Bring the Noise – Using Sound Machines for Sleep

I never tried a sound machine until after my son was born. To be honest, I thought “white noise” was a little creepy after seeing the horror movie with the same name. I got over my apprehension after discovering all the different types of white noise beyond the spooky static in the movie. From crashing waves to the sounds of a thunderstorm, it’s all great background noise to help lull you to sleep and block out other noises that might keep you awake.

Your brain is wired to respond to any kind of stimuli, so in a very quiet room, even the slightest creak of a floorboard might get your mind racing and wake you up. A white noise machine helps quiet your restless mind and sort of dull your senses so you won’t respond to all the little noises around you.

There are lots of different sound machines to choose from! So how do you narrow it down? Sometimes you don’t – I use four different ones! Here are my favorites:

Fan Sounds Machines – I’m a fan of the sound of a fan (or air conditioner) but it’s not always the best idea to keep them constantly running. And my bedroom fan has started to make a weird squeak that actually keeps me awake. That’s where fan machines come in. The E2 Fan Sleep Therapy Machine by AuCuTee is a really simple device that sounds like a fan and can be made louder or quieter just by twisting the top. It has the added bonus of a USB port to charge your phone too! It also has a timer, but I like to keep mine on all night.

Baby Sounds Machines with Light Projector – For my son, our favorite has been the Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System. It has waves, rain, static, heartbeat and soft music plus an optional light show that projects on the ceiling. It comes with different disks to change out so you can have different light shows. It also has a voice activation option so you can set it to come on when the baby cries.

Travel Sound Machine – Regular size sound machines can get a little bulky when packing, so we always travel with our MyBaby Sound Spa On-the-Go. I should have added this one to my recent toddler travel tips article! It’s easy to pack, has waves, music, heartbeat and white noise plus a timer. It tends to turn on pretty easily when the front is pressed, so I recommend removing the batteries before packing. Also, always pack extra batteries! The light will turn color and start to flicker when it runs low.

White Noise Apps – When I’m traveling, I always use my White Noise Ambience iPhone app. I use the free light version and it still has lots of options. My favorite sound is called Sandstorm. I actually even use this one at the gym if I want to block out all the gym noise while I’m checking my email and slowly pedaling a stationary bike.

These are the four I have tried and use, but there are plenty more out there. You really just have to find the right noise for you! The apps have a really wide range of sound, while the machines will have anywhere from one to ten options.

So how about you? Have you tried a sound machine? What’s your favorite noise to drift off to?

 * All Amazon links are affiliate links  *

Adventures in Miscommunication – or How I Ended up with a Bib and a Box of Tweezers

I usually try and make sure I understand exactly what a company wants when I agree to try out a product or promote anything. I also only agree to promote products I’d actually use, and post honestly about my experience. But sometimes, something goes wrong somewhere and I end up with something completely different than discussed and then have no idea what to do with it. This is a story about two of those things.

#1 This embroidered bib

When the marketing company for a certain Italian website (who asked not to be named after seeing this post) contacted me about doing an article on their website and their collection of lovely handcrafted embroidered linen products, I expressed interest in the table runners or any kind of table setting type thing. I’ve been throwing little get togethers and dinner parties so I’d love to bump up my food display with a pretty setting. I figured I could easily create a nice post around that.

So….they sent me a bib:

It’s a very nice bib. Possibly the fanciest bib we have ever owned. Unfortunately we rarely use baby bibs anymore and when we do, we prefer the easy (though not as Instagram-worthy) plastic wipe-off style with the little pocket at the bottom that catches food. This is a going out bib. Like, maybe you take the baby to a fancy restaurant and he wants to make sure the bib doesn’t blow his outfit kind of bib.

I tried to explain I can’t do an entire article on a bib, but the person I originally dealt with no longer works there and it seems somewhere along the way, things got misconstrued into me reviewing a bib. This post is as good as it gets in that department. Luckily I have several friends with new babies that might need a fancy bid so I plan to pass it on so someone can enjoy it.

#2 Eyelash Tweezers from Zole

When a rep from Zole Industries asked if I would take a look at their eyelash tweezers and share on social media, I heard two things: eyelashes and tweezers. I use both of those things so figured I could easily snap a pic and share. This time the communication issue was totally my fault. They meant exactly what they typed, and sent me a whole box of Eyelash Tweezers. As in, tweezers for your eyelashes:

img_2922

I have never tweezed an eyelash before, but apparently they are used when people do individual lashes and extensions. I usually just glue on a strip for my lashes, so I didn’t know what to do with these things. Since I didn’t have a use for them, I made one up!

I made a sensory box type thing for my son and filled all the compartments with little knickknacks and then handed him the tweezers and told him to try and pick the stuff out of the compartments. I realize it is not the best idea to arm a toddler with a sharp pointy object, but he lost interest in about two minutes so I didn’t have to worry about any wayward stabbings for long.

