Sunday, October 30, 2011

TOP Giveaway and Reviews HOP Week 7!

Not a Blogger? Not a Problem! The Non Blogger's Guide to Giveaways

TheOliveParent
***This is a Giveaway and Reviews Hop, no blog links please. Link directly to your giveaway or review***

The Non Blogger's Guide to Entering Giveaways

You don't have to be a blogger to find great stuff for free! You can find lots of products without having to spend your hard earned cash. If you are willing to dedicate some time and effort, entering blog giveaways can be your favorite past-time!

There are two things you really need to get started. An online profile and an email address.

Email Address

Create a an email address dedicated to giveaway entries. Gmail is a great email service with lots of options and spam protection for free. Hotmail ,  Yahoo, and AOL also provide free email services.

Online Profiles

Most giveaways require you to leave a comment of some sort on their blog. In order to leave a comment you may need to "register" your online profile. Your online profile is created after filling out a short form that consists of your name, email address and/or your website address. Requests for your website/blog address are almost always optional.

You can leave anonymous comments with your email address, but having an online profile, opens up more giveaway options for you. For example, a giveaway may require you to follow them by Google Friend Connect. If you have a online profile you will be able to fulfill this requirement.

Getting Started...Creating Your Online Profile

Chances are if you have an email account with Google, AOL or Yahoo, you may already have an online profile. These services are apart of OpenID enabled websites that will allow you to log in to comment on various blogs that require online profiles. Other services include:
Not all blogs require online profiles for commenting, but having one certainly increases the amount of giveaways you can enter. 

Social Networking Accounts

Bloggers LOVE social networking (yes, I should know :) Having a Twitter and Facebook account is definitely a must when considering giveaways. Most giveaways will let you add bonus entries in exchange for sharing their giveaway on Twitter and Facebook, and liking a sponsor's Facebook page. If you don't have an account it's easy to get started!


Google Friend Connect

Following a blog on Google Friend Connect is a common requirement for entering giveaways. This is a community of sorts that allow others to follow a blog and keep up with it. Joining GFC, as it is normally referred to, allows a blogger to send you newsletters and contact you by email (if you provide your email address in your profile) to keep you abreast of all the fun things happening at that blog! 

The GFC widget typically looks like this:


Every blog is unique, as is the layout of each blog. Look for it carefully on the sidebars of a blog.

Tips For Successful Entrances

  • Read the giveaway rules carefully and follow them. Giveaways can be partial to certain regions or places. 
  • Note the date of closing. 
  • Take advantage of bonus entry allowances. 
  • Keep track of your giveaways. 
One Final Tip, A Non Blogging Blog

Do consider creating a blog just for the purposes of entering giveaways. Blogger is a very easy way to go. Blogger services come with pre-made templates that will allow you to set it up quickly and efficiently. This can increase your bonus entry allowances as some giveaways ask you to share their giveaways on blogs.

Don't Count Out the Reviews!

A review post may have promo codes and discounts available only to those who read blogs. You just may find your favorite product discounted for a price you normally pay for!

Where to Find the Giveaways???

So glad you asked! I have a weekly giveaway hop that collects links from various blogs. This hop is open to all bloggers who have two days to add their giveaways links, but you can visit these links all week long!. You can subscribe to my newsletter to enter these giveaways when the links are up! Go to my sidebar to subscribe.

Questions? Leave a comment, I'd be more than happy to help!

Are you a non blogger interested in receiving newsletters with giveaway and review links? Sign up here! ( If I receive enough interest, I will do separate weekly mailings for non bloggers, when I've collected giveaway links for the week)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Breast Cancer - What is the Cause?

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month draws to a close, I wanted to share one last article with you on the concept of breast cancer prevention.

What causes breast cancer? This is not widely spoken of during this month of campaigning. While thousands of dollars are being donated to the cause of a "cure", what can be cured if the cause isn't known? ...or is it?? Some scientists say breast cancer is genetic. Others say breast cancer arises from environmental toxins. What I find interesting is that Oriental medicine says breast cancer stems from our emotional state...


