NUK© Expressive™ Manual Breast Pump Review

~*~ Disclosure: I received a complimentary sample to facilitate my review.  This in no way influenced my review & all opinions are 100% my own. ~*~

NUK© Expressive™ Manual Breast Pump

As the mother of a newborn, breastfeeding is one of those topics that comes up multiple times a day.  As she grows more and more each day, The Princess has been requiring more and more milk.  This requires longer feed sessions that I just don’t always have time for.

For those times when I’m busy or not around, I turn to the NUK© Expressive™ Manual Breast Pump.  This awesome handheld breast pump is so convenient and has been a blessing when The Princess is choosing to snack feed {versus draining my breasts of all breast milk during each feeding}!  I use it at least once a day and have been completely satisfied with how well it pumps and how easy it has been to keep clean. The contoured handle allows me to sufficiently pump with only one hand which, as any parent will tell you, is much appreciated when you’ve got a newborn.

The NUK© Expressive™ Manual Breast Pump is compact and fits perfectly in my diaper bag for when me and the little ones are on-the-go.  The chamber that holds the milk converts into a bottle {nipple included} that I have found to be much more superior to the generic bottles I purchased as back-ups.  The nipple is designed to be more like a mother’s breast and it allows The Princess the drink at a slow pace instead of quick; which always gives her the hiccups.

The NUK© Expressive™ Manual Breast Pump {MSRP: $29.99}

* Easy to use and control suction
* Ergonomic handle is closer to bottle for better comfort
* New simple design with fewer parts for easy assembly and cleaning

If you are a mom who frequently pumps on-the-go, the NUK® Expressive™ Manual Breast Pump is the right choice for you. Scientifically designed to be used anywhere at any time this manual pump is easy to use and control suction. The ergonomic handle is strategically designed to be closer to baby’s bottle for better comfort. The new, simple design has fewer parts, making it easy for mom to assemble and clean.

All-in-all, I love this breast pump.  It’s great for on-the-go or even every day as your primary breast pump! It breaks down easily for cleaning and can be assembled quickly for those times when pumping just can’t wait.  I carry my NUK© Expressive™ Manual Breast Pump with me whenever I leave the house and highly recommend it to those I encounter. 


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Reducing Colic With Colief Infant Drops {Review & Giveaway}

~*~ Disclosure: I received a complimentary sample to facilitate my review.  This in no way influenced my review & all opinions are 100% my own. ~*~


Do you or someone you know have a child who suffers from colic?  If so, then I’m sure you know how rough colic can be for both baby and mommy.  A crying, screaming infant is enough to bring even the toughest parent to their breaking point.

While I was lucky enough that Little Man was not colic, I do have another child on the way and understand the importance of educating myself on things I may have to deal with this time around that I didn’t have to deal with when Little Man was a baby; colic being one of them.  After all, colic affects up to 1 in 5 babies!

Symptoms of ColicOne of the most common causes of colic is a baby’s inability to break down complex sugars, or “transient lactose deficiency” (TLD). These sugars, called lactose, are found in dairy products, baby formulas, and breast milk. This is where Colief comes in.

Colief Infant Drops are a formula/milk additive that contains the natural enzyme, lactase, that helps your infant break down lactose when their body can’t do it. Available in many major stores {including Walmart, BuyBuy Baby, Kinney Drugs,, Walgreens, and CVS}, Colief is a great product to have on hand for your colicky baby and costs less than $15!


SafeHands Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer {Review}

Safe Hands

~*~ Disclosure: I received a complimentary sample to facilitate my review.  This in no way influenced my review & all opinions are 100% my own. ~*~


Being the “germaphobe” that I am, hand sanitizer is one of those things I never leave home without.  I carry some in my purse, in my car, and have numerous bottles around my house.  Whenever I go shopping, I wipe the cart I’m using down with an anti-bacterial wipe.  At the park, I always make sure that Little Man disinfects his hands after playing on germ-infested jungle gym equipment.

