Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Dynamic Dria- A Multipurpose Nursing Cover


   Nursing covers are a lot like pants. They come in all different shapes, and some styles fit your body and your personality better than others. Take me for example - its hard to find a skinny jean that doesn't make my thighs and butt seem like they are the  width and breadth of a hippo. Instead, I seek out a dark wash, boot cut, mid to low rise. Very specific. Nursing covers are much the same. They have personality, there are specifics, they fit different personalities and needs. The Dria Cover, however, can be used to fit all of your needs, hence the title of this post, "The Dynamic Dria Cover."

 

        The Dria Cover can really multi-task. First and foremost, it provides full cover. It conceals your chest, sides, back, bra straps, the whole she-bang. This is very important for the modest nursing mother. It can be worn as a poncho, over a tank top, or even belted. It could be a super cute maternity top. It can be used as a stroller or car seat cover. It can also double as a light weight blanket if needed.


  The Dria Cover is currently available on the website in the three fabrics shown below. For the purposes of this review I was sent the Newport Dria cover. When I received the cover I was pleasantly surprised by the jersey fabric. It is uber soft, stretchy, and lightweight at the same time, making it seem very lux. Think of your softest baby blanket yet with some elasticity. The company refers to the stretch as a 4 way stretch, basically meaning the cover will mold in any direction to fit your needs. Another huge plus to this cover is that it doesn't wrinkle. Its wonderful to be able to pull your nursing cover out of your bag and not feel like a disheveled wrinkled schlub.

 
       Since Weston has hit 9 months he has been quite the handful to breastfeed.  This is especially true when trying to be modest in public. I was thrilled when I experienced the extent of the coverage provided by the Dria cover. Definitely a cover that would withstand some crazy break-dancing baby moves. The lightweight fabric is breathable and not too heavy. The only con to this cover is that you need to hold out the neckline if you want to maintain eye contact with you baby. I feel that this is a small price to pay for all of the other functions of this great cover.

  

        This week I really gave the Dria cover a run for it's money.  I used it on an airplane. Let me tell you....this baby is the whole enchilada. I wore it, I nursed in it (for an HOUR on the plane), I used it as a blanket, even wore it as a smock on the way home when feeding the wild one some baby food.  I even received a compliment on my cute shirt! Loved it!!

        The Dria cover retails at $79.99. Yes, this is at the upper end of nursing cover pricing, however, the Dria Cover is such a multitasking baby item and I think that justifies the higher price.

UPDATE: If you would like to purchase your own Dria Cover you are entitled to $10.00 off on the Dria Cover website with the code MRSMOMMY. 

Please enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win your very own Dria Cover!


UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Congrats to the winner,
Lori D. 


Disclosure: I received a product to review for free. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.


Friday, August 17, 2012

A Solution to the Germy Cart- Balboa Baby Shopping Cart Cover

   
     For Weston it was an inverse relationship, as his ability to sit up increased, his patience in his car seat during shopping trips decreased.  Once his sitting capabilities were fully established we began using the Balboa Baby shopping cart cover

 As per The Balboa Baby Company their shopping cart cover has the following features:
  • Machine washable soft quilted material provides a
    360 degree germ-free zone.
  • Four elastic corners for easy one-hand installation
  • Toy loops to attach baby’s favorite playthings
  • Safety strap keeps baby secure and comfortable
  • Folds into itself to a compact, convenient size that
    can be easily stored in diaper bag.
  • Fits most restaurant high chairs
It folds up into this little purse like pouch!

     I found all of these features to work as promised. I really do love and use this cover on a daily basis. There are a few additional features that I would like to point out. First, the safety strap can be used by itself or as a cover over the grungy strap that is attached to the shopping cart. I buckle my son in (with the yucky grocery cart strap) and then cover the gross part with the Balboa Baby strap. This way he is extra safe but not able to eat the grocery cart strap (and trust me he would LOVE to eat it).
      Secondly, the shopping cart cover I own has a lovely geometric pattern on both sides, however, I wish I had chosen one of Balboa's shopping cart covers that had a different pattern on each side. A two patterned cover would make it much easier to discern which way to install the cover on the seat (and it does matter).  Balboa makes several covers with a different pattern on each side. 

   Third, sometimes this cover is a bit of a tight fit over the shopping cart. On the bigger carts (Sam's Club, Babies R Us etc) it takes a little more effort to place the cover, however, it is this great tight fit that also keeps the cover in place! I prefer to use a little extra effort to get my cover in place verses having a cover that goes on easy but slips and slides all over the place. 