One of the virtues of oriental medicine is it's ability to observe the root cause and the developmental stages of disease. With breast cancer, the cause is seen as a chronic pattern of qi or life force stagnation, rooted in liver dysfunction. This unrelieved pattern of stagnation becomes an invisible contusion in the being, obstructing the free flow of energy, blood and lymph fluids through the specialized and sensitive breast tissue. The problem becomes potentially life threatening when toxins find their way into that area of stagnation. These toxins may enter from the outside, but they may also come from hormones, inflammation and the stress chemistry within the body. Overtime, in a significant number of people, this chronic pattern, now toxic, begins to modify normal cell replication, leading to potential breast cancer.

I don't think this concept is far-fetched, but relate-able in many ways.  Many of our emotional reactions translate into physical manifestations. Your heart races and your pulse rises when you get excited, nervous or angry. Some even faint in response to extreme situations. It is not insane for me to imagine that cancer can be created when we harbor negativity, in conjunction with other environmental factors. As a matter of fact, I've always felt, deep down that my mom, who passed from colon cancer, was overcome bodily, by stress that manifested itself into colon cancer. It didn't help that my father was a smoker, nor was he available much to help manage a family of eight.

Can breast cancer be prevented or at least the risk of it significantly reduced by ridding ourselves of dwelling predominately on negative thoughts? NaturalNews seems to think so and I'm inclined to agree. The fact is women, especially those who are mothers, harbor large amounts of responsibility...and guilt, twice the size of that. We carry the guilt and stress of being wives, mothers, good sisters and daughters. And trying to make a buck while we're at it, whether it's blogging or working outside of the home, we certainly got it hard!

This article has some pretty good suggestions on breast cancer prevention. I'll list a few here, but I strongly encourage you to read it in full for yourselves.


  • "Do not allow emotionally frustrating circumstances to persist indefinitely"
  • "Do not constantly meditate on negativity"
  • "Keep the blood free from toxicity by eating well"
  • Conduct a toxic survey of your home and replace with green products
  • READ MORE!
Changing a negative mindset into a positive one is not an easy process if you're conditioned to think negatively, but it certainly can be done with reconditioning. I'm reminded of one my favorite scriptures:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. - Romans 12:2
Whether you believe in God or not, our bodies are an undeniably wonderdous cascade of events, that labors for the common cause of living life well. Recognizing and embracing what are bodies are trying to tell us is a much better way of caring for ourselves than pacifying it.

Sources:
NaturalNews.com

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Xylitol For Natural Dental Health!

I have a really cool story to share...I had a sore in my mouth that was forming (bear with me!), so I gargled and rinse with Sole. However, it wasn't healing after a few rinses as it normally should. Then I had the idea to try Xylitol. I had heard about Xylitol's dental  health properties and thought I'd give it shot since I have some in my cupboard. Xylitol is a natural sweetener found in veggies and fruit, that have cavity-fighting benefits. It is sweet and tasteful that gives you a nice "cool" feeling when it melts in your mouth.

Anyhow, I put some of the granules directly on the sore in my mouth and immediately I felt a difference. After a few applications (about an hour) my sore was not only smoothing out, but less painful! A day later, it was almost completely gone. Amazing! I just had to share that with you all and list all the information I could find on it, which is pretty amazing information...

It's just as sweet as table sugar and 40% fewer calories. Xylitol is metabolized and absorbed slowly, which doesn't raise your blood sugar like table sugar. It reduces the amount of germs that stick to tissue, which makes it an excellent defensive tool.
Photo Credit: HealthyFellow.com


I make it point to snack on Xylitol as I have a sweet tooth. I also freely give my children Xylitol. With Halloween just around the corner, consider having your child gargle and rinse their mouths with Xylitol dissolved in water after eating candy to prevent bacteria from sticking to their teeth. Better yet, hand out packets of Xylitol to trick-or-treat-ers :) okay well, maybe not, but you definitely have Xylitol in your arsenal against tooth decay!

***Disclaimer*** Xylitol is a food, not a drug. All experiences are my own. Information presented in this post is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnosis, treat or cure.  Readers assumes personal responsibility in researching the benefits of Xylitol.

Sources:
www.Xylitol.org

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Infant Formula, Fluoride and Fluorosis

I'm a breast feeding mom. I've never given my children formula and proud of it. This doesn't mean I look down on on moms who do choose formula out of choice or need. This blog is solely about empowerment in making choices with full knowledge of the facts, with that in mind, I felt it vital to share this article I discovered on NaturalNews.com.