The two biggest complaints my family has about my excessive use of hand sanitizer are the strong odor and the feel of alcohol on their skin after cleaning their hands.  As they don’t want to get sick, though, my loving family usually just deals with the negative aspects of hand sanitizers.

Until recently, I didn’t know that you could find alcohol-free hand sanitizer.  I figured that the nasty side-effects of normal hand sanitizer were just the price you had to pay to sanitize your hands without water.  boy was I wrong!

SafeHands is an alcohol-free hand sanitizer that comes in a variety of scents – none of which leave your hands feeling dry after use!  Designed by a doctor and safe for children AND the environment .  I love the feel, the scents, and the lack of complaining from my husband and son.  SafeHands has quickly become my new favorite hand sanitizer.

Safe Hands hand sanitizers come in 6 lovely scents that are sure to please the whole family:

SafeHands foam

Fragrance Free
Cucumber Mint
Clean Linen
Cool Blue
Tooty Fruity
Bubble Gum


SafeHands leaves no strong odor or funky residue after use. This alcohol-free hand sanitizer also leaves your hand feeling moisturized, not dry – something I’ve never found in another hand sanitizer.

For more information on SafeHands, make sure you LIKE them on Facebook and follow SafeHands on Twitter!


Homemade Pizza With Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust {Review & Giveaway}

Homemade Pizza with Artisans Pizza Crust

~*~ Disclosure: The prize pack, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills and Pillsbury through MyBlogSpark. ~*~

If there’s one meal in my home that’s sure to bring the whole family to the dinner table, it’s pizza!  My son and husband prefer cheese pizza, while I love to mound on the pepperoni, heartburn and all.

When I was given the chance to review the new Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain, I jumped at the chance to make some homemade pizza for my family. I’m constantly trying to get them to eat healthier things and what better way to convince them to eat better than to replace unhealthy foods with healthy ones?  The best place to start is with the foods and snacks eaten most often.

Here is a simple and quick recipe for homemade pizza.  I even took the chance to make some home-made pizza sauce because it’s SO much healthier than pre-made sauce you buy in stores that’s packed full of preservatives and high fructose corn syrup!


Here’s what you need:

  • 1 can organic tomatoes {I used stewed with Italian seasonings for more flavor}
  • 1 Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded {you can use extra if you want it super-cheesy}
  • pepperoni, optional


To Make Pizza Sauce

Pour the can of tomatoes into a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour the puree into a small sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until reduced to desired consistancy {5-10 minutes}.  Remove from heat, let cool, and VOILA!  Makes enough sauce for one pizza.

To Make Your Pizza

  1. Roll out Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain on a pizza pan {a cookie sheet will work, also} and pre-bake per manufacturer’s suggestion.
  2. Spread pizza sauce evenly on pre-baked pizza crust.  Sprinkle cheese and desired toppings on top of pizza sauce.
  3. Bake until cheese is melted {it only takes a few minutes}.
  4. Slice and enjoy!

Want to make this recipe yourself?  Then make sure you print this Coupon for $1.50 off one package of Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust before heading to the store to get your ingredients!



How would you like to win a pizza prize pack valued at $64?  The prize pack includes:

  • A VIP coupon for one FREE Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust with Whole Grain
  • 15.5″ Farberware Pizza Pan
  • Food Chopper with Storage Containers
  • Silicon-grip Oven Mitt

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more recipes, check out Farmer’s Market Pizza Ideas from Pillsbury!


Sooth Your Child’s Aches & Pains with Thermal-Aid

thermal-aid picture

~*~ Disclosure: I received a complimentary sample to facilitate my review.  This in no way influenced my review & all opinions are 100% my own. ~*~

Sometimes, my son really can be his own worst enemy.  It seems like every day he’s developing new bumps, bruises, and scrapes. I’m constantly reminding him not to run on asphalt and cement because the fall hurts a lot worse than when he’s in the grass!  I’m pretty sure he gets his 2 left feet from his father ;)

Recently, I was sent Thermal-Aid Zoo Monkey for Little Man.  He wasted no time laying it gently in the freezer to stay cold.  Within a few hours of putting the Thermal-Aid Zoo Monkey in the freezer, Little Man found a use for it after bonking his head on a wood beam while working with Daddy. I was glad to see that his cries of pain quickly turned to giggles when I suggested he put the cold application on his forehead.

