It’s a…

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I took both versions of My Angel, You Are Loved to my ultrasound today.  The technician wrote the sweetest message for us on the inside cover of one of the books: “Congratulations!  It’s a BEAUTIFUL little GIRL!” Writing this book has … Continue reading

Hello Again!

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I hope you are all doing well!  It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but I’m back with exciting news.  I have been “busy” watching more movies and television over the last 4 months than I watched in the 2 years … Continue reading

Be Still.

He is...

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This wouldn’t escape my thoughts today, so, I had to share. May your weekend be filled with blessings-and, perhaps a quiet, cozy moment all to yourself. Happy Friday!

Simple Blessings

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About two weeks ago, I was lying on the couch snuggling my kids, relaxing after a long day that consisted of giving 8 massages. I was tired, so when my kids offered to massage my feet and legs, I was … Continue reading

Mother’s Day Card

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This week it’s all about mom!  In honor of Mother’s Day, we have created a card that kids can color and decorate especially for mom.  Simply click the link below (not the image, as it’s not full size).  Then, print … Continue reading

In Celebration of Mother’s Day

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In celebration of Mother’s Day, we are offering our Facebook fans the chance to win a copy of My Angel, You Are Loved.  If you win, you even get to choose a friend to receive a copy as well! There … Continue reading

Heart Art: Valentines and more!

We have more photos to share from Heart Art!  Thank you to everyone that joined us at the Bellingham Public Library for Heart Art! You were part of a special community event that will touch others this Valentine’s Day (all valentines have been given to local hospitals for patients to receive). Enjoy browsing the photos below to see if you can find the valentine you created!

Did you know it’s Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day?  You have the potential to  save babies lives by sharing this information with moms-to-be. What better valentine’s gift could there be? Please read here to learn more about Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Screening.  

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!

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CLICK HERE TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS FROM HEART ART!

Heart Art Co-Sponsors:

Bellingham Public Library

MaryAnn Kohl of Bright Ring Publishing: Click here to listen to art expert, MaryAnn Kohl, as she talks about how to encourage your child’s creativity through art.

Stampadoodle

Disclaimer: Any sites referenced on My Angel, You Are Loved providing products or services, are referenced because they were found to be valuable resources.  We are not compensated for providing this information. I am not a medical provider.  If you have any medical questions, please contact a medical professional or health care specialist to guide you.

 

Heart Art

Many joined us for Heart Art at the Bellingham Public Library last Saturday.  Those that participated made valentines for loved ones, as well as Seattle Children’s Hospital patients, and patients of other local hospitals.  I was warmed by the feeling of pure joy and love as I witnessed children and adults creating unique notes to be shared with a loved one, or a hospital patient that might appreciate a special note to let them know they are loved and thought of by their community.  Some wore large, beaming grins across their face; others took this task seriously as they went to work.

 

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48 Valentines are on their way to Seattle Children’s Hospital and other local hospitals thanks to EVERYONE that attended and participated in Heart Art!  Heart Art started as a thought-a simple idea-and was transformed into a wonderful community event I was proud to be part of!  I hope we are able to organize more events like this in the future!

There are more photos to share, so be sure to watch for our next post, or sign-up to receive notice of future posts by clicking here and placing “subscribe” in the subject line, or by entering you email on the right side of this page under “follow via email.”  Within 48 hours you’ll receive a confirmation email.   You information is not shared with third parties.  

You can also join us on Facebook at:  www.facebook.com/myangelyouareloved or follow us on twitter @myangelurloved.

I want to give a very big thanks to the Bellingham Public Library, not only for co-sponsoring this event, but for providing support through their knowledge during the earlier stages of publishing My Angel, You Are Loved.

To MaryAnn Kohl of Bright Ring Publishing and to Suzanne as well:  Thank you for your commitment and support,  and for providing supplies to create these wonderful cards.  It wouldn’t have been the same without you as a part of this team!  To anyone with little ones, be sure to sign up for MaryAnn’s mailing list, she has many wonderful art ideas to share with you!

