Mommy's Favorite Things: June 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tropical Traditions Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

I wonder how many great things I'm going to get from Tropical Traditions. I've probably reviewed 7-8 things now and only found one bad one (Coconut Peanut Butter), that's just because it wasn't our style. Not because it was BAD. Just not for us.

This time I received some Antioxidant Omega 3 Greens in the Berry Flavor
It also comes in Mint Flavor.
I asked for these just before finding out I was pregnant. I wasn't so sure I could use it, so I asked my dr. a few weeks later and he said he didn't see the harm in having about 3 drinks a week. He didn't want me to do more than that.

These greens are very beneficial. They have tons of vitamins and minerals in them. Which is one reason he ok-ed it was because baby could always use more vitamins.
It comes with a scoop inside. You take one scoop and mix it with 8oz of water. I started off by doing about 3/4 of a scoop just in case. And it was good just like that. Didn't taste watered down at all, but it was even better once I tried the full scoop.

This tastes just like berries. It has a hint of that 'healthy' flavor to it, but it's not off putting at all. Jon really seems to like it too.

With 2600mg of Flax in it... it's VERY healthy. Was great for me a few weeks ago when things weren't as 'regular' as they should have been. The flax seemed to really help!!

Very healthy and good for you. Greens, flax, veggies, antioxidants! YUM

Price: 13.7 oz canister is $38.99 on sale. This is a bit pricey... Especially if you have one daily. But like all their stuff, it's completely worth it!

Overall: *****

Monday, June 27, 2011

Jilly bo Billy Review & Giveaway

I love finding new and cute items for Avery. They are all over but sometimes items just stick out to me and I need to have them for her.

Jilly bo Billy was no exception. I loved everything in their Boutique. Gorgeous items.
I was sent an item from Fig Organic to review. I received the Mongoose Swallow Dress and I absolutely love it!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Simple Green Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

Ahh, it was kind of nice to take a short little break there and not have to post anything. But now I need to get back to reality and get my butt back in gear!

To bring you back from my slight disappearance I am bringing you another review and giveaway from Simple Green. I've reviewed their original cleaner and their Naturals Line in the past, but this time I received a new product called Bio Dog. That just tells you how long I've had this product and how far behind I am in doing my reviews. We got rid of Bella just about one month ago. We got this product before then.
She actually sent me two because I waited so long for them. So that was great!!
Bella had a recurrent UTI issue. She was constantly going in the house. I think she was mostly lazy, but whatever. We had stains EVERYWHERE. Plus we have light beige carpet and it's crappy carpet so it was matted down and it made them show much worse then they were (I think).

Well Bio Dog was a great lifesaver. It would work on the little stains immediately. You spray it on and wait for it to dry. The big stains you spray it on and cover it with a white towel or paper towel and wait for it to dry. The towel soaks up the stain.
I didn't cover the big stains with a towel at first and after one treatment they were significantly lighter. BUT I didn't use the towel method.

The little stains would be gone immediately after it was dry. It worked on those no problem. And it helped get rid of some stink. I went through one bottle in one day. I just sprayed away. Luckily we have another bottle left and they're good for any stains/odor issue. So it's great to have on hand.

Here's the thing. Our carpet was SO BAD that we had to call Stanley Steemer. They came out the day after we got rid of Bella. I coudn't stand to look at the carpet anymore, and honestly I don't think any cleaner would have fully got rid of these stains.
I'm being brave here. Bear with me.
In my defense. We have a bissell pet carpet cleaner BUT it would clean the carpet, water would be black and all, but it never got rid of the stain. Plus the hair was outrageous. So we had to call a professional. They did our whole house clean and sanitize for $110!!
Even they didn't permanently get rid of the stains. They have reappeared. BUT they're very mild and they sanitized and the carpet is clean, so I'm okay with that. Big difference though right? And you see why we called a professional in. 

You can see that good size stain in the middle there I sprayed the middle of it with Simple Green. You can see where it is whiter in the middle. Our carpet needed to be cleaned anyway. We had been here over 3 years and it had never been done professionally. They did the whole house and it's just better in here.

Price: The 32oz Bottle is $9.99 I think this is worth it!

Overall: ***** It worked like a charm!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

All Things Baby Blog Bash Spotlight: My True Nature & Review

We have finally made it to our last Spotlight for the All Things Baby Blog Bash event!! WooHoo! I can finally get my regular reviews back on track!
Along the road of Eco Friendly and natural items for baby comes My True Nature.

We received Travel Set which included a 4oz Bubble Bath and a 4oz Shampoo/Body Wash. So far we really like them.

