Tag Archives: children

Aroma Sense Therapy & Spina Bifida

Aroma Sense Therapy & Spina Bifida

This post has been sponsored by Aroma Sense USA. All opinions are the property of Life as a Convert. - Seriously guys, go check them out!

Aroma Sense and Stretching - Spina Bifida

Have you ever met somebody in a wheelchair?

Probably.

Did they have spina bifida?

Possibly.

My son, Aloshua, was born with spina bifida. Spina bifida is a neural tube defect affecting approximately 1-10 out of every 1,000 births. One thing people with spina bifida struggle with is atrophy. This is a fancy way of saying that because certain muscles (like those in the legs) are underused, they begin to waste away and can become tight making it difficult and often times painful for the individual to function normally.

Aloshua - 11 Year old with Spina Bifida - Wheelchair User

Have you ever tried to do the splits, only to end up crying out in pain because you pulled a muscle? It’s pretty painful. Now imagine that this happens whenever you stretch your legs AT ALL. This is what some people with spina bifida experience on a regular basis. Since their legs don’t stretch the way that most people’s do, even basic stretching can be painful. In fact, stretching their legs is something that is often a primary focus during physical therapy sessions.

Spina Bifida and Stretching

Parents of children with spina bifida are taught when their children are young how to stretch their muscles and it is important that it be done consistently. This is something that my son, Aloshua, struggles with. It is painful and can often leave him sore if he is over-stretched. I recently discovered that some parents use bath products to help make routine stretching easier on their children.

The more I thought about it, the more I knew I wanted to try bath time for our stretching regime.

Kid with Spina Bifida in Bath stretching legs with Aroma Sense Luxury Shower Head

Thanks to Aroma Sense and their handheld shower heads, I can join in on bath time stretching. Aroma Sense is a US based company specializing in luxury shower heads. Each shower head comes with a cartridge of an essential oil based aroma therapy blend. Additional cartridges can be purchased through their website. There are numerous options including lemon, citrus mango, lavender, jasmine, and eucalyptus. You can see the benefits of each aroma therapy scent on their features page.

I chose lavender.

Aroma Sense Shower Head Lavendar Replacement Cartridges

Lavender oil is helpful in treating migraines, headaches, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress. It can inhibit bacteria that causes acne, and help to regulate sebum excretion. In aromatherapy, it induces sleep to relieve insomnia and makes an excellent solution for anxiety issues. (Source)

I like that lavender has so many added benefits that weren’t even on my radar originally. Aloshua struggles with migraine headaches, my daughter and I struggle with insomnia, and my older son struggles with acne, so it is a win-win for all of the family.

Installing Aroma Sense Luxury Shower Head

Setting up the shower head was a breeze. We previously had a shower hose from our durable medical equipment supply company. All I had to do was unscrew the head from that hose and screw on the new shower head. I chose the handheld option for the ability to target specific areas of his legs. Aroma Sense also offers wall mounted version.

Not only is the water pressure great, it is an even pressure and uses less water than a standard shower head. Take a peek at this video to see a similar comparison of what we previously used to what we are using now:

The only con I have ran into is the inability to turn the hose off at the handheld part. This is not a big deal as I am able to turn it off at the wall.

Using Aroma Sense Therapy

As you can see, the hose I have is long enough to reach the entirety of the tub, allowing Aloshua to hold the shower head himself so I can stretch his legs.

Aroma Sense Shower Head - Aroma Therapy Massage Stretching

Since getting the Aroma Sense shower head, Aloshua has been more willing to allow me to stretch him. The combination of warm water and lavender scent relaxes him and reduces anxiety related to past, painful stretching experiences.

If you have a child with spina bifida and are looking for a better way to help loosen those tight muscles, I definitely recommend Aroma Sense’s Luxury Shower Heads. If you are anybody else, I also recommend getting one. Hello, eucalyptus and jasmine scents! The cartridges are affordable and very easy to change out. Just unscrew and pop a new one in.

Be sure to like Aroma Sense on Facebook and receive great deals and other health information.

Have you ever used essential oils in your shower routine? 

What is your favorite scent? 

