Saturday, September 29, 2012

Go-Go Babyz Sidekick

   
      As a Mom, multi-tasking is of the utmost importance. Not only do I personally need to multi-task, but my baby products do as well. When I am out and about (sans stroller) I find it difficult to wear Weston in a baby carrier and lug a diaper bag at the same time. The Sidekick by Go-Go Babyz ingeniously addresses this problem by incorporating a child carrier into a diaper bag.



  The first thing I noticed when I received the product was how well it was made. The fabric is a thick nylon that seems like it would be very easy to wipe clean. It also looks like it would hold up to some pretty intense wear and tear. The shoulder strap is thick and there is also a good size padded area on the strap to help ease your load.


   I chose the Sidekick Shift bag in black to trial. I feel that it is neutral enough to go with any attire and even my anti-purse carrying husband could tote it without feeling embarrassed. This bag's contents are easily accessible with a front flap. It has a key chain holder and a cell phone pocket.  Double side pockets make it quick to access sippy cups or cheerios (with a screaming babe you need snacks ASAP sometimes). The bag also comes equiped with an insulated bottle pouch and a changing pad.



       So how does this bad boy work? Well, first its important to note that this bag can only be used as a carrier with children who have established very good head and neck control. The child basically has their bottom perched atop your diaper bag with a panel supporting their back. When I used the bag with Weston, I noticed that it takes a minute or so to switch the components of the bag to work as a baby carrier, however, certainly not any more time than it would take to put my baby in any other carrier (i.e. Moby, Ergo, Katan etc).


   In my particular case, I use the Sidekick Swift for quick trips. This bag is great for a run into the grocery store for example.  Situations where you need to carry your baby, wallet, cellphone, keys, and a diaper, are perfect for the Sidekick. If you are used to carrying your baby on your hip you may be able to use this bag for longer trips.  I am admittedly not strong enough for long trips with a baby on one hip. I found this bag to be less of a, "baby carrier" and more of a, "support for the child on my hip."

  You can see first hand how the Sidekick works in this you-tube video.



   The Sidekick Shift can be purchased for $125.00. You can also check out some other great products created by the Go-Go Babyz Company including: The Go-Go Kids Travel Mate, Infant Cruizer Travel All, and Urban Advantage Stroller.



Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win your own Sidekick!
    


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

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. 


Friday, September 28, 2012

The Easy Baby Shadowbox

This post is titled "The Easy Baby Shadowbox," but it should also be called, "A Craft for the Not--Very-Crafty."

     I love nothing more than Pinteresting my little heart out. I pin and pin and then head off to my favorite craft store for supplies to make my favorite projects.  The unfortunate part is I become paralyzed and overwhelmed about half way through the store. There are just way to many colors, pretty things, sparkles, distractions, and decisions to be made. I also don't want to spend $50.00 on craft supplies. Realistically,  I could probably buy something from Homegoods or TJMaxx that would look much better than what my not-very-crafty self could produce. The bottom line is 9 times out of 10 I leave the craft store with nothing except crushed dreams of crafts I never get around to making.

   This Easy Baby Shadowbox is for all you ladies (and gentleman) that have paraphernalia left over from your baby's birth that you would love to display as a memento. This craft is easy (read: no crafting and no supply shopping), quick, and classic. Below are your supplies:

Baby Paraphernalia (cards, hats, socks, footprints, photos, etc)
Pins
Shadowbox

   For Weston's shadowbox I chose a beautiful card that his Aunt Lori gave to us when he arrived. I just couldn't get over how delicate and adorable the knitted baby booties were. A card to be displayed for sure. I also chose a beaded baby bracelet, a hospital bracelet, and some pictures that were taken in the hospital. All of these items take me right back to those precious and fleeting moments.

   So how to make this Easy Baby Shadowbox. Super simple - just lay everything out and pin it in place.  Viola! Complete! Enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nola Baby & Child Fest


    Two years ago I was lucky enough to attend the ABC kids show in Las Vegas. I was there helping my sister-in-law promote her awesome line of baby products for her company Baby Beehaven.  Seeing all the unique vendors really opened my eyes to the endless array of baby products available. This year I am excited to have the opportunity to check out a baby and child festival in my very own backyard.

