Getting Healthy with Nature Made #VitaminD #cbias

Nature Made

As a mom, I have that nagging in the back of my mind to regularly go to the doctor so that I can be healthy for my family.  Well, there’s that, and then there is the fact that she holds the power to write the prescription I need…  So, I go.

A big part of my hesitancy is not necessarily in going to the doctor, it’s in the blood draw.  Long story short, they can never find my veins, and four stabs later and looking like a pin cushion, I emerge from the room exhausted form the 30+ minute ordeal.  It usually ends up with them taking it out of my hand, and having to really work it out of there, so it’s really not fun.

I do have a point, though.  After my last visit not too long ago, my doctor called to let me know I needed to start taking vitamin D.  She didn’t explain why, so it was interesting to research the benefits of vitamin 3.  I learned quite a few things that are really helpful to know when taking a vitamin such as this.

Why Vitamin D?


  • Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium.  I don’t get a lot of calcium anyway, so I really need to hang on to all I can.
  • Vitamin D promoted breast and colon health.  That’s always a plus in my book.
  • Vitamin D contributes to a healthy mood.  This is probably the main reason my doctor prescribed this.  I have terrible anxiety…
  • Vitamin D supports bone and teeth health.  I’d like to have good teeth for a very long time…

Did you know that almost half of all Americans over 50 are deficient in Vitamin D?  Given it’s importance in the body of absorbing calcium {which helps your bones}, that is an astounding number.  Check out this little video to learn a bit more about the importance of Vitamin D in calcium retention:

On to the Shopping!


So, now I know why I need it, I just need to actually get it.  I’ve always been a fan of Nature Made vitamins.  I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it’s a combination of price, packaging {hey, it makes a difference; subconsciously or not, it makes a difference}, and availability.

I prefer purchasing things like vitamins, toiletries, medication, etc., at Walmart for the great prices.  So, off to the store I go, hoping to get my vitamins and a few other things I need.  If you’d like to check out my shopping trip, please view it in my Google+ album.

I got home and started my Vitamin D routine!  I feel healthier already!

What about you, do you take Vitamin D?

True Confessions:  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.  All statements are my own.

Sweet Critique: Spelling City


Vocabulary Spelling City

VocabularySpellingCity is a browser-based program designed to help students learn spelling, grammar, and writing.   The program comes in both a free version and a premium version {$24.99 per year for up to five students}.  The premium membership gives you a vast array of useful resources such as vocabulary tests, flashcards, record keeping, and individual student log-ins.

VocabularySpellingCityOne of the things I really enjoy about VocabularySpellingCity is the fact that you can enter in your own words and create your own lists, from which the activities and games are based.  This allows you to tailor the activities your child completes, helping them learn what you’d like them to.

If you’d prefer to use lists someone else has put together, VocabularySpellingCity has pre-formulated lists for you to choose form.  I like the fact that they integrate some of these lists with other subjects.



VocabularySpellingCity offers a variety of games for both versions.  Choose from matching, sentence writing, definitions, flashcards, and speedy spelling.

VocabularySpellingCity games

As you can see in the picture above, the student has the option to maneuver between things like their flash cards, games, and teaching.  I’m all for anything that is self-teaching and gives the student the power to move through the lessons as their own pace.

Student Management


VocabularySpellingCity’s premium membership allows you to keep track of up to five students.  You have a grade book, assignment tracker, and other options.

I like how you can also assign passwords to the students.  You can even update instructions for some of the assignments!

Final Thoughts


I think VocabularySpellingCity is a great option for anyone looking to get some serious spelling practice in.  It’s presented in an easy and fun way, and the premium version gives you many options for really using the program effectively for your child.

True Confessions:  I was provided with a premium membership in order to facilitate my review.  All statements are my own.

Sweet Critique: Animoto


AnimotoWe’ve all seen software and websites that allow you to add your pictures and create a little montage. Well, Animoto takes this concept and rocks it out, allowing you to create wicked video slideshows with music.  The video templates are fresh and fun, the music is not boring standard stuff, and the ability to add video and photos is insanely cool!

How Does It Work?


Animoto can be used in just three easy steps:  choose your images, choose your music, and watch and share.

Choose Your Images - Not only can you snag pics from your computer, but you can also scoop them up from Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, and tons of other places.

Choose Your Music – Use selections from your computer, or choose from a wide range of musical options from Animoto.

Add It To Your Chosen Video – Animoto has a variety of videos to choose from, including seasonal options.

Other Awesomeness


iPhone app – Animoto makes it uber-easy to share your videos across a wide variety of platforms.

Cinematic Artificial Intelligence {CAI} – Huh?  CAI makes each video unique by analyzing your photos and the video and music you chose.  You choose the effects, and *poof*, you’ve got your video.

Video resolutions - Animoto videos are available in a number of resolutions to ease sharing with a variety of mediums.



Animoto offers a variety of pricing options, including a free option with limited-length videos.  Other options start at just $5/month {or $30 per year} for unlimited full-length videos.

Final Thoughts


I love Animoto!  I like that it’s different than anything else out there and it’s affordable.  The CAI is just awesome and produces something that is unique.  Go give it a try!

