Mommy's Favorite Things: June 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wild Creations EcoAquarium Review & Giveaway

We have a lot of pets. Since we'll be homeschooling I think this is great for Avery to see how different animals live and what they need. We have a 47 gallon fish tank with 30 fish in it. 7 Hermit Crabs (yes, Jon got 2 more), Avery has 1 fish in her room, we have 2 dogs and NOW we're the proud owners of Dora and Minnie the Frogs from Wild Creations.

This product is great. Jon actually bought one from Brookstone in January for his desk at work. He loves it and says these little guys provide hours of entertainment. So I asked Wild Creations if they'd be willing to send us one for home, and they did. Avery loves Dora and Minnie the frogs. 
Here's the set up process
Take the Bag with the frogs in it and stick in a bowl with room temperature spring water in it so they can get used to the climate
Then you add in the Living Gravel (brown one)
Then you rinse off the decorative gravel in spring water and add that
Rinse off the Bamboo plant and stick in the corner. Make sure it's touching the bottom
Rinse off the Rock and add it
Then fill with Spring Water. Slowly pour it over the rock or bamboo so it doesn't mess up the stones
After about 20 minutes or so, add your new little pets and put the lid on.
These are the easiest pets ever. They require HARDLY any cleaning at all. 4 times a year you have to use the bastor it came with and take out like 80% of the water and then add fresh spring water. You can disturb the rocks and they can all get mixed together. They each get 2 pellets of food twice a week. Super easy to care for. We've set a schedule of MondayTuesday and Friday. It's easy that way and when we're busy on the weekend we don't have to worry about feeding them.

They are great to watch and care for. I think when we set this up Avery watched them for a total of like 4 hours that day and probably 5-6 the next. She loves them and says hi to them every morning when she wakes up.

The living gravel absorbs up the poo and extra food, the Bamboo roots then "eat" the extra stuff and the top of the plant hangs out of the water and then turns it into oxygen. It keeps the tank clean. I wonder how hard the clean up will be. Probably easy!

Price: $30 for this kit I received. Totally worth it. Even if the frogs Die. They are about $2.99 at any local aquarium (pet stores are too expensive) You need an aquarium store. So it's pretty easy to maintain and take care of. 

Overall: ***** Avery loves it, I love to watch them while I'm sewing or blogging. In fact they're swimming around playfully right now!! Actually hopping on each other. They're fun in general. Avery had fun learning about the ECO portion of it and since we're trying to be more environmentally friendly this was fun to explain to her. 

Want your own without waiting for the Giveaway to conclude? Now through July 31st use the Code BLOGGER (case sensitive, all caps) at checkout to receive $10 off on the Jewel Starter Kit. The jewel is bigger than this one and is $39.99 normally!

 *Disclaimer* I received these products directly from the Company for Review. I was not paid to try out these products!* 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sweet Pea Baby Review

Fashionable clothes are key here in our house. We love them. Jon just doesn't understand because he's wearing 12 yr old tees, but we love to be up to date and fashionable. When Sweet Pea Baby sent me 3 items I was elated!!

They were generous enough to send me the Mod Bloom Chocolate dress, the Ruffle Me Scarf in hot pink AND the Erica Bracelet 
I couldn't be more happy with these items!
 Oh my, look how stylish we are!! Ooh it's so adorable!

I love the look of a pillowcase dress because it can be worn alone, worn like here with jeans, or worn over a L/S shirt in the summer along with jeans. I think this outfit would be just as cute over a white, brown, or light pink l/s shirt! It's adorable and I can see Avery wearing this outfit often. 
She wears her bracelet ALL THE TIME. She loves it and thinks she's pretty. The scarf has been worn a few times as well. And the whole outfit has been worn just once. It's adorable with her Livie and Luca's

She is in heaven and thinks she looks "beautiful" as she says! I agree. She's gorgeous in this chic outfit!
Price: The dress is $39, the Scarf is $18, and the Bracelet is $16. I think these prices are generous. They're not the cheapest, but the items aren't cheapest quality either!

