Kid Toys for Toddler

Gifting is fun this Holiday season especially buying gifts for toddlers/kids. As a mom to a toddler, I found it to be so fun and magical for them to open the gifts.

Below is my top 10 picks. Hopefully it is helpful for someone who is looking for kid gift ideas.

1-Mystery box with Kinder Surprise Eggs giftguide3I made this idea for my daughter’s 2nd birthday and it was so fun watching her digging the box to find toys. So I think I would do it again this Christmas. Instead of makeup toys, 15 pieces of Kinder surprise eggs would be perfect. This idea is fun while doesn’t hurt your wallet. I bet kids who receive this will totally love it.

 

2-Learning Recources Puppy Play setgiftguide2My daughter loves pets. This set is great for her. It is simple and cute. It would make the best first puppy set for toddlers 2+ years old. Learning Recources also has a wide range of toys for all ages.

 

3-SoulSlings Doll Carriergiftguide6For toddlers who love dolls!!!!! This is the cutest item. I love seeing my daughter wearing her doll using this carrier, just like a mini me. I also have a matching actual toddler carrier which is also from the brand SoulSlings. Adding a cute little lightweight doll is perfect.

 

4-Kidzlane Piano Matgiftguide4This is a super fun item for 3+ years old. My daughter is a little too young to enjoy all the fun but she loves making random music with her little steps. If you are gifting this to a big kid at 4+ years old, I believe he/she will love it a lot.

 

5-Playfoam® Pals™ Pet Party 12-Pack giftguide8This has been what my daughter watching on youtube. She LOVES seeing others playing with PlayFoam and I know she wanted it too. It is so fun and sastifying playing with these. Yes even I do get attracted. Each pack has a cute animal in it which is the extra fun. Great for family with 2 or more kids.

 

6-USA Toyz – Snap N’ Glow Trax Light Racer Setgiftguide5This would be the best for boys. Girls also love it, for example my daughter. She will needs to be a little older to play with it longer so I would say it’s great for 4+ years old.

 

7-USA Toyz – Unicorn Play Tentgiftguide7Now this unicorn little play tent is the girls favorite. It folds compactly just like the size of that box in this pic, and pops up beautifully and roomy. Adding a little unicorn plush toy is perfect.

 

8-Cubcoats 2-in-1 giftguide1This 2-in-1 stuffed toy transformss into a jacket. How cool is that? It would be the item that both kid and mommy will love. So convenient for on the go.

 

9-MiniDiva Reborn Baby Doll giftguide9This doll is in new born size and weight. It looks just like a real baby with soft silicone arms & legs. It is the perfect gift for 2+ toddlers who loves playing dolls. Use my code XMAS15% for 15% off.

 

10-WoomBike – Woom 1 for Toddlergiftguide10This is the very high quality bike for 2.5+ years old. It does say for 1.5 to 5 years old but I personally think my daughter will master it at 2.5 or 3. Love that the seat height is adjustable. This is the great gift for active toddlers.

 

Those 10 items above are listed in ascending price. Hope that helps too. Any of those items I mentioned is already on your list? Do you have any other item you think must be added in? Comment down below.

10 best gifts for new moms

Tis the season for gifting, everyone loves receiving gifts, especially those with a new baby at home , those who needs some cool gears to make mom life a little easier.

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As a mom myself with a 2 years old daughter. I have been using and experiencing so many of the coolest items made for mom and baby. Here I’m creating a gift guide especially for new moms, based on things I’ve been using or have used in the past.

I’m seperating 2 groups of gifts: Affordable Gifts (Under $100), and Fancy Gifts ($100 and Up). Gifting doesn’t have to be overwhelmed, anything below in my gift guide is very helpful and whoever receive these will totally love them and use them a lot. So no matter it’s pricey or not, let’s take a look closer to 10 gifts hand picked by me !!!

 

AFFORDABLE GIFTS under $100

 

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  1. Aucutee Fan White Noise Macchine

A white noise macchine is always a safe choice. This Aucutee one is my favorite since it’s a pure fan sound that is very comfortable. I did post a review about it on instagram. It is $30 on Amazon with Prime free shipping.

