Neocell Biotin Bursts Review

A few months ago I received a package of Neocell’s Biotin Bursts to try out and review. I had been experiencing some pretty terrible postpartum hair loss (think giant monster in your drain), and was looking for ways to help stop the hair loss. After quite a bit of research that Biotin might be my answer, I started to ask around about what type or brand of Biotin to purchase. Most people I asked pointed me in the direction of Neocell!

I had never previously heard of or even tried any of Neocell’s produts, yet love the fact that they are a family owned company. They work to leave as small of a carbon footprint as possible and use 100% Post Consumer Resin in their packaging. I visited their site after learning about getting the chance to review them and one of the pieces I found that stood out the most was this, “NeoCell is a family owned, family run company and understands the importance of leaving a clean, healthy world to our children.” I’m a huge supporter of companies that work to make the world a better place for future generations so I was instantly sold when I read how great Neocell is as a brand.

Neocell Biotin BurstsI received a box of Biotin Bursts to review and inside is a bag with individually wrapped chews. Each package contains 30 chews, meaning it’s a one month supply. I’m super sensitive to tastes, which is the nice way of saying I’m super picky. So, I thought oh boy I’m never going to like these, which generally means I take them for a few weeks and then start to taper off. However, these little chews taste amazing! Remember the grape Bubblicious gum you chewed as a kid? These taste just like that! Do keep in mind though that these are supplements and should not be eaten as candy! I kept mine up in my medicine cabinet because they do look like candy and I did not want them to be mistaken as such by anyone else.

I wanted to really have a chance to try these out before I formulated my honest opinion about them which is why it’s taken me so long to review them. I went through the entire package and will definitely be buying more, because they really helped. I am down to my normal amount of hair loss (I have super long hair so this isn’t unusual), and I feel like my hair is more full than before I had started taking them. They taste great so I don’t dread taking them like I do for most other vitamins, and they are reasonably priced. I also like the fact that they areNeocell Biotin Bursts Chews individually packaged. We do a lot of travelling in the summer and it’s super easy to pop however many I need in my backpack rather than have to worry about bringing a whole box or a pill bottle.

The bursts not only contain Biotin but they also contain Acai Berry which works in your body as an antioxidant. I was glad to see that the packaging states that they do not contain Gluten, Palm Oil or Soy. As someone who works on avoiding Gluten this was a welcome sign!

Neocell has a lot of other great products that also contain Biotin, so if you’re not looking for a straight Biotin product you can also try their Beauty Infusion products which contain 3,000MCG of Biotin compared to the 10,000MCG that the chews contain. If you’re interested in purchasing any of their products you can find a product locator on their website here!

-Mama Budget

I received a package of Neocell’s Biotin Bursts to review for free, however the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. Read my full disclosure here.

Dairy Free Snacks for Babies and Toddlers

Dairy Free SnacksWhen Baby Budget was about 1o months old we discovered that she had issues with dairy. We immediately switched her to a dairy free formula and she now maintains a dairy free diet. When she was only drinking a bottle or just starting to eat food it was pretty easy to find things for her to eat. Now that she’s eating meals with us and wanting her own snacks I’ve found it more difficult to find things. I know that you can run down the snack aisle at the grocery store and pick up a million things that don’t have dairy, but most of those things aren’t items I would feed to a child. So, I’ve compiled a small list of dairy free snacks for babies and toddlers! 

Fruits

Veggies

Peanut Butter Toast

Cheerios

Dairy Free Yogurt

Fruit Snacks

French Fries/Tater Tots

Applesauce

Animal Crackers

Avocado on Toast or Tortillas

Raisins

Banana Bread Muffins (This recipe is amazing!)

Crackers

Meat

Fig Bars (We buy Nature’s Bakery)

When we are home we tend to focus on fruits and vegetables for snacks, especially during the summer because we are able to pick fresh from the garden. However, life happens and when we are in a hurry or even on the road it’s sometimes easier to toss some graham crackers in a bag. I’ve had a hard time finding new snack ideas or even meal ideas that are dairy free, but I have found that when searching it’s easier to find vegan recipes which are dairy free, than it is to just search for dairy free recipes! If you have any additional snack ideas feel free to let me know!

-Mama Budget

 

Sun Safety: How to Keep Your Baby Safe from the Sun

Sun SafetySummer is in full swing and that means we have been outside as much as possible! The only drawback to always being outside is that we’re constantly battling the sun. However, there’s a few things that can help make it a little easier. Keep in mind that these tips may not work for all ages, infants should not be in the sun as long as older children and most pediatricians recommend no sunscreen before 6 months so you should keep that in mind as well.
Sun Shirts or Rash Guards – These are a lifesaver! They help to cover a lot of the skin, if not all of it, and they keep the suns harmful rays off of your little one’s skin. Even better, they’ve started to make them in adult sizes so the whole familSwimZip Sunsuity can be safe. I’ve found them pretty much anywhere that sells swimwear for kids but my favorite brand is SwimZip! They may not be the easiest on your budget, but if you watch for a sale they are pretty reasonable.

