Monday, October 26, 2015

Bits of Life Lately

A gorgeous 80 degree October day spent downtown at the Lincoln Park Zoo
Introducing the kids to college football at our old stomping grounds, Valparaiso University
Pile ups on their favorite uncle
Eeep....growing up 😁 Having friends over sans moms #soold
Christmas lights + yoga 👌🏻
Festive (healthy for once) treats
One of the most memorable experiences of my life... Celebrating the 40th anniversary of my church at the United Center last weekend can watch it here
Bonfire nights

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Advanced BioBanking with LifeBankUSA!

I blogged about cord blood banking with LifeBankUSA after Blair was born and am happy to share more today about their Advanced Biobanking service.

Advanced Biobanking includes Placental Blood Banking, Complete Placenta Banking, Cord Vessel Banking, and Cord Platelet Rich Plasma Banking. Because “placental blood contains various types of progenitor stem cells that play a role in stimulating the body’s own repair mechanisms to heal previously damaged tissues or organs,” scientists are exploring the use of progenitor stem cells in many diseases including cerebral palsy, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and spinal cord injury. Banking the entire placenta offers potential for new treatments in immune disorders, wound healing, and organ transplant and growth. Banking the arteries in the umbilical cord has potential for new surgical applications in treating heart disease. “Both adult and umbilical cord platelet rich-plasma contain cytokines and growth factors that may be useful for the repair of eye injuries, wounds, tissue tears and fractures.” Adult platelet rich-plasma has been used in treating athletes with orthopedic injuries and umbilical cord-platelet rich plasma is potentially more potent and enriched source of growth factors than adult platelet-rich plasma. On top of cord blood banking, Advanced Biobanking adds the potential to treat so many more diseases, illnesses, and injuries.
LifebankUSA is the only cord blood bank that also offers placenta blood banking and tissue banking. As I hear more and more stories about young children being diagnosed with life-threatening diseases, it gives me hope that cord blood banking as well as Advanced Biobanking can help these children and others in the future.

I absolutely loved working with LifeBank to donate Blair's cord blood last year. LifeBankUSA is the only company that offers cord blood, placenta blood, and tissue banking, and they are also the first to release placenta-derived stem cells for a successful transplant. They were absolutely wonderful to work with and they will collect cells from anywhere in the US. Another reason to bank with LifeBankUSA -- They include tissue banking (tissue from the placenta) for free. Placental tissue contains mesenchymal (MSCs) and MSC-like cells. While stem cells found in cord blood and placenta blood have been used to successfully treat patients, there are currently no approved uses for stem cells derived from the umbilical cord or placenta tissue. Possible therapeutic applications are in early research stages and LifeBankUSA's parent company is actively involved in their development. LifeBankUSA will store the placenta tissue for you as part of their banking package using their cryogenic tanks for long-term preservation. In the event your baby's tissue cells are ever needed for future therapies, the tissue may then be processed and cultured using available technology at the time. Banking with LifeBankUSA will definitely give you peace of mind, knowing that this stem cell-rich blood can be used to treat certain diseases in the future.
I really hope if you are pregnant you give cord blood banking some serious thought! And definitely keep in mind all of these added benefits that are unique to LifeBankUSA. I know when you are pregnant, you have about 1,000 things on your mind every minute, but going through LifeBankUSA for your baby's cord blood and placental banking will help give you greater peace of mind, I promise :)

Pumpkin Patchin'

Went to Dave's Pumpkin Patch and Stade's Farm and Market this month and had such a blast at both! Stade's was definitely much larger with a lot more to do, and Dave's was much smaller scale but very cheap and stresless. More pictures of Dave's last October here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sponsor Highlight: R.W. Knudsen Family

Posting today on my favorite juice company, R.W. Knudsen Family. All of their juices come from their organic grape vineyard, and all are exclusively fruit-juice sweetened, completely free of any artificial flavors and preservatives. The R.W. Knudsen Family offers over 100 types of equally amazing, natural, organic fruit and vegetable juices, elegant celebratory beverages, bubbly Spritzers, and natural sports drinks, and you can find them now at local grocery stores and Target. Of course my favorite right now is their Cider & Spice juice. It takes all the hassle out of preparing a festive drink, and gives you peace of mind that you and your kids and guests are drinking something natural and healthy and not full of extra sugars or preservatives. My whole family loves this juice and it tastes just as delicious hot as it does cold! It is made with 100% juice from ripe, whole apples, and naturally flavored with allspice, cinnamon, cloves, lemon peel and orange peel, and is truly the perfect fall drink.
I love serving this warm, all you do is heat up R.W. Knudsen Family Cider & Spice juice in a large saucepan or crock pot for 5 to 10 minutes until the cider is hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat and ladle into large mugs, adding a fresh cinnamon stick to each serving for a festive twist.
I also think this juice is such a great additive to a 'thank you' or 'new home' gift basket. You could fill a festive basket with some cinnamon sticks, a cute mug, a fall-scented candle and a bottle of R.W. Knudsen Family® Cider & Spice juice to make the perfect, thoughtful gift to say ‘thank you’ to party hosts and hostesses this time of year, or to welcome friends into their cozy new home.
Hope you all go out and get some of this amazing Cider & Spice juice today! Happy Fall :)

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