, not a hostess. I like to spend time with people, but I am much more of an introvert than an extrovert. But I could not get this idea of a Bible Study out of my head. Chris asked me what Bible Study I would use, and the first one that popped into my mind was of this new book I had only heard of, Restless by Jennie Allen.

I've followed Jennie's blog for years as we both have adopted children and in the adopted world, you feel connected knowing someone else has been through the same thing as you. I believe though it was the name of the book that really drew me in. I mean, how long have I felt Restless? Years!

So, I had this idea floating around in my head of hosting a Bible study, yet I wasn't quite brave enough to put it out there. Then, in February I was able to attend our local IF Gathering and hear Jennie speak. She was amazing and her words really spoke straight to my heart. Still though...I couldn't possibly host a Bible study! It was SO out of my comfort zone. My house isn't completely finished, I'm busy enough, I live too far out in the country for anyone to want to come to my home...and the list of excuses went on.

Funny enough, God knew that He wanted me to do this, and within days of the IF Gathering I was contacted asking if I would ever want to review Jennie Allen's book Restless. I knew then that I should do this. So one day I found myself asking on my Facebook if anyone would want to join in on a Bible Study at my home. To my surprise, lots of people were interested! It ended up being that we had six who could show up pretty regularly.

I don't know if I can fully put into words how much I needed this study. To gather with women each week and to hear God speak through Jennie's words. I'm honestly looking at this world and my specific role in it much differently thanks to God working in Jennie.

I'm not going to ruin the study or book for you, but I would highly encourage you that if you can read her book, or even host a study, do so! Also, check out this video in order to get a "feel" on the study!

Disclaimer: *The featured product(s) in this post were provided for me by Shelton Interactive. I was not compensated in any way. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone.