Archive for August, 2010

And the old became new once again!…

August 31st, 2010 3:40pm

Have you been gazing longingly at your neighbors brand new stroller as you push your dilapidated clunker awkwardly along the sidewalk? Do you cringe when you place your toddler in your torn, worn and stained high chair or car seat and hope that mystery stain isn’t anything to worry about? Well, fear no more! Baby’s R Us has come to the rescue of us moms of multiples who have worn our baby gear into shreds! You now have until September 19th, 2010 to get your old gear into Baby’s R Us for a 25% discount on a brand new replacement in the same category as your trade-in!

Not all manufacturers are participating but here’s a list of those that are…

  • Eddie Baurer
  • Evenflo
  • Graco
  • Britax
  • Jeep
  • Baby Cache
  • Baby Trend
  • Bertini
  • Chicco
  • Contours by Kolcraft
  • Carter’s
  • Delta
  • Sorelle
  • Baby Italia

This great deal stems from a desire to get old and possibly unsafe baby equipment out of circulation. Most of us bargain shoppers frequent the discount stores or utilize hand-me-downs for baby gear because of price but we don’t often get safety and warranty guarantees with that equipment that always come with new gear. Equipment gets better all the time with great improvements to comfort as well as safety. This is a great opportunity to keep our little ones a bit safer, more comfortable and not have to break the bank to do it! Check out your local Baby’s R Us store for more details. Items need to be purchased on the same day as the trade-in so come prepared to shop!

For more information, visit Baby’s R Us Official website  to read more about this offer. But don’t miss out! You only have until September 19th!

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Events, Family and Home, free stuff, General, newsworthy, Parenting Tips, Safety/Health Awareness | 1 Comment »

Toddler Time at Jump and Shout!

August 27th, 2010 8:24pm
Jump and Shout Play

The toddler slide is an ever popular attraction!

If you’re like us, you have bid farewell to your older kids for the better part of the morning as they march back to school and you watch sadly as your littlest ones roam the house wondering where all their playmates went! Well, we would like to help inject some excitement back into these little ones worlds with two days devoted just to toddlers at Jump and Shout!

If you’ve never been to Jump and Shout!, then you have definitely missed out! It is exactly what it’s name implies…a fun place for your kids to literally jump and shout their way through various inflatable bounce zones, climbing gyms and soft obstacles. And every Monday and Wedensday morning from 10:00-11:30, they have dedicated their play areas to our toddlers, ages 4 and under!

Jump and Shout Play Zone

This is one of the many climbing areas available to kids at Jump and Shout!

The price for this playtime is $5.00 per child (under 2 are free with a playing guest so get your friends together and come in groups!). Adults are always free. You’d think that the play zones would be entertainment enough but no!  They have arranged for a variety of activities that vary by the day such as crafts, games, bubble time, story time and more! It’s a great opportunity for your toddler to socialize while the big kids are in school.

And in case you are on the hunt for a birthday party site, this has now become the birthday pavilion of choice for all of my kids, young and old. They truly have something for every age. And shhhh!…don’t tell your kiddos, but there’s also a quiet room where parents can sit and work or read while still having their kids in full view as they play! It’s Utopia!

Jump and Shout is located at 1061 N. Dobson Road, Suite 110 in Mesa, AZ and you can reach them at 480-834-7529 or visit their website for the location nearest you and to keep tabs on upcoming specials and promotionals at

Tags: , ,
Posted in Events, Family and Home, General | No Comments »

Move over, magic eraser!…

August 27th, 2010 7:45pm

This is a small spot area in my car before I attacked it with Dash Away. You can see where my floor mat had been.

Ok, you busy parents of little mess makers, hold onto to your carseats because we’ve got a product that will absolutely make your “must haves” list!

