Back to School with Momtrends #btsstyle

It’s hard to believe that in a few short weeks, this queen bee will have two littles in school full-time.  In keeping up with all things trendy and in the loop, I attended yet another fabulous event hosted by Momtrends. Set in the Vera Bradley showroom, I caught the latest buzz in BTS.

Vera Bradley:  Having always been a fan of the Vera Bradley bag (just asked my hubby just how many Vera pieces I needed to bring on our honeymoon!) I loved learning about this decades old company from the founder herself. She started her company with a $250 loan, a few local seamstresses, and a dream~what an inspiration. I loved hearing about she hand checked each and every bag until her standards were met and her brand established. Vera Bradley offers a wide-range of bags from totes, to adorable printed backpacks and lunchbags for the kids to headbands and jewelry. I also love their line of office supplies, nothing like having a super organized yet stylish and attractive space to work or complete homework.

BTS

Stride-Rite: We have always been big fans of Stride Rite and this BTS will be no different. I love the mix of bright colors with the durable and reliable structure for which Stride Rite is known. My dad always taught me, good shoes or no shoes! and we love the comfort, support and wearability of Stride Rite shoes and sneakers. Big this season are slip ons from Marvel and light ups featuring your favorite Disney characters.  Whether you’re shopping uniform, sneakers, lace-up or maryjanes, Stride Rite has the latest looks and styles in quality shoes for kids of all ages.

French Toast: Looking for an affordable solution to uniforms and classic pieces for BTS? French Toast offers quality pieces that are stylish and have little touches that make wearing a uniform anything but ordinary. Who doesn’t need a classic navy sweater or a crisp white blouse featuring an adorable peter pan collar?

Mabel’s Labels: Bears repeating how much I love to get, and stay organized. A place for everything and everything in its place is super easy with labels from Mabel’s Labels. My latest find? write-on/wipe off labels, perfect for the kids’ playroom! Mabel’s Labels can be personalized in more ways than one and I swear stick and stay in place (even through the wash!) without peeling, shrinking or deteriorating. BUT come time to remove them, off they come, no fuss, no muss. I can’t explain it but I am a big fan and a returning costumer! (Great for BTS or as a holiday stocking stuffer?!)

Vamousse: Not to bring up a subject that gives everyone an instant case of the itches, but lice is a fact of life in school-age children. Be proactive and stock up on homeopathic Vamousse Lice care and prevent as well as treat head-lice naturally. Works quickly, is safe AND effective, is non-toxic and pesticide free.

Wall Pops: Easy to stay organized with the fun decal-esqu decorations and office/school supplies from Wall-Pops.  I love all of the choices Wall Pops removable art offers, from to do lists to room makeovers, Wall Pops has a removable, easy to apply wall decoration just right for BTS.  We already stuck our easy to remove, wipe off calendar to our kitchen wall and wasted no time filling up with all of our family events and happenings.

The Orange Rhino: I was initially drawn to The Orange Rhino for a silly reason as orange is my favorite color. But I soon discovered a must-have and must-do for all parents~a way to live a more peaceful life~one with less yelling and more loving. The Orange Rhino is about one’s mom’s 365 day journey to “yell less and love more”. You’ll be sure to find tips, honest feelings and a whole lot of anecdotes to which any parent can identify. I love how raw her posts are and find  inspiration, support and camaraderie each and every time I visit her site and am now ready to take The Orange Rhino challenge myself, are you?

Revolution Foods: Say goodbye to unhealthy lunches filled with preservatives, and unwanted fillers. Revolution Foods  makes meal kits that are chef-created, kid inspired real meals on the go.

Pack-it Freezable- An ingenious way to keep kids’ lunch cold all day. Simply freeze the stylish bag, pop in your lunch and viol`a, cool temperature safe food, ready when they are. (love the fun designs) and don’t fret parents, they have Packit Freezables in all sorts of shapes and sizes just right for you too!