Overall: ***** Definitely. This shop is aimed at fashion and my have they hit that!
 *Disclaimer* I received these products directly from the Company for Review. I was not paid to try out these products!*

George Foreman Grills and More Cleaner Review & Giveaway

George Foreman. The famous grills... Now he has a Cleaning product out. It's meant for cleaning grills and stainless steel, but I used it on EVERYTHING!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kakadu Pet Review & Giveaway

I'm always getting stuff (for review and buying) for Avery and I and sometimes Jon. But the doggies always get neglected. Poor Pups! Boog is our almost 2 yr old Pug and Bella is our 8 month old St. Bernard. 
Bella has a good bed, but Boog's is kind of old and torn up and Bella keeps peeing in it. So it was time for a new bed for him. We decided on the Island Bed from Kakadu Pet.

I'm so happy with this bed and so is Boog
We got it in the Lagoon and Hibiscus color. It looks more grey and orange online, but it's red and blue. I like it, but I wanted a more orange color. That's alright and Boog wouldn't mind even if it were pink. They say dogs are color blind anyway right?
It came packed tight with a seal. Once it was opened it started to inflate

Corel Paint It! Review & Giveaway

I like to edit photos to add a little more to them. I usually do some black and white with color, black and white, add borders and text. Sometimes I whiten teeth and sharpen up eyes and stuff. That's about as far as my skills go. But when I had the chance to review a paint program from Corel I jumped at the chance. You see this program Paint It! is a program where you can take ANY picture and turn it into a painting!!!

Here are some pictures I've done. I'll show a before and an after. 
I haven't used all the types of paintings yet. There's a pencil and a colored pencil painting that take up to 3 hours. I would do it overnight if I really wanted the painting, but it would take a while.
Impressionist Painting

Reco Jeans Review & Giveaway

I love Jeans. I'm a Jeans hog. I have close to 30 pair. Is that bad? I wear them everyday in the fall, winter, and spring. I would wear them all summer too if I didn't get too hot. Every time I go shopping I bring home a pair of jeans. I don't know why, but me and jeans is like another women and bags or shoes. I have finally been introduced to a better brand of jeans Reco Jeans are great. They are RECYCLED Denim! Can't get any better than that.

I received the BEAUTIFUL Dudleya Parva Flared jeans!

These are LONG. Like really long. Even with 4" heels they drag the ground. I don't really mind, but they should be shorter. One thing is that they should offer different inseams. I think these are like a 36" or something. I'm a 33" That's a HUGE difference. So different inseams PLEASE. 
I ordered the size 26 and they fit me perfectly! Another thing I'm not quite used to is very low back pockets. Like below your butt and they sit on your leg. It's a little uncomfortable, but I've never had great designer jeans before so maybe it's the style. Not really sure.
Other than that I LOVE these jeans. I do have to wear them with heels every time and I don't wear heels that often, so these aren't just for going to the mall jeans. They're for dinner out or going to a concert or something. I wear my beautiful Leopard print sandal heels with these now in the summer though,Once winter arrives I'll probably tuck them into boots. 

I do love them. I love the feel of them. They don't feel recycled though so that's good. They just feel like a pair of jeans. I love them!!
They have styles for Women and for Men they have 3 styles for women and a few for men. It's hard to see right now. They changed their entire website and you can't really "Shop" Anymore. 

Price: Since these are recycled and are considered a designer they are priced at $129. This is a great price when thinking recycled designer
Overall: ****. They need different inseams. Also they carry women's sizes 24-36
You can go Here to see the 3 women's styles and Here to see the men's
Men's sizes are from 28-36 and they have 30,32, and 34 inseams.

 *Disclaimer* I received these products directly from the Company for Review. I was not paid to try out these products!*

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bake Me a Wish NEEDS your Help

Bake Me A Wish participates in Operation Birthday Cake, a program that sends cakes around the world to soldiers on their birthdays. This program carried out in concert with Soldier's Angels has been responsible for the delivery of over 6,000 cakes in the past few years. Recently, we were lucky to be part of CPT Dan Murphy's 40th birthday. How did we celebrate it? Why by sending 40 cakes for his 40th to Kosovo, of course!

You can see images from the birthday party celebration Here

Also, we are looking to do something cool this 4th of July. If our Facebook page reaches 4,000 fans by then, BMAW will donate 50 additional cakes then it did last month. That's 50 soldiers, 50 parties and a lot of really great moral.

Tulle 4 Us Review

Fashionable clothes again!! They are everywhere. Everyplace you go has the new in fashions. Well I LOVE them all!! 

I was able to review a couple products from Tulle. I received the Cotton Faille Gathered Jacket in Spruce in a Small and the Chunky Knit Hooded Cardigan in Thunder in a Medium. I'm so happy with these items. It's too warm here for the sweater now, but all I wear in the fall and winter are sweaters, so I know this will get plenty use. 
It's a little too warm for the jacket too, but I have worn it twice and I'm in love with it.
It has 3 buttons and 2 snaps at the bottom to keep it together. Love that feature. just keeps it from popping open. It also has pockets on the side. LOVE them. They are very deep and will hold anything I need them to.
 Sweater also has pockets. It's a little long in the sleeves, but I'm glad I got a medium because of the length.

Love these items. Can't wait to wear the sweater more and I can't wait until it gets a little cooler so the jacket can get a bit more use as well. The jacket has a nice satin white and green polka dot lining. It's so soft!
Price: The sweater is $34.80 on sale from $54 right now and the jacket is $26 on sale from $65 right now. Full prices are a bit much, but I really like the sale prices.

Overall: **** 1/2. The prices are a little high, other than that I'm very happy.
 *Disclaimer* I received these products directly from the Company for Review. I was not paid to try out these products!*

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Build-A-Bear Review & Giveaway

New collection called the Zoorific. It's a bunch of zoo animals!! I love these little guys. I told her I liked the Parrot, Giraffe, and Flamingo.

I was pleasantly surprised when she sent me the cutest of the 3 the Parrot. We're in love with this little guy. He's so cute!

Baby Leg Warmers Tutorial

I'm going to show you a tutorial for making your own Baby leg/arm warmers!! This tutorial is SIMPLE. You should have a sewing machine, but you could even do it by hand.

Women's Socks. Knee High for 18+ months and Crew for 0-18 months. 

I got these Knee Highs at Target for $1.40 on clearance. (Normally $2) You can get these anywhere, Walmart has them for $1 and even the dollar store. The crew socks are even cheaper! 
  First you're going to cut off the Heel and Toe like below. DISCARD these
 Take the foot part and fold in half (right sides facing out, wrong sides together) So one side will be a fold and the other side should have 4 layers of raw edges
 Insert the long leg part into this tube with all raw edges together
 I like to make sure the long leg part is a little longer than the tube so that it catches when you sew.
Pin them together. Make sure to only pin 3 layers. If you pin them all together it would be sewed shut and not wearable. So pin 3 layers
Now sew. Just do a straight stitch with the length at 4.0 in order to get some stretch. I like to stitch a little high to ensure that I've captured all layers.

Once you're done Flip the tube down with all raw edges inside and you're done!
This was my very first one so yes the stripes don't line up!!

Do the other one and you've completed a set!
Try them on!!!!
You'll notice that these are even long on 36" tall Avery. So definitely go with a shorter sock for a younger one (or a knee high but cut some extra off)

You can also not attach the foot part and just finish it off. Like cut off the foot part completely and then just fold over edge and sew. You can see here that that way would fit Avery perfectly
And that's all the way to the hip, which would never be that high
But I did the same thing with this pair as well and finished them off with the cuff
 And you've made baby warmers!