    New Orleans Baby & Child Festival is October 6 th, 2012 at the The Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.  The doors open at 10 am and the festival runs until 4 pm. The highlights include:


More Than 100 Exhibitors
Thousands of Dollars in Giveaways
Meet The Cat in the Hat
Sing & Dance with Papillion
Face Painting
Kids Area Furnished with Le Jouet Toys
Fire Department with Kid-Sized Fire Truck
Family Lounge Teched-Out with TVs,
Game Systems and Gadgets by Best Buy


    Check out this video of last years festivities:

Want to attend and check out all the awesome vendors? Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win two free tickets to Nola Baby&Child Fest.

Update: This giveaway is over. Congrats to Lindsey!

Disclosure: I received two tickets to this event in exchange for posting about it. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cardinal Baby Gates- A Quality Top Of Stair Safety Gate

 
     It is official - I now have a crawler. Seemingly overnight my boy went from a tentative, slow, saunter, to a crazy, I'm outta here, gallop of a crawl.  Baby-proofing is now in full swing in our house. A friend of mine recently explained to me that your baby will show you exactly what you need to baby-proof. In our case this is definitely true. Our boy demonstrated this week that he not only loves to crawl but he loves to crawl up stairs. This sent us into a full panic to quickly install a top quality stairway gate.

Just wanted to show you my new little tooth

   Cardinal Gates sent us their Stairway Special Safety Gate (Model SS-30) to review. This gate can be purchased for $92.00. and  has the following features:

Made of rustproof aluminum
  Has a one hand latch system (A must when your carrying a baby)
Comes in white, black, and outdoor brown
Gate width is adjustable 27" to 42 ½"
A great safety feature which only allows the gate to swing one direction (prevents the gate from opening toward the stairs and having the baby plummet down them)



      When we received the gate we watched this video that explains how to install the gate in 10 minutes.  This video is extremely helpful and also gives you great insight about how well thought out and well constructed this gate is. This is a gate that works in a wide variety of homes. It works in doorways, on stairs, with banisters,  on angles, and over baseboards.

Installation in process

For the sake of full disclosure we did have a bit of a problem and were unable to install the gate in 10 minutes. When the gate arrived we cut the plastic ties off and pulled the sides of the gate apart (not realizing we weren't supposed to do this). For the life of us, we could NOT determine how to get the two parts of the gate back together. I contacted the company, certain that the gate was defective. They quickly got back to me and explained exactly how to fix the problem. The problem was quickly solved and the gate was installed 5 minutes later. With a product as complicated as a gate can be, I think it's very important to buy from a company with great customer service, and that stands behind their product.  Cardinal Gates customer service earns an A+.


Testing out the gate 

If you would like to win your own black Stairway Special Safety Gate (Model SS-30) please enter the rafflecopter below. Thanks to Cardinal Gates!


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


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. 


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Healthier Indoors


      To be honest I am not a very Eco-conscious person. OK...lets go ahead and be completely honest...I have been known to liter occasionally. We are marginal at very best at recycling. Prior to being a Mama the contents of cleaning products never even really crossed my mind. Terrible, right? It is admittedly really bad but I'm trying to make amends now.

     Since, Weston started teething (read: eating EVERYTHING) and crawling I have really started to consider the cleaning products I use. It now matters greatly which products I clean the floor and counters with because my boy regularly licks them. 

   This week I had an opportunity to use two products created by Healthier Indoors. I trialed both the Odor Eliminator and the One Clean Concentrate. These products are 100% safe for the environment and the people in them.  Safe for my baby = one happy Mama.

Price $19.95 for 16 oz. (makes up to 16 bottles as strong as multi- purpose cleaners)

What I love:
100% safe for people and the environment.
Neutral pH so it's gentle on surfaces
 Formulated with natural ingredients (no hazardous chemicals)
Soft, subtle, yet clean lemongrass smell
Multi-purpose use (tile, counters, bath, glass, mirrors, upholstery, etc)
The bottle that allows you to pre-measure a small amount of product for ease of use 
It gave my granite countertops a beautiful shine

One ounce of cleaner concentrate mixed with water in a spray bottle cleaned my kitchen fabulously

SmartTouch Fresh Odor Eliminator

Price $24.95 for 16 oz.

What I love:
All  natural and non-toxic
Hypo allergenic
Eliminates all types of odors without trying to overpower them
Worked magic on my stinky kitchen trashcan
 

If you would like to try these products, please enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win one of three prizes. Three lucky winners will be given the chance to win a prize of  both the One Clean Concentrate and the Fresh Odor Eliminator. 
 
Update: If you would like to purchase any products from Healthier Indoors you can use the code 20off2012 for 20% off your purchase! Happy shopping!


UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Congrats to the winners,
Katy, Stephanie P, and Karen M.