 

Other finds that I am loving:

Fiskars makes the best scissors (teachers ask for them by name!) loving the new stylish designs!
Sunscreen Bands make bands that change color in the sun reminding you to reapply and when you’ve had enough sun, perfect for busy families!
Dolphin Organics makes my favorite organic hair conditioner for kids. I love all of their safe, effective and soft-scented products and feel good about using non-toxic organic products on everyone in my family!

back to School

Thred-Up is my new favorite shopping site! It is the easiest way to consignment shop…online. Excellent quality, affordable prices!
For a healthy twist on the juice box, try Aquaball water. The kids will love the  unique shape and the lightly  flavored (naturally) water featuring their favorite characters.
For healthy smiles we all know to brush after every meal or least 2X a day, make it fun with the coolest in designer Toothbrushes from Brush Buddies.
Back to School often means BTS colds, coughs and allergies, offer your kids all natural relief from one of my go-to remedies from Zarbee’s~safe, and effective.
Kids need a little encouragement with their fruits & veggies? Libby’s makes single serving snacks, just right for the lunchbox.
Something new we’re giving a try is exploring gut health with probiotics. Florastor Kids makes the #1 probiotic to help balance and maintain intestinal health.
Best snack award goes to Nourish Snacks. Appetizing, yummy combinations of your favorite healthy snacks, packed with nutrition, great taste all in convenient portion packs.  (no GMOs, under 200 calories per packet and no artificial…anything!)

#bts

I was not compensated for this post. Thanks to @momtrends for the #btsstyle event and the complimentary goody bag.

Donate Stuff, Create Jobs: Goodwill Campaign

Hello Springtime! Finally it seems as if the winter in NY is over and along with sunny skies and budding flowers comes the urge to purge. We are in the process of redecorating our living room and before we bring anything else into the cleanly painted space, we are making a trip (or several) to Goodwill .  When we donate things we no longer have a need for to Goodwill, I feel good that we are keeping usable goods out of a landfill as well as giving a new life to our no longer needed belongings.  We are also reorganizing our den in the basement and are looking for a solid wood bookshelf to finish off the space, our local Goodwill offers so many pieces of furniture in great shape for an unbeatable price. Shopping at goodwill is good for our wallet, and Mother Earth (perfect in time for #earthday)

Goodwill is in the midst of their #7DaysofSpringCleaning campaign. In addition to donating some pieces of furniture, we are going room to room with a large basket and tossing in any thing that have not used in a while, no longer need (hello baby gear!) or no longer want. This is a great way for us to see an immediate impact and get more organized.

Goodwill is encouraging everyone to participate, if they like, in #7DaysofSpringCleaning by urging people to focus on cleaning different areas of their home for seven consecutive days.  I’m here to inspire you to get a fresh start too!

Day 1) Clear your closet clutter

Day 2) Time to tackle the kitchen

Day 3) Spread holiday cheer (holiday decorations, center pieces, Halloween)

Day 4) Downsize your tech toys (used laptops)

Day 5) Clean out your office supplies

Day 6) Provide quality entertainment (unused movies, video games)

Day 7) Downsize your bookshelf

I never stopped to think about just how much of an impact I was making until I used THIS  job calculator. I encourage you to click the link to see how many hours of service programs your donations could create right in your community.

Did you know that donating one bag of clothing and one bag of books can equal up to 2.3 hours of on-the-job training for someone in your community? Add to that a used lamp, a dusty computer and perhaps a box of DVDs and CDs, and that number nearly doubles to 5.2 hours.  Isn’t creating jobs a great excuse for spring cleaning?   Your donation of used clothing or household goods to Goodwill helps create jobs directly in your community.

That’s right: Donate Stuff. Create Jobs. It’s the tagline of Ad Council’s campaign with Goodwill®, which reminds people that their donations support people who are seeking to earn jobs and build careers. To see how the process works, just watch our “How We Do It” PSA.

 Here’s an interesting YouTube video about the impact your donation makes:  “Donate Stuff. Create Jobs” YouTube Video

A simple item donated to Goodwill® can help provide job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face other challenges to finding employment. In fact, Goodwill is the leading nonprofit provider of job training programs and career services in the United States and Canada.
Together with the Ad Council, we’re launching a brand new series of Public Service Advertisements (PSAs) that educate people about Goodwill’s role as a job creator. With the simple tagline, “Donate Stuff. Create Jobs., “the campaign seeks to highlight the role that Goodwill plays in promoting independence and dignity for people of all backgrounds.


Campaign  #7DaysofSpringCleaning

Visit www.goodwill.org to find stores, headquarters, job training centers and donation sites near you.