I'd love to see you're pictures using this tutorial!
The great thing about this is if the Knee Highs are on clearance (which they usually are now around summer) you can buy them cut off some extra and they would fit a younger baby. There's no need to buy 2 different kinds of socks for younger and older ones.
These leg warmers are great for babies to make diaper changes easier no need for pants, they're great for crawling babies, just walking babies to protect the little knees, potty training. 
I think these are good for up to age 4. And even later for a cool stylish look. You can also put these on the arms for a layered look to clothes!! Very cool.

Again if you make these I would love to see them...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

GoGo Squeez Review

I'm all about healthy and simple products. The less added sugar and ingredients obviously the best. I like it to be as natural and healthy as possible. I had the chance to review a couple things from GoGo Squeez applesauces. 

They are 100% fruit and it's not just applesauce, they have 5 different flavors! I was able to try out the Apple Apple, Apple Peach, and Apple Banana! Avery loves them all!!
They also have Apple Strawberry and Apple Cinnamon! Yum

Avery loves these they are a big hit. There's 4 per box so plenty to go around! We still have a couple left and although she wants one every morning at breakfast I do refrain so I can keep these around a little longer.

These are 100% fruit so no added sugar or ingredients. YES... As good as eating a plain apple. 

One thing I didn't like is the non-choke hazard lid. I did like that it could be screwed back on if needed, but if a child chokes on it they can't still get airflow because there's no holes in it.

Price: Well 48 of them (12, 4 packs) are $29.99 on Amazon. So that boils down to $1.60 each! Not too bad! 
 *Disclaimer* I received these products directly from the Company for Review. I was not paid to try out these products!*

Mountain Mama's Kitchen Co. Review & Giveaway

I love candles (and flowers) but we always have a candle burning or at least on the counter. We almost always have one burning. I think they put a nice light smell in the air and they just make the environment nicer, I think. I love them.
We received a couple candles for review from Mountain Mama's Kitchen.
We received the Aloha in a can soy candle and the Earth Laughs in Flowers candle. 

They are both strong which is good, but the scent isn't the best. Earth Laughs in flowers is a bunch of flowers all mixed together, smells good, but super strong while burning. The Aloha is coconut and hibiscus flower. They smell weird together and neither of us like coconut. 
Despite that we still like the candles. It's funny how something that you don't like mixed together and you end up liking it!! Funny how that happens. 

She has so many different scents over there. 
Here are some of my favorites. 

I've come to the conclusion (even before this) that I LOVE food candles. I am in love with sugar cookie and hazelnut scented candles. Those are my favorite. They smell like you've been baking all day.

I'm very happy with these candles. I have been burning Earth Laughs in Flowers for days on end now... and it's hardly even gone!! YAY!
Price: The Soy Candles are $12. Very nice price. You find the same prices on candles anywhere you go and DEFINITELY more on Soy candles!

Overall: ***** for sure! Love them!

 *Disclaimer* I received these products directly from the Company for Review. I was not paid to try out these products!*

Bit'Z Kids NYC Review

I'm satisfied with these items, but they smelled like must when I opened the package. So I washed them first and then they were fine. Smells like they were just sitting for a while maybe in a big stock room. Other than that I'm very happy with these cute clothes. We received these in a size 100 (I think) which is equivalent to a 3-4. They fit very nicely and I'm pretty happy with them!

They have plenty of other clothes and styles for boys and girls alike. I'm happy with a lot of them.

Price: The dress I received is $29 and the leggings are $22. Very happy with these prices!

Overall: **** I was thrown off by the smell at first and it really wasn't that pleasant, but after a wash it was good and it didn't affect the wear of the clothes.
*Disclaimer* I received these products directly from the Company for Review. I was not paid to try out these products!* 

Ergo Carrier for CHEAP

Some of you may remember my Review on this nifty carrier. I Use mine pretty often and I LOVE it to pieces. Like LOVE it!!! 
Here they are for SUPER cheap today. Like think $60 and $70. They only have 3 to choose from but have a girly, a boyish, and a neutral (same I reviewed the blue)
All on BabySteals get it now before they're gone!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tedibles Review & Giveaway

We have been trying to go natural and organic whenever possible. It's hard to find every day stuff natural. But I found Tedibles natural and handmade doggy items!
I was sent the Herbal Shampoo and a sample of the Beef and Garlic doggie treats. I'm glad she sent 2 treats because they were gone in no time. 
 For being mostly water I was surprised it wasn't gone faster.