Hats and  A lot of people forget about their head when it comes to sunshine. Hats are the perfect solution and if you purchase a swim hat or a wide brimmed hat it not only protects their head, but also their face and eyes. I’ve My Swim Baby Sun Hatpurchased a My Swim Baby Sun Hat for the last two years and will continue to do so until Baby Budget no longer fits in them. They are super cute, have a strap that you can tie, are reversible, and are machine washable!

Sunglasses-Most babies won’t keep sunglasses on, or even older kids for that matter. However, if you’ve got a stylish dude or dudette who doesn’t mind the shades then it’s a perfect addition to your outdoor wardrobe! We purchased a pair of Babiators last year when they had a sale and not only did they fit perfectly, but they offer a lifetime guarantee on them! Perfect for a kid who loves to see how far sunglasses will bend before they break!

Sunscreen – The opinion on sunscreen seems to vary depending on who you’re talking to whether it be parent or pediatrician. However, we use sunscreen and I have found that Babyganics is my absolute favorite! (EWG rates it a 3 on a scale of 10 with 1 being the best, but honestly I didn’t know that before writing this we had just received it as a gift.) It’s a little thicker than other sunscreens that we have tried, but I tend to like that because then I can see that I have applied it everywhere. We currently apply sunscreen every 2-3 hours depending on whether or not we’ve been in the water. You can always apply it more often if needed. Snoozy Pop Up Tent

Shade- This can be a little harder to come by especially if you are in an area with no natural shade. A few options
could be an umbrella or a kids play tent. I recently discovered a few different varieties on Amazon and am hoping to test a few out! My favorite so far is the Snoozy Toddler Easy Pop Up Tent, plus it’s only $20! We always try to seek out shaded areas but when it’s not possible we make sure to keep ourselves protected with the other ways listed.

These are just a few quick tips that I follow to keep Baby Budget safe when in the sun! Do you have any additional ideas?

-Mama Budget

-Read my full disclosure here!

Birthday Freebies!

One of my favorite days of the year just so happens to be my birthday, not because I’m getting another year older, but because of all of the freebies! Last weekend we went to the mall to pick up birthday freebies! You can find lists of places that give you free stuff on your birthday, but these are my favorite for adults. I’ll have another list coming soon of my favorite birthday freebies for kids!

Best Birthday FreebiesGodiva – $10 Certificate – The Godiva rewards program is my absolute favorite because they offer you a free piece of chocolate every month! I don’t live near one so it’s always a treat when I can visit because I’m obsessed with their chocolate covered strawberries. Their birthday reward this year was a $10 gift certificate that could be used online or in-store. I waited for a free shipping offer and purchased a coffee trio and a bar of chocolate for $1.03 shipped!

Victoria’s Secret – $10 Birthday Reward – I am signed up for Victoria’s Secret emails and received a $10 reward to be used in-store or online. It’s pretty rare that Victoria’s Secret offers free shipping so I went to the store. It can be pretty pricey because you can’t use your reward on clearance, however I was able to find underwear and beauty items that were below or at the $10 threshold.

Cinnabon – Free MochaLatta Chill – If you sign up for Cinnabon’s E-club then you will receive an email with a coupon for a free MochaLatta Chill. Even better when you first sign up they will send you an offer for a free minibon! I never knew these existed, but they are the perfect size for one person!

Sephora – Free Beauty Item – Signing up for Sephora’s rewards program not only offers you points and exclusive discounts, but they also offer an awesome birthday freebie. The birthday freebies change every year, and for the first time ever they offered a choice of items! I was able to choose between a Fresh Mini Cleanser and Mask or a Marc Jacobs Eye Liner and Lip Creme. These can be redeemed in-store or online.

Kohl’s – $5 Reward Certificate – Kohl’s offers a Yes2You Rewards program which gives you points when you make purchases, and they send you a $5 certificate for your birthday! Their The Big One Microfiber Pillows were on sale for $2.54, so I purchased two!

Starbucks – Free Drink or Bakery Item – Starbucks Rewards program offers you a free drink or treat on your birthday, and this year I received the email the day before my birthday, and it expires the day after. So, make sure if you sign up you are watching for the email so that it does not expire. Plus, you can get any type of drink that you want. Add in extra caramel, a shot of espresso, maybe some whip cream? It’s free!

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – Free Pretzels – Sign up for their rewards program via their mobile app and you’ll receive a Birthday Freebiesfree pretzel on your birthday! I love the fact that you can choose any type of pretzel as Papa Budget and I like to share the pretzel bites! Plus, you’ll collect rewards points from the app and earn free pretzels.

Famous Dave’s – BOGO 50% Off Entree – This one isn’t exactly a freebie, but it’s one of the best meal offers that I received unless I wanted dessert, which I don’t usually have room for anyways. Plus, we used it during lunch time so the prices were reduced and it made for a nice inexpensive meal! You can sign up for their emails and they will send you various offers throughout the year as well as this birthday offer!

Best Buy – $5 Reward Certificate – Best Buy sent me an email with a Happy Un-Birthday gift! It was a $5 rewards certificate, and with another gift card that I had saved from Zyrtec Rewards, I was able to get Papa Budget a video game for free!