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Munchkin introduces, Mbaby, new line of Baby Clothing

Munchkin has launched a new line of children’s clothing, Mbaby and it is filled with adorable classics.

mbaby

When looking for children’s clothing I want it to be affordable, adorable but most of all comfortable for my little one. I also make sure that the fabrics are durable, and will uphold to the many washings they are bound for. Munchkin’s new line, Mbaby checked all my boxes.
Teeny tiny Bee has been wearing the organic button down, long-sleeve onesie and we love it. I love not having to pull something over her head. The cotton is soft and I love having the choice of organic clothing, knowing that it is safer and cleaner for all. (There are four basics available in organic cotton.)
organic pieces mbaby,munchkin

We also tried out the striped cardigan (love that it is reversible) and the striped kicky pants that feature a two-in one foot. They can either be worn folded over to expose the feet or turned under like little booties. Perfect for different temperatures, as well as increasing the longevity of  pants (when they get a little too short, just fold up and wear with socks!)

Mbaby apparel is classic and sweet with plenty of basics to complete baby’s layette. Two pieces are truly innovative: the Onester and Sleepster featuring a double layer front to keep baby cozy and snug warm without overheating them.

mbaby munchkin baby clothing

The line is offered in size 1 month through size 12 months. I would say the line runs a bit slim, true to size for a slim baby. (you might want to go up a size for a fuller baby.)

mbaby, munchkin

You can purchase the new line of clothing from Munchkin here:http://www.munchkin.com/products/apparel.html
Find munchkin/mbaby on twitter: https://twitter.com/munchkin_inc, @munchkin_inc
Find mbaby on facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Munchkin 

Thank you to Momtrends and Munchkin for sponsoring this post. Samples were received.
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Hullabalu-Introduces New Storybook App, Pan: Chasing the Keeper

Hullabalu, the NYC based company has introduced a new storybook app, Pandora. Hullabalu creates inventive, interesting and engaging storybooks that will capture your little one’s attention and tug on their heart-strings.

Suzanne Xie has created Pandora,  #1 children’s storybook app on iTunes in 15 countries (beating the Disney, Nickleodeon and Sesame Street books). Currently there are two books in the series, Pan: Pan the Fearless Beribolt and Pan: Chasing the Keeper.  These books follow Pandora,  a female lead heroine in the form of a little purple panda who is on the search for her parents. Pan isn’t perfect. She makes mistakes, sometimes really silly ones, and learns from them. All the trouble Pan causes makes her a stronger character in the end. Stories and parables have been used for centuries to entertain and educate both kids and adults alike, and Pan is here to remind us that learning is a life-long process best experienced through action, trial, and error.

The interactive epic adventures have been dubbed the “Harry Potter of IBooks” for many reasons.  When Suzanne set out to create the Pan series she noticed how tech was changing and asked herself how could she  bring stories to kids that will engage them even more and reflect this change in society? There are fewer stories that inspire girls and boys to be leaders and take adventures so Suzanne made that philosophy an integral part of our creation process.   Suzanne also noticed that in most epic stories the protagonist is almost always male. Suzanne’s hope is that her stories will make female heroes a more natural narrative, which will hopefully make an impact for the next generation of women.

The Pan books are not like most kids’ stories. The Hullabalu approach to stories is heavily informed by a series of leadership traits that are crucial to success at any age. Among them are: courage, perseverance and integrity.  Suzanne, an immigrant from China who spent the first 4 years of her life searching for her parents, learned at a young age the meaning of the American dream. Her parents, through a combination of hard work, humor and luck achieved it. Now she’s on a quest to translate these same values into a fun, clever and heart-felt mobile adventure aimed at kids aged 3-7. Her adventures are created to inspire kids to reach for success and do it with integrity. Achievement in her story is necessary for survival.

CLICK HERE to connect to itunes and download the adorable stories featuring Pandora now. Recommended for ages 4+, and available for both iPad and iPhone.

A bit about Hullabalu:

Hullabalu is a company based in NYC, creating stories for the new generation. We are inspired by our love for fantastical worlds, the timeless classics we grew up with, and the kids who visit our office.
Pan: The Fearless Beribolt is the first story app in the Pan adventure series. We hope you have as much fun with Pan on her adventures as we did making it!

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Look what Gwen Stefani & I have in Common

Gwen Stefani, is expecting once again and she rocked out in one of my favorite maternity pieces. Here she is wearing the same cozy, versatile wrap from Ingrid & Isabel that I wore throughout my pregnancy! (I am still getting lots of mileage out of it as it is great for a breastfeeding mama!)

maternity wear, maternity fashions, ingrid & isabel

 

The wrap is still available, CLICK HERE to see it as well as other fashions by Ingrid & Isabel!

I was not compensated for this post.

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4moms® rockaRoo™ review & #giveaway!

