Three Kids and Many Strollers Later the GB QBit Stroller is My Favorite #Review

*I received the item/s for the purpose of review.  All opinions are a 100% my own. 
easy one hand fold
I first learned about the GB Qbit Stroller back in May at the New York Baby Show.  I was intrigued when I heard that it folds up to cube the size of a boutique shopping bag, but when I heard that it retails for $179.99 - I had to learn more!
expandable canopy - great during sunshine or rain
After getting the opportunity to test it out I can say I finally have a stroller I completely love and that's a mom of three talking!  I have had jogging strollers, many "lightweight umbrella strollers," and even a double stroller but this is the one I favor most. 
  • It weighs less than 15lbs which is incredible, since I sometimes have to be holding a baby in my arms or holding one of my baby's hands carrying a stroller traveling around NYC. 
  • It folds up with one hand which makes being a mommy much easier. 
  • It folds up small and who doesn't love that?  Even when in your garage it wont take up space, and if you're a city mom like me - it won't take space in your apartment. (13" wide & 21" tall)
  • It folds up to fit perfectly in the trunk of a car, barely taking up space or even at the back seat of any car.  It comes with a transport bag that stores underneath the stroller when not in use.
  • The seat reclines, and has seat belt harness that is able to hold my little infant in place.
  • Large expandable canopy which shields child from rain, sun and wind.
  • It has a storage basket which is like having an extra set of hands when needed. 
  • Comes with an adaptor to make functional for specific car seats.
fits in the trunk of a small vehicle, barely taking up more space than a shopping bag
Sure there are many awesome strollers out there, but this one stands out for affordability and delivering similar great features as the other competitors.  I've had a while to test out the stroller and love it.  I needed a stroller that I liked the design, that was light to carry, that folded up nice and compact, that had a good age/weight range, that had a good canopy and one that I could afford - the GB Qbit is it.  So far it has been on a road trip with us barely taking up space along side our luggage, been sight seeing with us near Niagara Falls, has had many adventures on the NYC subways, countless number of visits to the supermarket and more - both functioning great for my 3 month old and almost 3 year old toddler.  It is available in a range of colors, and also comes with adaptors that are compatible with the GB Asana35, Maxi Cosi Mico and Cybex Aton.


Smile - It Could Be Worse!

Every once in a while we need to remind ourselves that things could always be worse.  Don't sit around and mope.  Don't spend your day feeling sorry for yourself for something silly.  Sure it might seem like the end of the world, but chances are it could be worse.
Now I don't mean you should think of the worst case scenario every time but instead, appreciate all that you have and all that is good today.  One thing I've learned in my life is that, it can be worse, and to appreciate everything the way it is today.  Another thing I've learned in association with that, health is probably the most important thing in life.  You could be financially and socially rich - have it all but if you don't have health, you have nothing. 
Things are not like it was before, we are now in the generation of always being in the know.  If you want to know something you don't go to the library, you Google - everything is instant.  We hear of horrible stories of accidents, deaths, illnesses all the time whether we want to or not.  You never think it could be you, you separate yourself from the stories of cancer, losing of family members, and random diseases or conditions people deal with.  Sure you sympathize, but that's it.  You never think it could be you, until it happens and find yourself on the other side.
I lost my mom when I was in high school - never ever thought I'd be one of those people that lose their parent/s at a young age.  Just never crossed my mind growing up.  My son was diagnosed with severe multiple food allergies at 6 months when I almost lost him, never even knew about food allergies back then.  Life has taught me that it could be me, it could very easily be.  It has taught me to relate sympathize, and most of all appreciate everything.  I can't live my life making sure to give compassion and the appropriate attention for everyone having a tough time, but I could at least appreciate.  Over the past 10 years or so, I've learned to appreciate everything, live life for today, and to never stress over the little things (no matter how big and bad it may seem at the moment) because there are far too many great wonderful amazing things to be thankful for.  From our very big worries to the small everyday ones, it's good to stop and ask ourselves is it really something you should let trouble you? 

So I ask you, what are you most grateful for today?  As you think about that one, smile - actually smile at the screen.  You'll be surprised at how it helps you feel good.  :D  If you happened to be feeling down having the worst time of your life, no matter how horrible the situation - just for a moment think of how it could be worse and be strong.  Life will go on and it will get better. 


Are you as KIND as you are online in person?