On top of being a cooling application for your little one’s bumps and bruises, Thermal-Aid 100% Natural Heating and Cooling Plush Animals can be heated in the microwave to provide and warm compress for your child.  Little Man wasn’t feeling good a few nights ago, so I warmed our monkey up and he quickly fell asleep snuggled up to the cuddly creature.

One of my favorite features about the Thermal-Aid 100% Natural Heating and Cooling Plush Animals is that they’re washable!  You can quickly and easily wash off any dirt, grime, or sweat that may get on your little buddy, restoring him/her back to its original condition.   Since Little Man is usually getting dirty when he gets hurt, it’s nice to know that I can quickly hand him the Thermal-Aid monkey and not have to worry that whatever he was playing in will get permanently stained onto the compress.


The Thermal-Aid 100% Natural Heating and Cooling Plush can be found in a variety of stores and online for only $14.95!  This is an amazing price for a product that can be used over and over for years to come.

The following plush animals are available:

  • Happy Hippo
  • Baxter Bunny
  • Jo Jo Monkey
  • Tiny Elephant
  • Ollie Koala
  • Buckley Bear
  • Bella Bear

If you’ve got an accident-prone child like me, you’ll LOVE these Thermal-Aid 100% Natural Heating and Cooling Plush Animals!  My son has used it so many times since we received it and I’m so thankful to have it sitting in our freezer, ready to use when we need it. Order yours now to receive a second Thermal-Aid plush for FREE {just pay separate P&H}.


My Latest Farmer’s Market Find: Mama Mia’s Beef Jerky

Mama Mia's Beef Jerky

First let me say that this is NOT a sponsored post or review in any way. I bought this product with my own mullah and because I love it so much, I’m sharing it with you guys!


On to the matter at hand – JERKY!

In this household, beef jerky is a staple item. We eat it all the time and it’s Daddy’s go-to snack when he’s at work. Even Little Man, the self-proclaimed vegetarian of the group, will eat jerky from time-to-time.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned as a jerky-loving family, it’s that not all jerky is alike. Over the years, we’ve discovered a LOT of jerky that we didn’t like and will never buy again. Any beef jerky that wants a spot in our pantry has to have both good taste and texture or we won’t eat it.

Mama Mia's Beef Jerky packageThat being said, I’m happy to share my latest farmer’s market find – Mama Mia’s Beef Jerky!  Not only does Mama Mia make some amazing beef jerky, but this Mom-driven beef jerky company is a big supporter of the community teaming up with local sports groups and musical arts programs to raise money for the community. She also supports our troops!

Available in a variety of flavors, Mama Mia makes beef and turkey jerky.  Her homemade marinade recipe was handed down to her by her Dad and after one bite, you’ll see why it’s such a big hit.  I think my favorite has got to be the sweet-and-sour beef jerky that I tried at the farmer’s market, but didn’t bring home with me {a stupid decision on my part – I should have stocked up!}.  Surprisingly, I found Mama Mia’s Turkey Jerky to be just as good as the beef!  At less calories than the beef jerky and made with 100% turkey breast, I will be stocking up on turkey jerky next weekend, too.

How do you get  your hands on some Mama Mia’s Beef or Turkey Jerky, you ask?  Simple!  Head over to the Mama Mia’s Beef Jerky web site and order some!  You can have this delicious jerky shipped right to your door or send some to our troops over seas.  If you’re in the area, Mama Mia’s Beef Jerky can be found at a number of Farmer’s Markets {like mine}, which will also give you the chance to sample Mama Mia’s Beef Jerky and meet Mama Mia herself!