For a chance to win a RockaRoo, 4Moms (4moms® rockaRoo™) innnovative take on the baby swing, check out my review on Momtrends.

Enter to #win during the 31 days of RockaRoo giveaway during the whole month of January.

Enter for your chance to WIN a 4moms® rockaRoo™ via rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

“Why Swing When You Can Rock?”

 

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Maty’s Cough and Cold Remedy Review & Giveaway

Cold and Flu Season is here and since my delivery I have battled a few colds. Of course, being a natural mama means I am especially keen to what I use as a cold remedy. I don’t want to put anything in or on my body that is unsafe or potentially toxic. But I also can’t be down for the count, so I rely on Maty’s full line of all natural remedies (they have products the whole family can use!). I had the pleasure of meeting founder, Carolyn Harrington at Blogher ’12 and she told me the back story of how Maty’s was founded. She and her husband wanted to find all natural yet effective products to help their daughter feel better, they couldn’t find anything that worked and thus Maty’s was born.
Made with all natural ingredients, no parabens, chemical or toxins, Maty’s has a full line of safe, and effective, cold remedy products that are also affordable and easy to find!
My two favorite Maty’s products are the “Breathe Better” nasal passage gel and the petroleum free “vapor rub“. I get immediate results from both of them no matter how stuffy my nose is or how persistent my cough. I love that I can understand the ingredients listed, that all Maty’s products are made in the USA and that not only do the products WORK, they work well!
Matys All Natural cough and cold Products
Visit the Maty’s website to learn more about the full line of al natural products, see the ingredients list and learn more about the effective, drug free, all natural cold remedies for the whole family!
Maty’s healthy products are sold in many retailers, to find a store near you, click here. To enter to #win a full prize pack to cover all your (and you children’s) cold and cough needs, enter via rafflecopter form below. Good Luck and Stay Healthy!
cold remedy, all natural cold medicine

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was not compensated for this post. Samples were received.

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Stokke Scoot, The Ultimate Compact Stroller, Review & #Giveaway,$499.99

If you’ve been following along, you know I am a member of the Stokke fan club, maybe even the president. Stokke makes incredibly beautiful, well designed and engineered products that are easy to love.

Time and time again I have raved about my Stokke Xplory, and our lil bee was the Xplory poster child, her preference for it convincing parents how special it truly was. We will use our Xplory for teeny tiny bee, and will love all the comforts it brings us. Our only complaint has been that the Xplory isn’t exactly a lightweight, “grab and go” stroller. It is the ultimate in luxury stroller comfort. But we need something more compact~ a stroller we could take anywhere and enjoy the comforts for which Stokke is known but with the convenience our life necessitates.

For us, that’s the Stokke Scoot!

Becoming a family of five means we will be on the go a lot! New baby has older siblings that are in and out of activities, parties and playdates. I need to be able to be mobile in a flash but of course want to offer our new baby a super cozy and snuggly place to rest when I am not babywearing. Stokke introduced the Scoot in early 2013, (yes!! I am a bit late to the game, it was quite a bumpy year!) and it is as special as our beloved Xplory in a more lightweight compact version. We call it an “Xplory light”.

stokke scoot, compact stroller

The Stokke Scoot is the perfect combination of function, comfort and attention to detail all wrapped up to make one super unique, not to mention compact and versatile ride.

scoot, compact stroller, lightweight stokke stroller

 

Features of the Scoot that WE LOVE:(we mean besides  the luxurious design and uber sleek lines)

  • cozy, cocoon like seat and canopy combination to make your child feel secure and comfortable
  • super easy to manuever, push, stroll and operate
  • you are closer to your child, encourages bonding, security, and togetherness
  • it is soft to the touch, no harsh metal corners, or frame to poke you (or your child!)
  • folds flat and can be folded one handed (once you get used to it!)
  • comes with attached, easily accessible! basket that folds when Scoot folds
  • 2 way rear and front facing seat
  • 4 recline to upright positions
  • handle adjusts to different heights
  • compact when folded (we keep ours in our hall closet when not in use)
  • the sturdy/stable footrest doubles as a stepping bar for older children
  • easy locking brake (single brake, can be locked/unlocked with bare foot!)
  • easily fits through doorways
  • like the Xplory, it double as a cafe chair while out and about
cafe chair, stokke scoot

Other awesome Scoot Basket and Hood features:

Visor for extra protection from wind and light. Visor can also be folded back or removed by unzipping it from the hood.
Water repellant canopy.
Optional opening for ventilation through 30% of the hood to prevent your child overheating.
Opening protected by mosquito net.
When the child is facing forward the ventilated area can be used as a “window” to keep an eye on the child.
Brings the weight of your shopping down to ground level which makes the stroller more stable.
Easy accessible from all sides.