Easiest Hummus Recipe Ever! – Bush’s #HummusMadeEasy #ad

This post has been sponsored by Kendal King Group as part of a Soap Box Campaign. All opinions are my own.

Bush’s Hummus Made Easy

A few weeks ago our church hosted a Ward Social with plenty of friends, fun games, and food to go around! The night before I forgot all about it, and my mom (who went with me) ended up waking me an hour before time to be there. She was ready. Me? Not so much! I had to get myself and two children ready, not to mention find something to take to the potluck.

Lucky for me, I remembered I had a can of Bush’s Garbanzo beans and a package of Bush’s Hummus Made Easy.

Within an hour I had all of us and the hummus ready to go. (We obviously aren’t high maintenance).

Bush's Hummus Made Easy - LDS Ward Social Potluck Snack by Life as a Convert

The Food:

All you need for the Hummus is a can of Bush’s Garbanzo beans and a package of Hummus Made Easy, both found in the canned bean aisle at Wal-Mart.

Mix them together in a blender or food processor and you are ready to go! The flavor is right in the package and there is no need to add anything else. You can if you want to, but it is delicious just as it is.

Bush's Hummus Made Easy - Available at Wal-Mart by Life as a Convert

I chose the Classic flavor for the potluck and received rave reviews and a few people asking for the recipe.

If you aren’t a “Classic” kind of person, they have two other options to choose from “Southwest Black Bean” and “Roasted Red Pepper”. I have tried all three and like all of them. The Southwest Black Bean version is a great substitute for refried beans. See what I made with mine by clicking here.

Bush's Hummus Made Easy - Easiest Potluc Snack Ever - Classic Hummus Recipe by Life as a Convert

The Fun:

After all the food, the kids played with bubbles and I played with my camera some more. I am really getting the hang of manual mode. I don’t always get it right, but I am definitely getting it better! Losh enjoyed vlogging and taking pictures of me.

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Aybra spent her time blowing bubbles. Lots and lots of bubbles. I kid you not, I have about 200 pictures of her blowing bubbles (must go through them and pair them down!).

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Do you like hummus? 

What is your favorite way to enjoy it?Bush's Hummus Made Easy - Easiest Potluc Snack Ever by Life as a Convert

Don’t forget to share and pin for later!

VenturianTale Birthday Party! (Happy Birthday Aybra)

VenturianTale Birthday Party!

Can we just pretend for a moment that it is NOT May and I put this birthday post up months ago? Aybra’s actual birthday was in March. – For her birthday she requested a VenturianTale theme. For those who are not familiar, VenturianTale is a Youtube gaming channel and just so happens to be her favorite one.

VenturianTale Birthday Party Free Printables by Life as a Convert

VenturianTale is a pretty popular channel among kids her age, but like 99.9% of other Youtube channels it doesn’t have party decorations available. Bummer, right?

Nah! No problem!

I made Aybra’s decorations. Luckily for me their logo is pretty basic and the colors are common. (blue background, red triangle, yellow “V”).

I could not find an image of their logo that was suitable for my needs, so I made my own copycat version of their logo. This was the foundation for all other decorations.

VenturianTale Birthday Party Free Printables by Life as a Convert(Download)

I used various sizes of this image on top of a blue table cloth as confetti. I made and printed everything last minute, so I didn’t have time to do this, but wanted to add some of them to red cups.

The menu was surprisingly difficult to figure out. VenturianTale is composed of 4 different kids (Jordan, Isaac, Ciera, and Bethany). Their last name is Frye. I knew that we would be having “French Fryes” but I couldn’t decide what else to make with it. I ended up making quite a few different food labels to choose from.

Like other birthdays, I tried to incorporate the theme into the food. I used their names and things unique to their channel to create labels for the food. I served hamburgers, hot dogs, and some sides. Hardly any of the party guests recognized the references, but Aybra was happy with her VenturianTale Birthday and that is all that matters.

VenturianTale Birthday Party Food Menu Printables

Her grandpa made her cake and I did my best to decorate it. It definitely tasted better than it looked! I also made her birthday banner (link to download at the bottom of this post) but probably could have printed it out at 50% of its original size and/or figured out a way to get two images on one page. It ended up being quite large, but still fine. I saved it to re-use for Losh’s party coming up soon.

