Saturday, October 31, 2009

"The Tallest of Smalls" Book Review



"The Tallest of Smalls" Review

written by Max Lucado

illustrated by Maria Monescillo

The Tallest of Smalls by Max Lucado is a children's story book that takes place in the village of Stiltsville where a little boy named Ollie lives. Every night all of the people meet in the city square in hopes of being chosen to wear stilts. Only the prettiest, smartest, and best could stand tall and proud above everyone else in the city. Ollie feels sad about never being chosen until one day his dream comes true only to come to a sudden end when he tumbles from his stilts to the ground. Ollie then meets Jesus who helps him learn that he is valued, loved and important.

My daughter is four years old and enjoyed this story very much. The message is beautiful and true with colorful and vibrant illustrations. The story is captivating but the choice of rhyme and vocabulary would best be suited for school age children.

A great family picture book:)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Stop Dangerous EMF's with "The Happy Company"


Heating pads, electric blankets and many appliances generate electromagnetic fields (EMFs), invisible lines of force that surround electrical equipment. Researchers have been investigating whether these EMFs can cause cancer. Some research has suggested that exposure may damage DNA in brain cells. Until more research is done, it is wise to limit your exposure when you can. Natural heating pads that you warm in the microwave is a better option than electric ones. The Happy Company sells great heating pads, eye pillows, neck pillows, and cozy slippers that don't have to be "plugged in."


Here are two great gift ideas from The Happy Company for this holiday season. I cannot believe that Christmas is right around the corner!


($10.00)
Do your eyes feel tired at the end of a day? You may want to try a Soothing Eye Pillow. This pillow is perfect for rejuvenating tired eyes while also reducing puffiness. This cooling acupressure relief for eyes is full of flax seeds and a removable scent sachet infused with lavender and ginger for a complete aromatherapy experience! I put it in the freezer for about an hour and relaxed smelling the lovely lavender scent. I have to say that my eyes looked and felt rested after 15 minutes.

Product Features:
Soft double elastic straps
Jersey Knit backing
Plush Chenille front fabric
Machine washable cover
Chills easily and quickly in the freezer
Product measures 9 inches long, 4.25 inches tall and 1.5 inches thick
Product weighs approximately 8 ounces
Available in Cranberry, Earth, and Sage




Soothing Cozy Slippers
($ 20.00)
I wish I had a pair of these during all of those snowy cold New York nights! The Happy Company's Soothing Cozy Slippers are super soft, super cozy, and super warm! These are filled with flax seeds to soothe tired feet and have removable scent sachets infused with lavender and ginger. Just put them in the microwave for about 1 minute to warm your cold toes. My sisters are going to love these!
Product Features:
Cotton ties at ankles
Soft Jersey Knit lining
Plush Chenille uppers
Grip dot fabric soles
Machine washable covers
Heat quickly in the microwave
Chill easily in the freezer
One size fits most (most comfortable for women sizes 6-10)
Slippers weigh approximately 4 ounces each
Available in Cranberry, Earth, and Sage

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Trick-Or-Healthy Treat!

My Little Butterfly FairyHappy Aloha Friday!!!
Candy is everywhere lately. Looking to find some healthier treats?
Here is Mom's Best Bets list of sweets:
  1. Annie's organic bunny fruit snacks~ chewy and fruity
  2. Yummy Earth organic lollipops~great tasting pops that come in flavors such as pomegranate and mango
  3. Surf Sweet gummy bears~ made with natural colors and organic flavors
  4. Endangered species organic chocolate
  5. Barbara's oatmeal mini cookie packs
  6. Sun drops natural M&M's~they taste just like M&M's but without the artificial coloring
  7. Raisin and Pretzel packs (ideas from A 2 Z Vegetarian)

(these items can be found in many specialty grocery stores, whole foods, and natural health food stores near you)

**Others include homemade candy apples (spread cashew butter thinly around your apple and roll in carob chips), fruit dipped in chocolate, and hemp brownies. Get creative and healthy with your kids during the holidays! Got a favorite that isn't listed here?

Great! Tell me about it and I will add it to the list:)

Flower Duet DVD Winner is...

Congratulations to Christi! I hope you enjoy this fabulous DVD and learn how to make simple and lovely bouquets!


Be sure to check out:


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hair Wine Spa Day!




Today was Spa day with Brittanie's Thyme! Brittanie's Thyme is a USDA Organic shop that sells pure and luxurious products. Their products are definitely worth sharing about. First, I used their almond oatmeal facial scrub. This facial scrub smelled good enough to eat for breakfast. The oatmeal scrub is mixed with a few drops of water and applied to your face in upward motions. Then, it is left to dry for a few minutes and rinsed off. Afterwords, my skin felt smooth and smelt lovely.