 

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2) Natural Spa Basket

A nourishing and complete spa experience awaits the body, mind and soul with this abundant and expertly curated basket of wholesome, all-natural, organic, dye-free bath and body essentials. This gift basket is perfect for self-care time. It’s $100 plus shipping. Use code AFFGT10off75 for $10 off.

 

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3) Mommy and Baby–Cute as Can Bee

A plush bee holds a collection of all-natural body care products from Burt’s Bees to soothe and nourish mommy and baby’s sensitive skin. Presented in a keepsake wicker basket, everyone will “bee” happy with this adorable gift. This basket includes my favorite brand Burt’s Bee products for both mommy and baby, plus a cute bee plush toy. This gift basket is $70 plus shipping.  Use code AFFGT10off75 for $10 off.

 

giftguide214) Trtl Travel Pillow

The genius travel pillow that everyone is talking about on youtube. They are super soft and hold your neck in a better position than a standard U-shaped travel pillow, while being half the size of a U-shaped travel pillow for easy carrying. Traveling especially traveling with baby is a challenge, giving this item to a mommy would make her holiday trip a little more relax. It’s $30, very affordable and reasonable.

 

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5) Mountain Buggy Bagrider

Speaking about traveling with baby/kid, this amazing luggage is a must. It expands to a 2-in-1 luggage/stroller so your baby/toddler can sit securely on top of it while you’re easily pushing it around. That is the smartest idea. This luggage is $100 on Amazon.

 

 

FANCY GIFTS ($100 and up)

giftguide136) VTech VM4261 – Video Baby Monitor

This $150 baby monitor has 170-degree wide-angle lens that captures the baby as they crawl, play and explore around the room. It comes with a high-resolution, 4.3-inch color LCD screen that can pan, tilt and zoom the camera from the parent unit. It also has soothing sounds and lullabies; two-way, talk-back intercom; and vibrating sound-alert on the parent unit. Overall, this one is a good one that mommy will love.

 

giftguide157) Tula Baby Toddler Carrier (in Blossom)

I’ve been using this carrier a lot. My daughter Misa actually loves being carried and lots of the times she asked me to wear her. So I totally amazed by babywearing. I have the toddler size since Misa is a big toddler. It is $169 each. For new moms with new born babies, I recommend getting the Tula Baby Standard Carrier . There are so many cute prints to choose from. The standard size is $139 each.

 

giftguide118) Dockatot Grand in Carrara Marble

Many moms swear by Dockatots. I doubted it. But then I got it when she turns 1 years old and I regret that I hadn’t bought it when she was born. It is amazing and surprising how much Misa loves it. I don’t have to say much about this since there are tons of great reviews and youtube videos about Dockatot. I have the Grand Dock and recommend it over the Deluxe size. It is pricey so I think go with the bigger size would be a lot better.

 

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9) Milo & Gabby Nap Mat

A set of sleeping bag/ nap mat is ideal for traveling with toddler. These adorable sleeping bags are designed to look like your child’s favorite Milo&Gabby animal characters, with useful details such as a removable duvet insert, detachable pillow and blanket, and a handy storage bag. These are also great to bring for preschool, daycare, and for overnight trips to grandma’s and grandpa’s. They are $168 each.

 

giftguide1910) JetKids BedBox

The one I show here in the photo is the classic one that is currently sold out. They have a new line with new colors and the same features which called BedBox® . The new colors are absolutely beautiful. They would make awesome gift for traveling moms with toddler. With this gear,  a standard economy seat is turned into a first class seat for children in 5 steps. You can click here to see how it works. This item is $200.

 

Those are the 10 items I believe a mom who receive them will be totally obsessed. Hope this gift guide is somewhat helpful during this gifting season. Also, this is my fist gift guide ever so hopefully you guys love it. Another gift guide for toddler will be up live Monday. Stay tune !!!

Moving to Phoenix soon and searching for house?

