Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Our Mini Road Trip to the Turtle Back Zoo

Next to eating, there are a few things that we as a family love to do, and that’s travelling, and visiting a zoo and/or aquarium.  Two weekends ago my husband took our four-year-old daughter and myself on a surprise [53 mile] road trip to spend the afternoon at the Turtle Back Zoo located in West Orange, New Jersey.

This was our first time visiting Turtle Back Zoo, the #1 voted best zoo in New Jersey. After visiting, I understood why the zoo claimed the #1 spot. 

The Turtle Back Zoo, although not as large as our “home” zoo, is a nice sized zoo with 15 exhibits to showcase, what I’d say is a pretty good variety of animals both large and small.  It was easy to get around with our four year old, even without the stroller that we forgot to bring.  There were animals that I didn't expect to see at this particular zoo like an Amur Leopard, Great Gray Kangaroos, and Capybara. 

This Turtle Back Zoo had plenty of activities and hands-on exhibits.  Of the ones we tried, the butterfly exhibit was pretty good; however, our daughter loved the outdoor aviary, home to 500 free-flight Australian grass parakeets that she was able to feed with bird feed [on a stick] purchased for $2.  Imagine the joy a four-year-old feels when she’s feeding three to four birds at a time.  Our hearts were happy she had fun during this experience. My husband also seemed to have as much fun as she; he’s a big kid.

The Turtle Back Zoo has a free train ride that takes visitors through the South Mountain Reservation. However, due to long lines, we were not able ride.  Maybe next time during a weekday visit when it’s less crowded, right? There’s also a playground featuring oversized dinosaurs and plenty of climbing structures.

The Turtle Back Zoo has a few rides that can cost an additional $2 on top of your entry fee. These rides include:
  • Endangered Species Carousel
  • Pony Rides

With affordable admission prices, fun hands-on activities, and cool animal exhibits, I'd definitely recommend visiting the Turtle Back Zoo. Plus, they're working on adding a Giraffe exhibit, which I'm sure we will make a return visit for.  The next time you're planning your next family road trip or outing, be sure to keep the Turtle Back Zoo in mind, especially if you have younger kids.  It’s not only fun for kids, but also a great experience for the family as a whole.

For more information on the Turtle Back Zoo, along with admissions prices per season, visit http://turtlebackzoo.com/admission-hours/.

Turtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Ave
West Orange, NJ 07052
P: (973) 731-5800

Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm | Sunday: 11:00 am – 5:30 pm
*Park remains open for 1/2 hour after last admission*

Have you visited the Turtle Back Zoo?
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Disclosure: All opinions are my own and are honest. No compensation of any kind was received for this review.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Premama Fertility Review and Giveaway

Have you heard of Premama? They're known for their powdered prenatal vitamin supplements that blend easily into any un-carbonated beverage. On July 15th they're rolling out two additional products: Fertility, and Lactation. Since I'm no longer nursing, but we are trying to conceive, I figured that I'd give the Premama Fertility support supplement a go.

It feels like we've been on our trying to conceive journey for quite some time, and through the process, we have learned a lot. One of those things includes the importance of having a large quantity of healthy eggs. Without healthy eggs and a sufficient number of eggs, even with all of the medical interventions, getting pregnant either doesn’t happen or can lead to other complications like miscarriages or children with birth defects. That’s where Premama Fertility comes into play.

What is Premama Fertility?
Premama Fertility is a white powder supplement that is both odorless and tasteless that claims to improve the quality and quality of eggs due to the naturally occurring ingredient, Myo-Inositol, a B complex vitamin. Premama Fertility also has folic acid, which is important for both pregnant women and those of us trying to conceive because it can help protect your future baby from serious birth defects like spina bifida or anencephaly.