We used this on Boog the Pug once and not very much was gone at all. He's about 26 pounds. It didn't lather very nicely, but it sure did smell good!!!
We used it on Bella (St. Bernard) and half the bottle is gone. If you have a big dog, I wouldn't recommend this. But if you have a Little dog it would be worth it as you would probably get about 6-8 baths with it. With Bella and Boog 2 baths each would use the bottle. We give our dogs a bath once a month so this isn't that long lasting.

Other than that I like it. I like it's it's just water, Aloe vera, lavender and glycerin. That's about it. Pretty simple and handmade!!
Price: 8 oz shampoo is $8.95 a little pricey if you have a big dog. For a little dog it's worth it.

Overall: **** Not much for the big price, but worked nicely!

 *Disclaimer* I received these products directly from the Company for Review. I was not paid to try out these products!*

Movie Theater!

Today we took Avery to the Movie Theater for the first time ever. I won a ticket a while back so I used that and it was $5 each for Jon and Avery. Plus $12 for a large pop and popcorn (with free refills) It wasn't too expensive. Anyway, we saw Toy Story 3 and Avery loved it!! She was so excited to be at the theater. After a while She ended up in my lap, but she ate half the large popcorn and drank most of the pop. Oh well it's a once in a while thing right?? Not so bad!

Funny thing, We went to the movies on our FIRST DATE 4 years ago TODAY. That's right today is our 4th anniversary and it's funny that we ended up at the SAME MOVIE THEATER on our anniversary!!! Same one. This was coincidental. I wanted to go today for the past 2 weeks and didn't even realize until last week that it was our ann. and then I won the ticket and the closest place to us that was that chain just happened to be our first date! So funny how things work out. 

I loved today and it couldn't have been better...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sweet Pea Baby Review & Giveaway

Fashionable clothes are key here in our house. We love them. Jon just doesn't understand because he's wearing 12 yr old tees, but we love to be up to date and fashionable. When Sweet Pea Baby sent me 3 items I was elated!!

They were generous enough to send me the Mod Bloom Chocolate dress, the Ruffle Me Scarf in hot pink AND the Erica Bracelet 
I couldn't be more happy with these items!

Wedding Dress?

Here's another style I'm in LOVE with and they run about $250. CHEAP in my opinion. They all come in WHITE so don't let the colors scare you. Do you think they are too much for a beach wedding?

Again all in WHITE. Do you think they're just too much???

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nifty Nappy Review & Giveaway

We started cloth diapering Avery when she was 24 months old. I expected her to be in diapers until at least 3. Jon potty trained at 3 and I potty trained at 4. I expected her to be at least 3. Well when she started potty training at 28 months I was shocked. It was so early. I didn't mind, but I had just bought all these cute diapers and she wouldn't use them anymore?? 

Well she potty trained and she's 100% potty trained during the day and when we leave the house now. But during her quiet time/nap she still wears a diaper and at night she still wears a diaper. 

She would be fine at nap with her potty in her room and no diaper, BUT one day we tried that, She pooped in her pullup and tried to dump it into the potty, yep that was a MISTAKE. It was everywhere and played in. First time she ever played with her poop. She was about 30 months at the time. 

So no potty in her room for now. Anyway, We also struggled finding a great nighttime solution. She would get burns on her from the ammonia because she slept 14 hours. Well I can now say that she needs fleece or WOOL at night to help wick away more moisture. Thanks to Nifty Nappy

We received a One Size Fitted Diaper in the Fun Flock print and a One Size Woolie Wrap in brown.
 Here's JUST how small it can go. This is a 12" doll
I don't know that you would ever put it on a baby so small, but it would fit. The leg gaps were TIGHT so nothing would leak out. Thought it was neat how well it folded. 
Here is a Tutorial for folding it for a smaller baby

I love this system for night. I honestly didn't think that a fitted and wool cover would be enough, but it is. I washed the diaper 3 times before putting it on Avery as the more it's washed the more absorbent it gets. It is pretty dang absorbent right now. It has now been washed about 7-8 times and it's still getting more absorbent. 

