Have you jumped onto the CBD band wagon yet? Are you curious? CBD and it's potential health benefits are all the rage these days, heck, they even have cbd for horses!! I've been a bit hesitant for the past couple of years but recently (finally!) dove right in with a couple of great CBD & hemp oil products from Uncle Bud's Hemp, who sponsored this post :)
What is CBD??
I think a lot of us are wary of CBD products because they're not evaluated by the FDA, we are hearing they are miraculous cures and treatments for countless ailments but haven't seen in depth scientific studies and evidence of this yet, and of course, their connection to marijuana... So I want to start by kind of debunking these concerns in relation to Uncle Bud's:
OK now that we have the basics under our belts, let's get to the review!
Uncle Bud's has a line of CBD Gummies including:
This one is labeled under Miss Bud's as opposed to Uncle Bud's, not sure what that's about cuz men certainly get wrinkles too LOL!! The box says "may help reduce the signs of aging for a smoother, brighter skin complexion", and I am HERE. FOR. IT! It goes on to say hemp skin care provides:
The box directs you to gently massage into face and neck every evening after cleansing, and the active ingredients include hemp seed oil, alfalfa seed extract, coconut oil, and rosehip oil. It's paraben free, cruelty free, and made in the USA.
If interested in kicking off your journey into the world of CBD and Hemp, Uncle Bud's has got you covered. They have a HUGE line of great products, focusing on muscles & joints, edibles, personal wellness, skin care, and even pet care! You can even find some of their hand lotions and soaps over on Amazon (affiliate link).
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by DiscountGlasses.com and contains affiliate links - you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
Blue light is a phrase we tend to hear a lot these days, and while you probably know it has a negative connotation, do you know why? Exactly what is blue light, how bad is it, and how can we block it?? Keep reading for answers to all of this, and to enter to win $100 credit from our DiscountGlasses.com (who sponsored this post) in our $1,000 value jackpot #Giveaway4Grownups!
NEGATIVE IMPACT ON SLEEP (and Health):
According to Harvard Health Blog, blue light (which may or may not be perceived as the color blue) is visible light with a wave length between 400 and 450 nanometers. It is a concern because it has more energy per photon of light than other colors in the visible spectrum. They say that blue light from screens such as your computer, tablet, and cell phone, is not strong enough to contribute to macular degeneration or blindness, but it can still have a negative impact on your health by stimulating your circadian clock and keeping you awake or disrupting your sleep.
Some studies have suggested a link between exposure to any bright lights at night with increased risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, with blue light being the worst offender.
Proposed ways to counteract the effect of blue light on our sleep cycle and overall health include:
A report by AOA (American Optometric Association) explains that extended use of cell phones, tablets, and personal computers can lead to symptoms of dry eyes, blurred vision and headaches, and suggests the use of amber-tinted or blue light blocking lenses when using screens directly before bedtime can help limit their effect on sleep.
PLAY IT SAFE!!
We are just starting to venture into the study of blue light and personal screens' effects on both adults and children, and we have SO much to learn!! For now we are mostly hearing various "links" and "assumptions" rather than proven cause & effect... I don't know about you but in this type of situation I like to play the whole "better safe than sorry" card.
What's this mean?? Having my children and myself avoid personal screens 2 hours before bedtime. But let's face it... for myself, it's not all that practical. I usually have to get on at night after the kids go to bed to catch up on work and to send some quick emails. Not to mention to watch TV and scroll through social media. You know how it is... This is where blue light lenses come into play!
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
I've been an ambassador for DiscountGlasses.com (DG) for a few years now, since my youngest needed "indestructible" glasses at age 3 (see that ADORABLE unboxing review video at the bottom of this post). We LOVE DG for glasses and sunglasses for our entire family! It wasn't until very recently I realized the potential health benefits of adding a blue light blocking coating to the lenses (whether prescriptive or not), so I did just that with my most recent order!
Check out these Lunettos Clarkson frames I just got - how cute are these!? The basic frames with prescription are $39.95 (with free shipping) but I got the following add-ons:
This is my first ever glasses of any kind with blue light blocking lenses and honestly, there is zero difference in respect to how I see out of them and how they look, which is great! They're not colored. I really have no idea how they work but again, better safe than sorry!! I typically don't wear glasses for computer use, I only wear prescription sunglasses while out because I can't see distance (signs, etc) but now I plan to wear these blue light blockers at least when on screens in the evening... but maybe more? They SUPER cute, and so lightweight! I really love them!!
If you're nervous about ordering glasses online, don't be! DG hase free shipping, 365 day free returns, virtual try on for most frames, and you can even renew your prescription with their free online vision test!
The grand prize winner of our $1,000 value jackpot #Giveaway4Grownups will receive a $100 credit to DiscountGlasses.com!
Enter to win here!!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Beleev but all thoughts and opinions are my own and 100% unbiased. This post also contains affiliate links - you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
Looking for the best 3-wheel scooters and balance bikes for a toddlers, the best foldable 2-wheel kick scooters for kids and adults, or the best skateboard for ages 8+?! Would you believe you can find them all with Beleev?! We sure did - we just got Beleev ride ons for our whole family!! Read on for more about the products we received (and LOVE), including our unboxing / demo videos!
Foldable Kick Scooter for Teens & Adults
This high quality durable kick scooter comes in several color options and is good for ages 8 through adult (rider max weight of 210 pounds). It features a super quick and easy fold, adjustable height handlebar, a kick stand, extra large PU wheels, and front suspension system for a smooth ride!!
My husband and I are both loving this so much I'm planning to buy a second one so we don't have to share LOL! Adjusting the handlebar is a snap, no tools required, so I can raise it high for me, then lower it for my 8 year old to ride it, taking literally 5 seconds!
Foldable Scooter for Kids
Check out our twins twinning on Beleev kids' foldable kick scooters!! These are good for ages 4 - 12 years, rider weight up to 141 pounds, are foldable, have adjustable height handlebars, light up LED wheels, foam handles, a grippy 4" wide deck, and weigh just under 6 pounds.
Skateboard for Kids, Teens, & Adults
Beleev sells 2 types of skateboards, the cruiser series (22" plastic board with large light up LED wheels), and the Classic Maple series, which is what we got. The latter is a 31" Canadian maple skateboard featuring a grippy 31” x 8” 7-Ply Canadian maple deck and heavy-duty 5” aluminum alloy truck! It weighs less than 5 pounds and has a max weight capacity of 220 - so it's good for ages 8+ (i.e. kids, teens, and adults)! What's more? It comes completely assembled! Just unbox, unwrap, and roll! My son and my husband are obsessed with this thing - it's not easy to learn to skateboard but so fun! Don't forget protective gear!!
Beleev also sells 3-wheel scooters and balance bikes for toddlers, stunt scooters, and protective gear! Check out their full lineup on beleev.com and Amazon (affiliate link).
Disclaimer: Sponsored by Sutera but all thoughts and opinions are my own, honest and unbiased! Affiliate links included below, you don't pay more but we receive a small commission made from purchases made after clicking.
Wish you could sleep like a baby, and stop waking to those aches and pains in your neck?! Sutera Dream Deep adaptive memory foam and orthopedic contour pillow may be your solution!! Offering premium comfort for side, stomach, and back sleepers, it supports proper cervical alignment, reducing back, neck, and joint pressure!
Made of a high-density cooling memory foam, it promotes temperature regulation, better sleep, energy boost, stress reduction, and relief of pressure on back, neck, hips, and joints!
Sutera Dream Deep Pillow comes with a removable machine washable cover, which is super smooth and comfy, or you can upgrade to their Hydroluna pillowcase! It's 100% silk, which feels amazing and helps prevent hair damage. It's also infused with anti-aging hyaluronic acid, which is great for your skin!
As a side and back sleeper, I'm loving this pillow and its versatility! It's incredibly comfortable and I'm sleeping great!! Not like a baby though, because they wake every 1-2 hours do you not remember?! Where did that phrase even come from LOL!! Anyway, I'm sleeping BETTER than a baby!
Get 20% off your pillow at sleepsutera.com/HT20 (or use code "HT20"); also available on Amazon (affiliate link)!!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by DiscountGlasses.com but all thoughts and opinions are my own, honest and unbiased! Affiliate links are contained below - you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
Sunglasses are most certainly not a summer-only thing - kids and adults alike need to be sure to shade-up and protect their eyes year round! But with spring and warmer sunnier weather on the horizon, who couldn't use some new sunnies to liven things up, am I right?
Thankfully, DiscountGlasses.com lets you do so guilt-free because they're budget-friendly and allow you to shop and order online without leaving the comfort and safety of your home! AND they have a $100 credit in my $1,000 value jackpot giveaway - link at bottom of this post!!
I just got the below Westend Lewis Center for my husband and Picklez Ziggy for my son cuz I thought they'd be so cute daddy-and-me in their silver frames with blue mirror lenses!! And they are! In fact so cute I have to occasionally to "borrow" them to enjoy some mommy-and-me fashion LOL! So, you tell me, who is wearing them best??? The Westend fits us both really well, I love how gender neutral they are!! Both of these sunglasses have some different color options too, for the frame and lenses!
This is my second year as an Ambassador for DiscountGlasses.com. I honestly love them, I actually started out as a regular customer and couldn't be more proud to be working with them to promote their amazing products! Such a fabulous selection of sunglasses (prescriptive and non) and prescription glasses and for toddlers, kids, teens, and adults - and they've adapted through the pandemic to even offer a free online vision test so you can update your prescription from home!!
They also have free shipping, 365 day free returns, virtual try on for most frames, and great lens upgrade options for how thin and lightweight they are, blue light reflective, transitions, progressive, anti-reflective, and sun tint! I mean, awesome right!?
Check out this crazy collection of kids and adults sunlgasses we have collected from them over the years - basically one for every day of the week LOL! And of course I have a collection of regular prescription glasses that are just as fun!!
The key is finding a great provider like DIscountGlasses.com where you can find tons of great glasses for a super affordable price, so there's no guilt in having several (or half a dozen??) frames, am I right!?
enter to win $100 credit from DiscountGlasses
in my $1,000 value jackpot giveaway running through April 7, 2021!!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links may be included below - you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
We're all juggling a million things at once - the house, the kids, a job, our sanity! A good life hack here and there can save you lots of time and energy, and I've got a pretty major one for you. Are you ready for this!?
With the Black+Decker Steam N' Vac, you can steam mop and vacuum AT THE SAME TIME!!! That's right!!! Let the steam mop scrub and sanitize your floors while the vacuum picks up all the crumbs and dust bunnies. 2 birds 1 stone! Huge time saver and game changer - I couldn't love mine more!!
Watch my unboxing and demo of the Black+Decker Steam Mop & Vacuum combo, read below for more details, then enter to win one in my $1000 value jackpot giveaway at the bottom of this post!!
Here's a break down of the 2-in-1 Black+Decker Steam N' Vac's features and why I'm loving it:
Buy yours at Walmart or Bed Bath & Beyond.
Enter to win one in my $1,000 value jackpot giveaway, ending 4/7/2021!
Disclaimer: We received these masks free for review but all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased! There are also some affiliate links included - you don't pay more but we'll receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
Life in the time of COVID, I feel like I'm always on the lookout for the perfect face mask - adjustable with a great fit, washable & reusable, breathable, effective, cute design options... and you know what? I was able to check off every box with these amazing Happy Masks (we received ours free in exchange for promotion, but they didn't reach out to me, it was vice versa cuz I was so impressed!!).
Watch our YouTube video here for a fun unboxing and demo of the various features, and read on for more details as well as to grab your code for free shipping!!
Made with a 3 layer nanofiber membrane filter, Happy Masks have been tested by Nelson Labs to show they filter out over 99% of airborne particles as tiny as .3 microns!! That includes allergens (pollen!!), dust, and smog. And they factually filter out 99.9% of bacteria, and viruses (including COVID-19 / coronavirus)! On top of that, the filter is not removable, so there's no concern about losing it or having to replace it.