Next, I used their Hair wine. The bottle is so pretty (what a great gift this would make). The name itself makes you want to pour it all over! It is made with apple cider vinegar, which I am very familiar with, but it has essential oils such as organic lavender and organic rosemary to moisturize and make your hair smell nice. Using this product really helps to restore the pH balance of your hair.
Spa day would not be complete without having my "little princess" with me wanting to be just like mommy! It was nice to be able to use all the products on her without worrying about harmful chemicals!


I used Hair Silk on my daughter's hair. She has very curly hair and it really made her curls smoother with a delicate shine. It's made of organic sweet almond oil, organic lavender essential oil, and organic rosemary essential oil. I love that there are so few ingredients in Brittanie's Thyme and that I can actually understand all of them. You can find these products online at Brittanie's Thyme or in many stores such as "Down To Earth" in Kailua, HI.
I can't wait to try their lavender sea salt scrub and organic facial cleanser. I think this post will have to be continued soon...

Sweet Potato and Crispy Sage Fries


White potatoes are traditionally used for making french fries, but did you know that sweet potatoes are better for you and can taste just as delicious? So, what's the sweet deal? Your blood sugar will rise nearly 30 percent less eating a sweet potato compared to a white potato. Sweet potatoes are full of soluble fiber which may help to lower blood sugar and cholesterol. They are also rich in carotenoids and vitamin C. A sweet potato has more potassium than a banana!

So, let's add some more sweet potatoes into our diets! Here is an easy and scrumptious way to eat them!

Sweet Potato and Crispy Sage Fries:
Ingredients
2 sweet potatoes, washed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 sage leaves washed

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice the sweet potatoes into wedges. Place wedges in a large bowl, add olive oil, seasoning, sage leaves, and toss to coat.
Place the fries onto a baking sheet and and bake for about 15 minutes. Turn the fries and bake for another 15 minutes until brown and crispy.
**instead of ketchup a garlic aioli tastes great for dipping!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Flowerz In Her Hair GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!



We love wearing flowers in our hair. My daughter has a head full of the most beautiful curls and I am always looking for new and beautiful hair clips. I recently found, Flowerz In Her Hair a company started by a mom who creates amazing flower hair clips, beanies, bows and headbands. The beanies are so so sweet when you clip a flower to it. The babies on her website look darling in them.
Her products are crafted with quality, right down to the delicate crystals in the center of the flower. You can find funky flowers, holiday designs, and school spirit creations, to name a few. The bows come in small, medium, and large and with every order you make with Flowerz In Her Hair, you receive a cute little
clip holder!



GIVEAWAY


To Enter: visit Flowerz In Her Hair and tell me what product you like. (1 entry)

Extra Entries:

*Blog about this giveaway linking back to Mom's Best Bets
(for those who don't have a blog, you may email 5 people and cc me (momsbestbets @ gmail . com))(3 entries)
*Follow me (1 entry)
*Grab my Button (2 entry)
*Subscribe to Mom's Best Bets (1 entry)
*Follow me on Twitter AND Tweet about this giveaway (1 entry)
*Follow me on Facebook (1 entry)
*Follow the
Flowerz In Her Hair Blog (1 entry)

Giveaway ends Nov. 16th

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Disney Offering Baby Einstein Refunds?


"Parents now have yet another excuse why their child isn't an honor student. In what is widely regarded as an admission that the Baby Einstein video series is ineffective in boosting young children's IQs, Disney is offering a refund on copies of the ultra-popular DVDs...." read more here ..Updated: Disney Offers 'Baby Einstein' Refund

"Mom's Best Bets" wants to know your reaction, so post a commet below.

Bamboo Leg Huggers


I have been seeing leg warmers in many stores this season. They are not only in style but extremely practical for babies and children. They can keep legs warm in cold weather and protect little ones on the move.
I enjoy discovering new online boutiques and I recently found Baby Snazz, which is a lovely online store that carries the cutest items for children. They recently sent me a pair of leg huggers to review. When I saw them I thought about how perfect they would be for babies crawling on hard surfaces. Leg huggers are also handy for toddlers beginning to walk and run to help prevent all of those scraped knees and from bumping and falling.

Innovative and Eco-friendly, Leg Huggers are made from 100% sustainable bamboo and are soft, breathable, hypoallergenic and natural. These bamboo fibers also protect from harmful UV rays. My daughter loved them and decided they were very "fashionable!" There are many fabulous prints to choose from. They also have very cute boy patterns.