Okay, the bubble bath is gone. We used that one up lickity split. But the Shampoo/Body wash is still going strong. We like to switch things up.

The bubble bath was great. It bubbled like crazy. A few drops put plenty of bubbles in the tub for Avery. The shampoo/body wash is really great for a double cleanser. I actually tried it in her hair too and really liked it. Usually I use a 2-in-1 just on her body as it doesn't really work for her hair, but this one certainly did. And it lathered up very nicely in both the hair and the washcloth. Cleaned nicely too.

They both had a nice gentle scent.

My True Nature has lots of other things too. They have lotion, Hand soap, Hooded Towels, and books too.

Price: The Travel Set is $13. Which is reasonable.

Overall: ***** 

All Things Baby
For All Things Baby My True Nature has offered a reader the same Gift Set I received
Giveaway starts at Midnight!
*Disclaimer* I received an item directly from My True Nature in exchange for a review. I was not paid to try out these products*
A big thank you goes out to My True Nature for allowing me to review this product and offering a giveaway

All Things Baby Blog Bash Spotlight: Sweetsation Therapy & Review

I love finding all natural products for Avery and I will continue to do so for this next child too. All natural are way better than all those chemical filled alternatives. Like Sunscreen. Did you know that your sunscreen could cause you to have a Vitamin D deficiency, which if you have the cancer cells in your body already could speed up cancer significantly? Well using natural sunscreen prevents this. I have thrown away all my Banana Boat sunscreen and have been using Avery's. It's better for me and her.

Sweetsation Therapy is a great website for Organic/Natural Baby and Pregnancy items. We received a few samples from them and we love them all. 
We got a full Size SPF50 Sun'n'Berry Fun Organic Baby Sunscreen and love it. The smell is AMAZING and it seems to work.

We also got one of the Orange Dreamsicle Shampoo/Body Wash for babies. Which Avery also loves. I use it on her body only since her hair is too thick for this All in One. But if there's any left over I can't wait to use it on #2. It smells heavenly. 

And samples of the Yummi Tummi Choco Butter. It's like a lotion, but more like the butters you can buy for yourself. And it smells like chocolate!
Also a sample of the Very Berry Oxygen Masque and Scrub for me. 

The Scrub for me was divine. I used it all up though. It was so yummy. You can either put it on and rinse like a scrub, or put it on and let it dry like a mask. I tried both ways and loved them both equally. Although I love how my face feels after a masque.

The Choco Butter I haven't used yet. Avery has eczema and has very sensitive skin. If she needs lotion I use cetaphil because it's very gentle on her skin. So we've avoided this one, but it does smell just like chocolate. 

The Body wash like I said is yum as well.It smells just like those Orange Creamsicles you can buy. They are so good and so is this wash. Avery likes the smell of it. It lathers up very nicely and seems to get the job done.

And I love the smell of the Sunscreen. We've used this many times now and every time is just as good as the first. I always forget to apply to my shoulders (which have been burnt TWICE this summer already), but I use this on my face and love it. Since it's right up there I get to smell it the whole time and it's just yummy. 

All of her products are made with natural and/or organic ingredients. She has sunscreens for adults and many many other things for adults and children alike. Just some great stuff. 

Price: The 3.5oz Sunscreen I received is $22. This is a bit much, but it's worth it. It's the only one you'd need to buy all summer and the whole family can use it. I think that's better than an $8 tube for the baby and an $8 tube for the children and a $9 tube for the adults. Right? It's all in one... 

Overall: ***** Love all the products. 

All Things Baby
For All Things Baby, Sweetsation Therapy has offered one reader the chance to win an SPF50 Sunsreen like I reviewed.
Look for the giveaway Starting at MIDNIGHT tonight!!
*Disclaimer* I received an item directly from Sweetsation Therapy in exchange for a review. I was not paid to try out these products*
A big thank you goes out to Sweetsation Therapy for allowing me to review this product and offering a giveaway

Monday, June 20, 2011

All Things Baby Blog Bash Spotlight: Aden+Anais & Review

I can absolutely not wait until this baby gets here. Why do they have to wait 40(ish) weeks?? Why oh Why... I'm almost 13 now so I'm getting closer very fast too I might add. But I can't wait to use my Aden+Anais classic swaddling blankets.

I have so many blankets for this baby already, but I remember with Avery you can NOT have too many blankets. You just can't!! I will still need to get a couple winter ones since I'm due the end of December (brr) but I'm good on lightweight ones I think.