UNIQUE "BEAK" DESIGN:
Happy Masks have a soft fabric with a unique "parrot beak" design which means they don't suck into your nose and mouth when breathing and talking! Your kids won't suck on them! And they don't feel like they're suffocating you!
ADUSTABLE EAR LOOPS:
Our faces are not one size so face masks shouldn't be one size fits all, am I right? Happy Masks come in Medium and Large for Adults, and one size for kids, but feature super easy-to-use adjustable ear straps! They also feature a metal wire over the nose for added adjustability, and provide a great snug and comfy fit all around the nose, cheeks, and under the chin! They also sell a protective pouch, and a lanyard that easily snaps onto the ear loops, so you can put it on and off without touching the mask itself, and not worry about your kids dropping it onto the bathroom floor (or... into the toilet!).
WASHABILITY & DURABILITY:
Happy Masks' efficacy have been tested for a minimum of 50 hand washes and 250 hours of wear. The trim is hand sewn for increased durability and snugger fit. Washing instructions: soak in cold water with a drop of dish detergent for 10 minutes (use a drop of dish detergent on a soft toothbrush to remove makeup or sweat), gently rinse (do not rub or wring), air dry. For added disinfection and deodorization, spray with 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol after each wash and place in the sun.
You can buy these great face masks for kids and adults at happymasks.com and use code USJAPANFAM for free shipping!
When you want to lose weight and/or get fit, there are many ways to go about it. Believe it or not, you can do it without forking over thousands of dollars for equipment and memberships! I'm going to share with you my favorite FREE fitness apps and some very budget-friendly products I'm loving these days on my own weight loss journey!
Disclaimer: I'm not a medical professional - PLEASE discuss any diet or fitness plans with your doctor! Safety first guys!!. Also, this post contains some affiliate links - you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
First, watch my video for all the deets!! Then get the links and my personal weight loss and weight / fitness maintenance schedules below!
My Favorite FREE Apps for Fitness & Weight Loss:
i.e. the apps I'm currently using and loving!! Available for iPhone and Android!
My Weight Loss Routine:
My Weight Maintenance Routine:
If you read my last blog post, I was knee deep in researching brands who offer an invisible clear aligner system for straightening your teeth at home. There are many out there, but ultimately I decided to go with Candid (who agreed to provide my treatment free in exchange for sharing my experience with you guys)!
**Several video updates below including 12/10/21 after finishing treatment!!!
Disclaimer: I'm not being paid but am being provided complimentary treatment by Candid in exchange for promotion. But don't worry, all thoughts and opinions are 100% unbiased! As always, I tell it like it is!! There are also affiliate links in this post, you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
I'll walk you through why I chose Candid, why I want to straighten my teeth at home, and the process of using their Starter Kit in my video below (or keep reading for everything in text & photos), but the video is more fun, I promise ;)
Why I chose Candid:
Why I'm straightening my teeth:
My teeth are not currently a hot hot mess. I had braces when I was a teen, however I failed to continue wearing my retainer, and my teeth have been gradually moving since. My dentist recently confirmed it's normal with age for teeth to move gradually forward, and yes, my bottom teeth especially are getting crowded and bothering me. My mother's got so bad by around 60 that she had to have a tooth pulled and wore braces to straighten them out. Her dentist warned her that if she didn't, she'd start experiencing pretty major tooth damage and decay!! Knowing what happened to my mom, I was anxious to go ahead and get my teeth straightened out again, and keep them straight this time!!
Using the Candid Starter Kit:
I ordered the Candid Starter Kit online and it arrived within a few days. The package is fun, very Apple-esque in a big pretty white box. They have very detailed instructions and video tutorials for how to take your EIGHT photos and FIVE dental impressions. I felt a bit of pressure to get these right, otherwise they'll get rejected and you'll have to start over. The reason is that they'll base everything off of these - your whole treatment plan and printing your aligners. They need to see every tooth, gum line, bite from different angles, ALL OF IT!