Aybra only asked for Five Nights at Freddy’s plushies. From the time I put them on my Amazon wish list to the time I ordered, the price went up significantly, so she ended up getting only one from me (Foxy). My sister bought her Freddy and she has been carrying one with her all the time. She got plenty of other presents and didn’t seem to mind that she had to wait for the rest of the collection. I think this VenturianTale Birthday party scored right on par with her puppy birthday party from last year.

Aybra's 8th Birthday Party - VenturianTale Birthday Party

I did take quite a few pictures, but apparently not of the other decorations or food! This happened to be a large party compared to our normal parties, and I was quite distracted. (I usually try to get pictures before the guests arrive, but the food was being grilled and wasn’t ready until after many people were there)

Prepare for cliche….

“I can’t believe she is 8 years old”. It really does seem like just a moment ago she was a tiny baby in the NICU, and now here she is half-way grown! I’m so blessed to have her in my life. She has never been a girly girl, but with the age 8 came a slight change in her. She has a sudden interest in some girly things and I couldn’t be happier! Losh’s party is coming up next and he is still undecided, but leaning towards Batman for a theme.  Guess I better prepare for that!

Do you have any cute Batman party ideas? 

Do your kids watch VenturianTale?

Downloads:

Birthday Banner:

Blue and Yellow Printable Birthday Banner

Food/Menu Labels, Blank label, Small logo, etc:

Food/Menu Labels and other Party Printables

Copycat Logo:

Copycat Logo

Shooting in Manual – Nikon D3100

Shooting in Manual – Nikon D3100

One of my goals for YEARS now has been to learn how to shoot in manual mode with my Nikon D3100. I previously had a point and shoot capable of shooting in manual and was learning with it until it broke. Since then, I have not made any big attempts at shooting in manual mode with my Nikon D3100. For whatever reason, manipulating the point and shoot manual settings was MUCH easier than the Nikon D3100. It has taken me years just to figure out how to change the ISO quickly. And now that I have figured it out, I am kicking myself! All it took was one well written article online that I really understood and then I got it.

I’ve spent the last few days with my camera getting familiar with the settings and learning how to shoot in manual. I am still not comfortable quickly recognizing which settings I need to be using as is evidenced in my pictures, but I have confidence that this is the year that I finally get somewhere!

 Shooting in Manual Mode - Nikon D3100 by Life as a Convert

As a blogger this is fantastic because it sometimes takes me 10+ minutes trying to get ONE shot on auto mode because of where the camera chooses to focus or depth of field or poor lighting or whatever. Now, I will actually have a little bit of say in how my shots turn out.

Having said all that – I wanted to share my first pictures from shooting in manual with you guys and then continue sharing as I go along. Hopefully we will all be able to see my progress. These pictures show 2 of my children, Aybra and Losh. The pictures of Aybra were all taken at the park on the same day and around the same time, but as you can see, she was on the move. This gave me great practice with switching the settings to accommodate the different light. I find it very awkward to change my aperture and am getting it mixed up with the buttons for ISO. I assume youtube may have some tutorials that would help me but have not ventured there yet.

These are all straight out of the camera. – Learning how to edit will be the next step.

My first attempts shooting in manual with a Nikon D3100Aybra and her teddy.

My first attempts shooting in manual with a Nikon D3100Aybra swinging.

My first attempts shooting in manual with a Nikon D3100 Swinging…

My first attempts shooting in manual with a Nikon D3100 Ignoring me and still swinging..

My first attempts shooting in manual with a Nikon D3100Crossing a bridge. I had trouble keeping up with settings here.

My first attempts shooting in manual with a Nikon D3100Losh inside the house. Highest ISO possible. I never would have attempted this in manual before.

My first attempts shooting in manual with a Nikon D3100Losh outside. Lower ISO and a lot less grain.

Feel free to share any tips or tricks you may have for me. I understand the general concept of the different settings and am aware of the rule of thirds, but feel like I can’t always pull it off and do not have a creative eye when it comes to setting up shots. I am not trying to make this a business, but have always longed to take “pretty pictures”.

Do have shoot in manual mode?

Did you find it easy to learn?