I received the Wishing Star Classic Swaddle and I love these patterns. I love the polka dots and the stripes.
Pack of 4!
 A very generous size
 On Avery's doll

These are very big swaddling blankets. They measure 47" square which is awesome. The average swaddling blanket is 30" square. Yes Aden+Anais are a whole 17" larger around!!! How AWESOME is that?

These are a muslin material. They are warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I think this is fantastic. They are thin and lightweight. They won't take up much room in the diaper bag, car or washing machine. They are machine washable which is great too. We all know that babies spit up and well... other end stuff so that is fantastic.

They have some great colors to choose from. They come in a 2pk and a 4pk. They also have many other collections to choose from, like Organic, Cozy which is a double layer of muslin, and Bamboo. They also carry other things like Hooded Towels and washcloths, Baby Sleeping Bags and Bibs and Burp Cloths!! So lots to choose from.

Price: The 4pk is $49.95 might seem high, but how much is 1 receiving blanket in the store? A good $8-$10 right? Well this is bigger and a better material, and it's only $12.48 each!! So it's not that much more!!

Overall: ***** LOVE these and can't wait to use them

All Things Baby
For All Things Baby Aden+Anais has offered one reader the chance to win a 4pk of Classics in your choice of print!
Giveaway starts Wednesday at midnight!!! 
*Disclaimer* I received an item directly from Aden+Anais in exchange for a review. I was not paid to try out these products*
A big thank you goes out to Aden+Anais for allowing me to review this product and offering a giveaway

Sunday, June 19, 2011

All Things Baby Blog Bash Spotlight: hug-a-bub & Review

I was so happy to contact this company for this event, but even more excited when they said yes!!!! They're in Australia so I thought it was a far fetch, but I'm so glad they agreed.

hug-a-bub sells Baby Carriers and Slings. I was very generously sent the Organic Wrap in the Green Tea and Barley color.
 It has this little pocket on the front.
 And it cinches up!! Great for a quick trip somewhere, it can hold keys, cell phone, pacifier extra bottle even. It's a great size and would hold quite a bit if needed.
This organic wrap is very stretchy, it would easily accommodate a toddler. I put Avery in it for a few minutes, Being pregnant I probably shouldn't carry her around in it so it was just a few minutes. She fit great, didn't sag and she liked it and thought it was comfortable. She might be 4, but she's only 30 pounds so I knew she'd be okay in here.
No picture, that's how fast she was back out, I didn't even think about it.

But I can't wait for #2 to join us so I can use this beautiful carrier. The colors are stunning, neutral and don't stand out too much. I just love it.

They have some absolutely gorgeous wraps and slings alike. 
I love this sling

The wrap I got has the pocket. They also have pocketless wraps for significantly cheaper because it is their most time consuming and expensive feature.

These have NO WEIGHT LIMIT!! It says as long as you can pick up your child, they will feel a lot lighter in the wrap and therefore they can be used in it! AWESOME.  Each one comes with an instructional DVD on how to tie them on and positions to use.

The main feature of the Pocket...This is pretty cool. When you're not using the carrier. Turn the pocket inside out and stuff the carrier in, then scrunch it closed and it has it's own carrying bag!!! HOW GREAT!

Price: The Organic wrap like I received is $125AUD so about $130USD. The pocketless wrap is $79AUD. So they range in price.

Overall: ***** LOVE this wrap and can't wait to use it

All Things Baby
For All Things Baby hug-a-bub has offered one reader the chance to win an Organic wrap in the color of your choice!!! That's a $130 US value!!!
Look for the giveaway WEDNESDAY!
*Disclaimer* I received an item directly from Hug-A-Bub in exchange for a review. I was not paid to try out these products*
A big thank you goes out to Hug-A-Bub for allowing me to review this product and offering a giveaway

Friday, June 17, 2011

Natural Dentist Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

In the search for finding more ways to be green I hadn't even thought about our mouthcare. I mean I had a tube of Tom's toothpaste for Avery that was free, but beyond that it wasn't something I really thought of.
I was VERY happy to have found The Natural Dentist. They have everything you need for great oral hygiene, but in an all natural way.

I received a HUGE gift bag for review.
How can you not love this tote bag??
 All 5 items!!
 3 mouth rinses
 Avery got 2 toothpastes. One Grape and one Berry
First of all I love that tote bag. It's so nice and durable. I use it as a reusable bag at the grocery store. It has the drawstring on it so it's great for little things that roll out of produce bags. Like tomatoes and grapes. So it's nice for that. 

Avery loves her toothpastes. They smell great. They are an anticavity which is good for her. She knows how to spit now (has for a while) so this is great for her. They will last us a LONG time too.

