Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mom's Best Bet Monday


There are so many great ideas, reviews, and giveaways going on around the blogosphere that it is hard to remember them all. There is something new going on here every Monday that you can be a part of.
Let's share our BEST BET on the Linky or in the comments section below. It could be something you read about, an outrageous recipe, or maybe a product that is outstanding, or an amazing giveaway that you want to share about.

Whatever your best bet is, please share below and we will choose a few to shine in the "Mom's Best Bets Spotlight!"
Here are some best bets from last week to enter:

Protect-A-Bed Bedding Protection Kit ARV $120 9/12     




Thursday, August 25, 2011

Toys that Teach News Review




Aloha Hawaii KHON 2 Morning News viewers! Mahalo for watching this morning and stopping by for more information about these educational products that were featured. Click the link to watch.




Guidecraft: Fraction Cups

$ 25.00
Four fun wooden fraction cups with 10 large wooden pieces help teach fractions. Explore whole, half, third and quarter concepts. Develops fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Made from Eco-friendly rubberwood and stained with low VOC aniline dyes. Activity booklet included. AGES 2+. 3.25"D x 2.75"H each

I love that this toy encourages problem-solving skills, recognizing shapes, and colors for little ones while helping to teach fractions for school age children.



Guidecraft: City Blocks

$ 45.00
With the 65-piece City Blocks set, young builders will love to explore the endless possibilities in urban construction and environmental design. Includes little trees and people to round out the landscape and to enhance creative play.

Blocks have smooth, sanded edges, and are made from Eco-friendly rubberwood, a renewable resource, and stained with low VOC aniline dyes.

Helps build fine-motor and three-dimensional design skills. Includes handy canvas storage bag with drawstring.AGES 3+.

We have had fun building with these  blocks.  They foster motor and math skills while also inspiring creativity.  




 American Girl 

Cécile and Marie-Grace Best Friends Collection



American Girl makes beautiful dolls, but did you know they were educational as well? These are toys that teach because of the strong history component.  Each doll (many are historical characters) comes with a wonderful book about their life featuring their particular time period.

Meet friends Cécile and Marie-Grace.  Each doll arrives with an outfit and accessories authentic to 1853 New Orleans. Both are soft and huggable, with hair for styling, and include their paperback books, Meet Cécile and Meet Marie-Grace.
Cécile and Marie-Grace's 18-inch doll bodies are soft cloth; their heads and limbs are smooth vinyl. They're posable for hundreds of playtimes and can be treasured for years to come. Their books, Meet Cécile and Meet Marie-Grace, enhance playtime with stories of these girls growing up in 1853 New Orleans. They offer lessons about choices and friendship that still touch girls today. Their continuing stories are woven together in one six-book set and are written by two different authors.


Bitty Baby. Bringing up Bitty Baby. Which Bitty Baby wil you choose?
American Girl 



Give your girl a Bitty Baby doll to love and hug! She arrives with everything here:
  • A pink paisley sleeper with puffed sleeves and a satin bow
  • A soft cloth diaper
  • Bitty Bear®, a 5-inch plush bear—Bitty Baby's own special teddy toy to cuddle
  • The Welcome, Bitty Baby memory book for girls
American Girl has a bookstore, some wonderful games, a magazine and much more on their website: and http://www.americangirl.com/



Alex Toys: Ready, Set, Tell Time!

21.95




  • Let's learn how to tell time the fun way! 
  • Move the plastic hands to see what time it is.
  • A comprehensive activity set includes a clock with movable hands, matching cards, 12-piece puzzle, daily activity cards, double-sided flash cards and easy learning guide.

Alex Toys: My First Sewing Kit

$ 29.95

Everything you need to start sewing right away! Comes with cool pre-cut patterns for quick and easy projects! 8 colors of embroidery floss, shapes to make felt animals and a notebook cover, stuffing, fabric, ric rac, needles, scissors, measuring tape, straight pins, thimble, pin cushion, buttons and a pom-pom strip. Carrying case measures 10'W x 7'H x 3.25'D. Learn to sew. It's so easy!




$39.99 

There's nothing like an erupting volcano to get kids fired up about earth science! This large plastic model makes volcano demonstrations easy and mess-free. One half of the detailed cross-section shows the inside, the other has corresponding labels A, B, C, and D for assessing knowledge. Includes easy-to-make lava recipe, removable lava tube and 13" clear plastic tray for quick clean up. Measures 11" high x 13" wide and includes fact-filled 
$13.99
These essential math manipulatives introduce a variety of math topics to the classroom. Each set of 10 different color rods differ in length by 1 cm, offering visual and tactile confirmation of math concepts. A new twist on a favorite math manipulative, Connecting Cuisenaire® Rods snap together, and show unit line increments, making them easy for students to work with. Contains 74 durable plastic rods, an activity guide, and storage tray with lid. 