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Image Credit: Flickr Courtesy of Lauren Toper

Best Food Finds in Phoenix

More people moved to Maricopa County in 2017 than any other county in the entire nation, the U.S. Census Bureau reported recently. As the largest city in the county, many of those moves were likely to Phoenix. If you’re like so many others considering a move here, you’ve probably searched through homes for sale in Phoenix, AZ, and discovered some rather enticing gems at relatively affordable prices. But before making the leap, you might want to learn more about what else this area has to offer, including its dining scene.

 

Menus here feature everything from authentic Mexican and standard southwestern fare to modern fusion, international cuisine and just about everything in between.

 

For the very best food finds don’t miss these treasures.

Barbecue at Little Miss BBQ

There’s no need to travel hundreds of miles to Texas for mouth-watering barbecue, the state with the greatest number of BBQ eateries, with 2,238 according to a 2015 report. While Texas may be famous for its delectable BBQ dishes, Arizona is home to the highly acclaimed Little Miss BBQ.

 

A hot lunch spot serving BBQ Central Texas style, it’s only open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until sold out, Tuesdays through Saturdays. The juicy, tender meat is cooked with pecan wood, Arizona oak using Camelback Smokers, sold by weight and tossed on white bread, topped with jalapenos, pickles and onions. The sandwiches are served with house made potato salad and ranch-style beans, but you’ll want to save room for the smoked pecan pie – heavenly!

CRUjiente

Being so close to the Mexico border, it’s no surprise that Phoenix offers practically an endless number of Mexican restaurants, but of course, some are better than others, like CRUjiente. While you might think a taco is just a taco, Richard Hinojosa takes tacos to a whole new level, with all sorts of interesting, tasty twists. He makes traditional chicken, beef and pork tacos topped with the usual guac and other standard toppings, but he also offers many other unique takes on the taco, like lamb, lobster, octopus and Szechuan beef cheek tacos using beef that’s been braised for 36 hours. He presses his own tortillas using heirloom blue corn mesa and then flavors them with ingredients like dashi, cardamom, poblano, cilantro and Fresno chilis.

Restaurant Progress

Restaurant Progress is one of Phoenix’s newest offerings, with its doors opening in 2017. An instant hit with foodies, it specializes in small plates paired with creatively crafted cocktails that makes it ideal for a date night. The menu changes about every four to six weeks and features dishes like chicken-fried trout, pork belly and soy-cured watermelon. A few of the terms frequently used to describe the experience here among Google reviews include: “truly inspired,” “beautiful, slow food,” “impeccable service” “an instant classic.”

CIBO

Just about every city has a favorite pizza joint, and in Phoenix, that’s CIBO. Located downtown for over a decade, it’s housed in a historic bungalow and features just about every type of gourmet Neapolitan pizza you could ever imagine, with a choice of red or white sauce, along with delectable homemade pasta dishes. The Pomodoro Fresco pie, with mozzarella, basil and grape tomatoes, is considered the very best in the city.

 

My mom’s bedroom got makeover.

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This is my mom’s bedroom. Yes she stays in the master bedroom all by herself and I don’t know where and how did she got so many stuffs. Her room looked so much smaller and messy because of all those items. She is the best mom ever who spends all the time she has for me and my daughter. So I made some change to her room so she doesn’t have to worry much.

I will link all the items I mention in this post at the end. Also, I forgot to take photo of her room before. But it was not going well together.

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First off, I bought her a bed frame. She was using 2 bed boxes stacked on top of each other instead of a bed frame. Her room always got some scorpions from no where so it was scary to sleep with those bed boxes under. Who knows if those scorpions are inside of them? So a simple metal bed frame will help her easier to see those scorpions.

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Then I got rid of her old mattress then got her a King memory foam mattress. And she LOVES it. This mattress is from Indigo Sleep and it so worths the price. I posted a couple reviews about this mattress on my instagram, check it out.

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Her favorite bedding set is from Beddy’s Bed and it zips. That means easier for her to make bed and to wash. I totally love the chic design of this bedding set and how convenient it is. Beddy’s bed is pricey but so worths the price, they do always have great deals happen all the time on their site.