This article touches upon the issue of fluorosis, which is a "developmental disturbance that causes permanent spots" on a child's teeth. Apparently this is caused by "low grade chronic poisoning". Which I take to mean an excess of fluoride in the formula in addition to fluoridated water.


(NaturalNews) Millions of infants have been overdosed with fluoride due to powdered infant formula being combined with fluoridated tap water. Parents, who prepare infant formula, have been deliberately kept in the dark regarding the risks of this overdose, for the simple reason that it casts doubt on water fluoridation. Because newborns only consume liquids, they receive much larger doses of fluoride than adults when you factor in body size. This overdose increases the risk of fluorosis.
As I mentioned, I've never bottle-fed my children, but I have seen and looked at a few cans of formula in my lifetime, as companies are intent to send me free samples. I haven't seen any warnings on how to avoid fluorosis. As a matter of fact, I've never heard of the term until now. Have you?

The article goes on to explain...



Yet in the midst of this great increase in fluorosis most public health agencies have decided not to do anything except post web pages. They have not called for warnings to be placed on infant formula packaging. They have not called for educating doctors, dentists and parents about this issue. The WIC programs (Women, Infants, Children) hand out free powdered infant formula to low-income parents. But very few WIC programs will inform parents about the fluorosis risk when the formula is prepared with fluoridated tap water
The article makes an excellent point in the case against fluoridation. Breast milk is acknowledged and accepted indisputably as the best for babies. Breast milk is low in fluoride, yet no one is saying breast fed babies need fluoride supplements. Very fascinating...

As I type this post I am reminded of a post I typed last month IFC Responds to Study on Hospital Trends. In this post I talk about the study on hospitals giving away formula to new moms. The IFC, Infant Formula Council spoke out against the study and insisted moms want to be given formula, and that it was imperative that new moms receive these giveaway samples that is filled with instructions on formula preparation (my paraphrasing).
“…Hospital discharge packs provide key educational materials, which may include an infant formula sample -- directing moms to the right type of formula and to proper use and storage instructions, if needed.”- Read full statement here.
 ...is fluorosis even mentioned in these "educational packs"?

I would strongly encourage moms to check out fluorosis and avoid it. Here are some links to help you get started:

Wikipedia
WHO - World Health Organization
Natural News Fluoride Articles


Source:
Why Parents are Not Being Told About Fluorosis - Natural News

What's Up on TOP?
Raw Organic Honey giveaway is underway! Low entries! Don't miss your chance to try this awesome product!
My Giveaway Hop Week 6 ends 10/25 midnight  - no rules, link family friendly giveaways!
Add your blog/site to my Breast Feeding/Home Birth Directory!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

TOP Giveaway Hop Week 6!


TheOliveParent

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Group Giveaway Opportunity!

I'm excited to participate in this upcoming giveaway! If you'd like to join, there are just 11 spots left! Read the information below and fill out the form!


Sign Ups are NOW open to join us in giving away....
THIS
GRAND PRIZE
 Power Wheels Dune Racer
Would you like to host this HUGE giveaway on your blog? Group giveaways are a great way to network, and gain new followers, while offering your current readers an AWESOME HUGE giveaway that will keep them coming back for more!
We will be accepting 30 blogs to partner in this event!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Can Extensive Breast Feeding Drop Cancer Risk by Half?

During Breast Cancer Awareness month, I'm promoting prevention, rather than detection. One of the many, many benefits of breast feeding is a reduction in breast cancer risk, this is widely known, but can it cut your risk in half if you nurse extensively? This study seems to think so....


Breastfeeding for two or more years reduces a woman's risk of developing breast cancer by 50 percent, according to a study conducted by a Yale researcher among women in China.
The researcher, Tongzhang Zheng, associate professor of epidemiology and public health at Yale School of Medicine, said he conducted the study in China because, unlike Western nations, long term breastfeeding is part of the Chinese culture.
"In Chinese society, it is socially acceptable to breastfeed for a long time," said Zheng. "And it is considered good for the child."
His research, published recently in the American Journal of Epidemiology, followed three studies conducted in the early 1980s in Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin, China. The earlier studies found a more than 50 percent reduction in breast cancer among women who reported a lifetime breastfeeding of more than 109 - Yale News

I find it interesting that this study was done in China because extensive breast feeding is the norm and an acceptable practice. I've heard American studies quote a much lesser percentage, 4% for each year of breast feeding, for example. However, I feel as though this study done in China provides more solid breast feeding factors, whereas extensive breast feeding is not widely practice here in America. This study was done in 2001, but still carries valid weight, in my opinion.