Dunkin Donuts – Free Drink – If you sign up for their DD Perks rewards program via their app they will send out offers including a free drink for your birthday. If your birthday isn’t coming up then wait to sign up. A few times a year they offer a dollar amount bonus for signing up and purchasing a gift card. Last year when I signed up I purchased a $5 gift card and received a $5 bonus as well as a free drink!

These are my absolute favorite programs to be in when it comes to birthday freebies. It’s not technically my birthday yet, so I may be surprised by a few new ones as well. Plus, make sure you check your junk/spam folder. As I was typing this I found an email in my junk folder with a birthday coupon!

What places offer your favorite birthday freebies?

-Mama Budget

Read my full disclosure here!

Free eBooks from BookBub!

Free eBooks from BookBubOne of my favorite ways to relax is to curl up with a good book. When I’m feeding Baby Budget I often read a book on my phone or Kindle. We used to go to the library weekly, but once Baby Budget came (and discovered a love for chewing on books) we stopped going as much. I’ve always looked for ways to get books for free and for a long time I would type in a subject into Amazon and then sort low to high in the books category. I would find a few titles but it was usually time consuming and some weren’t worth it. Then I was introduced to BookBub! When you sign up they help customize your experience so that they are recommending books that should suit you. Even better, they will email you a book list every day with discounted and free books! Plus, BookBub itself is absolutely free! You can sign up here!

 

Here are few of the books I’ve discovered via BookBub: (more…)

Tonight Took A Little Longer

I started Baby On A Budget not only because I truly want to help others save money while raising children, but also because I enjoy writing. I enjoy letting others know the endless stream of thoughts and ideas that cross my mind on a daily basis. This is my outlet, and therefore tonight I bring you…

Tonight Took A Little Longer

I bathed Baby Budget and put her in her pajamas. We read a book, drank a bottle, and then rocked. She decided it wasn’t quite bedtime so we went out into the living room and played, had a snack, and read another book. Thirty minutes later she still wasn’t quite ready for bed, but we went into her room to rock anyway. She drank a bottle, and we rocked. Generally getting Baby Budget to sleep is a pretty quick process, yet tonight it took a little longer. I rubbed her head and face, hummed her a song and we rocked. Did I mention we rocked? It took about an hour the second time until she fell asleep, and then we stayed there and I watched her sleep. Now what’s the point to all of this?

On a daily basis I see the crime and hate on the news and even my Facebook feed. I see parents who lose little ones way to early, and little ones lose parents too early as well. There’s so much sadness and hate in the world, that tonight I just wanted to spend extra time with Baby Budget. She won’t be little forever, and she surely won’t want mom to rock her forever. I laid my head on hers and simply smelled her hair and kissed her sweet head. Most nights I’m not home, as I work a full time job, and even when I am home I am often in a hurry that I forget to take extra time. I forget that in no time at all she will be grown. Yet, tonight it took a little longer and I’m okay with that. So when your little one just doesn’t want to sleep, or they need to be read just one more book and get that last drink of water, just remember they are not little forever. Hug them close and kiss them tight, because some nights it takes a little longer.

-Mama Budget

Babies Don’t Need Toys

Have you ever seen the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium? It has a character that receives a block, and continues to call it a plain piece of wood, until she believes it’s more than a block. I feel like this is a parenting point of view on toys. Your baby needs very few things when they first come into this world and those are; food, diapers, clothing, shelter and love. While it’s nice to have fancy gizmos and gadgets, if you are on a budget those items should be your main focus.  If you are buying gifts for someone on a budget please keep this in mind as well.

Children have absolutely amazing imaginations, and low expectations when it comes to things to play with or keep them occupied. Currently, Baby Budget is playing with our dog pen, opening and closing the door repeatedly. This is where Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium comes in, we may look at a plain piece of wood and see simply that, however a child looks at that same piece of wood and sees something different. Parents often joke that they could have given the child the box the toy came in, instead of the toy itself, and this is true. When Baby Budget was first learning to sit we used a large red bowl to help her keep her balance, it was something we already owned, and we still use it rather than going out and getting something such as a Bumbo to assist her. Am I telling you to never purchase toys for your child? No, I’m simply saying that if you have a budget, don’t spend it on toys for a baby, find fun things to play with in your house.

Some examples include:

  • Measuring Cups
  • Boxes, of all shapes and sizes!
  • Clothing – socks seem to be a favorite.
  • A Blanket – Peek-A-Boo anyone?
  • Bathroom Mirror – As babies age they love to look at themselves!
  • Tupperware containers
  • Music (This isn’t exactly a toy, however most kids love music!)

 

Anything that is safe meaning no sharp edges, can’t be swallowed, won’t suffocate a child; can easily be turned into a toy. Larger items such as blankets should be used under supervision unless the child is older and can safely play with it themselves. Again, I’m not saying your child doesn’t deserve toys, however buying them should not be at the top of your list when you only have enough money for food and diapers. They are little and they won’t remember not having every toy under the sun. Save your money for the important things, and if or when you have room in your budget, purchase a few small toys!

-Mama Budget