While we are in the midst of many conferences going on here in New York City, I wanted to send a quick reminder to all to be kind.  Many times bloggers stick to their usual group of online friends, and are only interested in making friends with those that they can benefit from.  I understand as it is a business & brand all bloggers are working on growing, however remember you were once brand new to it all too.
So next time you run into someone that isn't as "big" as you in stats, and not as experienced as you, take a moment to be kind.  It is all about the community and friendships that keeps us all going, so take a moment to open your arms up and help someone new to it all. 
I see way too often online bloggers bashing the ways of others, how they blog, how much they blog for - how about telling them directly instead of talking critically of them with others that do it your way.  Also remember everyone does things theirs way, whether you think it's the right way or not.  So many campaigns and posts about anti-bullying, being kind but I see way to much of it as I watch quietly from the sidelines.  It is a community that wouldn't survive without each others support from the beginning, so just be kind. 
I confess this all comes to you as I had unfortunate experiences with meeting people in person years ago at my first conference and just got reminded of it by the excitement of it all coming to New York City again.  Online, people are so nice, because I suppose it is a business they are running as they promote themselves, but in person unfortunately some are very different.  So maybe if you can't be fully kind as you are online for real, at least fake it.  I wish some people weren't so fake, which also reminds me of the people that I have met in person who are so nice and sweet it is refreshing.  It isn't all bad, but I tell you not everyone is as nice as they seem online as they are in person.  It surprises me every time.  Maybe they don't mean to be, so here's a reminder to anyone that is reading - be kind in person as much as you are online.  This really isn't just for bloggers, this applies to new friends you make online, to your co-workers, classmates, everyone that uses the kind and honest as you would be online in person and  of course vice versa.

All My Kids Will Be Offered the Same Food

You must have read the title and thought "why wouldn't your kids eat the same ?"  It's because of allergies.  My kids don't share the same food allergies and I give them both the same food, all the time.  They both like different things but the same foods are offered to them.  I would never offer/give one child something that the other is deathly allergic to.  Makes sense right?  Well some people don't get it. 

I get why I should let them be themselves, like different book and toys, but when it comes to food - they are offered the same thing.  I was told to give food to my daughter that my son is deathly allergic to, by people who have no idea what it is to live with food allergies.  Here are a number of reasons why I will not be doing that, thank you very much.

The variety of foods I offer are plenty healthy, nutritious, delicious and interesting.  So why give something the other is allergic to as if they are missing out?

While on the topic of missing out.  So what if one is "missing out," is it fair to offer one sibling something that the other is deathly allergic to, just so she is "fitting in" with the world?!  Yeah, it doesn't make much sense to me either.

And again, while on the topic of deadly allergies.  If my daughter eats something my son is allergic to, that means they aren't going to be able to play with each other safely.  I would have to worry if my toddler put her hand in her mouth (which toddlers do by the way).  I would have to make sure her hands are all clean.  It sounds silly, might not even make sense - but life threatening allergens are everywhere as it is - can they just be safe in their home with their siblings at least.  I mean, really..all for what?  A candy bar?  I don't even know what she's missing out on that she would need.

I understand if there was a vitamin or some sort of nutritional deficiency but we actually eat allot better than we would have if it wasn't for food allergies.  For a family that keeps clear from wheat, milk, eggs, all nuts, shellfish/fish, oats and so much more we have a great list of foods we can eat at home as a family.  So thanks for the suggestion, but no I will not be feeding one child something the other can die from.  When everyone grows up and is able to care for themselves, everyone will eat everything they can and want to but until then I'd like to keep everyone happy and alive.  This is why I don't ever give opinions on other peoples lives, you never really know what a person might have to go through in their lives.  I won't judge you for not knowing what you're not supposed to know, like how it is living in our shoes, but don't judge me for offering the same abundant amount of foods to all my children.  Yup, there actually isn't any lack of here.  My kids love food, we are actually what you'd describe as foodies.  We are always in the kitchen as a family experimenting and creating different dishes we can all eat as a family.  I understand you come with good intentions, but as my 2 year old would say "thank you but no."


G.H CRETORS Organic Simply Salted & EVOO Flavored Popped Corn - Giveaway

*I received the item/s for the purpose of this post. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment. All opinions are a 100% my own. No other compensation was provided.