NaturalNews.com shares the same result, but doesn't mention whether or not extensive breast feeding is a factor in cutting breast cancer risk by more than half.


When the researchers looked only at women with a history of breast cancer in their immediate family, however, they found a remarkably strong trend: Women who had breastfed had a 59 percent lower risk of breast cancer than women who had not, making their risk comparable to that of women without a family history of the cancer.
Even more convincing, the article points out that the findings show that breast feeding reduces breast cancer risk just as effectively as Tamoxifen, a drug typically prescribed to women with a history of familial cancer. 



Stuebe noted, however, that if the study's findings hold up, breastfeeding may reduce cancer risk as effectively as the drug Tamoxifen, which reduces estrogen activity in the body and is often prescribed to women with a family history of cancer.


Fifty-nine percent is an awe inspiring jaw-dropper.Once again, I'm confused as to why breast feeding bears no mention during Breast Cancer Awareness month. Could it be the makers of Tamoxifen and those who stand to gain monetarily by expensive detection methods could lose out if women simply breast fed? It's hard for me to see any other way than the way it appears! All in all, breast feeding is certainly deserves recognition, if not a place amongst all of the drugs and mammograms we, as women, are encouraged to take.

Sources:
Yale News
Breast Feeding Significantly Lowers Breast Cancer Risk



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Is Breast Cancer Awareness Really Helping Women?

Occasionally, I read articles published by NaturalNews.com. Typically, they have great "expose" articles in regards to health, the truth and the media. They published an article that raises some very good questions about Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


If October were properly devoted to educating women on the causes of breast cancer, this single shift of focus could greatly empower women. Instead, however, the over-hyped campaign of "awareness" simply makes women part of the "big business of cancer," offering only the tools of detection as opposed to the more important information on prevention.
The promoters of "Breast Cancer Awareness Month" would have women believe there is little, if anything, that can be done to prevent the disease in the first place. Yet the chances for avoiding breast cancer, like so many cancers, can be greatly increased with a personal commitment to better health through dietary changes, exercise and an avoidance of toxins.
The article points out that scientists and Epidemiologists believe that "many cases of breast cancer are linked to environmental factors", something that can be prevented with a change in lifestyle. You have to admit that it makes more sense to promote prevention by lifestyle change, rather than detection with expensive and costly tests. It seems to me that doctors/big pharma benefit more from Breast Cancer Awareness month than any one else.

NaturalNews Continues to share...



FACT: Mammograms, as used for breast cancer screening, frequently lead to needless worry. According to one study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, one third of the women screened over a 10 year period received a false positive.
FACT: As many as 50% of breast cancer cases remain unexplained by traditionally-accepted risk factors.
FACT: A handful of studies demonstrate that the majority of women who take one highly-prescribed and well-known "cancer-prevention" drug live no longer than women who refuse it. It is with great alarm that researchers are finding some breast cancers may actually use this drug to stimulate their growth.
I'd like to add one more preventative measure...breast feeding. Many studies show that breast feeding reduces your risk of breast cancer. This should, undoubtedly, be widely promoted during this month, especially when breast feeding is generally encouraged by doctors and the like...the question is why isn't it?

Source:
Breast Cancer Awareness Month- Focus Needs to Shift to Prevention



Sunday, October 16, 2011

TOP Giveaway HOP Week 5!


TheOliveParent

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Raw Organic Honey Giveaway! (Closed)


I was given this amazing opportunity to try out Tropical Traditions' Raw Honey. My first experience with this honey was to dip my finger in the jar to see and feel the consistency of it. This is a creamy and smooth honey, resembling the creamed honey (not raw) I typically purchase for my tea. What I like about this honey is that there is no after taste and the flavor is very sweet and pure-tasting. 

I used this honey mixed with coconut oil to spread on a slice of bread for the children, which they really enjoyed. It really sweetened my tea very nicely without needed an extra spoonful. I have a really sweet tooth and I found my self licking a spoonful to satisfy my sweet craving. It certainly did the trick!

