Archive for Safety

How to Choose a Baby Stroller

This is a partnered post.

It’s hard to believe I am out of the stroller stage in my parenting journey. I am actually looking to sell our remaining strollers. As I end this chapter in our life I thought it would be fun to do a post about how to choose a baby stroller.

How to Choose a Baby Stroller

1. Determine your budget. Strollers can run anywhere from $10 for an umbrella stroller and upwards of thousands for top of the line strollers.

2. Durability. Durability is pretty important to us because I knew our stroller would have to hold up to numerous children.

3. Safety. Any baby product needs to be safe and free from defects.

4. Features. What features do you want your stroller to have? Cup holders, bottom basket, tall handle if you are taller, snack tray, umbrella for shade, etc.?

5. Function. Do you need a jogging stroller, a double stroller, single or single with a step for another child?

6. Storage. Is it easy to store? Do you need it to fold up easily when you are one handed? Is weight important?

Jané strollers is a new brand to me on the medium to higher end price wise – $250-$790. “The first Jané stroller was born in 1932 in Barcelona, Spain when Manuel Jané Vidal proudly created a stroller for his new born son, Ramon.” They have four different styles: Nanuq, Rider, Trider Extreme and a new PowerTwin Pro coming soon. Safety is an important issue to Jané and their products are created with babies health and safety in mind.

You can learn more about Jané here: http://www.jane-usa.com

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Beginner Driver in the House – Wordless Wednesday

FFR Bobbie driving truck.062114


Beginner Driver in The House

Bobbie is actually doing really well with her driving lessons. I see her improve each time we go driving. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t nervous. I just try not to show it and correct her in a calm, matter of fact voice. That’s how my mom, dad and uncle (he took me out driving a stick shift!) were with me. I am proud of Bobbie’s developing driving skills and the fact she takes is seriously and cautiously. She’s got a pretty good head on her shoulders, which should make her a good driver.

Have you taught your children to drive? If so, how did you feel about the whole experience?

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VTech Phone System for Seniors & Giveaway

FFR image for posts

A year or two ago my mother-in-law was going about her usual morning, however, one normal routine proved disastrous for her. She used her dresser to pull herself up from her bed and she inadvertently caused the dresser to fall on her, trapping her. My husband worked five minutes from her home. That one day he called her before he left work instead of dropping by but the phone was busy. He thought nothing of it and decided she was talking to his aunt and left for home instead of going over to her house. My mother-in-law in the meantime tried to use her cane to get her bedside phone but only knocked it off the hook. Fast forward 24 hours later, my brother-in-law discovers her with the dresser STILL on top of her. A bit of her history: she’s a diabetic with a history of leg and foot clots. Talk about scary! After recovering, she was suppose to get an emergency bracelet but I don’t think the home nurse ever followed through and to be honest we allowed it to fall through the cracks as well. Enter the VTech Phone System for Seniors.

The VTech Phone System for Seniors

FFR VTech CareLine Home Phone

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My mother-in-law is nearing 82 years old and still lives on her own. Yes, even after the above incident. “VTech’s new CareLine home telephone system supports independent living, featuring a wearable pendant that allows seniors to conveniently make and receive calls, listen to voicemail messages, review missed calls or receive programmed reminders for medication, appointments or other events.” This seems like the perfect phone for my mother-in-law!

We have been testing it out before taking it to my mother-in-law’s house. It has large numbers, it has a bright display and it calls out the numbers as you dial as well as announces a call. We love that it has the pendant to go around her neck so she can just push the button if she finds herself in a situation where she needs help. We are looking forward to installing this phone in her home. Hoping she likes it too!

The best part – No fees!

VTech CareLine – Want to stay socially connected? Seniors are empowered to maintain active lifestyles and close relationships with this home telephone and personal communication system. This product was designed to answer your daily communications needs and support hearing, dexterity or vision challenges. Features include large displays, photo speed dial, reminder capabilities, volume boost and a wearable pendant with one-button dialing that directly calls those pre-selected people who you communicate with most or for emergencies.