I was contacted by Surf City Garage out of Huntington Beach, CA with a cleaning product they said couldn’t be beat. Having five children of my own and the various messes that accompany them, i have tried innumerable products and none seem to completely live up to their claims of “miraculous” cleaning power. So I was naturally quite skeptical of Surf City Garages claims for their Dash Away all purpose cleaning product. It arrived on my doorstep with the guarantee from its founder, Tim Miller, that “when used as directed, if this product isn’t the best you’ve ever tried, give me a call and I’ll buy it back.” As you will see from the pictures, I have no intention of calling Mr. Miller!

"after" Dash Away

This is the picture I took of the same area about 2 minutes after I applied Dash Away. You can barely see the earlier line of grime defining where the floor mat had been!

I decided to test it out on some of the toughest, most resilient stains I have at my disposal… my car. I have had the carpet professionally cleaned several times and was told to resign myself to the fact that certain stains are just impossible to remove. I very skeptically followed the directions for Dash Away…shaking the bottle, spraying a light mist over the stain, and then wiping it clean with a rag. Way too simple, I thought, until I began to actually “see” the stain begin to disappear! And as if thats not enough, it actually smells good too!

I turned my good friend Jodie onto the product to help her with a 3 year old, sun baked koolaid stain. She has had the stain professionally treated several times with no visible results. After showing her the product, she promptly went out and bought not only the Dash Away product but also the window and leather cleaners! Here’s her take on the Surf City Garage products…

“It lightened the koolaid…it worked on all the dark spots on carpet and got the smudge off the sides of the car and doors. I liked the cleaner because its not sticky or oily. I usually like aerosol window stuff but this stuff didn’t streak or leave smears.”

Needless to say, I am now a devoted fan! The product is non toxic and safe to use on a number of materials like vinyl, leather, carpet, fabrics like car seats, strollers and the like. Although it was designed for car cleaning, the applications seem limitless. I have no problem endorsing this product and highly recommend it to anyone looking for quick, easy and thorough cleaning results (and it’s only $9.99!). I was able to clean the entire interior of my Denali in less than 15 minutes with results that were better than the $60 professional interior detail I not only paid for but also waited over two hours to have completed several months ago!

Check out more info on Dash Away and other Surf City Garage cleaning products at Happy cleaning!

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in General, product reviews | No Comments »

It means so much to our kids when we display their artwork in our home. It can boost their morale, help them feel appreciated and contribute to their confidence in succeeding. But sometimes, we look at our cluttered walls and wonder, “what would this look like if it weren’t covered in scribbles?!” Well, one of our subscribers, Meggin, found a wonderful fun compromise!…

She started with your basic set of fingerpaints, large paper and of course, her two toddlers! She let the kids go nuts outside with the various colors of fingerpaint. Along with their crazy splashing across the page, each toddler thought it fun to make their own handprints on different pieces of paper as well. Once it was dry, she noticed some really fun coloring combinations along with some interesting lines in her little ones artwork. She had some extra frames and decided to see what they looked like. Then she found the pages with the handprints on them and had one of those “lightbulb” moments! She cut out the handprints, framed the large pages and placed the handprint on top of the matted artwork. She finished it off with each childs name and date and voilá! She had a beautiful piece of memorable artwork to perch on her wall that not only looked nice, but was a great positive reminder to her and her little ones of the days fun and the creative powers of those little minds!  Thanks for sharing, Meggin!

If you or someone you know has a great craft or creative activity for young children, please submit them to us at with subject line of “creative fun”.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Crafts, Family and Home, General | No Comments »

Does your child struggle with behavior concepts? Perhaps numbers or letters are particularly difficult for them? Or maybe you just want your little one to feel extra loved and appreciated? All these are reasons to give Personal Child Stories a call!

Personal Child Stories

Little Sammy was one of the inspirations behind Personal Child Stories

Personal Child Stories was begun specifically to address all of theses questions. The company owner, writer and designer, Shara Lawrence-Weiss is a journalist, early childhood specialist, experienced nanny and freelance writer who is also experienced in special needs children from a firsthand perspective. She has taken this diverse background and combined her many skills along with a passion for reading into a wonderful positive learning tool for children of all ages. Her books are custom designed for each individual child with pictures, story line and theme centered around each childs particular needs.

