Sunday, February 23, 2020

Kids Smart High DHA Fish Oil Chewable Burstlets *Sponsored Post*

*This post was written in collaboration with MomsMeet and Kids Smart High DHA Fish Oil Chewable Burstlets. All opinions are 100% my own.

I was gifted a great set of Kids Smart High DHA Fish Oil Chewable Burstlets in working with MomsMeet, which prompted me to do some research on what the benefits of fish oil and subsequent supplements could do for my family. I will start by saying that based on what I have read and listened to in podcasts and also based on common sense, my best advice is to get your vitamins from the foods that are vitamin rich. In this case, this would be by eating fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines that are rich in these omega-3s. Some plants are rich in another type of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, which the body can convert to DHA and EPA. Good sources of these are flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and canola oil. But we all know that kids won't eat a lot of the stuff that we want them to, am I right? Enter the idea of giving our kids vitamins and supplements.

Per the Health Blog: "Omega-3 fatty acids play important roles in brain function, normal growth and development, and inflammation. Deficiencies have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, some cancers, mood disorders, arthritis, and more. But that doesn’t mean taking high doses translates to better health and disease prevention." Make an educated decision on whether or not you think you'd like to give your kids the supplements and then look for the best product for your needs.

So the product that I recieved, Kids Smart Fish Oil, contains a high amount of DHA fish oil (133 mg) which is higher than many options on the market. They come in burstlets in a "chewable" form and I started giving each of my kids one of these with their regular multi-vitamin. My oldest is not into these at all and I get it. I have tried them myself and as an adult, I can understand the taste is still fishy and the chewable casing is not quite chewable in the sense you'd expect. That said, my youngest loves taking these and specifically asks for his "fish vitamins". Like with anything, I would say that whether or not your kids would take these are all dependent on your kids' tastes and whether or not they have issues with consistencies and the like. I don't force my oldes to take these because he's willing to eat salmon. My youngest would live on yogurt if I let him, so you see where my head is at.

The bottle itself sells for less than $8 on Amazon, which to me, is very reasonable for a bottle of 30, a month supply, plus there's a deal below if you are interested. I'd have to say that my overall feeling is that these are good supplement for my youngest until he is willing to eat more fish and perhaps seeds in his diet. But our kids are always growing and changing so just be willing to alter the way you're calculating these types of things based on their diet and food intake.

Save 20% when you purchase a 30-count bottle of Kids Smart High DHA Fish Oil Chewable Burstlets on Amazon at with the promo code 20MM20KS. Offer ends March 14, 2020.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Boston Calling, Creating a Family Experience

*I attended Boston Calling last year via a media pass. This post is about my experience and what families can expect going into this year and coming years. All opinions are mine.

When I first became a mother, I was did what a lot of us do, and I cut back on some of the outings that I most loved to do before becoming a parent. This included seeing concerts and heading to outdoor festivals. Living outside of Boston, we have a pretty great music scene and knowing that Boston Calling supports a lot of local artists, I had always wanted to go...but, KIDS. But wait, people are bringing their kids to Boston Calling? Yes. Boston Calling is actually pretty kid friendly, with a bit of preparation from savvy parents.

 Guster has a special place in my (and Boston's) heart dating back to my teenage self so I most definitely wanted to go and as a fan, my 5 year old son had started listening too. He had very loosely inquired as to when he would get to see Guster and since I'm no fool, I was like kid, you get very cranky after 7pm so I don't know when we'll get to see Guster together.  So when I heard that they were playing the 2019 festival, and at 4pm no less, I knew that I wanted to go and try to take Wes as well. But was/is Boston Calling really family friendly?

So first, I'll start by saying that in order to go to Boston Calling, or any event as a parent with children who wants to enjoy themselves, you're going to want to go prepared. I mean, I prepare myself to a trip to the grocery store so since I knew that we were going to be gone, literally all day, that I'd need to beef up the bag I was packing. Keep in mind that they do not allow backpacks, I think I got away with mine because it's more like a purse. Next time I would probably bring a bag and consider a locker inside the festival. But all that said, Boston Calling has done a good job of making the atmosphere very family friendly, especially during the day. Let's start by saying that kids 10 and under don't need a wristband. I saw kids of all ages, from people baby wearing to older kids and then of course, little guys like mine. Boston Calling is welcoming of kids but you know your children best so keep their thresholds in mind for any of the things I'll mention in the rest of the blog.

