Nov 30
icon1 Susan | icon2 Product Review | icon4 11 30th, 2009| icon3No Comments »

You probably don’t know where I am going with this.  Well, on my many trips to Whole Foods, my local malls, the parks, I noticed that a lot of moms were using this carrier.  They all had this in common, the nautilus logo.  I noticed that they had no problems running around in their carriers while they tended to their older ones. One day in Whole Foods, I striked up a conversation with this mom about tofu (yes, tofu also has an A grade and B grade).  The entire time I was speaking with her, I noticed her baby peacefully resting his head on her chest, as he was inside a carrier.  I looked down to see what kind of carrier it was and noticed the same nautilus logo that I had seen before.  Then I zoomed in closer to read ERGObaby.  After the mom had finished talking, I asked her if it was comfortable and why she liked it.  She said she loved it because it was easy to use and most importantly, she was comfortable.

After seeing the ERGObaby on numerous occasions, I had to see what it was about.  You can only hear so much, before you want to see first-hand whats being talked about.  I went onto their website to read the history of the company (I like to do this with any company I am interested in).  I learned that the nautilus symbolized the continuum of life and the continuum concept (read more about the nautilus on their site). One thing that I could really appreciate about this carrier was that it was developed by a mother for her son.  Through the help and feedback of other parents, ERGObaby was born.  I believe as parents, we know our wants and needs and therefore can better create a product that is functional for our day to day activities and our lives.

After learning about their mission and their commitment to educate and support parents about babywearing and attachment parenting, I wanted to try the ERGObaby even more.  I love when companies are more than just selling products.  Obviously, we all have to make a living, but when a company has a commitment beyond their product, it says a lot about the integrity of the company.

Organic Cranberry carrier - Nautilus print lining

Organic Cranberry carrier - Nautilus print lining

I approached ERGObaby to see if I could review their products and they graciously sent me the ERGObaby-organics carrier and backpack.  First of all, I am a huge fan of organic material, organic produce, anything and everything organic.  So this was definitely a treat.  The carrier came with an instructional booklet, but instead of reading through the booklet, I used their instructional video online.  The online video was an easy step by step instructional.  After I watched the video, I did my own demo on my baby.  It was as easy as it looked online.  I carried her in the front position because she’s still very young.  Once I had her in place, I strapped us in, and made little adjustments here and there, so that we were both safe and comfortable.  I loved that the shoulder straps had good cushion and support, and my shoulders didn’t feel like they were pinching or tugging.  Another added benefit to the carrier was the sleeping hood which keeps the baby’s head closer to the body while the baby rests.

The very next day, I took the carrier out for a walk.  I went around my neighborhood and the first ten minutes, my baby was super attentive and was looking all over place.  After that, she completely passed out and was pretty much drooling on me.  I walked for a good thirty minutes and when I came back home, I did not feel any back, neck, or shoulder strain.  This was not the case when I owned a Baby Bjorn with my first child.

Organic Cranberry back pack

Organic Cranberry back pack

The following day I decided to take a walk to the park.  Since my older one was going with, I decided to attach the backpack to the carrier.  It was super easy, as I just had to strap and snap it on.  Initially before I attached it to the carrier, I thought it was going to be too heavy and give me back problems.  However, to my surprise,  it didn’t.  I could feel that I had some extra weight in the front but nothing that put a strain on my body.  I was able to place the water bottle on the holder, put my biodegradable diaper inserts, afternoon snacks, keys, and a book into the backpack.  Even with all that, the backpack still had plenty of room.

I think the ERGObaby carrier and backpack are such neat products.  Not only are they comfortable and functional items, they offer the parent and child the opportunity to experience a feeling of closeness, similar to when a mother nurses her baby.  The organic material also gave me a sense of closeness with mother nature.  When my baby rests her head on my chest, the feeling I get is indescribable, and a feeling that one could only experience through the moment.

Note: I was not able to go into great detail about every little thing the carrier and backpack has to offer.  For more information, please visit their site here.

 (Disclosure: Products were provided free of charge for review purposes and does not affect my views or feedback of the product.  This review is based solely on my personal opinion and experience and results may vary person to person.)