For more information on Mama Mia’s Beef Jerky, make sure you’re following her on Facebook or Twitter and let her know California Monkey Momma sent you! :)


BLOGGERS NEEDED: Summer Events Sign-Ups Open

Hosted by:
Come and join us on this great giveaway
“Getting ready for Summer”
We will have 3 winners, all prizes will be ordered and shipped from
Prize #1 Any bike up to $150 (kids or adult/Safety accessories not included)
Prize #2 Step2-Touring-Wagon-Functions Value $119 (if not available winner can pick another wagon up to $119)
Prize # 3 Scooter up to $80 (Safety accessories not included)
Here are the details to sign up:
-Free Link (Twitter or Pinterest)  
The first 50 bloggers to sign up will get a link free with announcement. 
Announcement is require or you have to pay a waver fee of $5.00
(Please read the sign up form on the top to know if we still have free space available)
-Link/ or extra links $4.00 each (if the free spots are gone, to be part of this giveaway you will need to pay $4.00 for each link you want on the giveaway)
Announcement is require or you have to pay a waver fee of $5.00.
-Co-Host $20.00
The co-host get 2 host page.  
10 links on the RC.
No announcement require.
Please send payment to as a gift.



Enter for your chance to win $25,000 from Auntie Anne’s!

Auntie Anne’s is celebrating 25 pretzel perfect years with the introduction of their brand new Honey Whole Grain Pretzel!  Click here for a chance to win $25,000 and an opportunity to try your hand at rolling your very own Auntie Anne’s pretzel.  Play the game every day to see if you’ve instantly won the all-new Apple® iPad mini, Coca-Cola® beverages FOR A YEAR, or a $25 Visa® gift card!

Ends: 3/31/13


Valentine’s Day Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Amazon Gift CardI’m feeling the love today and wanted to share some with you guys!

Well, who wouldn’t LOVE a $10 Amazon gift card?!

I’m going to keep in short and sweet.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below and you’re good to go!  I’ll pick a winner in the morning {February 15, 2013} and email that person immediately :)   You’ll have 24 hours to confirm you are who you are and I’ll email you the code!  THAT’S IT!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering and good luck!


Yay For Knot Genie!


I recently shared a Groupon deal with you guys for a Knot Genie Detangling Brush sale {no longer available}.  I was super excited to snag that deal because brushing my son’s hair is always a big fight and usually ends in tears.

Well, my Knot Genie arrived in the mail today and I wasted no time running it through my own hair to test it out.  I knew there had to be a reason it had such good reviews and was anxious to try it out so I could convince Little Man to let me try it on him.  I’m sooooo happy to report that the Knot Genie really is as awesome as everyone says!  I was a little taken back by the pointy ends on the comb ends, but those are a small price to pay for the amazing results you get with the Knot Genie.

RackMultipart20130116-25938-1j996j8_wideI began by showing Little Man how easily the Knot Genie went through my hair. I explained that there were “pokies” on the end of brush that helped comb through the tangles.  As he ate breakfast, I ran the Knot Genie through his hair for the first time and he didn’t even flinch!  I ran it through a different section of hair {notorious for being the most knotted area of his head} and again, no reaction!!  I was in total disbelief.  Little Man just continued eating while I brushed his hair.  After the fourth or fifth pass, I stopped and asked him how it was feeling.  He said, “You were right, it is a little pokey, but it doesn’t hurt at all!”  I finished his hair in just a couple more passes and we were done!  I couldn’t believe that what normally took 5+ minutes and many pleads from myself for him to please settle down and let me finish brushing his hair was DONE in a matter of seconds!

I am completely in love with the Knot Genie and will definitely be recommending it to everyone I know {including you guys} because it really is awesome.  I am glad that I got it at a discounted rate, but having tried it and fallen in love, I would happily pay twice as much for a Knot Genie. My husband even asked for me to get him one to keep in his work truck!


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