Yes, Evan does have his eyes closed in this picture.

   Last but not least, I have one recommendation for Balboa Baby and their shopping cart cover. My wish list for future covers, is that they add fluffy pillows on each side. This would have been wonderful for my new bobble-y little sitter or even now when he gets tired and starts to list to one side. 
     
 In conclusion, the Balboa Baby Shopping Cart cover hits all the required points. It is cute, convenient, and it covers the whole cart! It even gets extra credit for doing double duty as a shopping cart cover and a highchair cover. You can find Balboa Baby Products in stores throughout the world or you can find them online at Amazon.com.

     I am pleased to announce that Balboa Baby has been kind enough to provide a Balboa Baby Shopping cart cover to the winner of the giveaway! Please enter below.


UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Congrats to the winner,
Terri M. 


Disclosure: I received a product or products for free to trial. All opinions are 100% my own. Some links in this post are affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations. 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Westons Weekend- 9 months

    Weston's weekend included laundry(good times), the Audubon zoo (on Sunday and Monday), and lunch out as a family at the Rum House. I can't believe my baby boy is 9 months old. I know everyone must echo the same sentiment as their babies grow, however, I literally feel like time is slipping through my fingers and I'm trying to hold on to every moment.
 

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Little More Coverage- MoBoleez, A Nursing Hat Review

  
    In case it wasn't already obvious, I love breastfeeding. That being said, I'm not an in your face, here are my boobs, see me in all my woman-ness, breastfeed in public-kinda-gal. Public nudity is just not my style. Some people that are very pro-breastfeeding would say that breastfeeding openly (boobs out) is completely normal and acceptable. I agree, breastfeeding is "normal" but its also my normal to show a little humility and cover up! That being said, I have not run off to a dark corner somewhere for the past 9 months every time my little one wants to eat. I use a nursing cover.

       In the first several months of nursing Weston I used a traditional nursing cover (envision a blanket with a strap around the neck). This week I was super excited to be given the opportunity to try a MoBoleez. MoBoleez is marketed as a modern bonnet for the breastfeeding baby.  The product is  basically a stretchy, wide brimmed, sun hat/nursing cover.

      MoBoleez is made of very soft stretchy fabric so that it fits snugly to your infants head. The fabric is 95% cotton and 5% spandex jersey knit. It is completely machine washable and should be laid out to air dry. Due to the fact that size is important, to ensure a snug fit, there are two sizes of hats. You can order a 0-6 months or a 6-12 months hat.

       For the purposes of this review I received a 6-12 months MoBoleez hat in blue, with a little star  pattern on it. Scattered around the hat is the phrase, "The Milky Way." Pretty creative little phrase for a nursing hat I must say!
     The hat fit Weston tightly, but comfortably, and stayed on despite his immediate tugging at the bill. Unfortunately,Weston at this age, is now just too squirmy for the Moboleez to remain full coverage. For a smaller or more calm baby, or even a Mama that just needs a little bit of modesty (but doesn't mind an occasional flap of the hat) this product would be great! It just so happens that my boy has bypassed the easy going eater phase, and the current situation is more like wrestling a baby gator.


 
    The above facts being stated, MoBoleez could also be an adorable new baby gift! Given the double use, nursing cover and sun hat, it is a one size fits all kind of Moms gift. MoBoleez can be found at boutiques around the world as well as purchased online. On amazon right now the price of MoBoleez ranges from $22.99-$28.00.
  
      Moboleez has been kind enough to provide you with the chance to win one Moboleez nursing bonnet for yourself! Please enter the rafflecopter below.


UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Congrats to the winner,
Tee K


Disclosure: I received a product to review for free. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lilipop Designs- A Blog Designer Review


     It's no secret that I am a novice blogger. New to blogging and new to the Blogger platform as well. I am proud that I was able to muddle through and create some semblance of a functional blog. That being said, it wasn't beautiful. It also lacked some major technical aspects such as social media buttons and appropriate pages.  I was fumbling with some tutorials, which were like reading Greek to me, and then it donned on me - It was an, "AH HA", moment. There is someone out there who can get this done, better than I can, and in no time at all.

     Lilipop Designs was just the "someone", I needed to whip my blog into shape. First, Jessica designed my lovely new header and template design. She was kind enough to bear with my many womanly whims and adjust it to my liking a few times. Thanks again, Jessica! The new colors combined with a simple, clean, classic, yet fun design are just what I was looking for. My new template has all the things a blogger could want! It's all there: social media icons, pages, my own signature, and a widget that shows my current giveaways. I think I am in love.