Nov 24
icon1 Susan | icon2 Product Review | icon4 11 24th, 2009| icon3No Comments »

In my home, my daughter picks away at her nose, my hubby occasionally does the same, but opts to at least, try to blow his nose into some kleenex or the sink (yuck!).  I too, have some nasal issues, when it becomes that time when seasonal allergies start to flair up in our wonderful city of Los Angeles.  I’m a believer in natural remedies, but my husband, he will do anything, as long as it gets rid of what he has.  We have used a couple of natural nasal sprays from Whole Foods and ones that my husband purchased from CVS.  After a couple use, nothing really happens.  You feel good for the moment, but then it seems to come back again.  You know how that goes.

Since I am on the PTPA Panel of Moms, I got a list of all the Holiday Winners.  As always, I look through the list and learn more about each product.  However, this time I came across a company I am very familiar with, UBIMED.  They are the company behind their first product Cleanoz, a nasal aspirator.  I came across the Cleanoz at the Baby Celebration Show about 2 years ago and purchased one (I had to because they were giving a free package of disposable nozzles with each purchase).  Obviously, I also thought the product was great and couldn’t wait to use it on my daughter when she caught her next cold (<-for some reason that doesn’t sound right).  Anyways, my daughter loves using her Cleanoz and she uses it by herself. 

cleanoz salineNow, they have the Cleanoz Single Use Saline Nasal Spray. In order to prevent bacterial cross contamination, they are in small, travel-size, single-use sterile applicators.  Made up of purified water and sodium chloride, the single dose is preservative free (<-very important).  My husband used it and liked that it was simple to use, there was immediate relief in his nose, and that he didn’t have to stick any apparatus up his nostrils.  It’s definitely a holiday winner!

Note: I love that it is BPA free and 100% Recyclable!

(Disclosure: Product was provided free of charge for review purposes and does not affect my views or feedback of the product.  This review is based solely on my personal opinion and experience and results may vary person to person.)

Nov 17
icon1 Susan | icon2 Product Review | icon4 11 17th, 2009| icon31 Comment »

With my first child, I failed at using a sling.  I didn’t know how to position the baby or make it comfortable enough for me to want to carry my baby in a sling.  Seriously, it felt like it was harder than rocket science.  Not too long ago, with the birth of my second baby, I mastered the art of slinging.  After going on multiple babywearing sites/message boards/forums, I decided that with my second child, I was going to make an all out effort to wear my baby, and wear her right!

Before I had my baby, I had the opportunity to try out some really great slings (You can read one that I reviewed on my site).  They were well made and fashionable, but what I realized was that there was an art to wearing babies.  After I became super-comfortable wearing my baby in a sling, I came across a lot of moms carrying their babies in a wrap.  I was like my gosh, I feel like I am one step behind.  Everytime I succeed at something, something else comes out to challenge me.

I went to an event not too long ago, and one of the moms had a wrap on.  I had to ask her if it was comfortable and how she managed to get all that material on her.  To me, it looked really intimidating.   A cross here, a cross there, a tie here, a wrap around the stomach there.   I mean how does one do that and make it look decent, without looking like a mummy.  She said it took practice and it got easier with each try.  I also had to mention that she also breastfed her baby without having to take her baby out of the wrap.  She just took the wrap to cover the baby and began to nurse.   Wow!   For that mere fact, I wanted to try a wrap.

Sleepy Wrap in organic (natural)

Sleepy Wrap in organic (natural)

Where do I start?   Since there are many companies who make wraps, I had to find a way to weave through the ones I thought were worthy of wearing and ones I did not.   To be honest, it looks like a piece of fabric.  So how would one wrap be superior over another?  With anything, it always comes down to quality and this is where Sleepy Wrap comes into the picture. When I received the Sleepy Wrap, I will admit, all those feelings of intimidation came right up again.  I laid the wrap out across my hardwood floors and just stared at it.  What have I gotten myself into?  But then I had a moment of empowerment and was like, “I can do this!”  I took out the instruction booklet and followed each step.  When I finished my last step, I was like, “this is it?”  It was actually too simple.  I had to laugh at myself for being so scared. 

