Monday, August 29, 2016

Printable Quiet Book- Paper Dolls


Today I am sharing the fourth post in the Printable Quiet Book Series. These cute little paper dolls are a fun activity for any little one. There is a full set that is already full of life and color and then a blank set that is just waiting for your little artist to add their take to. 

These dolls are my very favorite part of the printable quiet book series and the best is still yet to come later this week. Look for more clothes and doll add ons throughout the week. 

From the first post: When our first daughter was little, I painstakingly made a felt quiet book. I spent hours cutting out pieces and hand embroidering, it took me months. My daughter loved it and played with it often, but I always wished it was easier to add pages to it. I wanted to add new pieces and new pages, but it seemed like a daunting task. 

Our second daughter is just at the age now where I am wishing for a quiet book again. When I started saving ideas and thinking about what I wanted to do for her book, I realized that a printable quiet book would be so much easier. It would be perfect for people who don't think of themselves as crafty and it would be easy to add more pages to if I wanted to later. So the printable quiet book was born. 

Between my husband and I, we have finally completed the book and I am in love with it. There are paper dolls and play sets and all sort of amazing that doesn't take more than some printing and cutting. 



You will need:
  • The Printables at the end of this post
  • Scissors and crayons (if you are printing the blank ones)
  • magnet strips, velcro or small piece of felt
  • a glue gun
  • a Laminator and Laminating sheets (I love my Scotch Laminator)


Print both the clothes and the figures. Cut out the figures and then laminate the clothes, hair, shoes and dolls. There are several ways you can make the clothes stick to the figures. You can add small squares of felt to the back of each figure and several squares on the background. You can also use velcro squares instead of felt. I prefer to use magnet tape on the doll and the clothes.



After you cut out and laminate the hair pieces. Use a small dab of hot glue to secure the bangs to the back of the hair. You want to use just a small dab so that you can actually slide the doll in between the front and back piece. That way you don't have to use magnets to hold the hair on. 


These little dolls don't have a page to belong to in the quiet book yet, but they will later in the week. Check back for pages that you can add to your quiet book for these dolls. 


Check out the other pages of the quiet book here:

 Mouse Threading Page 
Alien Space Page
Ocean Animals Page

Printables in this post are for personal use and available to subscribers of Housewife Eclectic only. To use this printable, please SUBSCRIBE NOW.

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Once you have subscribed, click the links below to download the printables.

Paper Doll Clothes Blank
Paper Doll Clothes Colored In
Dolls

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Out Of This World™

I was given tickets to Ringling Brothers in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own. 

I am getting so excited for the Circus! This year I actually convinced my husband to come too! I absolutely can't wait to experience this as a family! Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be in Salt Lake City September 23-26th. Check out the information below! There is even a new New  “Dad’s Day” discount on Saturday for fathers who want to take their children to the show during Women’s Session of General Conference. That discount code is DADS.

Prepare to blast off on an intergalactic adventure for space-age family fun as the ultimate circus experience launches into the future with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Out Of This World™.  Audiences will take the helm to join the Circus Space Fleet on a heroic quest of good versus evil that will let imaginations run wild with unexpected surprises and thrills at every turn.  This all-new, immersive production debuts on the West Coast for the first time in the 145-year history of Ringling Bros., arriving into Salt Lake City this summer playing Vivint Smart Home Arena from September 23-26.



Through the lens of a magic telescope, Out Of This World transports the entire family on an unforgettable outer space journey as Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson and “Circus Starseeker” Paulo battle evil forces, the Intergalactic Circus Queen Tatiana and her bumbling henchman Davis, to return the most talented circus performers in the universe back to Earth.



Families will be amazed by the cosmic voyage storyline exploring extraordinary new worlds and captivated by the twinkle in their child’s eyes as they visit far away planets of ice, fire, sand and water inhabited by gravity-defying acrobats, orbital aerialists, majestic animals and fearless daredevils that will ignite wonder with Children Of All Ages®.  The newest edition of The Greatest Show On Earth® features several unique performances throughout the story including:


  • Simet Family Astronauts – launching the show, this one-of-its-kind aerial “spacewalk” features three astronauts balancing zero gravity maneuvers on a spinning wheel
  • Heilongjiang Provincial Acrobatic Troupe – original presentation for the first time in America showcasing the mastery of skilled Chinese acrobatics (such as an 11-person human pyramid and hoop diving) – all performed on ice!
  • Thrill Skaters – introducing a new genre of ice skating, combining lyrical figure skating with energetic freestyle skaters performing tricks and
    stunts on ice
  • Sway Pole – lead character clown Davis Vassallo climbs a 47-foot pole to complete a handstand five stories above the audience as he sways and tumbles around with a surprise ending; this daring performance can currently only be seen at Ringling Bros.!



Additional Out Of This World show performance highlights include tigers & lions presenter Alexander Lacey; edge-of-your-seat Cossack Riders equestrian stunts; Globe of Steel motorcycle daredevils; awe-inspiring trapeze artists (performing the Ringling Bros. exclusive dual triple somersault routine with two flyers attempting the trick at the same time); unicycle courtside comedy routines from the King Charles Troupe; the hilarious antics of the Ringling Bros. Clown Alley and more!



Free with every ticket purchase, be sure to arrive early for fun-filled interactive elements before the show starts with the Starseeker’s Early Access pre-show experience where families can enjoy sneak peek performances, unique mobile app interactions, clown appearances right in your seats leading up to an exciting dance party show countdown.  Guests are encouraged to download the all-new interactive Ringling Bros. mobile app where families can become part of The Greatest Show On Earth like never before with exclusive content, games and more!

WHEN:                 Friday, September 23 – Monday, September 26

Friday, September 23                     7:00 PM

Saturday, September 24               11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Sunday, September 25                  1:00 PM & 5:00 PM

Monday, September 26                7:00 PM


WHERE:   Vivint Smart Home Arena – 301 S Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101



TICKETS:  Tickets start at just $20 for Adults; Kids (age 2-12) tickets available for only $10 for select seating*
                                Opening Night Special Discount tickets are just $15 for select seating*
                                *not valid on VIP/Front Row levels

 All seats are reserved; tickets available thru Smithstix.com, charge by phone at 800-888-TIXX or visit the Vivint Smart Home Arena Box Office.

One lucky Housewife Eclectic reader will win a family 4 pack of tickets to the Circus! If you want another chance to win, you can head over to the giveaway at Utah Sweet Savings!
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Best Middle Grade Books


When you hand your middle schooler a book, you want them to be engaged and involved in the story. You however, don't want them taught new swear words, they get enough of that at school. Today, Marissa, from Rae Gun Ramblings and I have each complied a list of the best books that are perfect for your Middle School Student. Check out her list here and read mine below.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. This is hands down my favorite Cinderella story. If you have seen the movie, don't let it keep you from reading this book to your kids. It is clever and funny. There is still the same basic cast of characters, Ella, the evil stepmother and stepsisters but in this version you add in some crazy fairies, ogres and giants too. Ella was cursed by a fairy when she was a baby with obedience. She has to follow any direct command that she is given, which could including hurting herself. Ella must figure out how to break the curse before she does something truly dreadful.

The Plant that Ate Dirty Socks by Nancy McArthur. This book had as rolling on the floor as kids. What's not hilarious about a plant that eats your dirty socks? This book is about two brothers a neat freak and a walking disaster area and the crazy sock-eating plants they grow together. I loved it as a kid and so did my brothers.

Harry Potter by JK Rowling- The perfect series for a middle school student to start. It is captivating, fun and will help them WANT to read.

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles). This fun series is about a princess who likes to fence and practice magic and doesn't want to marry a boring prince, instead she runs off to live with the dragons instead. She becomes a dragon's princess and actually talks the knights who come out of rescuing her. I haven't read this series to my daughter yet, but it is on my list for sure.

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale- Miri has grown up on Mount Eskel, it is a quiet life until the King's Priests chose the mountain as the home of the next princess. Each village girl is required to attend a strict princess academy, for when the prince comes in a year to pick his bride. Although Miri is small and feels like she doesn't contribute much to her family's work in the quarry, she finds that she can contribute in much bigger ways. This is one of my favorite princess reads, the main character is endearing and for once you aren't rooting for her to end up with the prince.

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George- When Creel's aunt offers her to a local dragon in hopes that somebody wealthy will rescue her and bring money to the family, Creel decides not to stick around and rescues herself. She strikes a bargain with a dragon, that includes her freedom and an odd pair of slippers. The slipper cause trouble all over the place until the put the fate of the whole nation at risk. Creel must figure out what the slippers do and how to save the country before it is too late.

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine- Aza isn't a dainty princess, in fact she is a plain peasant and in a land that prizes beautiful faces and voices more than anything else, she sometimes feels out of place. Aza does have a gorgeous voice and the talent of being able to throw her voice to sound as if it is coming from anywhere in the room. A passing duchess invites her to court and then the queen who has a plains singing voice insists she stays so that she can use Aza's voice as her own. Aza must learn to stand on her own feet and use her voice for good instead of allowing it to be used by the evil
queen.

The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny LundquistThis retelling of Man in the Iron Mask is just as gripping as the original story, with lots of character and plot elements of its own. Princess Wilha knows what her face looks like, but no one else around her does. Since her birth she has been forced to wear an opal mask, concealing what lays beneath. The few times she has dared to show anybody her face, they have been abruptly dismissed from the palace. There are all sorts of rumors flying around, that her face is deformed, that one look from her can kill, that one look can heal, but when Princess Wilha looks beneath the mask, all she sees is an ordinary girl, so why must she wear it?

Elara is an orphan. She has few friends and spends most of her time serving the family that is supposed to love her, hungry and alone. She is an ordinary girl, until attempts on the life of Princess Wilha thrust her into a royal world that she knows nothing about. Elara now has a chance to be somebody else, but is that what she wants?

Ungifted by Gordan Korman  - Ungifted is a great book about Donovan, a thoroughly average trouble maker, who accidentally gets placed in the gifted school. He is in way above his head, but maybe he is just what the program needs. He learns more than he ever thought possible and teaches the truly gifted kids a few lessons of his own, but what is going to happen when the teachers discover he isn't truly gifted? Will he have to leave his friends and everything he has accomplished?

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger - Sophronia is not at all a proper lady, so when her parents decide to send her to finishing school she can't think of anything worse. With flyaway men, vampire teachers, mechanical dogs, Sophronia soon finds out this finishing school isn't anything like she imagined. They are teaching her etiquette, but also espionage.

This was such a fun universe to read about, set in the past, but with advancements we don't even have today, like robot servants and such. It was a fun combination of the paranormal – with vampires and werewolves – and the world of spies. 

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry- We all know that Peter Pan never wants to grow up but until now we have never known WHY he can't grow up. Peter and the Starcatchers is the prequel to Peter Pan. We find out how Peter comes to live in NeverNever Land. We also find out that he couldn't always fly. It is his adventures in Peter and the Starcatchers that change him to be able to fly. He once was a completely normal boy. This book makes you love Peter Pan even more by finding out his story.

You don't just find out how Peter Pan came to be, you get to watch as the most famous Peter Pan characters come on the scene. The Lost Boys are introduced almost immediately and you get to meet Black Stache, who will turn into Captain Hook. Yup, this book is set so much earlier that Peter hasn't even fed his hand to the croc yet.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - Jacob makes the journey to Cairnholm near Wales, to visit the orphanage where his grandfather grew up to discover it was bombed out during the last World War. How can that be? His grandfather received a letter from the Headmistress, just a few years ago. It is a mystery that Jacob is determined to solve. 