    After finalizing the draft of my template Jessica then installed it. Yes, no need for me to risk tinkering with HTML, this blog designer installs your design for you too. I have to tell you that this was one of my biggest worries about the process. What if I tried to do it myself, messed up one dot or slash, and ruined the whole blog? I just don't think I could bare to start from scratch. Needless to say, I was relieved and thrilled when Jessica installed the design for me!
      Id also like to take a minute to talk about the woman behind Lilipop Designs. Jessica, like myself is from Florida.  I have a sunny spot in my heart for anyone living in my home state! She is also a Mom to THREE boys. Lots of respect for any Mama who can manage three boys. Jessica also works as a full time web and graphics designer. One of my favorite parts about her and her business is that she works with a wide range of people needing design.  From work-at-home-moms to serious hobby bloggers, and even professional bloggers.  She really dumbed-down all the blogging lingo for me as a blogging novice, making the whole process so much less overwhelming.  It's clear that she is exceptionally skilled and could easily assist a professional as well.

    I hope you like my new blog layout as much as I do! I'm so thrilled with it! If you are contemplating starting a blog or have a blog that needs a fun little revamp I am happy to offer a giveaway from Lilipop Designs. Jessica is offering one lucky reader a Blogger pre-made template of your choice, with installation, as a giveaway. I'm also excited to announce that this giveaway is open internationally! You can check out all her pre-made Blogger templates here.  You can also check Jessica's designs out at her Etsy Store.


UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Congrats to the winner,
Julie F. 


Disclosure: I received a product to review for free. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happy August, National Breastfeeding Month

In my prior life (you know, the one before the birth of Weston) I had no idea that there was even such a thing as National Breastfeeding Month. Low and behold, there is such a thing, and it is occurring now in August! It was created by the United States Breastfeeding Committee whose goal it is to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. Let me stop there, before I start to completely sound like a public service announcement. Quite simply, Happy National Breastfeeding Month!

If this (breastfeeding) is your chosen path I've got some really cool nursing accessories for you to check out. Let us call them nursing accessories or nursing covers, whatever floats your boat. Get excited!

Reviews soon to come:




Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Calculatingly Cool Toy, A Handmade Abacus Review


     I recently came across a company on Etsy called The Find Sac .  They specialize in creative, innovative,sustainable, and affordable Eco nursery design and graphics. They also have an amazing shop on Etsy, chock full of wonderful cards, banners, stationary, wall art, and graphics for all of life's celebratory moments. You can also check them out at www.TheFindSac.com for a full list of products and services.

      The Find Sac was created by Kathleen Golik, a Mama to an 11 month old baby boy. She, like myself, is a Mom who pursues her own passions while watching her baby boy grow. My hat's off to her for being able to be so productive and creative at home while managing an active little one!

        My eye was immediately drawn to these beautiful abacus sets. I had been looking for an abacus for a while, but these exceeded my hopes and expectations. Kathleen makes them by hand, dying each bead with dyes made from fruits and vegetables.  The fruits and vegetables used to make the dyes include plum, red onion skin, carrots, beets, grape juice, lemons, red cabbage, and blue berries. The wood is also very soft and smooth. Not a splinter to be seen!  I also love the fact that my boy, who puts everything he can in his mouth, can gnaw on this all he wants without me worrying.
     For the purposes of this review I received a beautiful blue and red abacus for Weston.  I received it wrapped carefully in brown paper, and was thrilled to watch him rip at the paper to reveal his new toy. 

     Weston loves the abacus, just as I knew he would. What could be more attractive to a little boy than lots of brightly colored beads to move around (other than my iPhone which I'm trying to keep in one piece)?  Kathleen's abacuses (or abaci, if you will) come complete with a small picture hanger on the back so that you may hang it on the wall as a decorative piece if you so choose.
                                                     
   I really wanted this to be hung on the wall but also wanted it to be at Weston's level so that he could play with it as well. I decided to hang the abacus over his changing table. Double duty, a toy and a diaper changing distraction!  In order to attach the abacus firmly to the wall I used some 3M Command Strips. These strips attached the abacus firmly but allow it to be easily removed with out damaging the paint underneath (I rent people! Can't be fudging up the paint!)