I had to see this for myself! I recently received some samples of her product and was most impressed! Her books come in two sizes, 5×5 for smaller children and 8.5×9 for older children. Trust me when I say that these books are meant to last! Each page is laminated and the book is spiral bound for easy page turning. The result is a sturdy book that will hold up to drooling, chewing, throwing, stepping on, and just about any other rough treatment your toddler can imagine! The pages will not tear, can be written or colored on and then can be wiped clean again with a damp cloth to look brand new again!

Personal Child Stories

From babies to toddlers to even older children, Personal Child Stories inspire and teach all ages!

Storylines are completely customized and used in conjunction with actual submitted photos of the child to fit each childs individual need, situation or desired learning concept. She works closely with parents to accomplish this. Her alphabet book and counting book samples were a huge hit with my little toddler! She loved flipping through the book again and again, counting the pictures and pointing out the letters of the alphabet!…of course that was after I had exhausted my patience answering numerous requests to “read it again, mommy!”. The counting book was especially neat because it not only had a cute rhyming lilt to it but it also showed the numbers in Spanish, English, and sign language!

As a graphic designer of over 12 years experience, I can attest to the life-changing impact that strong images and well written copy can have on people of all ages. Shara has combined both in her product and I would highly recommend these books to anyone looking to teach their children through the power of positive reinforcement.

If you would like to learn more about obtaining your own personalized book for your child, visit Shara at

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Family and Home, General, newsworthy, Parenting Tips, product reviews | 2 Comments »

New spin on child birthday parties

August 9th, 2010 11:29pm

Looking for a new spin on kids birthday parties? We’ve got a great idea for you courtesy of Cheryl Tallman of “Fresh Baby”! When her son turned 5, she decided to play off his particular interests and strengths by providing a cooking party for him and his friends! She hosted a 2 1/2 hr party in their kitchen which she entitled “Cooking School for Brilliant Kids.”

Cheryl’s party was complete with disposable chef hats, aprons and a few kid sized cooking utensils which she used in take home gift bags for each child. The recipes were simple consisting of pizzas, green beans, carrot sticks, pigs in blankets (hot dogs rolled and baked in crescent rolls), and home made ice cream. She had her husband do a short little magic show during the baking time (he read up earlier in the week at the library!).

At the end of the party, she took a picture of her “class” and mailed each child a certificate of completion from the “Cooking School for Brilliant Kids” that had their class picture in it! What a fun idea!

As a former Pampered Chef consultant, I actually did many child birthday parties that were a huge success! Sometimes the mothers even tagged along for a brush up on some kid friendly recipes and demos! These types of parties were certainly a departure from the norm and gave each child an opportunity to participate, start good cooking habits, enjoy some great food, and take home not only fun memories but some actual cooking skills and recipes they could use at home!

Some tips for hosting this kind of party:

1) keep it simple!…easy recipes with a short list of ingredients are best. Mix and match things you can cook with things you can serve right away.

2) keep the party list small!…smaller groups definitely work better in this situation. Keep the number of attendees to 5 or 6 depending on the age and maturity of the group. This gives everyone a chance to participate and helps you maintain some order in the kitchen as well as safety.

3) have a time filler to keep kids busy while the food is cooking…in Cheryl’s case, she had her husband prepared with some “magical” interlude but you could have any number of fun party games prepared. Some oldies but goodies are “pin the hat on the chef”, musical chairs at the dinner table, and hot potato.

4) keep mess in mind…remember to prepare an area where you can have everyone gather and be able to see and participate. In Cheryl’s case, she prepared a ping pong table with a themed table cloth and had everyone gather around it.

5) always be safe!…teach the kids good hand washing and surface cleaning habits. Make sure that no child is left unattended around hot surfaces. It is best to leave the oven and stove preparation to the “master chef” (i.e. the adult!).

And probably the most important tip, cater to your childs interests and food preferences so they and their friends can have a great time making cooking memories together!

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Crafts, Family and Home, General, holiday activities, Parenting Tips | No Comments »