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    Chiropractor Mama Dr. Dolly and professional photographer Elisa B. share about adventures in intentional and natural parenting while living in Virginia's beautiful Blue Ridge.
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For the PC User: Replica Back-Up by Seagate

I waited too long to back up my laptop.  In fact, I waited close to eight weeks, which is about seven weeks too long.

You see, I got overwhelmed with taking care of my son, launching a new business, and running a blog.  I was sleep deprived and working until utter exhaustion every night. {It’s not quite “my dog ate my homework,” but it’s the absolute truth!}

Somehow, the difficulty involved in backing up each document that I’d updated that week month was far more than my brain could handle.  Besides, my current back-up drive  was already fairly maxed out on space.  It’s not like I could just back up “My Documents;” I had to be selective, which was tedious and time-consuming.

So, what happened next is quite predictable.  Actually, I was in the process of turning on my laptop and plugging in my back-up drive to do what I’d procrastinated for so long.

And then, I got the blue screen of death.  I never want to have to write another post like that, again.  It was dreadful not knowing whether I could recover photos of my son.

Photos like this one taken over the summer…

It’s true that it takes a data loss in order for you to get paranoid about backing things up and avoiding that costly mistake again in the future.

—-

This story does have a happy ending.

—-

I was able to get my data recovered from my hard drive that had somehow become unseated within a certain corrupted sector–whatever that means.  It was expensive.  PAINfully expensive.  But, I needed photos of my sweet son, those marketing brochures I had created from scratch, and 6 weeks worth of electronic patient files that I did not want to re-create.  Ugh.

Funny thing is, once the data recovery company retrieved the data, they sent it to me on a Seagate hard drive.

My retrieved data arrived the week after I received a Seagate Replica for review.

Fast

It took 2 minutes to install and register the Replica’s software so that it was ready-to-use.  If you can avoid using your computer during the initial back-up, it may take only 3 hours.  This complete back-up system backs up everythang, including the operating system, programs, and settings.  Oh. YEAH.

Smart

The Replica automatically removes the oldest backed-up versions of files to free up space for newer versions.  How clever!

The single greatest benefit of the Replica is that you can leave it plugged into your PC, and it will automatically back-up any newly updated files.  It’s got a great memory, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting what to back-up.

Ta-da!  Back-ups are completed automatically.  How’s that for effortless and extremely valuable?

If you take your laptop with you to the local java house to hammer out a post or a chapter of that book that you’re writing, never fear.  Just plug in the Replica when you get home, and it’ll back up everything in a jiffy.

Compact

It’s slim and petite.  5 1/2″ wide, 4″ deep, and 3/4″ tall, it doesn’t take up much room.  It weighs just over a half-pound.

Storage-heavy

Weighing in at 250 GB, I won’t be running out of room anytime soon.  I can keep photos, videos, and tons of other files on there for years to come.  Now, I wish I had one of these 4 months ago.  That would have been great.

*The multi-PC version of the Replica ($179.99) has 500 GB of storage space, and a storage dock.

Perfect Gift

Do you know of a blogger, parent who loves to store digital photos of her children, or someone who’s particularly engrossed on working on a PC?  The Seagate Replica ($129.99) would make a great gift.  You could help someone prevent a considerably expensive and mournful data loss with a simple and easy solution.

Note: The Replica requires Microsoft® Windows® XP (Service pack 2 or higher) OR Windows Vista®.

WIN IT!

One winner  will receive a Seagate Replica for Single PC , (retail value $129.99).  Stay in-the-know and become a Seagate Fan on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post prior to Saturday, November 28th at 11:59 p.m.  Please follow the contest rules and avoid any generalized comments, or you will be disqualified.

FOR A SECOND ENTRY: complete a quick 10-question reader demographic survey. Then, leave a second comment telling me that you did.

FOR A THIRD ENTRY: Blog or Tweet about the Holiday Gift Guide (or about this giveaway), then leave a second comment telling me that you tweeted or blogged with a link to your tweet/post.

Two Seagate Single-PC Replicas were provided for the purpose of this review, one for me to use, and one for me to give away.  Read Traveling with Baby’s complete disclosure policy.

Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

UPDATE: Congratulations to the winner, #19 Mike.

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For the Reader: Signed Copy of Made To Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die is a must-read for teachers, writers, entrepreneurs, leaders (both military and civilian), public speakers, and anyone who’s interested in getting a point across effectively and memorably (parents, take note!).