I could start off by saying how it's the perfect time to snack on popcorn because it's summer time, but let's be real, it's always a good time for popcorn.  It's specially true when it's non-GMO, and made with organic ingredients.  I love any food that has simple ingredients, ingredients you read and don't need to Google to find out what it is.  G.H.CRETORS Organic Simply Salted and Extra Virgin Olive Oil flavors delivers just that, a simple and good tasting snack. 
We would all be allot healthier if we stopped to read the ingredients in all the food we eat.  It's scary to look back at the things I used to eat now that I read the ingredients to everything.  Ingredients for the extra virgin olive oil: organic popcorn, organic virgin olive, and sea salt.  Ingredients for the Simply Salted: organic popcorn, organic expeller pressed sunflower oil, and sea salt. 
I'm glad to learn of more brands that are about real ingredients, and happy to share them with you.  You could enter below to win these to try for yourself below using the Rafflecopter.  
         a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stinger - Mosquito Repellent Lantern Giveaway

*I received the item/s for the purpose of this post.  Sponsor is responsible for fulfillment of prize.  All opinions are a 100% my own.  No other compensation was provided. 
Now that we are in the heart of summer and spending lots of time outside, it's also time to have mosquito repellent candles, sprays, bracelets and more around to keep from getting bitten.  For some reason mosquitoes love me, I'm that person you know of that gets bitten 10000 times while no one else in the area has gotten bitten, so repellents are a must have for me.  But really, an effective repellent is a must have for everyone which is why I'm happy to tell you about Stinger.  Stinger is a mosquito repellent lantern that repels up to 12 hours, and 3 times longer than the most leading competitors.  What I love about the Stinger is that isn't just a repellent, but it is also a great stylish addition to your outdoor space. 

Perfect for your deck/patio, BBQs, camping, and backyard/pool area.  The decorative lantern covers up to 15'x15' area, and it can be placed on a flat surface or hung.   

Quick facts about Stinger:
  • Outdoor use
  • Repels insects using a fan-dispersed repellent pad
  • All natural for safe use around children and pets
  • Blue, LED lighting for night
  • Uses 4 AA batteries
  • Repellent refills come in 6 packages per PDQ tray
  • MSRP $12.99
Want to win one to keep those mosquitoes away and add this cute lantern as an stylish addition to your outdoor space?  Enter below using the Rafflecopter! 
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Brave Mom Face

This past winter my son was hospitalized for the first time in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.  He started developing asthma like symptoms after having a cold, and I took him into the emergency room one morning since treatments at home didn't clear it up.  I took my 2 kids, expecting and hoping they'll give him stronger doses of his asthma medications and we'll be sent home.  After a round of treatments and then some, my sons asthma didn't improve.  He didn't have his typical wheezing, instead I could see his chest pulling.  He couldn't tell if he was totally okay or not either when I asked him.  That's the tricky thing about being sick, even for us adults too, it's hard to tell what's going on in our bodies sometimes.

And then the unexpected happened.  They told me they'd have to admit him.  I tried to stay strong, but it killed me.  In my short few years of being a mother, the hardest thing has been feeling so helpless when my babies were sick.  Too many times I get too close to losing my little boy.  Food allergies and asthma has been a real challenge, to say the least.  I put on my "brave mom face" as I smiled at my strong little boy and told him he'll have to stay in the hospital.  Explaining to a young child that they are sick is difficult, my poor little boy has been through too much already. 

What's the term that's used for parents like me?  Helicopter parenting?  Well, whatever the term, I'm the kind of parent that likes to know how my children are doing at all times.  Which is why when they told me we had to go to a partnering hospital to get him admitted because they don't have a pediatric unit upstairs, and that they'd have to take him in the ambulance without me because I had my little girl with me too - I broke down in fear.  I wanted to hold my little boy as he lied there with things attached to his little body.  He was struggling to breathe and yet still smiled at me when I told him how cool it would be since we'd be riding with sirens & lights on.  Since I didn't have any other ride, and no where for my daughter to go, they let me ride in the front seat with her, and my son in the back of the ambulance.  Thank goodness for the ambulance driver who allowed me to.  I talked to my son in the back while I sat hugging my little girl who was asleep in my arms through the whole ride.  I kept asking him if he was okay, and assuring him mommy was right here in the same vehicle.  As I write this now, I think I was re-assuring myself that my baby was right there...

The worst asthma episode to date.  He still couldn't breathe right, his chest was still pulling, and they had given him all that they high doses.  His body empty without food, was given dose after dose without relief.  I felt helpless.  I only had a few little snacks in my bag since I had hoped to be back home by then, and yet I had two kids without food.  No food for them that were safe.  Luckily my daughter still nursed back then so that gave her something.  That day we all stayed without food until daddy came in the evening with food, he had to go home after work and make it.