What can you expect

You can expect to take either public transportation or catch a ride share to the Harvard Athletic complex.  I usually drive and park almost anywhere I go but there is literally nowhere to park close to the grounds. We took the redline from Alewife into Harvard Square then caught a Lyft back and forth to the train. It was easy peasy. If we could do it, anyone can. There's bike parking on site if that's your style or if you're kids are older, you can walk from public transportation to the grounds. More info on this piece can be found in the BC FAQs.

You can expect to be in the weather. Whether it's raining, very cold for May or extremely hot for May (which was our experience), you're going to be outside the majority of the day. There are a few places of "shelter" but you shouldn't plan to be able to take refuge there for good portions of time as they are being used for different acts and performers. With kids of any age, they will no doubt get whiny so just be prepared to listen to it a bit (or alot depending on your kids lol) and give them time to chill in between the things you want to see.

You can expect there to be crowds. Obviously, right? With kids, you may not want to rush the stage for obvious reasons but the beauty of the layout is that there is plenty of space to sit back, a good distance from any given stage and enjoy the music. I took Wes fairly close to the stage for Guster but it was a decision I made based on the crowd, the timing (it was daylight), I had my cousin there to keep an eye out and I had made friends with the group around us who sort of took it upon themselves to create space for him. Had it been the evening, I would have hung back so that I could keep any eye out. As much as Boston Calling welcomes people of all ages, these are still outdoor concerts so you'll want to make the best decision for your crew. I have been to other festivals, like Lollapalooza, and Boston Calling does not have a drunken, druggie or messy vibe to it. Though there were crowds, I did not feel unsafe, even as it got later into the evening.

You can expect a good amount of walking. The stages are not miles away from eachother but you do have to walk to and fro depending on what acts you want to see. This is a music festival afterall... but with kids, their legs are smaller, their attention spans are somewhat shorter and you're going to want to give them time to sit, even if it's in the shade on the ground, before asking them to move on.

You can expect there to be plenty of food and beverage vendors. We had our choice of so many different types of food and drinks. My little guy chose ice cream and Sprite but I was able to choose from a variety of different meals, all of which accepted cash and credit cards when purchasing. I, as a prepared mother, had snacks like fig bars and applesauce pouces in my bag but when faced with all the awesome options, Wes wanted nothing to do with my ho hum purse food.

If you're a nursing/pumping parent, keep in mind that I checked in with the team and there is no designated area for this purpose at this time. I'd say that there may be the opportunity to use the Arena area between shows or even during as it's dark in there during shows and there are actual bathrooms in there, not portable toilets. At best, you'll be figuring this out on the fly but I'd wager that if you're adventurous with your baby, you're up for it!

What should you bring

A lot will depend on your kids' needs and wants but there are some general things that I would suggest you bring. Wear comfortable shoes, bring hats for the whole family, sunglasses if need be and pack factory sealed snacks and water. If you require special sunscreen for sensitive skin, you'll want to pack that but I was happy to see that Boston Calling provided dispensers, much like you'd find in bathrooms, that actually had sunscreen there on site. Even the most prepared parents might pack an almost empty tube of SPF so I loved watching all the people taking advantage of the free sunscreen there.

You can bring a factory sealed water bottle or an empty one to fill at the hydration stations that Boston Calling has spread across the grounds. You'll want to stay hydrated and keep your crew hydrated no matter the weather. That's just good festival etiquette. I brought my Nalgene and just attached to my backpack strap for the day and it worked like a charm.

I bought Wes a pair of concert headphones and I'm glad I did. It was very loud for him but with the headphones, he was living the dream and I could enjoy the music without having him whining at me. We even used these same ones for Kidz Bop later in the Summer. I think these are a good bet for any parent bringing their kids to a show. I tried using the little foam ones with Wes and they just did not fly. Better safe than sorry, especially when you're spending good money on tickets.

Lockers are available if you need to bring more than you can actually carry throughout the day. Lockers will be available as a safe & secure place to store your belongings while at the festival. For your convenience, they have lockers available both inside and outside of the festival. You can reserve your locker INSIDE the festival in advance here. Lockers are $15 per day or $40 for the three day weekend.

