Thursday, August 30, 2012

All-Natural Facial

Since Amanda was born I have been neglecting my regular beauty routine.  Well, it isn't much of a routine, but every so often I would pamper myself with a facial or scrub.  I have used ones that I bought from the store, but they always leave my face red and irritated. 

This recipe, created by KIWI magazine contributing editor Todra Payne, is best suited for normal to dry skin.  This recipe uses apricots, which are full of Vitamin A and C.  It will help to soften skin and stimulate cell turnover.  If you are looking for an all natural (and inexpensive) facial, give this one a try.

Here's what to do:
  • Bring 2 tablespoons whole milk to a gentle simmer in a saucepan. 
  • In a blender, add the milk, 1 ripe apricot (pit removed) and 1 tablespoon raw honey.  Blend until smooth. 
  • Apply to face and neck.  Leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. 

Yields enough for two facials.

Chasing Tiny Feet

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

CuddleTug Review and Giveaway

I love nursing Amanda and I wouldn't have it any other way.  It works for us and I love the special time we get to spend together, even at all odd hours of the night.  What I don't particularly like is her pulling at my clothes, and especially, my hair while I am nursing her.  Somehow, her little fingers mange to get a few strands of hair and pull them out each time I feed her.  I remember Mason doing the same thing to me and I wound up cutting off my hair and donating it to Locks of Love. 

I was just about to make another donation and chop off my hair when I was introduced to CuddleTug.  Could this simple necklace be the answer to my problems?  Since I didn't want to cut my hair off just yet, I had to check it out.

So, what is a CuddleTug?  It is a "stretchy ribbon necklace" that can be used while feeding and playing.  The CuddleTug claims that it will "keep your baby from pinching skin, tugging on jewelry and pulling hair".

The first day I got it, I slipped it on around my neck while nursing Amanda, and guess what?  Her little fingers went right to the CuddleTug and not my hair.  I thought maybe it was just a coincidence since it was something new for her to play with.  I thought, it can't be that easy.  So the next time I nursed her, I slipped the CuddleTug around my neck and again, Amanda played with the tags on the CuddleTug.  Not only has this been so helpful for nursing Amanda, she also loves to play with it while doing tummy time. 

Each day, I sit with Amanda and lay her toys around her and let her play.  The CuddleTug is almost always one of the first toys she goes for.  She loves to suck on it and chew the tags.  I can play with her and gently pull at the necklace and watch her go for it when I hide it in with her other toys.  I feel comfortable knowing she is chewing on something safe, all while entertaining her.

There are so many uses for the CuddleTug, too.  The CuddleTug can be attached to a high chair, car seat or stroller and your child can't toss it on the floor.  The CuddleTug can be used while breast feeding or bottle feeding.  The CuddleTug also makes a great shower gift!

There are so many cute designs to choose from too.  With over 20 designs to choose from, there is a CuddleTug for just about anyone.  I also love that the CuddleTug is machine washable.  After a few times sucking on it, carrying it around, playing with it on the floor, etc., it's time for a washing.  Another perk of the CuddleTug is that it is proudly handmade in the USA.  Love it!

CuddleTugs are $15.75 (plus tax and shipping) and if you are looking for a customized CuddleTug, that will run you $19.99 (plus tax and shipping). It's nice to have that option too. Check out or find them on Facebook or you can also find them on

Discount offer – Pick up a CuddleTug today at and use promo code MAMACHEAPS20 to save 20% on your order! Offer valid through 9/30/12.

If you would like to get a chance to win a CuddleTug of your own, head on over to Mama Cheaps and fill out the form to enter.  Good Luck!

Chasing Tiny Feet

Sunday, August 26, 2012

How To Explain the Loss of a Pet to Your Child

This is a hard topic for anyone..death...especially for kids.  We have a chinchilla.  Let me rephrase that...we had a chinchilla.  Unfortunately, our chinchilla, Nugget, passed away.  She was a great little pet and Mason just loved to help change her cage, feed her and help give her dust to bathe in.  So, now I wondered, how do I address this with Mason.  He is only 3 years old and he thinks she is just sleeping.  But when she is buried and the cage is put away, how do I explain this to him?

Well, it looks like I did it all wrong.  I told Mason she was sleeping.  I told him to say good bye to her before he went to bed and that she wouldn't be here in the morning.  He looked in the cage and said, "Bye Bye, Nugget" and that was that.  He went to bed and my husband buried Nugget the next day.  Well, Mason has only asked for her twice since he said good-bye and I am not even sure that he realizes the cage is gone.

Luckily, I feel like Mason will not suffer all ill effects from my feeble attempt at parenting on the issue of death.  I guess I should have read the articles sooner on how to handle death with a toddler to prevent any damage and misunderstanding. 

The best sites I have come across with dealing with the loss of a pet (or loved one) include:
Whether it is a pet or a loved one, here are some tips from the above listed websites on how to talk to your child on the topic of death so you don't make the same mistakes I made.

Tip 1:  How we handle this event can have a far-reaching impact on our children's understanding of death and dying. At all ages, honesty is the best policy. That means using the words death and dying, and explaining the permanence of death. You do it gently but without confusing what dying actually means.

Tip 2: A child's ability to understand what death means depends on his/her emotional and cognitive development.  Here's a breakdown:

Under 2: A child can feel and respond to a pet's death, based on the reaction of those around him or her. A child picks up the stress felt by family members, no matter what the cause.

2 to 5: The child will miss the animal as a playmate, but not necessarily as a love object. They will see death as a temporary state – something like the way leaves fall off a tree in fall but grow back in the spring. As they perceive the trauma around them, however, they may regress in their behavior (e.g., thumb sucking).

5 to 9: Children begin to perceive death as permanent, but they may indulge in "magical thinking," believing that death can be defied or bargained with. This is also the period when children recognize a correlation between what they think and what happens. For instance, a child may resent taking care of the pet and wish – however briefly – that the pet would die. If the pet then dies, the child is often consumed with guilt. Parents need to reassure children that they did not cause the pet's death.

10 and up: Children generally understand that all living things will eventually die, and that death is total. Understanding and accepting are two different things, however. They may go through the normal stages of grief that grownups do: denial, bargaining, anger, guilt, depression and acceptance.

Tip #3: Depending on the age, the child may regress (sucking their thumb or temper tantrums that they had outgrown).

Tip 4:  The worst course of action is to lie (to say the animal went away) or to use confusing euphemisms, such as the phrase "put to sleep." Children will eventually learn the truth, and lying can breed resentment and destroy trust between parent and child.  It probably won't alleviate the sadness about losing the pet either.  Likewise, euphemisms can cause anxiety or confusion because children take what you say literally. "If you say a pet is put to sleep, the child may suffer sleep anxiety.

Tip 5: Be available to let your child discuss his/her feelings about what happened.  Children often become intensely curious about death and what happens to the body. They may ask for details that you may find uncomfortable to explain. These are questions you should answer in a straightforward, gentle and careful manner.

Tip 6: Show your own feelings. This tells the child that the pet was special and that they are not grieving alone. You can also encourage your child to open up, which can help the healing process.  Grieving is an important part of healing, for both children and adults. Don't frighten your child with excessive grief, but don't make the subject off-limits, either. 

We all know our children best.  Use these tips along with what works for your family in helping to deal with loss.

Chasing Tiny Feet