They send a "cheek stretcher" to help you get the photos of your teeth just right, and you simply use your phone camera with a flash, upload to their website, and boom. Done. Easy peasy, though kind of horrifying seeing your teeth like that. You have to keep the cheek stretcher til you finish treatment, I'm guessing you'll have to do finished photos with it, but if I'm being honest, we'll probably play some pretty funny games with them for some future videos!!
The impressions were harder to get done but I'm fairly confident, or hopeful??, that I got some good ones. The issue is that you have to mix in your hands 2 tubs of putty and once you start mixing you have only 60 seconds before they start hardening!! So, about 30 seconds of mixing, then the next 30 seconds rolling out to a 4" line (they give you a measuring tool), putting it into the impression mold, marking it with a tooth pick where your front teeth will go, getting it into your mouth and holding it in there for 3.5 minutes. 3 times for top, 2 times for bottom. Kinda fun, kinda gross, kinda nerve wracking!! But that's it - they give you a pre-labeled no-stamp-required box and you ship them back to Ohio!
Stay tuned to my blog / social / YouTube channel as I'll be posting updates regarding if my Starter Kit was accepted or I have to redo it, starting my aligners, how they feel, etc etc!! I'm eager to hear what the orthodontist I'm assigned has to say about my treatment - I've heard most do the 22 hours a day plan but some have a nighttime only plan, and treatment usually lasts 4-6 months or so. Eeeeek!!! Wish me luck, and throw any tips, comments, or questions below!!!
Learn more about Candid here and get $70 off your Starter Kit with code USJAPANFAM!
Update 1: March 16, 2021:
Unboxing my aligner kit, going over treatment plan, putting in first aligners, submitting first scan to my orthodontist!!
UPDATE 2: JUNE 16, 2021:
Halfway done with my treatment!! Come see how it's going, how to use "chewies", the on-the-go container for your aligners, and how the scan works!
UPDATE 3: August, 27, 2021:
Putting in my last set of aligners - 16 of 16!! 10 days left of my 5 month long treatment!!
UPDATE 4: December 10, 2021:
Whether fully remote or in-person, straightening your teeth with clear invisible aligners is easier than ever these days!! Treatment can take as little as 4 months, most accept HSA / FSA, and some insurance plans will even cover or reimburse you fees!
An initial impression and/or 3D images are taken and a professional comes up with your treatment plan. Typically each aligner set is worn for 2 weeks - you take it out only to eat or brush teeth, though some offer nighttime-only treatment plans. You'll be mailed a new set of aligners every couple of weeks, and gradually, your teeth will move into straight positioning! After treatment ends, you'll need to use nighttime retainers to avoid teeth moving again.
I've seen some concerns about the safety of mail-order aligners, mostly in regard to the possibility of developing gum disease, cavities, or misaligned bite by going unmonitored by an in-person orthodontist. It doesn't seem these are likely, but can happen, so you'll want to be extra diligent about brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and getting regular in-person dental cleanings and exams, making sure they're aware that you are undergoing remote orthodontic treatment. Also, make sure that whatever company you go with, they're monitoring your bite's progression properly.
Below I'll outline the basic fees and what sets the most popular clear aligner companies apart below! Companies are listed in alphabetical order. Some of the biggest differences include whether they use dentists and/or orthodontists, what accessories they include, and whether they have in-person studios available.
**Handy infographic comparison chart at bottom of post**
Disclaimer: This is just my personal research since I'm hoping to straighten my own teeth, and I wanted to share my findings with y'all! Prices and options may vary, contact companies directly to confirm. Affiliate links included below, you don't pay more but we'll receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking. Since publishing, I decided to proceed with Candid, who will be providing me with their full system in exchange for promotion. Stay tuned to see how it goes!!
Smile Direct Club
So what do you think!? Have you had braces or used a clear aligner system before? Do you want to?? Share your thoughts or experiences in a comment below!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)