Education Works carries avast supply of books, workbooks, videos, art supplies, uniforms, educational games, Hawaiiana, furniture, manipulatives and much more.  Many teachers shop here but they are also OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! 
Located in Honolulu Hawaii



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Glass Flower Pot Dessert


A few nights ago we had a few friends over for a garden themed party.  The tomatoes and herbs were all grown in our little garden and the other foods were all bought locally at out farmer's market.  It was a fresh lovely evening dining al fresco.
flowerpot.jpg

I was looking for a dessert that was light and fun and discovered these sweet little terracotta pot shaped glass cups at candles4less.  These little glass votive candle holders are only $6.99 for a set of 12, which is a great deal.  Next, I found on a recipe for a flower pot chocolate dessert from Martha Stewart. I have seen them made in terracotta pots, but I would much rather being eating out of glass, wouldn't you?
 
I made some organic chocolate pudding and poured the mixture into the glass cups and let them set up in the refrigerator.  When I was ready to serve them I added crushed organic chocolate cookies (to look like dirt) and a mint spring too look like the plant.  They were a hit especially with the kids!

I think next time I will add some pure mint extract to the pudding, especially during the holiday season.
Enjoy your gardens and eating outside!

Tropical Traditions Natural Dish Liquid Soap Giveaway


Dish Liquid - 1 gallon
Household Traditions Dish Liquid is another excellent product from Tropical Traditions!
It's free of:
  • Fragrances
  • Dyes
  • Petroleum Solvents
  • Respiratory and Skin irritants
Household Traditions Dish Liquid is an effective and concentrated dish soap developed by and for people with allergies, asthma and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.* Household Traditions Dish Liquid is a coconut-based product—it contains nature’s versatile, renewable harvest. With coconut’s natural moisturizing qualities, washing dishes is even soothing to your hands. Household Traditions Dish Liquid is safe for you but tough on dirty, greasy dishes. It breaks down safely and rapidly making it safer for the environment. It is also low sudsing, making it ideal for camping or other outdoor uses. Household Traditions Dish Liquid is free of fragrances, phosphates, petroleum solvents, chlorine, dyes and other common triggers for respiratory or skin irritations.

I like it a lot.  My dishes are getting really clean plus there is no scent and I can rest assured that there are no harmful chemicals.  Oh, and it's not drying on your hands.

You can experience how nice this dish soap is too.  You can visit Tropical Traditions and order your today and also enter below to win 1 bottle. 

GIVEAWAY
Tropical Traditions is giving away 1 Bottle of Dish Soap
to one Mom's Best Bets reader!


TO ENTER Visit Tropical Traditions and tell me what other product that you like and why.

EXTRA ENTRY:

2 Extra Entry-Review Me on Alexa
1 Extra Entry- Follow Me with Google friend connect
1 Extra Entry -subscribe to Mom's Best Bets
1 Extra Entry -subscribe by email
1 Extra Entry-sign up for TT's newsletter
1 Extra Entry - Follow me on Facebook
1 Extra Entry - Follow me on Twitter and tweet for extra chances
3 Extra Entries if you put my button up on your blog.
3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to me

*This contest ends 9/6
Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm Pacific Time. Winner will be notified via email.Open to US  and Canada only.
*Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me a sample of this product to review.  I was under no obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mom's Best Bet Monday

There are so many great ideas, reviews, and giveaways going on around the blogosphere that it is hard to remember them all. There is something new going on here every Monday that you can be a part of.






Let's share our BEST BET on the Linky or in the comments section below. It could be something you read about, an outrageous recipe, or maybe a product that is outstanding, or an amazing giveaway that you want to share about.

Whatever your best bet is, please share below and we will choose a few to shine in the "Mom's Best Bets Spotlight!"
Here are some best bets from last week to enter:


Monogrammed Backpack Giveaway...Rafflecopter (8/31)   

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Children's Personalized Tooth Fairy Pillow

Children's Personalized Tooth Fairy Pillow
Losing your first tooth is a memorable time and  one of life's great rites of passage. 
My daughter has her first loose tooth and it's hard to believe that her "baby teeth" will soon be replaced my "big girl" permanent teeth.


Children love the excitement surrounding the tooth fairy, so I have searched the Internet to find some cute tooth fairy gifts for your little one.



One of my favorites was on Etsy.com.  The shop is called



They sew things for children such as burp cloths, bibs, art roll-ups and more. They also make personalized frames for all occasions. Everything is one-of-a-kind.
Children's Personalized Tooth Fairy Pillow


Help your child celebrate this with their very own 

personalized Tooth Fairy Pillow I love this pillow.


This pillow measures 7" x 3.5". It can be placed under a pillow or can hang from a bedpost, hook, or doorknob using the attached handle. 