Heist Society by Ally Carter- A light, fun read about a teenage girl who comes from a family of thieves. She has tried to get away to move on with her life and attend school, but she finds it is a lot harder to escape thieving when so many people don't want her to. This is a light, run read about an art heist. I enjoyed the story and the characters.

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen- The young prince has been missing for years, and one man has an idea to bring him back. He auditions four young men to possibly masquerade as the prince, training each one to become more like the missing prince. One will be king and the others will die. Although this book was predictable in spots, I really enjoyed it.

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter- Cammie Morgan is a special girl. She is a genius, speaks 14 languages and is training to be a spy. Although she is about to undertake her most difficult covert ops assignment, pretending to be a normal teenager.

Cammie is a 15-year-old girl attending the private Gallagher Academy For Exceptional Young Women, which most of the students just call spy school. Starting in 7th grade, brilliant girls are invited to come live at the academy, learn to speak different languages, attend classes in different cultures, math, science, oh and covert operations.

 Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer - Underneath the the world of humans lies a whole secret world of Faeries, a world that 12-year-old billionaire and criminal mastermind, Artemis Fowl, discovers and exploits in hopes of gaining fairy gold. The Artemis Fowl books are a light, fun and easy read and they get better as the series goes on.   This book is a little bit the Italian Job meets Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. It is an interesting story with a good twist on the typical fantasy characters. You meet some of the top fairies in this book, who are more war generals than fairy God mothers. The humans are the bad characters in the book, but you sympathize with them none the less.

Holes by Louis Sachar - After Stanley Yelnats is falsely arrested for stealing a pair of famous shoes, he is sent to Camp Green Lake where the warden has kids dig holes each day, it seems the warden is looking for something. Could it involve the legend of Kissing Kate Barlow? Holes is a classic, I didn't read this book until I was an adult, and I loved it. My husband was glancing over my shoulder when I pulled up Holes on Goodreads and he asked "Who could rate Holes less than four stars?"

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi - Charlotte's family has moved from England to Rhode Island, leaving Charlotte behind to finish the school year. Charlotte boards a ship for an ordinary ocean crossing when she realizes that she has walked straight into a mutiny. No one is safe. Least of all Charlotte.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin - Mr. Westing, a millionaire, has died. He has left his vast fortune to 16 different people, if they can figure out the elaborate game he has set up.

Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson - When Finn, Charlene, Willa, Maybeck and Philby agree to become the models for the new Disney World hologram projections, they have no idea that the will become part of the park. After the sun goes down, the park comes to life and all of the villains from every Disney ride come alive and these five teens are the only things standing between the villains and park domination. If you love Disney, you will love these fun books with all of your favorite villains.

Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan - Perseus (Percy) Jackson thinks he  is just a regular kid with a horrible step dad, but a series of crazy happenings lead him to find out he is the son of the sea god Poseidon.

The books takes Percy through his first quest to save the Gods from battle and the world from war. He is supposed to figure out who stole master lightening bolt from Zeus. Percy Jackson provides a good introduction to Greek mythology. It does a pretty good job of providing the reader with enough information so you don't have to keep leaving the book to look something up about mythology. I, however, love to know every detail so I was often looking up characters/gods from the book. It was fun to see the Greek Gods in a modern sense and see that at least according to Riordan that they are still up to their old tricks.

Which of these are your favorite?
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Monday, August 22, 2016

Printable Quiet Book- Ocean Animals Page


Today I am sharing the third post in the Printable Quiet Book Series. This cute little Ocean Animals Playset includes a background, and figures to make your little marine biologist's day. 

From the first post: When our first daughter was little, I painstakingly made a felt quiet book. I spent hours cutting out pieces and hand embroidering, it took me months. My daughter loved it and played with it often, but I always wished it was easier to add pages to it. I wanted to add new pieces and new pages, but it seemed like a daunting task. 

Our second daughter is just at the age now where I am wishing for a quiet book again. When I started saving ideas and thinking about what I wanted to do for her book, I realized that a printable quiet book would be so much easier. It would be perfect for people who don't think of themselves as crafty and it would be easy to add more pages to if I wanted to later. So the printable quiet book was born. 