Kathleen has kindly provided a multi-color abacus to giveaway to one lucky reader. Please enter in the rafflecopter widget below. You can also receive 15% off anything in Kathleen's Etsy store by using the code CUSTOMERETURN2012 at checkout! This is a great discount available only to readers of this blog! Thanks for reading!




UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Congrats to the winner,
Jenny S. 


Disclosure: I received a product to review for free. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monogrammed Otterbox Case- A Classic Prep Review

Update (3/7/13): Seven months after I received this case a piece of the bottom cracked and fell off. I love the colors, design, and quality of the monogram however I do feel that a case of this price should last longer.  Furthermore, I wish the company would stand by their product regardless of policy. When I contacted the company they reiterated their policy which states: “Case provides added protection against bump and shock. This case is NOT protective against water. Lipstick Shades offers a 90 day from purchase warranty on your personalized Otterbox Case. We do not handle Otterbox Warranty issues, including breakage, beyond 90 days from purchase and will not be able to replace your monogrammed Otterbox case for any reason.


      To function as a woman and Mama in today's society I need my iPhone. It is embedded into my daily routine to the point of ridiculousness.  Sad as it is, without an iPhone I am but a shell of a person and only function at a basic level. I rely on my phone, like many of you, to be my memory, alarm clock, camera, timer, GPS, radio, and day planner. Beyond daily functions, I also use my iPhone to read blogs and check social networking sites during late night feeding sessions or moments of boredom. Unfortunately, my new little man has a penchant for the iPhone as well. His greedy little fingers love to hold my phone more than any of his carefully chosen toys. Due to my complete dependence on this device it is very important for me to protect it. The Otterbox has a reputation for being one of the heartier iPhone cases on the market, so when I came across the monogrammed Otterbox cases, made by Classic Prep Monograms, I knew I was on to something wonderful. Quality protection, style, and a customized monogram for my beloved iPhone? A great thing I say!

    Classic Prep Monograms create a variety of monograms on Otterbox Commuter phone cases to fit your personal style. They offer patterns such as Bloom, Indonesia, Chevron, Union Jack Prepster and many more. You also choose the colors, the font, and the accent style. So many things to decide - it was so much fun! I chose the Moroccan pattern and love it.

      When I received the case I immediately rushed to put my phone into its new fabulous home. The case is two layers of protection. A harder polycarbonate outside and a stretchy silicone inside. This double layer system is what is supposed to provide great protection for your phone. I went ahead and set out to test this case with what I call the, "Baby test." I went ahead and handed over my phone to Weston. I even let him chew on it. The phone was perfectly safe and the monogram design itself is permanent, with no risk of scratching or peeling.
     My only complaint is that the screen protector included with the case is not so fabulous (No fault of Classic Prep Monograms). Some little bubbles were impossible to get out with lots of smoothing. That being said I'm not a big screen protector user so I just threw that part away.
 Its important to note that while I am obsessed with my iPhone, there are many of you out there that have smart phones that are just as cool (well almost, ha ha). This product is available for you too. Classic Prep Monogram offers monogrammed Otterboxes for the Samsung Galaxy 3, HTC Evo, HTC inspire, and the Blackberry Torch (9800/9810).

 These cases are $68.00 and can be purchased on the Classic Prep Monograms website . A bit pricey, but totally worth it for a custom, stylish, Otterbox case!

    Today, I have a giveaway for all Moms, women, and friends that would like their own special Monogrammed Otterbox Case! Please enter in the rafflecopter below!


UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Congrats to the winner,
Deanna T. 


Disclosure: I received a discount on this product in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Weston's Weekend

     This weekend we left Weston with our first ever non-friend/non-family babysitter. The simple act of putting him to sleep and then sneaking (it felt like sneaking) out to a fancy dinner in a black dress made me feel like myself again. There exists my self that is a Mother....but this...this was ME. The fun carefree, light and easy, in love with my husband ME. Bottom line, we had fun, and girlfriends gotta get out more!

     Our weekend with Weston consisted of a local farmers market outing where he had his first coconut Popsicle. He loved it. The best part of this experience was that the coconut dribbled down his chin onto his little outfit and he smelled like tropical deliciousness the rest of the day. He also had his first ever baby pool experience. We blew up his crab shaped baby pool and let him splash around until his piggies were nice and pruned. Baby boy loves himself some water.



 Just a little water in my face from splashing!
Trying to eat some grass....

If you haven't yet, please check out my Silly Billyz Bibs Review and Giveaway! The giveaway is just open for two more days!





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