If you happen to be a beauty professional and are in the market for eyelash tweezers, they can be reached through their Instagram Page: Zole Beauty Care

~~~~~

So that’s my two biggest oops experiences lately. I wanted to be able to still go ahead and mention the companies on the blog, even if it’s not exactly what they were going for. It’s still exposure, right? lol

*Morning update: I was wrong, lol. the Italian company did NOT want to be named after seeing this post so I removed their links. If you are in the market for a fancy bib, just contact me for their name.

Can Simulated Diamonds Be a Girl’s Best Friend?

ring1When Modern Gents sent me some sparkly simulated diamond rings to review, I thought they would make a great substitute ring for when your fingers swell during pregnancy. Then out of curiosity, I posted a simple question on Facebook and a shitstorm of responses ensued. I asked, “How would you feel if you were proposed to with a fake diamond?”

The responses were all over the place, ranging from “It’s the sentiment behind it that counts,” to “No way, I want the real thing.” I found it interesting that a lot of people jumped to the conclusion that I meant the proposer meant to trick the proposee, which wasn’t my angle. The imaginary person with the imaginary ring may or may not have made a point to be clear about the ring’s source before, during or after the proposal. I didn’t specify those parameters.

There was also a LOT of diamond bashing- mentions of them not being rare, the blood diamond business and the whole engagement ring thing behind them a scam perpetrated by the De Beers family. So diamonds are not on the top of every girl’s list when it comes to ring preference.

I think what it all boiled down to is, most people would be OK with it if the proposer was open about the stone’s true nature. Some even preferred it to not be a diamond at all, but some other stone that might have a more special meaning.

So there you go guys. You don’t have to spend a thousands of dollars to make a girl happy. You just need to be honest about what she’s getting!

This obviously isn’t a review – I actually sent the rings back because they were too big (my fault) but I wanted to post something because I was surprised at the amount of responses the post got. People had some pretty strong feelings about it!

My blog readers usually aren’t quite as passionate as Facebook posters, but I’ll pose the same question here – How would you feel if you were proposed to with a fake diamond?

proposal with bread
I think this guy is on to something…

 

Sweet Potatoes in the Copper Crisper

My grandmother surprised me with a Copper Crisper, so I had to give it a try right away. My husband keeps getting sweet potatoes with the intention of cutting them up and making little tater tot type things for his lunch, and then doesn’t follow through with it, so I figured this would be the perfect thing to use for that.

I chopped up three sweet potatoes into cubes, and in hindsight that was too many to fit on the pan but I went through with it anyway!

I didn’t want all the sugar and sweetness so I just tossed the potatoes in a little olive oil and sea salt and then put them in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, as per the directions. I was very skeptical that 20 minutes was going to be enough, and I was right, so I put them back in for 20 more. And then a little longer.

I took them out and mix them in the butter like the recipe said, but I probably would’ve been better off skipping that part. They were OK, but not as crunchy as I’d hoped. I realize this was probably my fault for overloading the pan, although I did go in and move them around every time I added more time so that they could all cook.

Here’s the recipe if you are interested in trying it yourself!

I do plan on giving it another try but with less sweet potatoes next time and no butter! I have started using the Copper Crisper for other things like breaded fish and chicken and it actually works pretty good so I’m sure I can get a crisper potato if I adjust the amount.

Anybody else use one of these? Any tips or favorite things to cook in it?

Getting Cozy with CozyPhones

I’d been wanting to try a set of CozyPhones to see if they would block out my husband’s snoring. It’s loud and awful and always interrupting my sleep. I bought some expensive ear plugs that worked great at blocking out every noise except the snoring. It’s like he snores at some special frequency immune to sound barriers. (As a side note, I recently found some nose plug thingies that actually work great to stop him from snoring)

CozyPhones are a soft headband with earphones inside. They come both wired and Bluetooth capable. If you are using them for sleeping, I’d suggest going Bluetooth. It’s kind of weird being connected to your phone while sleeping if you flip around like I do.


They also make some really cute Paw Patrol headphones so I was hoping to convince my son to wear them in time for our summer trip to Ireland, but no luck yet. He just hates having anything over his ears!

I found them really comfortable to wear, even for side sleeping. Ear plugs bug me and I usually have to take out the one that’s pressed into the pillow, so I was impressed that I couldn’t feel the earphone part inside! I used a white noise app and they blocked out almost everything. Everything except the full-throttle roaring from the other side of the bed.

So while they failed the snore test, they do have many other uses! They do work great for sleeping when you want to block out most noise, they would also be great for winter time running or snowboarding. But then, I may have found the best use of all. Helping me find a little peace and calm when my son is losing it in extended tantrum mode:

I’m sure I’ll be using my CozyPhones a lot on our upcoming trip. The name suits them well- they are really soft and cozy! They also make lycra ones for activewear. You can find them on their website CozyPhones.com or on Amazon.

*  Any Amazon link is an affiliate link  *