Between my husband and I, we have finally completed the book and I am in love with it. There are paper dolls and play sets and all sort of amazing that doesn't take more than some printing and cutting. 


You will need:

  • The Printable Quiet Book Page
  • Scissors
  • a sandwich sized plastic bag
  • magnet strips, velcro or small piece of felt
  • a glue gun
  • a Laminator and Laminating sheets (I love my Scotch Laminator)



Print both the background and the figures. Cut out the figures and then laminate both the background and the figures. There are several ways you can make the figures stick to the background. You can add small squares of felt to the back of each figure and several squares on the background. You can also use velcro squares instead of felt. I prefer to use magnet tape and then keep a thin magnet board at the front of my quiet book to be placed behind the page the child is playing on. This makes it so you don't have to put any thing on the background.


Hot glue one side of a plastic bag on the back of the laminated background so you have a place to store all of the pieces. 

Add it to your quiet book and you have a page that is a lot of fun without a lot of work! Check out the other pages of the quiet book here:

 Mouse Threading Page 
Alien Space Page

Printables in this post are for personal use and available to subscribers of Housewife Eclectic only. To use this printable, please SUBSCRIBE NOW.

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Once you have subscribed, click the links below to download the printables.

Printable Quiet Book- Ocean Animals
Printable Quiet Book- Ocean Background

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Get It Together Link Party

New Cohosts!

Don't miss another week of the #BloggersGetSocial Get It Together link party. We pin, tweet, and/or Facebook share ALL of the posts here! We are all about networking, action, and accountability. This week we are celebrating our NEW cohosts: Kori at Home, Oh Chic Mom, Practical Mommy, and For the Love of Crust! They join Bloggers Get Social, Sunny Soirees, Mama's Got It Together, and Housewife Eclectic. We all met in the Bloggers Get Social Facebook group, so be sure to join to find collaboration parters or share your posts with our network! While that link up was focused on social media networks, this NEW and improved link up is co-hosted by some of my favorite blog buddies and features #BloggersGetSocial! Bloggers Get Social is a network and accountability group, and I created it with the hopes of bringing new and veteran bloggers together to collaborate on their goals. With this link up, we hope to share the best home and organizational tips and tricks and focus on bringing YOUR content in front of new readers! Let's get started! Thanks for stopping by the Get It Together Link Up! This is a fun Monday blog hop and link party that encourages bloggers to share their best posts of the week in the following topics:
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Friday, August 19, 2016

The Struggle Is Part of the Story


There is something so painful about the moment a doctor tells you that you will never have another baby. There is never a right moment for it, but somehow the moment where you are dressed in a paper gown, all by yourself, lacks the dignity that wish you felt. 

Our older daughter was three years old that day. I am not even sure how to describe the devastation that I felt. I felt like all hope had been ripped from me. I felt selfish, because I already had one. I should be grateful, not devastated and just when I thought I couldn't sink any lower, I realized I was going to have to go home and tell my husband that there weren't any other children in our future. It was truly one of the first times in my life I have been doubled over from emotional pain. My husband is pretty much the most amazing man on the face of the planet and he spent that entire night making sure I was OK. 


Fast forward a couple of years, I haven't accepted that our sweet 5-year-old is going to be our only one, but thinking about it doesn't devastate me the way it once did. She is beautiful and we are lucky, I am not feeling great, so on a whim, I take a pregnancy test. I will never forget the elation of seeing two lines on that test. I called my husband to tell him that the doctor was wrong and that miracles happen. I told my best friend, who was pregnant that we were going to have babies around the same time. I was ecstatic. Right in the middle of the ecstasy, I start bleeding. Badly. I called the doctor, convinced they could do something to fix this. Miracles aren't supposed to go away. The nurse on the phone explained I was having a miscarriage and that I need to come in the next week to make sure everything was OK. 