This honey is quite special simply because it's certified organic, a certification that is hard to come by as bees are difficult to control. 

In order for honey to be certified organic, the beehives must be placed in isolated areas miles from the dense population, industry, traffic congestion, and farm fields treated with chemicals and landfills. Second, a bee’s flying range is determined by their natural instinct which tells them to stay within their natural four mile range from the hive location. Finding area which can be certified organic is extremely difficult, which is why there are so few certified organic honeys on the market. Tropical Traditions sources its honey from hives in the wild frontier areas of Canada.  - TropicalTradition.com
This honey is unheated (just enough to flow), unprocessed and raw. It contains live yeast, enzymes and pollen, the good stuff that's usually removed by processed and filtered honey.

I'm sharing this sweet healthy treat with my readers! This 17.6 oz jar of raw, unprocessed, unfiltered organic honey retails at $19.50 and can be yours to enjoy. This giveaway is open to non-bloggers and bloggers alike.

To Enter:

  1. Subscribe to Tropical Traditions by email. (mandatory, this is a single entry)
  2. Follow by GFC OR Subscribe to my Newsletter (mandatory, this is a single entry)


Bonus Entries:
  1. Share this giveaway on Twitter (one tweet per day, put the link in a comment)
  2. Share this giveaway on Facebook (once per day, put link in a comment)
  3. Share this giveaway on your blog (once a week, put link in comment)
  4. Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter
  5. Follow TheOliveParent on Twitter
  6. Like TheOliveParent on Facebook
  7. Like Tropical Traditions on Facebook
  8. Share a recipe you'd like to try on Free Coconut Recipes
  9. Review TheOliveParent on Alexa
  10. Grab my Blog button (put link in a comment)
  11. Grab my Giveaway hop button (put link in a comment)
  12. Grab my Breast feeding/Home birth directory button (put link in a comment)
  13. Follow TOP on GFC
  14. Subscribe to TOP newsletter 
**Please include your email address in each entry if your comment profile does not have your email address**

Don't want to enter this giveaway?? No problem, purchase your Raw Organic Honey here.


The Not So Fine Print



The giveaway is open to US and Canada. Canadian bloggers, please note that Tropical Traditions is not responsible for customs or duties that Canada may charge if you decide to participate in this Tropical Traditions sponsored blog giveaway. TheOliveParent reserves the right to remove/add entries that are not compliant with the rules of the giveaway. A winner will be chosen by Random.org. The winner will have 48 hours to respond. A new winner will be chosen, if the original selected winner does not claim the prize within the 48 hour period. This giveaway ends November 5th, 2011, 11:59pm central time.


Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Probiotics and Breast Feeding

Probiotics is a growing trend as many are discovering the healthy impact it has on the digestive system. Probiotics, quite simply, are good bacteria. These good guys have an important function in the body as it rids our intestines of unneeded micro-organisms, basically keeping it clean. It's like having your own cleaning crew...oompha-loompas if you will. Now, if I can get my kitchen it's own "Probiotics", life would be absolutely perfect!

Probiotics are essential to a balanced digestive system. Some of the benefits of this supplement are weight loss and increased energy.

As a breast feeding mother, my first question was whether or not it was safe for consumption. Quite happily, I've discovered that its not only safe, but recommended for breast feeding moms and colicky babes. From Live Strong...

Breast milk naturally contains prebiotics: starchy substances that promote the natural growth of probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract. This causes the bacteria makeup of the gut of a breastfed baby to be slightly different than that of a baby who is fed formula. While prebiotics are healthy, a breastfeeding mother can also increase her baby's level of digestive probiotics by eating certain foods or taking supplements. Probiotics do pass into the breast milk, along with other nutrients from the mom's diet. In fact, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that breastfeeding mothers of colicky babies take probiotic supplements. Initial studies report that breastfed babies who get additional probiotics from mom's milk may get more relief from colic symptoms than what other natural remedies can provide. However, the authors of the 2010 "Pediatrics" article, "Probiotics and Prebiotics in Pediatrics," report that further research is needed. - Read more

Probiotics can be taken to prevent thrush or candida overgrowth if you're taking antibiotics when breast feeding. KellyMom shares this...