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. 


Monday, September 10, 2012

Luv It

Luv's just came out with fun new commercial and I thought it was definitely worth sharing! Big thanks to Roberta for sending me the link to this!



Saturday, September 8, 2012

PSA Essentials


  This week I received a personalized, self-inking, address stamp from PSA Essentials. PSA stands for Paper, Stamps, and Accessories.  It's no secret that there are lots of  companies out there that create personalized stamps. You may be asking, "Why is PSA Essentials special?" Well, they are special because they have a patent-pending PEEL & STICK® technology.  



I chose a peel and stick pack with some inspirational sayings. The pack is called, "Dare to Dream."

      If you buy one stamp and a Peel and Stick pack, you have a variety of stamping options right at your fingertips. Peel off the circular address and add a frilly border, or remove the middle and add a symbol or saying of your choice. There are Peel and Stick packs for the holidays, cartoon characters, numbers, symbols, and many more. The possibilities are endless!




Please note all smudgy parts of the address were created on purpose in photo shop so as not to reveal my address. No fault of the stamp!

Switching out the Peel and Stick parts can be a little messy! Definitely use a paper towel to clean off the ink before you switch out your Peel and Stick Parts. Check out this great video on how to switch out your Peel and Stick parts with ease. 

   I have a very, very, thoughtful friend named Kate who purchases a personalized stamp for each of her friends when they move. I have been lucky enough to maintain my friendship with my fabulous friend over the past six years. These years have been filled with baby showers, birthdays, weddings, date nights, game nights, and girls nights. Six years and two address changes later, the stamps still make my life a little easier and add some pizazz to my mail. Beyond the basics, these stamps are also a  fabulous housewarming gift. The gift of a personalized address stamp from a good friend whispers, "Welcome to your new home, may it always be filled with laughter and love."


  In summary, these stamps are awesome for housewarming or holiday gifts. They are also versatile and interchangeable. Due to the Peel and Stick technology, the same stamp can be used on basic bills or converted for cheery use on a card for a friend. If your in search of ideas on how to use your stamp beyond the basics check out PSA Stamp Camp.

Enter below to win your own stamp and Peel and Stick pack!


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


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blue Manatee Boxes- The Best Books In A Box That Rocks

    
   We are currently in the phase of Weston's babyhood where he enjoys books, but prefers to eat them. For this reason we can really only read him board-books (unless we don't mind the book being torn from cover to cover). I recently had the good fortune of finding out about Blue Manatee Boxes. This company ships boxes of books, custom tailored to your child's age and preferences, right to your front door!



      For the purposes of this review I was sent a box of three board-books. You can choose your own books, or let the "Blue Manatee" select them based on a theme of your choosing. I let the Blue Manatee choose the books based on a critter theme. Some of the other themes available are an Artbox, UnpluggedBox, Babybox, Brainybox, EcoBox, and the Lullabox.



   The books that were chosen for Weston were perfect for his age, and very critter oriented as promised. The box that the books shipped in came with directions for turning the box itself into a new toy.  What child doesn't love a good box? My boy sure does!




(A little too much fun....)

   I think Blue Manatee Boxes are a great gift for any special child in your life. You can even further spice up your gift box by adding additional toys or apparel. If you know a child that has been ill you can choose to include special feel better books. I love the idea of sending books verses flowers and candy. I bet the parent of a sick child would really appreciate a box of books over a sugary treat!


                                                                                                        (Yes, I watched The Help recently. Clearly I was influenced.)


 In summary Blue Manatee Boxes are educational, fun, and amazingly creative gifts. If you would like your child, or someone you love, to win their own box of three books from Blue Manatee please enter the rafflecopter below. If you would like to order your own box your entitled to 10% off with the code THANKSMOM. This code is good through 11/12.



UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Congrats to the winner,
Melissa P. 


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. 


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Crane Air Purifier

     My family was recently given the chance to trial either a Crane Humidifier or a Crane Air Purifier. While a humidifier is a great tool to have with a young child during cold and flu season, I hesitated to introduce more humidity into our home. Following our move to Louisiana, Damp-Rid has become a regular purchase to aid us in our battle against damp smelling closets. Due to our damp and dank air issues we chose to try the Crane Air Purifier. We were so excited to receive the Fresh and Snappy Shark Air Purifier. This is an air purifier with a personality and appearance so fun it makes both kids and adults alike smile.