The owner of Baby Snazz is a work at home mom and runs Baby Snazz along with other stay at home moms. Many of their items are organic, or made-by-moms. Check them out today!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Safe Organic Baby Soap and More..


I recently discovered an online store called Body Sense. Their motto is " making healthier choices easy." They sell personal care products such as shampoo, lotions, soaps, cleaners, and baby care items. They select products that have safe and favorable ratings from the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep's database. I have been using this resource for a few years already to check the ratings on my products I like. Most items from toothpaste, lotions, disinfectants, or nail polish have ingredients that you do not recognize, understand, or probably can't pronounce.
Have you ever wondered what they are? You should, because there is a good chance it may not be the best for you if don't recognize it. It's very easy to use and for any product you enter, it will clearly explain the ingredients and give you a rating .
Some of the products on Body Sense's website I knew and some I even use such as Dr. Bronner's soap and Badger Balm, but there were a lot that I have never heard of. Here are my new 2 top picks from Body Sense:

Baby Organic 2 in 1 Coconut Foam Shampoo & Body Wash: It is made of water, organic saponified coconut oil, and organic coconut extract. This is a very pure product that is gluten free, organic and vegan. What I like is it's mild coconut scent and the creamy foam lather. I was shocked how squeaky...I mean squeaky clean your skin feels after using it. I have to admit that I don't use it as a shampoo or body wash for my daughter but as a hand soap. She loves it and it really gets her hands clean without the use of harmful chemicals.

Keys Soap Mangrove Natural Concentrated Hair Conditioner: I like this because I need a good conditioner for my daughter's curly hair without the silicone. "More than 95% of all hair conditioners available over the counter or from salons contain a form of silicone. Many contain multiple forms of the chemical to coat and encase the hair shaft. The results are a high shine that leaves hair very organized. The problem with silicones is that they coat the scalp and pores as equally as they do the hair. Many dermatologists believe that silicones along with sulfates are a primary cause of premature baldness in men and women. To address this, Keys searched the world for a natural conditioner ingredient that would operate like silicone, but without the negative properties. What they discovered was a natural conditioner called Brassica. It resembles pure natural coconut, but without the stripping characteristics of coconut. It has a low acidity level so it mirrors the skin and scalp condition. Mangrove Conditioner contains Brassica and other natural oils in a concentrated conditioning cream. Mangrove conditioner is also great for your pets." It is made of: Avocado Oil, Shea Butter, Black Cumin Oil, Aloe Vera, Brassica Oil, Blood Orange & Sage Essential Oils, Purified Water, Vegetable Glycerin, and Vegetable Wax.
Coupon Code
Check out Body Sense and when you make a purchase use the coupon code: mom5 for $5 off any purchase over $25. It is good until the end of the year!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

ALOHA FRIDAY: Eco Craft~Natural Finger Paint

Happy Aloha Friday everyone! Every Aloha Friday here at Mom's Best Bets we share fun and healthy ideas. This is my fun and healthy activity for today:


Eco Craft: Natural Finger Paint

Children love finger painting! This activity involves many learning styles, such as tactile and kinestetic. Smearing the paint around and feeling it gush through your fingers can be satisfying for a child, but often their little hands go right into their mouths. "Yuck!" The mix of chemicals doesn't taste good and is not good for you.



We made our own finger paint today! My daughter really enjoyed the process of making it almost as much as painting with it!






Ingredients:

1/2 cup cornstarch
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups water
food coloring (you can also use safe organic food coloring)

In a pan, mix all of the ingredients together to make the finger paint. Cook for 10 min. and keep stirring until it is smooth and thick. After the mixture cools, pour finger paint into separate containers (depending on how many colors you want). Add a few drops of food coloring to each container and stir.
You're ready to finger paint!

Now it's your turn to share your healthy idea and I will share it here at Mom's Best Bets!

"Your Baby Can Read" winner is....


Congratulations Michelle! I hope that you and your little one enjoy using "Your Baby Can Read!" A big MAHALO to all of you that entered.
There are two more "Mom's Best Bets" giveaways going on right now :

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Flower Duet: Flower Arranging DVD Giveaway


Having fresh flowers to display is such a lovely way to brighten a room. I am blessed to have exotic and beautiful flowers all around me living in Hawaii, but arranging them into a bouquet can be a difficult task.
Flower Duet is a custom floral design studio. Flower Duet was founded by two sisters, Kit & Casey Coleman, who love to create beautiful bouquets and teach the art of floral design to their students. Their instructional DVD, How to Create a European Wrap Bouquet, is designed to provide the inexperienced flower arranger a step-by-step guide to creating a professional looking floral arrangement right from store bought flowers. It is 29 minutes long and all you need is some flowers and these ladies will help you create a flower arrangement work of art.