I didn't regret bringing Wes to Boston Calling. If you're the type of parent that wants to take the time and opportunity for adventure with your music loving kid, then this is as good a festival as I've been to that creates a welcoming atmosphere for the crew. With some normal family preparation, you can head to some of your favorite acts one day with kids, then head back in evenings for headliners wit friends. With the wristbands, your flexibilty is right there, so it's what you make of it. We're headed back this year to see some awesome acts, so would love to hear about your plans to take in some Memorial Day weekend music!

Have any questions about Boston Calling? Check out their FAQ page for more info on the day. You can search for tickets here. You can follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Thursday, February 13, 2020

I Tried Social CBD *Sponsored Post

*This post was created in collaboration with Social CBD and MomsMeet. I was sent product for free but all opinions are 100% my own.

At this stage in the game, I have tried a few CBD related products. From drops to tinctures to balms + lotions and back to gummies, I have worked CBD into my wellness routine in a couple different ways. I am a big proponent of CBD and I do recommend that you try it if you're a worrier like me, or have other types of ailments that CBD might help but before I head into this review, please be aware that CBD related products are suppliements and not approved by the FDA. Personal experiences vary and I am in no way making any health claims. You want to be sure that you're purchasing your CBD products from trustworthy sources and not at your corner gas station. As with all things, use your head, do your research and trust your gut.

Social CBD sent me a nice package full of their broad spectrum CBD drops, in a multitude of flavors to try as well as some samples of other products they carry, like their muscle rub, foot renewal and gel caps. I have to say that it is now getting harder to review CBD products based on what I view to be their effectiveness as I do use cbd on a daily basis for a base level of calm. I think you'll now find my reviews to be a little bit more about the product's taste, feel, and if I felt any difference, as that seems the best way to speak to cbd products in my reviews, especially drops and oils.

So the broad spectrum drops are the showpiece in the package they sent me so I will start with these! As someone with no known food allergies, it is easy for me to try new things without being overly concerned about ingredients. That said, if you have any food allergy, you will want to take a look at any cbd or oils you're ingesting. Carrier oils can include nuts and other allergens so be diligent when looking at ingredients. The Social CBD Broad Spectrum Drops Ingredients: MCT Coconut Oil, Natural Flavors, CBD Hemp Extract, Citric Acid, Stevia.

I've been using these drops under my tongue (as instructed) for about a month and while I have noticed no difference in my worrying or demeanor, this only means that this product has seamlessly replaced another cbd oil without incident. I started with the meyer lemon flavor and I have to say that this is one of the better flavored oils that I have tried in my experiences. The carrier oil, I would assume this is the coconut oil, delivers the cbd in a soft, light oil, not a heavy olive oil type of consistency that I have found in other oils. This in and of itself is an improvement from some of the first cbd oils that I've tried.

The broad spectrum drops come in a variety of flavors so it would be easy to find a favorite to slip into your routine. It's an easy, daily application so doesn't interfere with other wellness routines. The drops are lovely but my absolute favorite thing that Social CBD sent me was the sample of the muscle rub! I LOVE THIS STUFF and have already used it all.  As someone who works out at least four times a week and has been doing races and a lot of weights, I have been sore, let's just say that. I generally use an arnica stick for sore spots but this muscle rub has that and more! I have been rubbing this into my shoulder and having my husband apply to my back when I settle onto my heating pad at night to watch my reality tv. This has a menthol rub feel to it and I am very much into it. The next product I can't wait to try is the Multi Balm Calming Stick!

Ingredients: Purified Water, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Isopropyl Alcohol, Natural Menthol USP, Ilex Paraguarenis Leaf Extract, DimethylSulfone (MSM), Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Capryly Glycol, Sorbic Acid, CBD Hemp Extract, Polysorbate 20, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf oil, Pyridoxine HCl (Vitamin B6), EDTA

Not to be cast aside is the packaging. When you are finding all manner of cbd products on the market, some of my decision making comes down to what's aesthtically pleasing and the Social CBD team has created such pretty packaging. I'm sure that doesn't mean much to some but it's a cherry on top of a nice little ice cream sundae. Oh man, now I want ice cream!

You can find all of Social CBD's products on their site and you can also find them on Instagram!

Use promo code MOMSMEET25 to save 25% on all Social products on their website. Offer ends August 31,2020.