It launches from “sticky” concepts first presented in Malcom Gladwell’s phenomenal book Blink about rapid cognition and first impressions and decisions in Blink.

Yet, Made To Stick stands on its own with significant cred. A ancient Chinese proverb came to mind while I read this book:

Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.

Not only are the key points about developing “sticky” ideas presented with concrete examples, witty humor, and well-researched points–but there are clinics.  Ya know, application-style workshops embedded within the book.  You’ll apply the concept you were just taught in a simple, but effective exercise.  These authors are smart cookies, since they teach the reader how to catch the rhetorical fish.

Not only do they draw from a broad spectrum of examples from military leadership to an incredible ad campaign by a fast food company, but this book is worth the read if only to learn how to answer a child when he asks,

Do I have to learn this?  When am I ever going to use this in real life?

I can think of m-a-n-y teachers, instructors, and academic professors that I had through the years who would benefit from this book.  Heh.

Seriously, it’s made me think more strategically and sticky about creating blog posts, teaching patients, and presenting seminars in my community.  And, since we’re planning to homeschool our son, I now know better how to help my son get ahead of the learning curve in math at an early age.  Oh yes! This book even gives examples on effectively teaching math to children.

Do you have a writer, teacher, parent, or business owner on whom you’d love to bestow an encouraging and thoughtful gift?  This is the gift.  This is IT.

You can purchase the Made to Stick ($26) through 800 CEO READ.com or through Amazon.com.

WIN IT!

One winner  will receive a signed copy of Made To Stick, (retail value $26 ).  For more sticky ideas, check out the Made To Stick blog, and sign up for free sticky resources on the Made To Stick website.

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post prior to Friday, November 27th at 11:59 p.m.  Please follow the contest rules and avoid any generalized comments, or you will be disqualified.

FOR A SECOND ENTRY: complete a quick 10-question reader demographic survey. Then, leave a second comment telling me that you did.

FOR A THIRD ENTRY: Blog or Tweet about the Holiday Gift Guide (or about this giveaway), then leave a second comment telling me that you tweeted or blogged with a link to your tweet/post.

Two signed copies of Made To Stick were provided for the purpose of this review and giveaway.  Read Traveling with Baby’s complete disclosure policy.

Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

UPDATE: Congratulations to the winner, #3 Susan.

For the Expecting Mama: Nursing Clips by Willow Moonspirit

I’ve been thinking about pregnant mamas since Elisa, an author on Traveling with Baby who’s 41 weeks pregnant, is going to meet her son very soon.

Showers are great opportunities to share wonderful blessings with an expectant mom and her little blessing.  However, the holidays are another opportunity to give loving and useful gifts to new parents.

The following are a few of my favorites:

  1. Homemade baby leggings — you can read my tutorial on how to make your own!
  2. A stretchy100% cotton baby wrap carrier – Helps keep baby snuggly close and content while sleeping, nursing, or hanging out with mom.
  3. Nursing clips that convert any blanket or sweater into a breastfeeding cover

I loved the nursing cover that my sister-in-law created for me.  I never left home without it so I could comfortably and modestly nurse in public.

Juliea Paige, owner of Etsy shop Willow Moonspirit, created Gypsy Jewels and Nursing Clips.  Instead of packing a diaper bag full of swaddling cloths, warm blankets, AND a nursing cover, you can lighten your load by just keeping nursing clips with you.

A hand-beaded, 17-inch chain is tipped with silver alligator clips on each end.  With so many color bead options available, it’s hard to choose.  Fortunately, you can customize the colors you or your gift recipient likes.  The beautiful clips are packaged in a beautiful damask-printed draw-string bag–perfect for gift-giving and storing.

These days, I don’t use a nursing cover much with my toddler since breastfeeding is far less frequent during the day.  However, I did try out the clips with a couple of smaller baby blankets while nursing my son.

The necklace part of the chain felt comfortable around my neck with the weight of a blanket.  I could easily change the positioning of the clips on the blanket, as needed.  In it’s storage back, the nursing clips necklace is only a few ounces and easy to find in a diaper bag.

The biggest plus about the nursing clips are that if baby spits up or milk leaks onto a blanket, you can easily throw it in the wash and have another spare blanket or sweater, and you’re ready to go without waiting for a standard nursing cover to come clean in the laundry.  At $13, it’s far more economical than most nursing covers available on the market.