True Confessions:  I was provided with a subscription to Animoto to facilitate my review.  All statements are my own.

TOS Sweet Critique: Math Mammoth

Math MammothWhat:  Math Mammoth


Cost:  Varies by product {curriculum or supplemental}; we reviewed the complete grade 3 curriculum and it’s only $34 for a ton of downloaded content.  There are even options ranging from $2 to $7.

Recommended Ages:  Varies; Math Mammoth has done a genius job of putting together content that not only goes by grade level, but by subject as well, so you can start whenever you feel is best for your child.

cover for Math Mammoth Grade 3-A Complete WorktextWhat Is Math Mammoth?


Math Mammoth is a math curriculum written by homeschooling mom Maria Miller.  She has created a self-teaching curriculum filled with a ton of information!  Math Mammoth is available as grade level curriculum, subject matter curriculum, or many other supplemental worktexts.

Products are available in a variety of formats:  downloads {the best option in my opinion}, printed, and CD.  As of November, 2011, the downloadable versions come with PDFs enabled for annotation, which means they can be completed directly on the computer {love that!!}.

Ms. Miller has made a variety of lesson types available {categorized by color}, and that can sometimes become confusing.  There’s a great FAQ that details what each type is.

What Did We Think?


I am very appreciative of the variety available with Math Mammoth.  So many times we’re forced to simply choose something by grade level, or in a package that is only partially relevant to our child.  With Math Mammoth, you have a much better chance of tailoring a math program to specifically fit your child, and it’s non-consumable.

Our grade 3 curriculum came with worksheets, tests, cumulative reviews, a user guide, cutouts, extra worksheet creator, and much more.  I liked how I could pick and choose what I wanted and leave the rest.

Another facet of Math Mammoth that I really like is the Make It Real Learning series.  These books, written by a math teacher, feature more advanced math in ways that it is applicable to everyday life.  I think this makes for much more interesting learning.  You can get each title separately for $4.99, or you can get all the titles in this series for only $39.99.

I will say that for a child like Babydoll who tends to get a little scared when there seems to be quite a bit of text on the page, this might be a scary thing for them.  There is a lot of text on these pages!  With that said, when you actually read through it, the teaching is very to-the-point and there is just plenty of practice built in.

What Did Others Think?


For more perspectives on Math Mammoth, check out what other TOS crewmembers thought.

True Confessions:  I was provided with curriculum materials to facilitate my review.  All statements are my own.

Sweet Critique: Essure

Yes, I know, this is a personal decision.  That said, it annoys me how many people {strangers} think it is their business.

I strongly believe that most of us grow up with a feelingof how many children we want to have, or if we want any at all.  I never planned to have children, and Vince didn’t either.  I just always knew I was good with none.

Of course, once Babydoll came along I absolutely grew to love her and wouldn’t give her up for all the chocolate in the world.  That didn’t change the fact that I didn’t want any more children.

I was 21 when I had Babydoll.  After I had her, I told my doctor I wanted my tubes tied.  She thought I was crazy and didn’t really know what I was talking about.  Long story short, it took me until I was 28and Vince was about to get out of the Navy to convince them to allow me to make this decision for myself.  Even after they had “agreed” they wanted me to first get written permission from my husband…

I guess if there was one good thing to come out of all of this it was that I learned about Essure.  I really didn’t want to have to go through having a tubal ligation, and there was no letting Navy doctors near Vince’s nether regions, so I searched for another way.

I stumbled upon an ad for Essure, read up on it, and thought it sounded like a great thing!  No cuts, no long healing times, just a simple in/out procedure.  I happened to be having surgery for something else, so I asked them to do an all-in-one for me, including the Essure procedure while I was under.  The good thing about Essure, though, is that you do not have to undergo general anesthesia to have the procedure done.  It can be a simple outpatient doctor’s visit for you without any cuts or invasive surgery.

They obliged and when I came to I had the procedure done and was so ecstatic!  I had no recovery problems.  I did have some spotting for a few months, but to me, that was a small price to pay for finally knowing I would no longer get pregnant.

The one thing that my doctor noted might be an issue was that since I would no longer be on hormonal birth control, my periods would go back to the way they were pre-birth control.  That hasn’t been insanely fun, but again, you can’t have it all:  I’ll take non-hormone affected periods over pregnancy chance any day

I still find that even two years later so many women don’t know about Essure.  There are a variety of reasons that you might find yourself considering sterilization, and I really encourage you to research it to see if it’s right for you.  Granted, I’ve never had a tubal, but I did quite a bit of research on the subject and came away findingthe benefits of Essure far outweighed the benefits of a tubal.

Perhaps you have financial or emotional factors weighing on your decision.  Maybe you just “know.”  Each person is unique and each person has reasons for having as many or as few children as they’d like.  We as women really need to start supporting each other in this important decisionand stop judging others based on our own set of beliefs.

So, I’m curious to know: How and when do you decide your family is complete?Join the conversation and be entered to WIN the designer handbag of your choice(Up to a $500 value) from Essure!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Essure. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Contest Rules.