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The frames on the bedhead wall are from Frame It Easy. Like the name of this brand, they take care of everything from printing to framing and ship them to you ready to hang on the wall. All you have to do is upload photos on their site, choose frame designs and finishes. The frames are very well made with high quality and look so chic.

I also threw a light string on it to make the bed looks more vintage and warm.

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I added a shag area rug underneath the bed which makes everything go so well together. The rug is from Maxy Home and is very affordable ($99 for the 6’7″ x 9’3″ size with free shipping) on Amazon. Again, I will link everything at the end of this post.

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I use a storage console table as a night stand for my mom since she has so many little stuffs. Its top is large so she can have enough space to put anything she wants. This storage console table is very versatile. It can also be used in the living room or hallway. I love the contrast color details especially in the door. This item is from Convennience Concepts, an affordable furniture brand that offers cute modern furnitures and is available on Amazon with free shipping.

She has a TV in her bedroom (everyone in my house does). There was a mess in this corner underneath the TV. It was an old styled black glass storage with all the things that she didn’t even touch. So I decide to bring them all to the garage and just keep those she needs to use only. There were total 4 pieces of huge speakers on the sides of that storage and they are dead. She didn’t use them either. She just didn’t want to throw things away (I had to convince her for a while to do this haha). Pretty much everything under the TV were threw away.

I got her this simple modern TV stand instead. It’s from Nathan James Home and it is a multiuse item. It can also be use as a bench in entryway or a storage in bedroom. There is a huge space between the TV and the TV stand which I’m still thinking what to do with it. Any ideas?

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In the very corner next to the TV stand, there was a small black glass side table with nothing on it but a super big artificial flower pot. Of course they needed to go away. A simple artificial tree with white pot would perfectly connect everything.

Then a set of mid century styled modern desk, chair, and lamp to complete the basic look of my mom’s room. These 3 items are from Versanora, a brand that also offers free shipping on Amazon with reasonable priced furnitures and lights.

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In the other corner is the Desk Bike from Flexi Spot. This is always my hiding spot while my mom is playing with Misa in the living room so I can have some me time and to get things done. It is a 2 in one table/bike for busy people like myself to multitask things while doing a little exercise.

That is pretty much her room now. I’m still doing some touching here and there and will update in the future. In the meantime, let me know how you decorate your bedroom? I want to get some inspirations. What is your favorite place to shop for home decors? Comment down below.

Okay, here is the list of all items I mentioned above:

  1. Novogratz Metal Bed Frame size King
  2. Indigo Sleep mattress
  3. Beddy’s Bedding Set
  4. Frame It Easy frames (use code VANNIE for 10% off)
  5. Dailyart Globe String Light
  6. Maxy Home 6’7×9’3 area rug
  7. Convenience Concepts Oslo Console/Storage Cabinet in White/Woodgrain
  8. Nathan James Home Tora TV Stand in White/Brown Oak
  9. 4’ Fiddle Leaf Artificial Tree in White Tower Planter
  10. Versanora Minimalista Dining Chairs (Set of 2) with Aged Fabric
  11. Versanora – Creativo Stylish Desk in White/Natural
  12. Versanora Lattine Monopod Floor Lamps in Grey/Rose Gold
  13. FlexiSpot Desk Bike

 

Ideas for small living room

Our house is small, I like it that way. I think everyone in my family likes it that way. Small house means warmer home to us. However, we all agree that it’s hard for us to decorate and make more space for everything we need.

I’m not an expert in home decor. I’m just a mom who wants to bring life to our home. I just want to make it a little prettier, a little organized, and is a good place for our instagram worthy photos. Also, it must be a baby-proof house since my daughter oftenly falls and hits everywhere. So it took me awhile (and some headache) to come up with this look, hopefully some of you mamas will find it interesting and helpful.

Everything I use is somewhat affordable, I will link them at the end of this post. Okay, let’s take a look at my living room now.

AFTER the makeover
It’s almost done, there are some tiny little works need to be done but it’s pretty much done.

 

Here is how it was 1 month ago:

BEFORE the makeover
We didn’t really have a place to sit and it was just like a messy playroom

The first thing I did is get rid of the couch and the big buffet. My mom loved them, but they are too big for our small space. I had to fight a little while to get her to agree giving them away.