Yes, anytime mom or baby needs to take antibiotics, it may be helpful to use probiotics(acidophus, etc.) as a preventative. There is evidence in the medical literature that probiotics can decrease the risk of candida overgrowth (Drisko 2003, Payne 2003, Kopp-Hoolihan 2001, Lykova 2000). Antibiotics increase the risk of thrush and other yeast infections because they tend to kill off the "good" bacteria along with the bad. These good bacteria are what normally prevent an overgrowth of the yeast (candida) that is always present in our bodies. By taking probiotics, you replace some of the good bacteria in your digestive tract that are needed to prevent a yeast overgrowth. - Read More
The common type of Probiotics is Lactobacillus acidophilus. Probiotics are typically measured in billions of active cultures rather than milligrams. I've been taking 'em for a month now and have noticed a difference in my digestive system. I won't go into detail for dignity's sake :) :), but I will add that I have noticed further slimming down in addition to my Yerba Mate/Coconut Oil diet. As for baby girl, I haven't noticed anything on her end...literally. She seems content to nurse as much as normal. 


Check out Kelly Mom for more information about breast feeding and probiotics. 

Sources:
Why Probiotics are Important
Probiotics While Breast Feeding
Q&A Preventing Thrush

Additional Link
How Can Probiotics Help My Baby While Breast Feeding?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Raw Honey!

It's all in the processing. That's how I look at my foods today. Foods are so misunderstood, because we as a society have mislead by the age of industrialism. We industrialize everything nowadays. Salt, by example, is a vital substance our bodies need, has become a big no-no, simply because of wide-spread processing of it that renders it hazardous to health in large quantities. Fats have become dangerous because of the hydrogenation process (trans-fat). Our foods have become a science experience gone haywire, and we, the guinea pigs are the ones who suffer.

So, my first determination in assessing the food I eat and share with my loved ones are, what is the process and how does it compare (it's processed state) to it's original state?

Raw honey absolutely deserves some recognition and differentiation from it's processed counterpart. It is considered to be a super food of sorts, full of benefits when used in it's original state.

Here are some raw honey facts:

  • Full of Antioxidants
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Full of Flavonoids
  • Full of Enzymes
  • Contain Bee Pollen 
Here's what NaturalNews.com had to say about raw honey...

Honey has been shown to have an antimicrobial effect against bacteria and other unwanted invaders. Raw honey is being used by doctors in the UK to treat mouth and throat cancer patients to reduce their chances of contracting bacterial infections. It has also been used to speed up the healing of wounds caused by Caesarean sections as well as other types of wounds.

Here is some good news for  you! My next giveaway will be a prize of a jar of raw honey, just for you to try and implement into your food lifestyle! Follow me on GFC so you don't miss the announcement!



Sources:
NaturalNews
Benefits of Honey

Monday, October 10, 2011

TOP Giveaway HOP Week 4!


TheOliveParent

Sunday, October 9, 2011

6 Reasons Why You Should Have More Children

Large families rock! With our brood of seven, the nine of us are a community within a community and I LOVE it. Don't get me wrong, there is a LOT of work, commitment and sacrifice involved in managing a family of nine, more often than not, I am counting the blessings of a large family.

I cannot tell how many times people have confessed to me, their secret desire to have more children than they already have. For every person that calls me crazy for birthing seven babes, there are two more who pull me aside and admit they shouldn't have stopped at the number that they did.

If you're thinking of having more children, here are my personal reasons why you should!


Community ~ If done right, a large family can be a community that gives each other...
Support
Love and...
Friendship ~ Every parent wants their child to have friends and go out of their way to build friendship with neighbors, classmates etc. What I've found is my children have better friends in each other, than other children, who may have negative influences or behavioral issues.


I've found these four reasons to be so vital in surviving today's societal climate. We give them the tools to support, befriend and love each other outside of the home as well as inside. This gives them such a sense of security when they're at school or at the playground together. Something they wouldn't have if they were an only child. 
 
Accountability ~ I've seen so much good that comes with an "accountability partner" of sorts. We encourage the children to remind each other proper respectful behavior, attitudes and speech.