As I looked at myself in the mirror, I couldn’t get over the fact that I had a wrap on, without looking super ridiculous.  I then took my baby out of her swing and started to put her inside the wrap.  That’s when the “magic” happened!  The fabric, which I forgot to mention is organic (from their new organic line), stretched so nicely, and molded my baby’s body into mine.  It was so comfortable to wear and I did not feel any pain in my back, nor any tugging on the shoulders.  Words cannot describe how comfortable my baby and I were.  My daughter was amazed and intrigued, and wanted to look all around.  She gazed into my eyes, as I did to hers, and it was just a soothing and amazing bonding experience for the both of us.  It felt warm and very sweet.

The Sleepy Wrap is like butter.  It stretches and bounces, giving the security and support it needs, without any discomfort.  The organic fabric is soft and light, giving me the feeling of being one with nature.  I also love the fact that I could nurse the baby inside the wrap.  It saved me a lot of time and the baby didn’t have to deal with all the ins and outs, and the back and forths.  She was completely coccooned and had the privacy of nursing without anyone knowing that she was.  I used the wrap on a couple walks that we did in our neighborhood, and like its name Sleepy Wrap, she fell right asleep.

Enter Coupon Code “momma” for 10% off of the products (Good for a month).

(Disclosure: Product was provided free of charge for review purposes and does not affect my views or feedback of the product.  This review is based solely on my personal opinion and experience and results may vary person to person.)

Nov 11
icon1 Susan | icon2 Product Review | icon4 11 11th, 2009| icon3No Comments »
Who doesn’t have a sweet tooth?  When you get a Godiva chocolate or any premium chocolate from a fine chocolatier it always makes it extra special when it comes in a gold box with a a royal maroon ribbon tied to it.  How about when it comes to hair accessories for your little ones?  Care for a little hair candy? I say YES!

When I came across Gum Drops Hair Candy, I became a little girly girl and also really giddy.  I am thankful for all the social networks online because I was able to discover this little hidden find on the internet. Gum Drops Hair Candy was started by a mom who wanted only the best for her little daughter. What mom doesn’t?  After creating a bunch of cute little designs for her daughter, she had other moms and aunts who wanted to be a part of this hair candy revolution.

Gum Drops Hair Candy Packaging

Gum Drops Hair Candy Packaging

Anne who is the mom behind this hair candy culture, sent me a little hair clip for my baby girl.  When I opened the package, I was delighted.  I actually did not want to take it out the round container.  The hair clip laid perfectly inside a candy wrapper and was just too cute to even touch.  I eventually had to open it to get to the hair clip and it was adorable.  Brown with multi-colored polka dots and a flower in the center to top it off.  It was nothing short of delightful cuteness!

Hair Clip similar to the one we received

Hair Clip similar to the one we received

I personally thought that the hair clip would not stay on my 3 month old baby’s hair because she practically has none, and the little that she has is very fine.  To my surprise, they stayed on and looked cute.  I’m sure it would be cuter if her hair was longer, but for now, we have options of accessorizing her head (I can’t say hair at this time because she has so little).

(Disclosure: Product was provided free of charge for review purposes and does not affect my views or feedback of the product.  This review is based solely on my personal opinion and experience and results may vary person to person.)

Nov 5
icon1 Susan | icon2 Experiences | icon4 11 5th, 2009| icon3No Comments »

After the first day of having my daughter scarf down massive amounts of candy and running around like a wild tiger, I had to do something with the candies.  Of course, during Trick or Treating, I thought it was the cutest thing to see my daughter collect candies, as it brought back memories of my own.  However, after eating 5 or so candies, my daughter turned into a monster who could see nothing but candy before her.  When she went to bed, I took the huge bag and hid it on the top shelf of a closet.  I didn’t want to throw it away because it would be such a waste of good candy.  I then looked up ways I could redistribute the candies.

  1. Treats for Troops is hoping to collect more than 10,000 pounds of candy this Halloween, doubling last year’s number of 5,000 pounds.
  2. Operation Gratitude sends care packages to U.S. Troops overseas. You pay shipping to California and an extra $11 donation to cover the overseas postage.
  3. Operation Shoebox also sends snacks (care packages) overseas to troops on the frontlines.
  4. Ronald McDonald House Charities also accepts candy donations for children.
  5. Check if your local church or school is collecting for Operation Christmas Child. You can put hard candy, lollipops, and gums in the boxes.