The VTech CareLine home telephone retails for $119.95 and may be purchased at VTech.

Do you have a loved one who could use a phone system like this? Enter to win below!

VTech Phone System for Seniors Giveaway

One winner of a VTech Careline home telephone. Ends 5/28.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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AAOS + AA Distracted Driving

If we are honest, we all can probably say we have been distracted at one time or another while driving. Driving with a newborn crying with hunger? Driving with a toddler who wants to get out of his or her car seat? Driving by a car pulled over by 2-3 police cars leaving you curious as to why? What about cell phone users? Texting? We have a teenager on the verge of learning how to drive (she’s studying her driver’s handbook now) and it scares me to think of her out on the road. It isn’t that I think she’ll be a terrible driver, it’s the distractions, it’s the other drivers and their distractions.

Distracted Driving Vehicle

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance want to increase awareness about the risks of distracted driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the nearly 33,000 roadway fatalities in 2012, there were 3,328 fatalities and approximately 421,000 injuries in distracted driving-related crashes. Orthopaedic surgeons—the specialists who put bones and limbs back together after road crashes and traumas—along with our partners, the automakers, would rather help all drivers “decide to drive” each time they get in the car and to keep bones and limbs intact.

Distracted Driving

We all want to see accidents reduced so remember, the most advanced safety feature of any vehicle is the driver. The AAOS and the Auto Alliance urges all drivers to keep their most sophisticated safety features engaged at all times: eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

Decide to Drive Campaign


The Decide to Drive program aims to empower drivers and passengers to speak up about distracted driving, continue the conversation at home, work and play, and reduce distracted behaviors behind the wheel.

Do you have the best slogan or catch phrase to make the Decide to Drive campaign pop? Enter the Decide to Drive Catch Phrase Contest between May 28 – June 13. Your words could be chosen as the official Decide to Drive campaign catch phrase, and you could win one of two $500 runner-up prizes or the $1,000 grand prize! Can’t wait to see what you come up with! Enter here: http://clvr.li/1nwa6CV

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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My Healthy Home with Ology

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. #WalgreensOlogy

FFR Ology Product Collage Final_

My healthy home includes using products that are safe for even my children to use. As Earth Day draws near, I thought it fitting to try a new brand called Ology, found exclusively at my local Walgreens store, and do a bit of spring cleaning.

FFR Ology Products Final

About Ology

Ology products are free of 10 harmful chemicals (you can look these ingredients up at http://www.ewg.org/ and find out exactly why they are harmful):

Ammonia
Chlorine bleach
DEA (diethanolamine)
TEA (triethanolamine)
Parabens
Phthalates
Formaldehyde
Nonylphenol ethoxylates
Triclosan
SLS/SLES

Plus, Ology contains no dyes or artificial fragrances. This is huge for us as our children have had reactions to some ingredients, especially fragrances.

Their paper products are 100% tree free, strong, biodegradable and septic safe. Made from readily renewable sugar husk that would otherwise be disposed and they use Bamboo which is faster growing than trees, making Ology products better for the environment.


Celebrating Earth Day with Ology

FFR Ology and My Children Collage

My children helped me demonstrate how we used some of Ology products in our home. Starting with the large photo and going clockwise:

JAG is waiting for dinner using Ology bamboo plates. These plates are very sturdy. I really liked them!

JR is cleaning the bathroom with Ology all-purpose cleaner, which is free without harsh solvents or ammonia, and paper towels. The paper towels are surprisingly thick absorbent.

Jr. is helping me put Ology bathroom tissue on the toilet paper roll. This tp is very strong and absorbent.

Blondie is washing her hands with Ology Oatmeal & Honey bar soap. Everyone thought this soap made their hands very soft.

Nook is blowing his nose (yes it’s staged as he didn’t have a runny nose at the time!) with Ology facial tissue.

Ology laundry detergent is gentle on the skin. This is especially important for the delicate skin of my children. I was excited to try this detergent since we have yet to find a chemical free detergent that works for our family.

If you are trying to make your home more healthy, I’d highly recommend giving Ology a try.