Reality ~ I truly believe having more than one child gives children a good and reasonable perception of reality. Having had my first born for seven and a half years before my second child, it was difficult to teach the concept of sharing and getting along with others when you are the center of everyone's world. Having more children around prepares a child for adulthood. Sharing is something that is inescapable and inevitable for every single person alive.We share the same air, water, streets earth, etc. Having more children can give a child a proper perception of life...that life does not cater to them. It will give them the resources they need to deal with life effectively as children and adults. 

This can be achieved if love is the law in the home. Love and respect are synonymous. Respectful attitude. Respectful behavior. Respectful speech should be emphasized, encouraged and corrected as necessary. Allowing children in mistreating each other in large families can have the opposite impact of a happy, peaceful family.   





Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kourtney Kardashian on Breastfeeding: "A Beautiful Experience"

I gotta love Kourtney Kardashian's view on breast feeding. In this instance, her unabashed ways (typically displayed by her and her family) works positively.

Kourt says she stopped breastfeeding Mason after 14 months, and at the time, she blogged: “I seriously could cry just thinking about it being over. I love what a beautiful experience I had with my son and just wanted to share it.”  - Wet Paint
She shared on the Today Show that she stopped because of peer pressure, namely by her sisters. Fourteen months is not bad at all...it was the least amount of time I nursed. (The most being two years) Here's hoping she'll stand her ground with her next child and reach her goal of two years.

This is so telling of why those who have no knowledge, or experience with breastfeeding should have no place in a mother's decision-making process.  Hopefully, she'll research the facts and health benefits a bit more so she can be better armed and ready to respond to anyone who disagrees with her choice. Kudos to Kourtney Kardashian for embracing breastfeeding!

Source:
Wet Paint
Offical KourtneyK

Coming up on TheOliveParent...
Two Day Giveaway Hop ~ Monday and Tuesday every week! (Linky opens at midnight)

My Breast Feeding/Home Birth Directory is open! Find other blogs and promote your own!

Want to share your Home Birth Story on TOP? Click here!

Friday, October 7, 2011

As Seen on TV Gyro Bowl Review!

 

I was given the opportunity to review the Gyro Bowl. Like many of you, I have seen the commercial for Gyro bowl, “kid-proof, 360 technology”, on T.V. What piqued my interest in the bowl was not only the 360 technology, but the fact that the bowl is BPA free. Briefly, BPA is a compound used to make plastic and is known to be estrogenic, is a hot topic of safety.

Anyhoo,  my children and I found the bowl to be fun, although the manufacturer clearly states it’s not a toy. I put a variety of food in the bowl to see if it was true to claim. I was able to swing the bowl and/or grab it without food falling out of it for the most part.  My three year-old really enjoys the bowl a LOT. We have a no-eating-in-the-great-room rule, but for testing purposes, I allowed my three year old to eat a snack in the great room with the bowl. There was no spills or messes to clean up. I felt pretty comfortable letting him roam the great room while eating his snack out of the bowl…which is really saying a lot.

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Although the instructions/manufacturer doesn’t say this, the bowl is really a dry-snack only receptacle. I tried jumping up and down with it and naturally the laws of motion came into play, some of  the food in the bowl came out.  However, snack-time, speaking strictly for myself, is a “sit down calmly time”, this bowl seems to work well in this scenario as well as a child making a quick grab for it. This bowl would be perfect for road trips, stroller rides and outings. Outings especially…the last thing you need, when you’re away from the comforts of home, is to worry about spills and messes.

I’d LOVE to see this bowl in purples and pinks, now that would be  cool. The cost is $14.99 per bowl. However, you can buy one and get one free.  There’s also a limited time offer, where you can purchase two bowls for $9.99 plus shipping and handling.  The bowls come with lids. Overall, I think this is a solid,  fun and innovative product!


**Disclaimer: I was given the Gyro Bowl  to review free of cost.  This product was not given to TheOliveParent in exchange for a positive review.  The reader acknowledges his/her own personal responsibility in personal research of this product.**








Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Laboring in Shackles, a Movement to Free Imprisoned Moms from Restricted Childbirth

It is unanimously agreed, that prison is a place for the bad guys...or women. They don't deserve to have a quality of life that reflects a law-abiding, free individual right? Never once has it crossed my  mind how women who are in custody and pregnant, birth until I happened to read this fascinating article, by ColorLines. Apparently women in custody are typically shackled by the hands or feet during labor and birth. the question for me becomes is this, what is the distinction between quality of life, and basic human rights?