Me, I love the rinses all of them. They are all different. We got a pre brush whitening rinse (grey cap). Antigingivitis in Peppermint, this is great for me since gingivitis is common in pregnancy. I've been using it daily. And lastly we got the Anticavity Flouride in Mint (blue cap). I get cavities pretty often so I use this one too.

I used the Antigingivitis rinse and it was very mild. Not strong. You do not need to dilute these rinses like you need to others. These are very mild and gentle. I like that.

They have toothpastes for adults. Rinses for children. Plaque remover picks, throat spray for adults and children.  AND It's all natural. All free of the icky stuff in regular pastes and rinses. 
I'm very happy with my Natural Dentist products

Price: The Rinses are $6.99. Kids toothpastes are $4.99 and the adult toothpastes are  $4.99 as well. I think this is worth it The adult toothpaste is 5oz how much would colgate be for 5oz? About $4 or so right?? Not too bad.

Overall: ***** I'm very happy

Crunchy N Yummy Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

We love dehydrated fruit here. It is just as healthy as fresh fruit, but doesn't go bad as quick. We received a sample pack from Crunchy N Yummy. I told them we were allergic to pineapple, but they included some anyway. Jon took the pineapple to work though.

They have 5 flavors. We first tried the Mango. They were yummy (as the name states) I love mangoes, but I don't buy them often because Jon doesn't like them. 
Then we tried Strawberry, these were Avery's favorite. I liked them too, but they did stain our fingers a little bit. Jon ate the papaya, they kind of had a bite to them and I didn't like them too much.
And Avery ate the banana.

He took Pineapple to work and they liked them. 2 people shared the bag at work and said they tasted fresh.

I agree. I've had home made dehydrated fruit and these tasted the same. They tasted just like the fruit and were fresh like them too. The taste was the same as eating the fresh fruit. 

They do not contain any added sugar/salt or preservatives. They are 100% natural and are USDA Organic (except the Strawberry). I think these are the perfect size for a child's snack. They would be great for a lunchbox. Picnic or anything else. Great for in the car. When you pick your child up from sport practice. I like them and think I'm going to buy some to have on hand.

They are sold in select stores in New York and Florida and otherwise can be bought online at Amazon and others.

Price: A 6 pack of one flavor is $15.95 or a mixed 8 pack is $20.98. This is a bit much, but it's worth it.

Overall: *****

Thursday, June 16, 2011

All Things Baby Blog Bash Spotlight: Miracle Blanket & Review

Avery had colic. MAJOR colic and the only thing that seemed to help was the way I held her and bouncing her and holding her all day long. She wouldn't ever let me put her down unless she was sleeping. Luckily I got a full 12+ hours at night out of her starting at 12 weeks. That was a godsend, but naps were few and far between.
I held her all day long. She kicked off swaddling blankets and they didn't help.
I wish I had known about Miracle Blanket then. This would have been the ideal and perfect item.

We received one in the Green with Beige trim. It's nice and neutral. What's so unique about this blanket is there's pockets for baby's feet and arms so they can't get out of it.
I used it on Avery's doll and here are the step by steps.
 It has 2 sets of side wings. You'll see why.
 Lay baby down, See that small arm wing?
 Wrap it around baby's arm and lift their bum up and put it tight under their back.
 Do this with both arms.
 Put their feet in the pocket.
Wrap the short wing around baby and then tuck it under their back
 Then take the long wing and wrap it all around.

Looks like a lot of steps, but I can do the whole thing in under a minute. I really wish I had this for Avery.

Here are the stats on the blanket
• Helps Fussy Babies Sleep Great!
• Helps Ease Fussiness For ANY Baby!
• Aids In Preventing Facial Scratches!
• 100% High Quality Cotton
• Helps Babies Sleep Better On Their Backs!
• Helps Stop Twitches That Wake Your Baby!
• Makes Breast Feeding Easier!
• One Size Fits All Up to Four Months

I think those are pretty great! So worth it too. 

I will be bringing this with me to the hospital. It's way better than those hospital reused receiving blankets. This will be brand new and will keep my baby safer and more comfortable!\

There are many colors to choose from. They have Beige, Blue, Pink, Mint with Purple, Purple with mint, and green with blue currently. But they have other colors at different times. 

Price: $30 each. If you buy 2 you save 15%.

Overall: ***** so far. I've seen videos and those were enough for me. 