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Summer Will Come

Garlic 2

Summer Will Come!

     Here in northern Illinois, six days into spring, it’s just 11 degrees as I write this post at 7:00 AM.  Maine and Massachusetts have it much worse.  They are windblown and buried under more snow. I encourage my shivering, blue lipped husband and friends, so discouraged and “snow whipped,” to hang in there.  Summer will come!

The sun did come out for a few days and it warmed up nicely to 55 degrees. Time to take off the socks! I turned off the thermostat and opened all the windows to air the place out.  My dogs napped on the deck serenaded by singing birds. Creatures were stirring in the house too. Creepy crawlies emerged from the cracks and crevices and the bright sunshine reminded me to do a better job of dusting and sweeping away cobwebs. Half dead flies roused from their winter comas, too weak to fly, barely crawled on the window sills. They made their annoying presence know, amazingly, by halfheartedly buzzing. I smushed several silver fish in my bathroom not wanting to think about the new life hatching down in the drains getting ready to invade.

All this buzz of activity made me think of garlic. This powerful and potent little bulb works miracles on wasp stings and those angry little guys will be out in full force very soon.  The first summer of our marriage, Rosario and I were visiting my mother in Wisconsin. We were lounging on the grass when I got stung by a wasp. It got me under my arm, that soft tender spot where the sun never shines. Rosario jumped up and ran into the house. The pain was burning and so intense my eyes watered. He came outside with a clove of garlic cut in half. He put the cut side on the site of the sting. I thought he was crazy, but, it stopped throbbing and the pain relief was almost instant. Thankfully, I am not allergic to wasp venom and there was not stinger to pull out.

I learned that bumblebees rarely sting because if they do they will die. Wasps, on the hand, live to sting another day! So, keep the garlic cloves handy at home and on the go because even though you might still need the shovel, snowplow, ear muffs and mittens, SUMMER WILL COME and so will unwelcome stinging guests.

For more information and other ways to treat wasp stings check out: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/wasp-sting-home-remedy.html

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Wool Dryer Balls – Dryer Sheet Alternative

FFR Wool Dryer Balls

About a month ago my 14 year old daughter “B” and I went to a Green Expo to promote our farm. We collected a few business cards, one of which was a local sheep farmer. I finally got around to visiting their website and discovered they sold wool dryer balls. These wool dryer balls are handmade by M.

When my older girls were little I had to stop using dryer sheets because a couple of them broke out with rashes. I never liked the expense of liquid fabric softener so we’ve basically gone without. I have used a rag with vinegar on it to get rid of static cling.

That’s why I was excited to try the wool dryer balls come in as an alternative. We have been using them since the weekend and they are working. We do not seem to have to turn the dryer on for a second cycle on our larger loads so it is doing what I hoped they’d do in reducing dryer time by soaking up extra wetness. No one has said anything about static cling yet so I am hoping that will be rectified as well.

I think I’ll get my mom a set of dryer balls the next time she comes to visit.

Do you have any dryer sheet remedies?

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Farming is Hazardous

This is a featured post.

I have a farmer friend who gets after me each time she comes to our farm. You see, I tend to wear crocs around the farm. Yep, even around our hooved animals who weigh 1200-1500 lbs. Not ideal to say the least but my feet really like to breathe in the summer months and rubber boots or steel toed boots just haven’t seemed necessary or appealing to wear. And no, that’s not my fashion sense speaking, it’s my comfort level doing the talking.

Loony Acres Fencing_

When my friend was here to help with fencing over a month ago a t-post nearly fell on my foot. :( Not a good thing. A couple of years ago while working on another farm I had a t-post go through the bottom of my croc giving me a pretty good cut all because I tried to put the t-post into the ground with my foot, seriously of all things to do, but I did it as an automatic reaction. Farming is hazardous if you are not careful. A lot can go wrong on a farm. Thankfully we do not own any heavy equipment yet, but the large animals pose a risk because you never know what they can or will do. It’s not like we have medical insurance or life insurance that covers accidents, for that matter. We don’t even have a retirement fund come to think of it. It’s not like we view these things as unimportant, we just haven’t had the budget for them in the past five years, not with two lay offs under our belt. However, it is a goal of ours to get these things in place as soon as our income increases to the point of making it possible.