As a mom, who has labored and delivered seven times...simply...it is beyond my comprehension how a woman can labor with her feet and/or hands shackled. It is simply inhumane, the thought, no matter the type of character a woman has, or her past actions, she should be allowed to work with her body in order to bring forth life that is imminent. And that being, is allowing freedom from shackles long enough to birth safely.

Naturally, the argument in shackling women prisoners comes from the side of security, which understandably is logical. But this logic becomes illogical when a woman is in full blown labor. Every single one of us moms who have labored hard, and long, know that a woman in labor isn't going anywhere.  I believe women, no matter who, what, they are, have the basic right to labor freely, whether in custody or in free society.

There is a movement that is growing steam in their cause to end shackling for laboring, incarcerated women...


Putting an end to the shackling of incarcerated pregnant women during childbirth is a cause that has gained steam in recent years. “In the first part of the [past] decade, only three states had ever taken action on this issue. There wasn’t really a national movement recognizing this as a human rights issue,” explains Amy Fettig of the ACLU Prison Project. “That’s really changed in the last three years.”

Four states (Idaho, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Nevada) passed laws this legislative year banning the practice, bringing the total number of states with bans on the books to only 14. In addition, only five state corrections departments (including the District of Columbia) have written policies that stipulate no restraints should be used during labor and birth, according to The Rebecca Project for Human Rights. - ColorLines

What do you think? Is freedom in laboring a basic human rights issue or a loss of quality of life that incarcerated women justly deserve?


Additional Links:

The Prison Birth Project

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And The Winner Is...

Congratulations, you've won the Organic Palm Shortening from Tropical Traditions!


Look out for an email on how to claim your prize. You have 48 hours to respond. Enjoy! 
Thanks to everyone who entered. Sign up for my newsletter for future giveaways from Tropical Traditions.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Homecoming Hair Style!

Hubby and I are a two-person styling team when it comes to our children’s hair.  He’s a genius with a trimmer (for fades) and I can braid like nobody’s business. :) Instead of making expensive appointments with hairstylists we’ve learned how to do for ourselves, and must say  we’ve been quite pleased with the results.
So yesterday was my daughter’s homecoming dance. After Hubby blew dried her hair, it was my turn to work my magic, it took me hours and dinner was a grab-what-you-can event, but my daughter went out looking quite professionally done….
Side swept bun with tendrils…
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Ringlet curls…
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Ornate braiding…
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The finished product…


DD wore the SAME dress I wore to a formal with Hubby years ago….
How cool is it that my daughter is not only wearing it, but LOVES the style of it!? All in all she had a blast and it was completely worth the work!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Android on Straight Talk!

This post brought to you by Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine.

With a large family, we really try to maximize our resources. One way we do this was to  replace our contracted phone services with pre-paid. Except for cutting our phone bill in half, you cannot tell the difference in service between the two. I've encouraged family members who struggled with their phone bills to switch to a pre-paid service. There are so many options, such as Android on Straight Talk.
Besides no contracts and credit checks, here are some things you get with Straight Talk...

MONTHLY PLANS
  • All You Need Plan ~ 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 mb of web data and free 411 calls  for $30.00 a month
  • Unlimited Plans ~ All unlimited minutes, text, web and 411 calls for $45.00
  • Unlimited One Year ~ You get the same plan as the Unlimited plan, but only pay $499.00 for the year
PHONES
  • Reconditioned phone are available starting at $10.00. These phones can be web accessible with camera MP3 Player and blue tooth capability. (Good for older children)
  • Smart Phones
  • Touch Screen Phones and app capable phones with solid features like voice navigation, video recorder to name a few. 
ADDITIONAL FEATURES
  • Trusted phone manufacturers ~ LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and more. 
  • Nation wide coverage and great reception 
  • No activation, reactivation or termination fees
  • Straight Talk is only available at Walmart
Now for the Hook, line and sinker ... The Android-powered phone is on Straight Talk! You can have all the experiences and pleasures of  Android and unlimited plan for $45.00 a month! You can Call a friend from your Samsung Galaxy Precedent phone and feel rich in savings and savvy!

This phone retails for $149.00!

Check out this short clip...


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