For a while there I gave up on cloth because she only wore it at night, but I have since brought some cloth back in and she's wearing it at night again!! YAY!
I missed all my fluffy goodness!

Price: The Fitted OS diaper is $22 and the Woolie Wrap is $25. Very good prices. Wool is expensive so I'm happy with that price.
Overall: ***** for sure!

 *Disclaimer* I received these products directly from the Company for Review. I was not paid to try out these products!*

Dog is Good Review & Giveaway

Dog is Good is dog themed apparel and dog gifts for dog lovers. So it was absolutely perfect for our family. We are HUGE dog lovers.

I was able to review the Basic Bolo tee in black/red and I love it. It has sparkles on it which it doesn't seem to have on the website, but it's gorgeous

CSN Stores Review coming soon...

I'm able to have yet another review for the lovely CSN stores I have no idea what I'll choose. They have so much to choose from. I am thinking either a picnic table for Avery, a little pool for Avery or something for us, just have no idea what yet! 

They have so many items and over 200 stores!! They have everything from Headboards to Shoes all over at CSN Stores

But it will be coming soon, so be on the lookout. Can't wait to show off what we get this time!

Scars and Stilettos by Harmony Dust Blog Tour

Scars and Stilettos by Harmony Dust
Publisher: Monarch, December 18, 2009
ISBN: 185424906
ISBN-13: 978-0825463099
Paperback. 252 pages.

A special thank you to Stephanie Garvey at Litfuse, for providing a copy of Scars and Stilettos for me to review.

About the Book:

Fear of being abandoned keeps nineteen-year-old Harmony Dust trapped in an abusive and cruel relationship. She thinks she has hit bottom-tens of thousands of dollars in debt, struggling to get by, and so controlled by her boyfriend that she doesn't protest when he begins openly sleeping around. Things can't get worse . . . until someone tells her how much money she can make as an exotic dancer. For the next three years, Harmony lives a double life as Monique, a dancer in a fully-nude strip club.
Scars and Stilettos is Harmony's stark, honest, and ultimately hopeful story of how God found her in that dark, noisy place and led her out. She has since married, completed an MA in social welfare, and now leads Treasures, an organization helping women in the sex trade discover their true worth.

"Harmony wrote her story so that you and your friends may get help out of whatever dark tunnel you find yourself in. . . . once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down and you will want to get a copy for every person you know." -Holly Wagner, from the preface

About the Author:
Harmony Dust is the founder and Executive Director ofTreasures Ministries, a Los Angeles, CA, based nonprofit organization [outreach and support group] for women in the sex industry.

As a child, Harmony was sexually abused and raped by multiple people. She ended up in a group home at age 17, where she first encountered social workers and began to dream about one day making a difference in peoples’ lives. She discovered, however, that despite her dreams, the abuse and pain from her past continued to hold her captive. She found herself walking straight from a troubled adolescence into an adulthood entrenched with dysfunctional relationships and a life inside the walls of a strip club working as an exotic dancer. She continued down this path for several years, until committing herself to a journey of healing that radically changed her life.
For more info… go HERE

My Thoughts
I have been busy lately and I haven't finished this book yet. So far I really like it. I'm almost 3/4 of the way done with it. It's a good read and the characters are strong. Since it's a true story it really means a lot and it's strong. Parts may make you cry. It's very sad, but is uplifting at the same time as she's trying to make a change. 

Stop by the LitFuse Blog for the blog tour. Many of them are giving away a copy. Check it out!
*Disclaimer* I received these products directly from the Company for Review. I was not paid to try out these products!*