To Stampadoodle: thank you for donating the use of your equipment, allowing us to provide die cuts for the Valentines.

To my mom: thank you for helping out with my boys.  We all loved having you there!

Car Seats Expire?!

Thanks to a wonderful group of Bellingham Mamas, I recently learned that car seats expire. Somewhere on your car seat-usually the side-there is a label with the model number and expiration date.  Typically, a car seat will expire 5-9 years from the date of manufacture (resources by brand below).  The reason for the expiration date listed by manufacturing companies consisted of the following: length of time between updates and improvements providing child safety, wear/weakening of straps, and possible degradation of plastic.  I would like to note here that many manufacturers instructions were to wash straps by hand only, also for safety reasons (refer to your car seat instruction book).

If you should happen to have an expired car seat, as we did, the next question is: what do I do with it?  The thought of tossing the car seat in a landfill was bothering me, so I did some research. If you live near Whatcom County, I am thrilled to let you know Relectronics, a local non-profit, accepts “almost anything plastic and metal” and this includes car seats.  By  bringing these expired or damaged items to Relectronics, you prevent your car seat from sitting in a landfill, and you help support a wonderful non-profit.

Here’s what you need to do to recycle your car seat:

1. Remove the cover, all straps and foam from the car seat.

2. Cut the straps so there is no way for them to be re-used.  Also cut all metal and plastic parts away from the straps and recycle the metal and plastic (if they are accepted by the company you take the car seat to-they are accepted at Relectronics).

3. Next, it’s a good idea to write expired all over the car seat, or even break it so it is obvious it should not be used.

These images are of our expired car seat.  Crumbs included just to keep it real. ;0)

If you do not have a resource for recycling your car seat:

1. Consider checking with your local plastics or electronics recycling facility.  I have frequently taken electronic items to Relectronics for recycling, but was unaware that I could take my car seat until I simply thought to ask. When Travis at Relectronics explained that they could accept “almost anything plastic and metal,” I began to realize the array of items I could recycle with them, including my expired car seat.

Note: If you have any suggestions or resources for recycling car seats outside of Whatcom County, you may send them to me.  I would be happy to look into your suggestions, as well as update this post with any new information.  I would love to include options for other areas besides Whatcom County.

2. Toys R Us has a Great Trade In Event where you can bring in items that you no longer need, or are no longer safe; and they provide you a discount on a purchase in return.  However, I do not know that they recycle the seats.  I emailed the following question to find out, and have listed it with their response below.

“What happens to the items that are brought in for the Great Trade In Event?  Are they thrown out or recycled?  Are you able to recycle(not reuse) car seats or other items containing metals and plastics?  Thank you in advance, Sarah”

Response on 11/3/2012:

“Dear Ms. Sarah:

Thank you for contacting The “R” Us Family. We appreciate your interest regarding of how your trade-in items will be handled.

The “Great Trade-In” event places an emphasis on specific baby products, such as cribs and car seats that, due to safety concerns, may not be the best candidates to be handed down or resold.  Beyond recalls, certain older and used baby items can be potentially unsafe for a variety of reasons, including damage or lack of compliance with recent advances in product safety standards.

Items that are brought in during the Great Trade-in Event are disposed of and/or returned to the manufacturer.  They are not available for donation, repurchase or return.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our offices at 1-800-ToysRUs (1-800-869-7787). Anyone who answers may be able to assist you.

Thank you once again, Ms. Sarah, for contacting the “R” Us family, and we look forward to serving you in the future.

Sincerely,

Brandi  6623
The “R” Us Team”

Finally, if you do not have a way to dispose of your car seat, and you must put it in the trash, you will still want to follow the above steps to be sure the expired car seat is not used.

 

If you found this information useful, please share it with other moms so we can spread the word about expired car seats, as well as build up resources for those outside of Whatcom County.   Also, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions* or suggestions.

*Please contact your car seat manufacturer if you have any questions regarding the expiration date of your car seat, or if you need to purchase new straps because you have machine washed your current straps.