Source: Premama

My Thoughts on Premama Fertility
There have been plenty of products I've tried that have stated they blend easily into any beverage without leaving clumps behind or grittiness, which turned out to be false. Premama Fertility support, on the other hand, was different. It didn't take much for the powder to completely dissolve in water. The Premama Fertility support didn’t change the flavor or consistency of any of the beverages to which it was added.

I like that the Premama Fertility support packages are discreet little squares that can easily fit in my pocket or purse, which make them the perfect item for toting along during travel, which we will be doing a lot of in the upcoming months. There’s nothing on the Premama Fertility support packaging that suggest this supplement has to be taken at a specific time during the cycle, so I can only assume that in that sense, it isn't like other fertility supplements.

Unfortunately, without a successful pregnancy or a test to check the quality of your eggs along with the number of eggs in your reserve, there’s no real way of checking to see whether or not Premama Fertility really works. However, I was told that results from taking Premama Fertility, due to the Myo-Inositol, can take effect as soon as one week. That’s awesome. I’m hoping that once we start our first IVF cycle, we can see some improvement in the number and the quality of eggs produced after incorporating Premama Fertility into my routine.

If you're looking for a simple way to add an essential B vitamin and folic acid into your diet, you may want to check out Premama Fertility. Imagine all of the different types of fertility smoothies you can make using Premama Fertility, and not have to worry about the flavor nor consistency changing. At $15.99/ 28 count box (58 cents per packet), Premama Fertility is an affordable way to incorporate fertility support into your diet.

Premama Fertility, along with the other Premama products, as of July 15th will be available in 2,300 CVS stores for $14.99.

PCOS Diva has excellent information on Myo-inositol here: De-Mystifying Myo-inositol.

One lucky Beauty and the Bump reader can win one box of Premama Fertility.  Just use the widget below to enter.

Premama Fertility Giveaway will run from Sunday, July 12, 2015 - Sunday, July 26, 2015 11:59 pm EST. You must be 18 years old and older. U.S. residents only.

Premama Fertility Giveaway
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Friday, July 3, 2015

My Farmhouse Glam Dining Room

Just for a minute, I'm letting you all into my home.  I'm so proud of myself because the vision I have for our new house is slowly, yet surely coming together, room-by-room, and piece-by-piece.  What’s my vision? Well, it’s my take on farmhouse chic or glam, or whatever I want to call it.

My dining room is the closest I've come to my vision for the look of our new home.  It features a mahogany farmhouse style dining table with a leaf that expands to seat 8-10 people. I purchased this sturdy beauty from World Market. And of course, since I'm a bargain shopper, I got it for a good price!

As far as the chairs, I wanted them to be comfortable, slightly formal, and kid-friendly.  Amazingly enough I was able to find a set of two beige chairs on Overstock for under $90 for the pair, and they're Ethan Home brand, and retailed for $300+.  Regretfully, I purchased two sets, and still needed two more chairs for the heads of the table.  With beige walls and chairs, the room needed a pop of color.

Blue and purple are my favorite colors.  World Market, which has quality furniture at affordable prices, had chairs that I've been eyeing for months.  Low and behold, the vintage style armchairs I've wanted went on sale from $299 each to $74! On impulse I picked up three, two in the peacock shade (turquoise), and one in plum. The latter would be a part of my beauty station. The chairs are beautiful, and comfortable, too.

It’s funny because I purchased the chairs without the approval of my husband, and knowing I'd already purchased the chairs, I asked him his opinion of them.  Guess what?  He wasn't a fan.  That is, of course, until the chairs arrived and were placed at the table, he could see my vision coming together.  Later on, he eventually complimented me on what I'm doing to make our house a home.

Now that we have the most important parts of our dining room together like the table, chairs, and lighting, we need to figure out how we're going to do the following:
  • Dress the windows
  • Dress the walls
  • Incorporate a buffet
  • Find a rug

For sure, I know I want a huge mirror on the main wall.  The other things, I’m on the fence about, which is where you come in.  I'd love to hear your suggestions or even see pictures of how you think I should finish styling our dining room.