I ordered 2 of the DHP Kebo Futon Couch. I was spending a lot of time choosing the right one. I love the modern sofas with arm rest on both side but I want to keep it simple since it’s a very small space, so the couches without arm rests are my choice. Also, the measurements really matter. This couch has the exact sizing I need. The reviews are saying they’re a little too small but I knew they would fit us very well since we’re petite. And I was right. We love them. Perfect sizing for us.

Close up to the seating area
A mix and match between white, grays, and black.

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I put them on top of the nuLOOM Diamond Trellis Shag Area Rug with the Convenience Concepts Graystone Coffee Table in the middle of the couches. The table is a little higher than the seat high of the couches and it annoyed me at first. Honestly it’s just because people always suggest to choose coffee table that has the same height as the sofa/couch seating. But my mom actually LOVES it. She said she prefer it’s that high over leaning down on a lower table. It makes sense to me and I agree with her. Also, the table with rounded corners gives me peace in mind when my daughter is around.

Anw, the rug was on sale on Amazon for only $68, very good deal isn’t it?

In the corner next to the patio door, I put a Brightech Maxwell Drawer Shelf + LED Floor Lamp. It is a unique and convenient item for small house like ours. I put little stuffs in those drawers and it’s very helpful in keeping things organized.

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However, you all know I hate yellow light, and I always want so switch the light to many colors, so I switched the bulb that comes with the floor lamp. I use a bulb from the Sengled Element Color Plus A19 Multicolor Kit  . Now that I can switch to whatever color I want using my phone. How cool is that? Plus, it works over wifi.

Lamp using Sengled Colorful Smart bulb
I can switch to any color I want using my phone

Here are some of my favorite colors

There is one thing that does the very big role in this transformation that I never thought it would. That is changing the curtains. We were using vertical white plactic blinds which made the room looks old. I decided to switch to fabric curtains. That decision made me a little stressful because it is the first time I’m installing such a thing like that and it was my first time using a elecrical drill driver. I was afraid that I couldn’t make it even when installing the rod.

Thanks to Maytex for sending their Smart Rods and Smart Curtains . I was able to install the rod easily without doing any measurement. Yes I mean NO MEASURING at all. Learn how by watching the instruction video in the link above.

Just install them based on the window frame, then twist, and lock. That’s it.

Their smart curtains block 100% sunlight, perfect for nursery room too.

 

On the wall next to the sitting area, I hang a big Cooper Classics Luna Wall Mirror and I’m so glad I did. It is such a perfect decor for the room.

Cooper Classics Luna Wall Mirror
a simple 30″ wide mirror

Under that mirror, I put a side table which matches the coffee table (Convenience Concepts Graystone Side table). I should put a console table instead but I found it’s too big for our small space, so a side table is perfect.

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Lastly, I started decorating Christmas (I know, it’s a little too soon). A 6ft pencil shape Christmas tree is a great choice for our living room. It is from King Of Christmas, a destination for all type of artificial Christmas trees. I love keeping it neutral and simple so I added some rose gold ornaments and mini pine cones.

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So this is that corner before and after:

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BEFORE
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AFTER

 

I’m waiting for my husband to come and helps me to paint the wall then change the ceiling fan to a black, white, and light gray tone. So it’s pretty much done for now.

I should show you guys the other corner as well but I don’t want to make this blog post too long and overwhelmed so I’ll cut it into half. Stay tune for another blog post sharing my living room makeover with more details on Misa’s play area.

Thank you for reading this far. And here are the links for the items I mentioned:

 

Fall/Winter Patio mini-Makeover

2 days until Halloween. It’s that time of the year in Arizona that the weather is soooooo nice, a perfect amount of sunlight under 78F. And it’s perfect time for spending time backyard.

Misa and I recently moved back to the state from Vietnam and our backyard was a mess. I have always been wanting to bring more life to it and I am slowly doing it. A little corner at a time, so here is how the patio looks like right now after some works.