Before daddy could come, my sons condition took a turn for the worse.  Suddenly he complained of a headache and cried.  I saw his whole body shaking from his heart beating so fast, his chest still pulling in between every full breathe.  My little boy isn't a typical little kid, he drinks all his medications without complaint no matter how horrible tasting, even takes a shot without a tear because he understands (and hopes) it'll make him all better.  He was always this way, being sick had made him this way.  So to hear him in tears and in pain, was extremely scary.  I told the doctor and nurses, who then rushed over to offer more medications to help with his headache!?  They recommended I give him acetaminophen, and although I was reluctant because of his empty stomach & the fact that I don't like to turn to medicine for anything unless necessary, I agreed.  They handed him the little cup full of red liquid, and my little boy with his shaking hands & tears running down his cheeks quickly drank it - for relief.  In the same minute as he swallowed it, he continued to shake & cry in pain with a headache - then suddenly tells me he had a "puke feeling."  Just then he threw up. 

Then he started scratching his neck when I noticed hives.  We lift up his shirt and see more hives.  I remind the doctor of his severe allergies, as they refuse give him epinephrine.  They tell me, they give Benadryl first despite my concerns.  So they give him the Benadryl and walk away.  In the same minute, nothing was getting better.  In fact worse, so I called them over as they ran to get the epinephrine.  I brought out my Auvi-Q injector, and we used it - giving my son relief.  It sadly took them my son almost dying to take my words seriously, and probably to finally understand why I was the kind of mother I seemed to be.  I find that most medical professionals don't like to be wrong, and they don't like a parent to know more than them - so unfortunately they like to think they're right all the time until proven wrong. 

Luckily they lowered the dose of asthma medications so his heart can get closer to a normal rhythm, and his headache could go away - naturally, like I had asked them in the first place.  The shot helped his hives go away, and his life wasn't in danger anymore.  I still don't know, I don't think they even know, but the combination of the epinephrine must have helped his asthma as well.  Instead of getting worse, his condition was becoming more steady. 

We stayed in the hospital for 3 days, I stayed by his bedside day & night.  My daughter went to sleep without her big brother and mommy for the first time.  Kids are kind of amazing that way.  She used to nurse to fall asleep, didn't even fall asleep in the other room without me and suddenly she would walk out holding daddy's hand from the PICU at the hospital.  She knew she had to be a big girl, she knew her jumping silly big brother wasn't the same lying in the hospital with monitors attached to him and a mask on his face 24/7.  Now that she talks she says "member you were so ouchy and with the doTor" to her brother.

THIS, this is just a glimpse into how difficult life has been for us.  It has shaped me into the person I am, and the reason why I put my "brave mom face" on.  Nothing is certain in life.  Life is so fragile.  24 hours before we went to the hospital my son didn't even have a cold, and there he was fighting for his life a day later.  No one knows the answers to food allergies and even asthma, all the treatments are routine and again no one seems to really know the answers.  Having difficulty breathing, gets treated for a headache and almost dies!?  To think they were telling me I could leave him there, and how they had an eye on him and not to worry.  IF I wasn't there they wouldn't have had me reminding them that he is anaphylactic, and maybe they wouldn't have brought over the shot in time if I didn't bring it out of my purse.

Sometimes the things we go through are even hard to explain in words, and maybe my words even come out all scrambled when I do try to explain.  But one thing's for sure my kids will never know how much I fear & how much I hurt because I'll have my "brave mom face," in the end of the day I just want them to know how much I love them.

What's a time you had to put on a brave face in life?


What Makes You Happy?

Happy Cookie Baked with Love and Help from My Kids
So many things make me incredibly happy!  Things many people overlook and take for granted.  Things I took for granted all my life now make me happy.  I appreciate the smallest things, and the simplest things make my day and end up as the biggest accomplishment of my days. 
If you follow me on Instagram (d2dMOM) you'll see I share occasional food pictures during the week, and all of which makes me so happy.  It took me 6 years to learning how to cook and bake comfortably allergy friendly.  Besides the expensive hard to find ingredients, I don't find it such a challenge anymore to make food for my family free of wheat, rye, millet, oats, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, garlic, and more.  It terrified me in the past, and I found it hard to omit so much I was used to eating everyday. 

Now my children grow up eating almost everything my husband and I grew up eating, just their own safer version.  That is something I smile about everyday.  I'm glad I learned how to cook when I was younger from my mom.  Learning the basics of cooking is so important, not measurements and exact recipes but just getting comfortable in the kitchen.  Knowing the basics has given me the ability to feel comfortable in adapting so many "recipes" over the years.  Every other day I surprise myself with dishes that are so good, you don't know they are "versions" of anything else but just good food. 

So what makes you happy, that others might take for granted?