I am sure there are many other places that are collecting candies.  I was able to come across the above ones as I was researching for myself.  If you have a lot of candy and don’t know what to do with it, donate it to a good cause.  Just as it brought a smile to your child on Halloween, it will bring smiles to other children and troops overseas.

Nov 3
icon1 Susan | icon2 Product Review | icon4 11 3rd, 2009| icon33 Comments »

I guess there are some things in life that you love so much, you just simply don’t want to share.  One time I was at a library and saw an awesome pearly white bag that was so eye catching.  I literally could not take my eyes off of it. One may call it, love at first sight.  I had to ask the owner of the bag where she had gotten the bag.  She was very hesitent at first and then told me she got it in Europe. When I asked for the brand, she said she didn’t know.  I just came to accept that I would never ever come in contact with that bag EVER again.  Then 1 month down the line, I was at a Bloomingdales, and saw that same exact bag AGAIN!

The brand?  Drum Roll Please…Marc Jacobs.  From what I know (I’m pretty educated on designers), he is an American Designer, right out of of NYC.  What’s even more important is that if you purchase a Marc Jacobs, you know you’re getting a Marc Jacobs.  Granted the lady could have purchased the bag in Europe.  I’m sure his goods are sold internationally, but to not know the label?  That is very questionnable, especially when you are putting down good money, usually in the thousands, to have one of his bags.  So I came to the conclusion, she wanted the bag for herself and did not want to share any real pertinent information with me.

When I came across the next company and the gorgeous dresses, I did have a millisecond of, I don’t want to tell anyone about it.  But after that initial thought, I wanted to tell the whole world about it!  These dresses are absolutely beautiful, gorgeous, and dreamy for your little princesses.  And no, I did not find it in some remote area of the Saudi Desert, and yes, I do know the name of the brand.  The company is appropriately named Fairytale Fashion.  The dresses live up to its name.  I can only say that when my daughter laid eyes on the Ballgown Princess Pinafore dress, it was love at first sight.  She was non-stop thanking me and said, “Mommy. I am so beautiful, just like Princess Ariel.” She didn’t know what to do with herself. Anyone that knows my daughter knows that she wants to be a “princess” when she grows up, so words could not describe her excitement.

Ballgown Princess Pinafore

Ballgown Princess Pinafore

What makes this dress different than all the other dress-up dresses out there?  First of all, the exceptional craftmanship, attention to detail, and with one look, it brings out the princess in me.  Yes, I am in my thirties, and if it were to come in my size, I would own one too.  One thing I absolutely love about this dress is that it grows with your child.  The velcro bodice adjusts to your child’s size (ages 3-8 years old), so she can wear it for years to come.  It’s definitely worth $85. We have a Disney Deluxe dress that we purchased for $100+ and she only got to wear it a couple times before she outgrew it.  Just go on Ebay, and you will see a good amount of dresses, from the Disney store, that parents are selling because it no longer fits their child.  With this dress, you definitely get more than what you pay for. 

Please make note that there a lot of copies out there and these dresses are the original.  The difference? Quality.  I associate princess with luxury, regalness, and royalty.  Fairytale Fashion live up to those expectations.  Nothing short of excellence.  No imitations allowed here!

Note: My daughter wore the Ballgown Pinafore Dress on Halloween (pictured above) and all the moms went crazy over the dress.  She also had a beautiful matching crown (adjustable to her head size) and a wand, which were also from Fairytale Fashion.  I kept hearing the words gorgeous, beautiful, and wow. All the mothers, grandmothers, and passerbys asked me where I got the dress and told me that my little princess looked amazingly gorgeous.  Of course, it brought smiles to my face.

A little bit about the owner and Fairtytale Fashion:
She started this line because she was childlesss and wanted to be a beloved Aunt to the little girls in her life. As a child, she loved fantasy.  She used those imageries in her art career, as a painter and printmaker.  Her product won numerous awards and was featured on HGTV in 2006 on their “Best of Toyfair” TV Show.  Some of her star buyers include Nicole Kidman and Maria Shriver. Impressive!

(Disclosure: Product was provided free of charge for review purposes and does not affect my views or feedback of the product.  This review is based solely on my personal opinion and experience and results may vary person to person.)