I laid in bed and cried for most of the week. It felt like it would have been better to never have the miracle at all then to have had it ripped away. I went in for the ultrasound and the ultrasound tech was surprised to find that it still seemed like I was pregnant. I was told not to get my hopes up but to come back in a week. How do you not get your hopes up? The next week I was devastated once again to be told that they couldn't find a heartbeat and did I want to schedule a D&C. I couldn't do it. I wanted to hold on to the dream for just a little while longer. When I finally came back in a week later, they did a routine ultrasound to not only find a baby, but a heartbeat as well. After being told that I couldn't have a baby, to being told that I had lost one twice, I was suddenly given my miracle back. 


The thing that has caused my doctor to tell me that I would never have another baby led to an incredibly painful and terrible pregnancy. With a build up of scar tissue and uterine varicose veins, every step was painful. I spent most of the pregnancy in a fog and in a lot of pain. It seemed impossible that I was going to end the experience with a baby in my arms, but at 39 weeks, the most perfect little girl was placed in my arms. 



She is two now. She gives me a run for my money every day. She is hard and wonderful and truly the child that healed my broken heart. Getting her here is the hardest thing I have ever done, both emotionally and physically. I can't imagine going through it again, but I would if I needed to, to get her here.

The Struggle is part of the story necklace, Cents of Style

 There was a time in my life that I never thought I would get to be a mom again, but through a whole lot of struggle came the happiest part of my life. The struggle is part of her story and mine. 
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

11 Natural Tricks for Insomnia

Today’s post is sponsored by Natrol, but my love for their melatonin is all my own!


I am not a great sleeper. As a total night owl, sometimes I struggle to fall asleep until 3 or 4 in the morning every night, which ends up messing up the next day too. People are always suggesting sleeping pills to me, but I feel but better using natural ways to get to sleep. These are my favorite.



Meditation- Meditation has been shown to improve sleep cycles when used right before bed. Focusing on the positive and deep breathing can help clear your mind for rest.



Notebook- Often times people can't fall asleep because they have things they are thinking about. Keep a pad of paper next to your bed so you can jot down notes to yourself so you can let things go and sleep.



Stimulants- Avoid Caffeine  and nicotine before bed. They stimulate you and keep you awake longer.



Exercise- Add a 20 minute work out to your morning routine can actually make it easier for you to unwind at night.

Hot bath or shower- a hot bath can calm you down and get your body ready for sleep. Try an epsom salt bath with a touch of lavender essential oils to help with the calming effects.



Put away screens at least 30 minutes before bed- Staring at a phone will you are in bed can keep you up long after you have put the screen down. Turning off the blue light and allowing yourself to prepare for bed without a screen will help you fall asleep later.



Set the right temperature- Sleeping in a room that is too hot or too cold will make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try setting your thermostat around 65 degrees for optimal sleeping.



Get outside in the morning- Help your body's natural rhythm by getting sun during the day.

Stick to a schedule- It is better for your body to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day. Even on those lazy Saturday mornings!




Try ear plugs and a sleep mask- block out the external stimulants that could be keeping you awake.



Melatonin- Melatonin, like Natrol Melatonin is a 100% drug free secret weapon when it comes to getting your body to recognize that it is time for sleep. Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve is 100% drug-free and non-habit forming. Supports an overall better sleep and helps regulate healthy sleeping patterns. It is 100% vegetarian and Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve tablets allows consumers to take anytime, anywhere with no water needed.

If you have trouble staying asleep, you might try Natrol Advanced Sleep Melatonin. It  is also a 100% drug-free sleep aid that helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep with a built in 2-layered time release that gives you an initial 5mg dosage to help you fall sleep and then releases the remaining 5mg dosage throughout your sleep to help you stay asleep.

Natrol Melatonin has made a HUGE difference in my quality of life. I have always struggled to sleep and I have even gotten my days and nights completely mixed up before. Natrol helped me right it. Natrol is available in your vitamin aisle, just look for the purple bottle. Right now you can download a coupon so you can try Natrol Melatonin for yourself.

What tricks do you use to get to sleep?
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