Before showing you guys the details, I want to say that I’m not an expert at all. I am just a mom who wants to make her house a better prettier home. Also, since I’m not an expert, I was not sure if I’m going to stick with the design or not so I try my best to find affordable items, unless I know I will use the item for really long time.

Okay, scroll down to see how it looks. I linked the items at the end of this post in case you want to get them.

Before the makeover
I trashed everything and wash it all over but couldn’t remove the stain on the floor.
After the makeover
This is how it looks now.

First, I added 2 artificial grass area rugs that I ordered from Amazon. They cost $54 each. And omg I’m so glad I did. They make it a lot cleaner and safer for Misa to walk around. It was hard deciding between these thinner shorter grass rugs and those longer one that cost double.

Those longer ones look a lot more real than these and look way more expensive. However from my experience using those at our house back in Vietnam, it will shed after time and leaves the mat spotchy. Plus, like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t know if they will look as good as what I was imaging so I went with the cheaper ones.

Next, I ordered those wicker benches from Walmart which is $94 each. I love brightness. I know the white color will brightenup the space and will be very easy to re-decorate through out the year. They are very sturdy, the quality is awesome, so great for the price. I also got those pillows on Walmart.com for just $8 each.

Those two of the yellow leaf artificial trees, I bought them second handed on OfferUp.com for $50 total. They bring such a fall vibe into my photos.

The coffee table is from the brand Chic Teak, a brand that offers finest teak wood, live edge, mahogany and handwoven furniture, all handmade by skilled artisans. I can tell the quality. I love the peanut round shape which makes the space looks softer while bringing me peace in mind that it’s not as dangerous for my daughter if she falls and hits the table’s edge (which happens very often).

ChikTeak Coffee Table
It’s a BEAUTIFUL coffee table that can be use indoor or outdoor

 

To add a warm touch to the patio, I added the Solar string lights from Brightech. It doesn’t cost me any cent of electric you guys !!! It’s powered by the sun.

Brightech String Lights
These string lights is a warm touch to my patio

It’s automatically turns on when it’s dark at the evening and stays on for 6 hours and then automatically turns off (about midnight). How cool is that?

The solar panel can be plugged down the ground or can be install with clip on the wall, wherever the sun hits the most. It can also be switched to regular power system when pairing to the right electric cable.

Brightech Solar String Lights
I plugged it down there first before we decide how we want to re-located the entire string lights

And yes you’re seeing a Christmas tree there. We’re very excited for Christmas and yes we already get started.

Here is the list and links to the items I mentioned:

 

Our patio is now good to go but I’m still doing a little more and I will keep you guys updated. Comment below, let me know how I did, what should I change or add, or remove?

Thank you for stopping by my blog post !!!

 

Reduce back pain and headache in 15 minutes

…without using any medication.

Are you a mama? If so, you probably experience back pain, headache, and distress. You could have those problems even if you are not a mom yet.

Being a mom that is running everything as a single mom, I need to take the best care of myself in order to run the whole house with a toddler by my side. I’m a short mom while my clingy daughter is big, so there is no surprise I got so much back tension. I sometime feel worst at my lower back especially around those days of the month.

Pranamat ECO mat
Adding Pranamat ECO mat + pillow in my daily routine

So glad I found Pranamat ECO set (mat + pillow) and it has been such a game changer. I have been using them for a week (15 minutes each day) and I already feel the difference. The most obvious feeling after each use is that I feel like having more energy, back tension relief especially the position where you usually get hurt after sitting too long in front of computer. Magically, when you feel more energized, you feel less stressed.

Pranamat ECO
I love to throw myself on and relax
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Red skin on the back after 15 minutes, it’s time for the bottom

The little pillow is perfect for wherever you want like head, bottom, legs, feet, ect. When use as a pillow for head, it helps with headache as well as muscle tension in the neck. And it helps improving quality of sleep which I really need.

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I also use them while doing makeup if I’m in a little rush
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Your feet need some massage too

I was gifted this set of Pranamat ECO mat and pillow in exchange for my honest review. Head over to Pranamat ECO to learn more about how to use them and benefits.