All Things Baby
For All Things Baby Mircale Blanket has offered one reader the chance to win one blanket in the color of their choice
Look for the giveaway next Week!
*Disclaimer* I received an item directly from Miracle Blanket in exchange for a review. I was not paid to try out these products*
A big thank you goes out to Miracle Blanket for allowing me to review this product and offering a giveaway

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

All Things Baby Blog Bash Spotlight: Backseat Driver Baby & Review

When Avery was little I never even really knew about online shopping. Okay I did, but growing up we didn't have internet and it was still new to me at that time. We never bought anything online, but I definitely never knew about all the companies online and everything you can buy online. All her bibs and burp cloths came from Target or Walmart (ugh, will never shop there again, that's for a different post). They were plain, ugly to say the least.

When I had the chance to come across Backseat Driver Baby I was in awe. She has the cutest items.

I was able to receive one of her toddler thermal shirts for review.
How it arrived.

I chose the Pinky Toddler Thermal. Since it's American Apparel and runs a full size smaller it's a size 6. It fits Avery pretty well. Fitted in the torso and the sleeves are a bit long, but I know it will fit her all fall/winter and spring. And probably next winter too. 
It's a very light thermal. More for spring and fall. She only got to wear it once since it's been unruly hot here. We've had 4, 90 degree days!!! It's only June!

So she wore it once. We had it sitting and waiting for her to wear again, but since it got so hot I finally washed it. (We usually wear things 2-3 times before washing them around here unless they're dirty, underwear excluded:). It didn't shrink at all in the wash. The applique is still holding strong. It's been great. I can't wait until she can get more use out of it on a chilly day or come fall. I think it's adorable.

There are lots of thermals to choose from for toddler Boys and Girls. She also has onesie/pant sets for babies.

As you can see, totally adorable!!

Price: The Bibs and Burp Cloths are $10 each. The Thermal Toddler shirts are $17, which I think is totally reasonable!!! How adorable are they all. 

Overall: ***** so far!! Everything has held up well. Can't wait to get more use out of it.

All Things Baby
For All Things Baby Backseat Driver Baby  has offered one reader the chance to win a Bib and Burp Cloth set of your choice!!

Look for the giveaway Next Week!!
*Disclaimer* I received an item directly from Backseat Driver in exchange for a review. I was not paid to try out these products*
A big thank you goes out to Backseat Driver for allowing me to review this product and offering a giveaway

TummyTankz Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

Even when you're pregnant some Maternity tops can be too short. But before you get into maternity shirts your regular tops become too short. That's where TummyTankz comes in handy. They cover a little more and are a little longer than standard shirts.

I got a size 1 in Black. This is great for all stages of pregnancy and non pregnancy too. It's great for covering that belly when shirts are short. It's great for holding in half and holding up your unbuttoned pants OR your too big maternity pants. And it's great for covering your stomach after you have your baby when your nursing or when you still have some baby fat left over. 

So far I'm using it to hold up my unbuttoned pants and to lengthen shirts. It's more comfortable and flattering. It's great for the unbuttoned jeans because it's an extra layer there and it's more flat on the outside so you can't tell. 

This can also be used by non pregnant women. It can be pulled up over your breasts for an under shirt peeking out of a low cut top. Or just worn low to look like a tank under your shirt at the bottom. 

I love how versatile it is. 
They come in White, Black, Teal, they also have patchwork and elegance ones as well. Which I think are very pretty. They come in 4 sizes. Size 1 which is for 0-4, size 2 for 6-10, size 3 for 12-18 and size 4 for 20-26. So they fit women of all sizes. 

Price: The solids are on sale for $16.95 right now and the Elegance and Patchworks are $24.95. I think they're worth it.

Overall: ***** Love it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Taylor Swift

It was an awesome show. With 3 opening acts it was 4 hours long!! She did 10 outfit changes and 17 songs!! So it was VERY long.
Then Jon decided to go to the casino just 1.5 miles away right? Now big deal? Until it took 1.5 hours to get there!! YES. So we got there right around 1:15. Then we got something to eat and played for 1-1.5 hours. We got home at 3:30. Yes AM!!! It was crazy.
But we had fun. Spent about $150 at the casino and got back $127. So we spent $23.. which is pretty good.
Anyway, here's some pictures.
Her mom was at the sound booth in the middle of Ford Field Stadium the whole time. What a great support system. She was singing and dancing and just having a good time.

 I added this to show that she flew through the audience and the fireworks. They happened at the beginning and the end!! Very cool.

It was the best show we've ever been too. She had a TON of actors/dancers etc going on at the same time. She did a great job of having us truly understand her songs with them acting out the part in the background. 
We took 230 pictures but these are my favorite so I'll spare you from them all. More better ones are on my Facebook though if you want to check them out. 

Overall it was a great night!