   Getting down to the nitty-gritty,why should you buy an air purifier? Well, there are lots of reasons and Crane spells them all out:


SHARK ADORABLE AIR PURIFIER

  • Helps remove airborne allergens, bacteria, viruses, germs

  • Germicidal UV light targets viruses and bacteria
  • Neutralizes harmful fumes and common household odors from tobacco, pets, garbage, cooking

  • 5 level filtration system to deliver germ free, fresh air

  • True HEPA filter captures up to 99.97% of airborne dust and pollen

  • Tip over switch and auto shutoff safety sensor
  • Easy-to-change filter
  • 3-speed control with low noise setting for continuous, quiet operation

THere ARE 5 LEVELS OF FILTRATION. 

HOW DO THESE LEVELS WORK TO CREATE CLEAN AIR FOR ME?


Crane’s 5 Level Filtration
Level 1  Washable  Particle Filter
The purpose of foam particle filter is to extend the life of the HEPA filter by removing large particles (dust, hair, lint) before they can get to the HEPA filter. 
Level 2 True HEPA Filter
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. The inlet grill of your air purifier draws in dirty air. Crane’s air purifier true HEPA filter removes at least 99.97% of all particles.
Level 3 Active Carbon Filter
The Active Carbon Filter (inside the HEPA filter) captures particles as well as absorbs common household odors caused from tobacco, pets, garbage and cooking.
Level 4 Photocatalyst Filter
The photocatalyst filter eliminates airborne odors and neutralizes harmful fumes.
Level 5 Germicidal UV Light
The ultraviolet light prevents germs from growing in the HEPA filter and kills viruses or bacteria along with the other airborne pollutants and microns.


    In addition to the above scientific points made by Crane, I love this product for other simple, Mom-like, practical, reasons. The continuous humming is a great source of white noise. No need to have a sleep-sheep, noise maker, or fan on. Instead, just turn on your air humidifier and create clean air and soothing sounds at the same time. 

  When purchasing any product I like to know if there are any additional costs. It is important to note that it is recommended to replace the HEPA filter in this product every three to six months depending on your usage and air quality. The replacement filters can be purchased on Amazon for $19.99.

BUY IT: The MSRP on this product is $79.99. You can find this product online and in stores across the nation. Crane has humidifiers and air purifiers virtually everywhere that baby products are sold. You can also   find this product on amazon.com.

Crane is offering you a chance to own your own air purifier at this time. Please enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win your choice of either the shark or the penguin air purifier.


UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Congrats to the winner,
Laura J. 


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, September 1, 2012

Balboa Baby- A Traditional Nursing Cover

     You may remember me writting that August was National Breastfeeding Month. I promised that I would be reviewing three nursing covers. Unfortunately, the timing of these posts was bamboozled by some major life events. The past two weeks have been a crazy blur of vacation and enjoying those we love, followed by a party-crashing hurricane named Issac.  More about our vacation and our hurricane survival later! Without further adieu, my final nursing cover review:

    The Balboa Baby Nursing Cover is the classic model of a  nursing cover (compared to Moboleez or the Dria Cover).  By classic, I mean that it hass a large piece of fabric for full frontal coverage. The cover is held up by a wide strap around the neck, and there is a metallic "bone" which allows you to view your baby from above.  The product is of very high quality, and thus I would not hesitate to say that The Balboa Baby Nursing Cover is the Mercedes Benz of traditional nursing covers.


     This cover is made of thick fabric that holds up to pulling, tugging, and multiple washings. It is heavy enough to keep your nursing sessions private but thin enough to provide ample airflow for your baby. The cover also has small gathered darts in it to make the cover form more of a circular area around your body. The neck strap can be adjusted by moving the fabric along a beautiful toggle (on my cover the toggle was brown and stone-like).  It is offered in many great patterns, and depending on your personality you can choose one that's modern, understated, or cheery.


     To be quite honest, I was planning on reviewing a cover of a competitor of Balboa Baby, however when the cover arrived to my house I knew immediately that I could not write a favorable review. I try not to be overly negative on this blog, but keep it honest, give the pros and the cons, and state what works for me and my family.  The Balboa Baby nursing cover is a QUALITY item. It looks nice, it feels great, and it is functional. Just another note regarding the other company: When a company offers a free nursing covers (you pay only shipping) you get what you pay for.  So, in summary, if you want a traditional nursing cover, and you seek quality, Balboa Baby is your brand!


Thank you to Balboa Baby for providing a nursing cover for review and one for a giveaway. Please enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Congrats to the winner,
Mayte A. 


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.


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