We do have farm insurance, which is helpful and provides some kind of coverage. Nevertheless, it’s a tad bit worrisome at times thinking of all the things that can go wrong when we lack other insurance coverage or funds to cover extra expenses that could occur.

Do you have life insurance? What about medical insurance in light of Obamacare? Are you preparing for retirement?

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Why is Organic Dairy So Important? #FightPesticides

This post is part of my application to become a Stoneyfield ambassador and I will receive Stoneyfield coupons for my participation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Stoneyfield Cow Fu #FightPesticides

Why is Organic Dairy So Important?

I know our family knows why organic dairy is so important but thought I’d share with you our reasons for wanting to eat and drink organic dairy to the point of owning our own cow. As you know, organic anything can be expensive, especially when buying for ten people. A huge reason for our buying a cow is so we could provide fresh milk for our family (and animals because we do share!). You also know from our Mariano’s shop, organic milk is around $7.99 per gallon at Whole Foods and Mariano’s. However, our reason for feeding her organic feed and hay is to be free of harmful pesticides (and GMOs – Genetically Modified Organisms) often used on crops. Now that we have our own pasture and hay, we know without a doubt our milk is organic, free of harmful GMOs. We have been supplementing Miss Moo with certified organic feed because when we brought her home she was underweight and want to fatten her up so she’s a good weight for her age and stage of lactation. We also know exactly what Miss Moo is fed, how she how the milk is handled and how she is cared for. We like knowing where our food comes from, and for our large family that means we are raising our own at this stage of our lives.

Don’t just take my word for it. Research it for yourself.

Resources:

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/06/07/milk-101-whole-raw-organic-low-fat-etc/

http://www.utne.com/Environment/organic-milk-USDA-amendment.aspx#axzz2f5HSUr2e

http://www.realmilk.com/

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LunaTagz

Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive free products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.

 

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LunaTagz genuine 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material reflect light from over 1,000 feet away! They’re specially formulated with a durable adhesive so that you can tag your clothes, sneakers, helmets, bikes, backpacks or any area that requires the safety illunination from street lamps, headlights or any beam of light.

OUR REVIEW:

This is really a wonderful product for ANYONE who is out in the evening…walking, bike riding, etc. Although we rarely ride bikes or walk around our neighborhood in the evening…we do occasionally walk our in laws dog in the evenings. I found that LunaTagz kept me at ease knowing that the children were wearing them while walking the dog… and would have some sort of reflection protection from cars. We tagged them on the back of the children’s shirts and one on the dog leash. They stuck really well. I wish I could show you and let you feel how strong the adhesive is… they are not falling off!

I must admit that the grey coloring had me a bit skeptical of their “illuminating” power…but they reflect tremendously! I would venture to say they are more powerful than a glow stick or a flashlight! We are definitely using these for Halloween!

I do have to say although the adhesive is quite powerful… LunaTagz does recommend sealing the product with an iron or sewing them on… I imagine this would be a good idea for extended or daily use.

LunaTagz come in a variety of patterns, which delighted my children. There were enough patterns for everyone! We received three packages of reflective patches…

doghouse with dog bone

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peace signs

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  lightening bolts

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… but there are many more to choose from at LunaTagz.com. They have three product categories … Pet lovers, Sports and everyday, and Halloween. In each package you get two reflective tags. Each package retails for 4.99…or you can buy a 4 pack for 14.99. They even have a larger variety pack of 5 LunaTagz for 19.99. Sign up with your name an email and get 15% off or use this special code Luna20 and receive 20% off! Lunatagz is also celebrating National Safety and is offering FREE Shipping! What a great incentive! Halloween is just around the corner… I will be ordering some…will you?

Make sure to visit their site for a complete line of product and instructions.

Nightime_Drivers

www.lunatagz.com

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