More Stokke Scoot Information, Stats and Things to Know:

Safety
- 5 point safety harness.
- Durable yet lightweight frame.
- Engineered suspension for a smooth ride.
- Lockable swivel wheels.
- Easy on/off footbrake.

Multi-Use 
- 2 way rear and front facing seat.
- 4 recline to upright positions.
- Suitable for café or high chair substitute.
-Suitable from birth with the addition of a color coordinated sleeping pod
- Works with popular car seats using Stokke adaptors.

Comfort & Convenience

- One handed compact fold.
- Height adjustable handle.
- Lightweight & easy to carry.
- Superior seat ergonomics for lightweight category.
- Extra roomy cargo basket.
- Stable footrest, easy step access for toddlers
-Available in eight beautiful colors/textiles

Weight 
- Lightweight – 10.4 kg or 23 lbs.

What’s included: 
- Seat with textiles: Harness Protector, Hood with Visor, Mosquito Net and Rain Cover.
- A cupholder

To purchase a Stokke Scoot,(free shipping), CLICK HERE, or visit one of these authorized retailers. Enter to #win your own Stokke Scoot by using the Raffelcopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stokke Social Media Sites to Check Out

Pinterest.com/stokkebaby

Twitter.com/stokkebaby

Instagram.com/stokkebaby

Facebook.com/Stokke.NorthAmerica

I was not compensated for this post. Thank you to Stokke for providing me with our beloved Scoot.
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Balance Bar #Giveaway

As we are nearing the end of 2013, and gearing up for the holiday season there will be plenty of indulgences and temptations surrounding us. Instead of neglecting yourself from these treats, substitute with a Balance Bar as a healthy, yet tasty, alternative.  Making a New Year’s resolution is easier than actually keeping one, but this time around focus on maintaining a balanced life in 2014.

balance bar

In preparation for the New Year, enter to #win a mixed box of the Dark Chocolate PeanutChocolate Mint Cookie Crunch and Yogurt Honey Peanut Balance Bars for one US winner. Your Balance Bar gift will also include Yurbuds (earphones designed by women for women) and a 2014 calendar filled with inspirational messages and tips to stay “balanced”.

 

Take the New Year’s Balance Bar Pledge: http://www.balance.com/pledge/ or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/BalanceBar/app_756296374384123

Visit Balance Bar on facebook, twitter, @balancebar and Pinterest

  • For healthy tips and tools, join the Balance Bar Twitter Chat  @BalanceBar and @QuickieChick will be hosting a live, one-hour Twitter chat on Thursday, January 9 at 2:00 PM ET

 Enter to #win via raffelcopter below, Good luck and Happy New Year!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
I was not compensated for this post. A sample box was received.

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School Zone App, An Educational Game for the Holidays-Jolly Try n Spy

Looking for a fun, holiday themed APP for your children but also want it to be educational? School Zone has a new app just in time for Christmas!

Ho-ho-ho! How fast can you go? Kids love finding hidden pictures, and this Jolly Try and Spy twinkling App gives them plenty of spy-it time. One of the 10 jolly holiday scenes will start out black and white, but spy all 6 hidden images to create holiday magic. The scene turns full-color fabulous as Santa and his reindeer sleigh blaze across the sky! Each puzzle records your spy time, and the fastest times will get added to the Holiday Hall of Fame! A quick pull on the green lever will reshuffle the images for more Try-n-Spy fun. Give a tug on the candy cane to pick another holiday puzzle. Stuck? Tap the lightbulb for a hint! Play against a friend or beat your last time. It’s merry madness to hold the top spot on the Holiday Hall of Fame. The app’s settings let kids choose between the Nice or Naughty—traditional or revved-up—seasonal soundtrack. This playful app turns holiday shopping meltdowns into focused, fanciful, find-it fun!

school zone christmas app

Features
•10 Try-n-Spy jolly holiday scenes
•Fun, familiar seasonal themes
•Easy navigation
•Two background music variations
•Festive, colorful reward animations
•Delightful sound effects
•Multiply play value in each puzzle

Skills: focus; observation; hand-eye coordination; perception; fine motor skills

I was not compensated for this post.

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