This is also an informative DVD that will teach you, step-by-step, how to create a European Wrap or Hand-Tied Bouquet, perfect for any occasion . The Flower Duet has been featured in DailyCandy.com, Angeleno Magazine, Modern Bride Magazine, and has appeared on the DIY Television Network.




Giveaway:
Flower Duet would like to offer one of Mom's Best Bets marvelous readers a Flower Duet DVD on how to create a European Wrap Bouquet.

To ENTER:

*Follow my blog (right hand side of page)(1)
*Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with a link (3)
*Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (1)
*Follow me on facebook (1) *Grab my button and paste it on your website/blog (3)
*Enter another giveaway from Mom's Best Bets (1)

This giveaway is open worldwide and ends October 28th.

GIVEAWAY: Prevent diaper rash with BUMMAS!



"Keep diaper rash at bay, the Bummas way. After the wipe and

before the dipe, use a soft kiss of cloth to dry bums off"

Bummas are Eco-friendly drying wipes for babies. They are very soft cloths made from 100% cotton and come in a variety of color combinations. They are also antibacterial and antimicrobial

The designers of Bummas wanted a solution to their son's diaper rash. Diaper rash is caused by bacteria and yeast that thrive in warm and wet places. Bummas are used to dry off your babies bottom (bum). You can also wet Bummas under warm water and use them as wet wipes. Bummas are safer and less irritating to sensitive skin than traditional chemical containing wipes and are super absorbent.

Aren't these a great baby shower gift? You can find Bummas here.

GIVEAWAY:

Bummas would like to offer one of Mom's Best Bets marvelous readers a set of Bummas in their color choice.

To enter please visit the Bummas web page and tell me what set you like best.


Additional entries:
*Follow my blog (right hand side of page)(1)
*Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with a link (3)
*Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (1)
*Follow me on facebook (1) *Grab my button and paste it on your website/blog (3) *Enter another giveaway from Mom's Best Bets (1)

This giveaway is open worldwide and ends Novemeber 4th.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Healthy Hemp Recipes


Hemp has gotten much attention over the years as being a good source of healthy fat. Famous health food guru Dr. Andrew Weil is also a fan of hemp. He states, "If Americans ate more hemp I think it would correct the imbalance of fatty acids in the diet. I think we'd see a decrease in inflammatory diseases and...heart disease." The imbalance that he is talking about refers to Americans eating more Omega 6 fatty acids than Omega 3. We had a much better ratio before processed foods monopolized much of the average person's daily food intake.
Hemp is a great way to restore this balance. It is a great source of protein and balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Manitoba Harvest has superior GMO free, organic hemp products. They carry hemp seed oil, nut butter, protein powder, shelled hemp seeds, and hemp milk. My favorite source of hemp is their organic hemp seeds. They are so easy to sprinkle on everything from oatmeal and brownies to salmon. My daughter likes their hemp butter on toast when it's mixed with honey or maple syrup. Hemp has a nutty flavor that is also good sprinkled on salads. I recently tried the chocolate hemp milk and am now a big fan.

My favorite way to eat it is sprinkled on Oatmeal:


Here is a recipe I make for my daughter that I got from Manitoba Harvest's website:
Ingredients:

1/4 cup Hemp Seed Butter
1/8 cup Maple Syrup (you can substitute honey or agave~"Mom's Best Bets")
Directions:
Combine ingredients in a bowl. Stir together until well mixed.
Maple Butter is awesome on fresh fruit; apples, bananas, pears......
Also, an excellent topping for pancakes and waffles.

**Manitoba Harvest has an informative website that answers many questions and also has a ton of great recipes.

Hemp Seed on Foodista

Sprout Baby Food: $25 Winner...



Congratulations "Margaret" you won a $25.00 gift certificate to Sprout Baby.

Enjoy! A Big thank-you to all of the participants. Don't forget to check out:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pitter Patties and Pumpkins in Hawaii!



What a fun day! We went pumpkin picking on this bright sunny morning in Hawaii. We all chose our perfect pumpkin and bumped up and down on the hay ride. My daughter rode her favorite pony a dizzyingly amount of times on the Ewa plain before we were finished with our pumpkin patch extravaganza. As we headed to our car, we bought some fresh kabocha Pumpkin and veggies at the Aloun Farm stand.
After using the tenth wipe, we all agreed how seriously dirty and covered in Hawaiian red dirt we were. We had dust from head to toe and were excited about being able to take a swim. I decided to grab something quick for my daughter to eat at the beach, so I grabbed some "Yammy Chicken and spaghetti Pitter Pattties!" She had never had them before but she liked them. She liked the spaghetti the best.