WIN IT!

One winner  will receive a nursing clips by Gypsy Jewels, (retail value $13).

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post prior to Friday, November 27th at 11:59 p.m.  Please follow the contest rules and avoid any generalized comments, or you will be disqualified.

FOR A SECOND ENTRY: complete a quick 10-question reader demographic survey. Then, leave a second comment telling me that you did.

FOR A THIRD ENTRY: Blog or Tweet about the Holiday Gift Guide (or about this giveaway), then leave a second comment telling me that you tweeted or blogged with a link to your tweet/post.

A gypsy jewel nursing clip was provided for the purpose of this review.  Read Traveling with Baby’s complete disclosure policy.

Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly
Top Photo by Elisa B photography

UPDATE: Congratulations to the winner, #1 Melissa Haynie.

For Her: Bamboo Gardening Gloves by Ethel

Back in January, Ethel’s gardening gloves were featured on Traveling with Baby.  I’ve enjoyed wearing my Signature pair while driving.  I’ve also worn them while planting of tomatoes and herbs in our backyard in the spring and summer.

Just when you think a company has reached a high tier in forms of function and design in creating a great product–they suddenly surpass greatness and arrive at something even better and more eco-friendly.

Ethel’s latest additions include two styles of gloves made from bamboo with synthetic leather (NOT suede) palms.

These beauties are available in black with a caramel palm ($26) and off-white ($16) with new colors for spring and fall in the design-works.  The gloves are available in small, medium, and large.

Ordering from Ethel means you don’t even have to bother with gift wrap–truly, Ethel’s got packaging down to an artful science.  Look at the inside of the box of gloves (the outside was equally pretty): full color photographs on the box flaps, beautiful cards next to gorgeous gloves.If you (or your gift recipient) joins the Ethel master gardener program, you’ll receive a sneak preview on any newly released products.

As a “thank you for reviewing,” Ethel sent me a beautiful trowel with a wood handle designed by DeWitt.  Just look at how stunning this looks…I can’t wait to try it out in the spring!

Ethel gloves are a wonderful gift for the green-thumb gal.  Go eco-friendly by choosing the bamboo designs.  But, if those aren’t your thing, check out the numerous styles of gloves for women (and kids!).

WIN IT!

One winner  will receive a pair of black Bamboo gloves by Ethel (retail value $26).  For the latest news and product releases from Ethel, follow them on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post prior to Friday, November 27th at 11:59 p.m.  Please follow the contest rules and avoid any generalized comments, or you will be disqualified.

FOR A SECOND ENTRY: complete a quick 10-question reader demographic survey. Then, leave a second comment telling me that you did.

FOR A THIRD ENTRY: Blog or Tweet about the Holiday Gift Guide (or about this giveaway), then leave a second comment telling me that you tweeted or blogged with a link to your tweet/post.

A pair of bamboo Ethel gloves and DeWitt trowel were provided for the purpose of this review and giveaway.  Read Traveling with Baby’s complete disclosure policy.

Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

UPDATE: Congratulations to the winner, #20 Julie L.

For Grandparents: Pictures

I can’t think of a better gift that’s cherished year-round by grandparents other than photos of their sweet grandchildren.  Last year, I created a “book of Calvin” filled with my favorite photos of my son.  We printed copies for each of his grandparents and great grandparents.  We’ve also purchased multiple photo frames including a collage of several specially-selected photos.

This year, for personalized Christmas cards, I took photos of Calvin posing with individual alphabetized letters.

Like this one…

I’m going to group them together so that combined, the letters will read, Merry Christmas.  I actually took all the photos for this personalized Christmas card last month. I remembered every letter except for “A”–and I’ve kinda put off another photo session since taking one photo usually becomes a bit of a struggle and lasts 30 minutes or more.

Seriously, I don’t understand how children’s photographers do what they do.  Gifted folks, I tell ya!

Anyway, it’s tough to get grandparents anything since they almost always already have everything they could possibly need or want, except precious photos of the little ones so precious to them.

Point. Shoot. Print/Develop. Frame. Wrap.

If you are simply not into the photography thing, find someone who is…it’s so worth it to capture your little ones on film before they grow older by leaps and bounds a mere 5 minutes later.

Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

For the Whole Family: Go Waggaloo

Music that embodies a sunny day full of smiles and laughter just oozes through Go Waggaloo ($12) by Sarah Lee Guthrie and Family. A talented songwriter in her own right, Sarah Lee Guthrie is the daughter of folk legend Arlo Guthrie and the grand-daughter of famed folk artist Woody Guthrie. She continues the family tradition of creating incredible folk music by recording Go Waggaloo with her family and friends.

The title track and two others (Bright Clear Day, Fox and Goose) were written by Woody Guthrie and the unrecorded lyrics were provided to her by the Smithsonian when they asked her family,”Would you be interested in making a family record that doesn’t make you wanna jump out of a minivan?”.

Many of the songs were borne from daily activities such as cooking together, bath time, or road trips.  The album’s songs all have a timeless feel, even if the bluesy, folksy, and rockin’ collection hints at modernity with lyrical references to X-box and DVD’s in ”Cuz We’re Cousins.” Is it just me, or did I hear the piano theme to Halloween coursing through “Oni’s Ponies”?

Interested in trying before you buy?  Check out the streaming album available on Smithsonian Folkways.

The sultry, bluesy feel to Fox and The Goose will make you wanna dance.  Before you know it, the whole family will be clapping and singing along to a fun rendition of “She’ll Be Coming ’round The Mountain” and Sarah Lee Guthrie’s own “Take Me to Show and Tell.”

WIN IT!

One winner  will receive a copy of Go Waggaloo by Sarah Lee Guthrie and Family (retail value $11.98).

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post prior to Friday, November 27th at 11:59 p.m.  Please follow the contest rules and avoid any generalized comments, or you will be disqualified.

FOR A SECOND ENTRY: complete a quick 10-question reader demographic survey. Then, leave a second comment telling me that you did.

FOR A THIRD ENTRY: Blog or Tweet about the Holiday Gift Guide (or about this giveaway), then leave a second comment telling me that you tweeted or blogged with a link to your tweet/post.

Two copies of Go Waggaloo were provided for the purpose of this review and giveaway.
Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

UPDATE: Congratulations to the winner, #10 Heather M.

For the Whole Family: Putumayo Kids’ A Family Christmas CD

Music is a key component to adding the finishing touches on atmosphere in a retail store, a restaurant, and of course, the home.  I can’t think of any other holiday where you can listen to themed music for weeks on end. Great Christmas music fills your cup with good cheer as you plan and prepare a Thanksgiving meal, string lights, hang greens, and read the Christmas story with your family.

I’ve accumulated quite a collection of Christmas music albums over the years, and there are a handful of favorite albums that I want to share with my son as we re-introduce wonderful family holiday traditions and build lasting memories.

1. Charlie Brown Christmas ($14.99) – An album that’s heralded as a favorite for more than 40 years is definitely a classic.  My all-time favorite track is “Linus and Lucy,” but I’m also sentimental about “Christmastime is Here.”  Vince Guaraldi’s jazz genius at its best plus Christmas hymns sung by sweet children’s voices.

2. Merry Chris Rice ($3.99) – Only 4 MP3 downloads that make you wish he’d recorded 10 more tracks of fun and upbeat versions of great Christmas songs.  His Beach Boys’ inspired rendition of “Let It Snow” will melt your heart as you sing along.

3. A Family Christmas ($14.98) – An instant Christmas classic by Putumayo Kids.  It’s the perfect accompaniment for a family gathering or a Christmas party with well-loved Christmas songs performed by well-known artists including Brave Combo and Big Bad VooDoo Daddy.  Deana Carter’s version of “Winter Wonderland” is thoughtful and cozy–just wait until you hear the ending!

WIN IT!

One winner  will receive a copy of Putumayo Kids’ A Family Christmas CD (retail value $14.98).

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post prior to Friday, November 27th at 11:59 p.m.  Please follow the contest rules and avoid any generalized comments, or you will be disqualified.

FOR A SECOND ENTRY: complete a quick 10-question reader demographic survey. Then, leave a second comment telling me that you did.

FOR A THIRD ENTRY: Blog or Tweet about the Holiday Gift Guide (or about this giveaway), then leave a second comment telling me that you tweeted or blogged with a link to your tweet/post.

Thank you to Putumayo Kids for providing 2 copies of A Family Christmas for the purpose of this review and giveaway.
Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

UPDATE: Congratulations to the winner, #19 Heather M