Car Seat Manufacturer Contact List:

Graco: Car Seats Have Expirations Too!

Contact Graco

Britax: Car Seat Basics, Retired Car Seats

Britax Customer Service Contact Page as well as information regarding the average life of their car seats (scroll to Hot Topics at the bottom of the page).

Evenflo:

Car Seat Safety Guidelines, also includes contact information.

Peg Perego: Frequently Asked Questions (scroll to the second comment at the bottom of the article for the response regarding expiration dates). Contact information is on the right side of the Frequently Asked Questions Page.

Cosco: Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Cosco

Maxi-Cosi: Frequently Asked Questions: Is My Older Car Seat Still Safe To Use?

Click Here to look-up Car Seat Recalls.

Soup’s On

As a busy mother of two, I am always looking for a meal that is quick to prepare.  I don’t enjoy cooking, but I do want my kids eating healthy food.  After hearing about a crock pot recipe for shredded chicken that was simply chicken and salsa, I decided to add a few other items along with some broth to see how it worked as a soup.  As it turns out, it was worth trying.  My kids and husband love this recipe which makes for one happy mommy.  This is an easy meal to prepare for family or friends at times of need as well. To top it off,  this recipe is a simple gluten, dairy and soy free recipe for those unfamiliar with cooking allergy free.  Simply set aside five minutes for meal preparation, then let the crock pot do the rest of the work for you. After a few hours of enjoying the aroma of Tortilla Soup throughout your home, gather together as a family for a comforting and  enjoyable meal.  Happy Fall!

Shredded Chicken Tortilla Soup (Gluten/Dairy/Soy Free)*

Prep Time: 5 Minutes  Cook Time: 4-4.5 hours   Makes 8-9 Cups

Soup:

2 Organic, Free Range Chicken Breasts (1-1.5 lbs.)

4 Cups of Low Sodium Organic Chicken Broth

2 Cups of Organic Frozen Corn (Non-GMO).

1/2 Cup of Black Beans soaked for 24 hours-then cooked, or 1-16oz. Can of Black Beans.  I suggest Eden Organics as they use BPA-Free Lining. Read to learn more.

1 16oz. Jar of Salsa.  Newman’s Own Medium Salsa is my favorite.  I tried Wildwood/Emerald Valley Organics and that is good as well, it’s a bit more spicy.

Sides:

Avocado

Corn Chips

If dairy allergens are not of concern, Shredded Cheese and Sour Cream top this soup nicely.

Place salsa, chicken, corn, black beans and chicken broth into crock pot.  Cook on high for 4 hours, let sit on warm for 30 minutes (chicken becomes more tender). Remove chicken breasts and shred with forks. If you want to set aside some shredded chicken for tacos, there is usually enough to do that.  Place any shredded chicken for soup back into the crock pot.  To keep this recipe Gluten and Dairy Free, top with avocado and serve with Organic Corn Chips.

For a Vegetarian Version:

Use Vegetable Broth and eliminate Chicken Breasts.  Instead of Chicken, play with adding additional ingredients such as rice, another bean variety, and/or other veggies such as zucchini.  How much you want to add, really depends on how hearty you prefer your soups.

Corn Allergies: Eliminate Corn Chips and Corn from Soup. Use Beanitos Black Bean Chips as a side.

For Nursing Mamas:  Sometimes spicy foods can bother baby, you may opt to make this soup with a mild salsa.

*To keep this recipe Dairy Free, top with avocado and serve with Corn Chips.

Side Note Regarding Crock Pots: I’ve read about concerns regarding lead in Crock Pots.  I would suggest picking up this handy Lead Check Test, available at hardware stores and even Bed Bath and Beyond.  Test on the outside of the Ceramic Pot then wash Ceramic Pot before using.  Dispose of the Lead Check Test as instructions direct.

Disclaimer:  Any sites referenced on My Angel, You Are Loved providing products or services, are referenced on this site because they were found to be valuable resources.  We are not compensated for providing their information.