Pitter Patties are in the frozen section in sweet little boxes. They are all natural frozen meals created by moms who wanted healthy convenient food for their children. They come in different varieties, but the You can find them in stores in Hawaii, California, Nevada, and Arizona. You can also buy them online. Pitter Patties are a quick and nutritious food to keep on hand when you are in a hurry. It was also nice to have extra time at beach on this beautiful Hawaiian Sunday!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Got Milk Paint?

Picture from "The Real Milk Paint Co"
Want to get an all natural antique look and protect yourself and the environment all in one paint? Try Real Milk paint! Don't you like the sound of milk paint? It sounds like some concoction you made as a kid! It's actually an environmentally friendly paint that comes in a powdered form. You simply mix the powder with water and begin to paint. This type of paint has been used for hundreds of years. The ingredients were once made from raw materials such as curdled milk, lime, pigment, coal, or charcoal.

The Real Milk Paint Co is completely safe, Eco-friendly, non-toxic, lead free and not radioactive. Real Milk Paint has a chalk-like matte finish and is made from purified milk protein, lime, natural fillers and pigment. It does not contain solvents V.O.C.'s . It also helps reduce carbon emissions and is odorless.


I was excited to try this paint because it is much safer to use around children, since it is non-toxic and orderless. The paint came in cute little boxes. Actually, it wasn't paint yet, it was powder. Then, things started to get a bit messy trying to mix it into the desired consistency. I wasn't very prepared and my advice would be to have large containers to mix properly. Since, I was just painting a tray to start with, I actually put the water and powder in zip lock bags and shook until the powder dissolved. This worked quite well and the paint consistency reminded me of water paints. It took a little while to get used to working with, but milk paint definitely gives a surface a matte antique look like no other.
Before


After

ADVANTAGES:
Sticks to raw wood, plaster, dry wall, stone, unsealed brick and concrete
Each bag contains everything needed, just add water
Remains usable for a minimum of two weeks after mixing with water
Environmentally friendly paint
Non-toxic
Does not contain radioactive Kaolin Clays as a filler
Virtually no odor
Dries fast (30 minutes to 4 hours depending ambient temperature)
**It does contains calcium hydroxide (lime) that may burn eyes and skin so be careful around children.

Friday, October 16, 2009

ALOHA Friday...let's create!


Happy Aloha Friday everyone!
Every Friday here at Mom's Best Bets we share healthy ideas.

This is my healthy craft idea:

Place cards are pretty popular when giving your table a personalized touch. Making your own cards are a great idea to spruce up your table and show off your creative side. Yes, we all have a creative side!
Here is a very simple idea that is good for the environment and easy for you. All you need is a sturdy, thick, and broad leaf and something sharp to scratch the surface, such as a craft knife. Wash your leaves and dry them good. Then carve your guests names on the leaves. You can also do it a day before and watch how the name will bleed slightly and give it a more fuzzy look. Then, spray with cooking spray and wipe them off with a towel.

Remember, If your leaf is too delicate it, the knife will rip your leaf, so look around your neighborhood for leaves that don't bend easily. If you can't find any, one or two bright colored maple leaves will brighten your autumn table beautifully.
Now, tuck your leaves inside your napkins and your done!

Now, it's your turn!
Want to share a healthy craft idea? Great- list it below. If you have a website, post the link below and be sure to link your idea to Mom's Best Bets! Don't have a website? That's okay, just jot your idea below. I will share some of the best ideas next week. ALOHA!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pumpkin Butter Recipe

Flaky warm biscuit topped with homemade pumpkin butter!

Pumpkin puree' mixed with spices and yogurt


Pumpkin puree'

Make your own pumpkin butter! It's easy and a sweet treat that not only hits the autumn spot but is packed with vitamins. Pumpkins are good for a lot more than carving. They are loaded with vitamin A, vitamins C, K, and E, magnesium, potassium, and iron. Roasting pumpkins are fun, but for convenience, using canned pumpkin is still nutritious and delicious.


(Recipe from "The Pioneer Woman")

INGREDIENTS

1 can of pumpkin or freshly pureed pumpkin

1 cup of organic powdered sugar

1 cup of organic yogurt

1tsp of pumpkin pie spice

Just combine and serve!

The biscuit is from Immaculate baking Co. They are a more natural biscuit that is flaky, light, and they come in peel and pop containers. I found these biscuits in Whole Foods. All you have to do is bake them for 16-18 minutes.

Happy Autumn!


Pumpkin Butter on Foodista
Giveaways Reviews


Recipes/Healthy Ideas Eco Crafts
Blog Widget by LinkWithin