The tooth on the front, with the zipper closure resembling teeth, works as a pouch for your child to put their tooth in at night and for the tooth fairy to put her loot in once the tooth has been collected. Kids love to get a little note from their fairy as well! You can choose from one of the 12 fabric choices. 

It is just too cute and handmade with a little sewn white tooth pocket on the side.  We love ours! 
Check out Cosmic Thimble to see all of their creations and to get your own handmade personalized tooth pillow for only $15.00! 

Infant organic eco swaddle blankets and sleep sacks

safety


Babybonkie manufactures infant swaddle blankets and sleep sacks. 

Babybonkie swaddle blanket is designed to help infants stay wrapped up through the night, allowing more uninterrupted sleep. The innovative design makes swaddling simple thanks to its unique shape and Velcro closures. All Babybonkie swaddles are machine washable.



I loved that they also offer an Ecobonkie in a beautiful patern for boys and girls that are ORGANIC:
EvanEloise


Eloise Ecobonkie Swaddle Blanket
Created for parents who are searching for a healthy alternative to the standard chemical and pesticide treated cotton. By using the purest 100% certified organic cotton, the Ecobonkie swaddle protects baby’s sensitive skin. Our Ecobonkie swaddle blanket is designed to help infants stay wrapped up through the night, allowing more uninterrupted sleep. The innovative design makes swaddling simple thanks to its unique shape and Velcro closures. All Ecobonkies are machine washable.
Purple Floral Print 100% Certified Cotton Organic Fabric Exterior with Cream 100% Certified Organic Cotton Lining
  • Made in the USA
  • Approximate length: 21"
  • Approximate width: 11"
$68

The unique, soft and amazing fabric used is really special and would make the BEST baby shower gift.  My only caution is that the edges of the velco (which aren't near baby) are sharp and you may want to snip the edges. Other than that they are super cute and work!


2

They can be bought at stores around the country in addition to Nordstrom’s, Saks’s, and Barney’s etc.

Visit  
www.babybonkieswaddle.com to see their designs today!

Natural Healthy Skincare for Girls


Good for you Girls - Naturally Good SKin Care for Girls
When buying natural skincare, there are safe ingredients and others you probably want to avoid.  I don't know about you but when I am standing there at the skincare counter it's hard to remember which are good for you and which aren't.  
Here is list of skincare ingredients to avoid:

Yuck!
  • Acrylamides - Thickeners used for a variety of cosmetic purposes. In personal care products, they act as stabilizers to add richness and body. However the material may be a possible human carcinogen because of its potentially harmful impurities. It is already a restricted substance in European cosmetics.
  • Alcohol denat (denatured alcohol) - A petrochemical byproduct. Usually contains benzyl alcohol, making it undrinkable. Can cause systemic eczematous, contact dermatitis and chemical sensitivities. Used in all commercial perfumes, used as solvent.
  • Aluminum ingredients - Skin irritants, linked to Alzheimer's and lung disease.
  • Benzyl alcohol - Harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Severe irritant for eyes, skin and respiratory system. Petrochemical.
  • Bismuth Oxychloride - Bismuth is put in cosmetics because it gives a sheen to the face, is soft to the touch, and is extremely inexpensive. A byproduct of lead and copper refining, bismuth oxychloride is a heavy metal. Heavy metals have been linked to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease.
  • BHA and BHT - Encourages the breakdown of vitamin D, can cause lipid and cholesterol levels to increase. Linked to cancer and endocrine disruption.
  • Diethanolamine - DEA is used as a skin softener and humectant in personal care products. It can be carcinogenic when combined with other ingredients. It's a skin irritant. It's close and dangerous cousins are TEA, and MEA.
  • Ethoxylates - Chemical compounds made as reaction products involving ethylene oxide. Ethoxylated materials include ingredients such as Laureth, Myreth, Ceteth, Ceteareth, Glycereth, etc. Trace contaminants in some ethoxylates have been implicated as potent carcinogens.
  • Formaldehyde - A preservative which includes Imidazolidinyl Urea, Diazolidinyl Urea, DMDM Hydantoin and Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate. A known irritant and potential carcinogen. It is often hidden in other ingredients, banned in Sweden and Japan mainly because of its inability to inhibit the growth of acid producing bacteria and it's implication in cancer.
  • Fragrance - Highly allergenic. Companies do not have to list the chemicals used in fragrances. They contain large quantities of toxins and chemicals not disclosed. Fragrance-free means that fragrance chemicals have been added to the product to mask the natural aromas of the ingredients.
  • Glycol - Often used as solvents for preservatives and other materials. Glycols are potentially irritating and harmful to the skin. Examples are: Propylene, Butylene, Pentylene, Hexylene, and Caprylyl Glycol.
  • MMP (Matrix Metalloproteinase) - An enzyme that breaks down collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. They are involved in wound healing, but also cause premature aging of the skin and tumor cell metastasis.
  • Methylisothiazolinone - An antimicrobial agent found in some shampoos and hand creams and widely used in industrial settings. It inhibits the development of particular neuron structures that are essential for transmitting signals between cells. Prolonged exposure to low levels of methylisothiazolinone (MIT) may have potentially damaging consequences to a developing nervous system.
  • Phthalates - Phthalates are synthetic chemical compounds mainly used as softening agents and to create fragrance. Look out for your plastics - squeeze bottles, shower curtains, soft plastics. Possible carcinogen.
  • Parabens - Parabens are synthetic compounds used as a preservative in most beauty products. You can find them listed as methylparabens, propylparabens, butylparabens, and ethylparabens. Parabens cause many allergic reactions and skin rashes. They have also been found in breast cancer tissue and implicated in a multitude of health problems.
  • PEG (Polyethylene Glycol) - A water soluble polymer used as an emulsifier and plasticizer. Impurities in these materials have been cited as potentially carcinogenic.
  • Petrochemicals - Derived from raw materials of petroleum or natural gas origin. These include materials such as propylene glycol, ethoxylates, acrylamides, mineral oil and polyethylene glycol (PEG).
  • Petrolatum - A derivative also known as petroleum jelly. Petrolatum is very occlusive and can clog pores. Additionally, it provides no nutritive value to the skin and contains no essential fatty acids. Petroleum by-products can pass through the brain barrier and cause ADD/dyslexia symptoms. Acne producing, may be carcinogenic, causes dry skin, respiratory toxins, and may cause dizziness.
  • Phenoxyethanol - A synthetic ether alcohol preservative. Synthetic preservatives are considered by leading dermatological associations to be the number one cause of contact dermatitis.
  • Silicone - A synthetic additive used to provide emolliency. Some forms of silicone such as Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone and Cyclopentasiloxane, Methicone, and Phenyl Trimethicone can be harmful or irritating to the skin.
  • Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulfate - Is used in many soaps, cleansers, and shampoos to enhance the foaming action of a product. It is a common skin irritant and is rapidly absorbed into the heart, liver, brain, and eyes, which can cause long term effects. It has been linked to cataracts in adults and inhibiting proper development of children's eyes.
  • Synthetic Dyes - Synthetic colors are byproducts of the petroleum industry. The molecular structure of these products are so small that they can pass through the brain barrier. This can manifest itself as turning numbers backwards when writing or reading, peeling skin, acne, or ADD symptoms. Many people have allergies to artificial colorings, especially red 40.
  • Talc - Talc has asbestos in it. Asbestos is another dangerous carcinogen. Do not use on babies, linked to ovarian cancer, possible respiratory toxin.
  • TEA (Triethanolamine) - Contains ammonium salts. It is an eye irritant, and sensitizer and is mildly toxic.
What's even easier it to know a brand that avoids all of these chemicals.  I know one: Good for you Girls!
About: Good For You Girls is the leader in all natural and organic skin care specifically formulated for the special needs of young skin. Girls today are bombarded with beauty products that are loaded with chemicals and synthetic ingredients. These chemicals should not be on any ones skin, let alone girls who are going through delicate hormonal changes. At Good For You Girls we believe beautiful skin is achieved the way mother-nature intended, with formulas created from the finest blends of organic extracts and natural botanicals



Contains: Cleanser, Toner, Moisturizer
Our Starter Kit has everything a girl needs to begin a healthy skin care routine. Step 1: Gel Cleanser gets rid of dirt and grime without over-drying or irritation. Step 2: Follow with non-alcohol purifying toner to balance pH and remove bacteria. Step 3: Finish with lightweight moisturizer to help protect from the elements and maintain skins healthy moisture balance.
Three simple steps to giver her a head start to beautiful, healthy skin.

Contains:
2 oz. Gel Cleanser
2 oz. Refreshing Toner
2 oz. Oil-Free Moisturizer


My Thoughts:
These products really work and refresh your skin.  I didn't have any reaction to them at all.  This is also a cute gift that gives you a chance to try all three: cleanser, toner, and moisturizer.  Perfect for your girlfriend or teenager.   The products have very little smell.  I would prefer more of an essential oil scent but that may be just me. Overall, the ingredients are safe and organic.  Good for you!
 
Giveaway: WIN Good for you Girls Kit

**To Enter: Follow Mom's Best Bets on Facebook
Please leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.

Bonus entries: 
*Follow GFYG on Facebook for an additional entry

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The contest will end at 11:59 p.m., 9/10. The winner will be chosen using random.org. U.S. Entries only.
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