Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ECOVER Natural Cleaning Products - Review

Every since I became pregnant with my daughter I have been much more aware of all the chemicals and artificial things that put into products. I have made a conscious effort to try and eliminate as much unnecessary chemicals and artificial ingredients from her life and environment. I can't say I'm perfect... she still eats fruit snacks and other things that don't exactly fall into the healthiest food category. But I like to make changes where I can, no matter how big or small.

ECOVER makes it easy to make a change with your cleaning products. They offer a great variety of products to help keep your home in tip top shape while eliminating unnecessary chemicals and artificial ingredients. Their products also come in plantplastic bottles, which are 100% renewable, reusable, recyclable and made from sugar cane. I think that's pretty cool!

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get to check out one of their safe and effective cleaners. For this review I was sent a bottle of their Pomegranate and Lime Dishwasher Liquid.  With the amount of dishes my family makes this was a welcome product to try!

Upon trying this soap for the first time I noticed that a little goes a long way. You really don't need much on your sponge to get the job done. I also noticed that it wasn't overly bubbly. This made a big difference because once the dish was clean I wasn't rinsing and rinsing over and over to get the remaining bubbles off the dish. I spent less time and less cleaner on a sick full of dishes than I normally would have. And I was pleased with the outcome! The dishes were clean, my glasses were clear. There wasn't any soap scum or other residue left on my dishes.

To me this is a win-win situation. You are using a product that is safe for you, your family, and the environment. It's not tested on animals. It's packaged in materials that are 100% recyclable. And in the end your dishes are clean! I was impressed and I am looking forward to trying more of their products in the future.

* I received this item free of charge for review purposes. However, all opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Stress

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Say Goodbye to Stress 
Manage Your Problems, Big and Small, Every Day 

Inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Jeff Brown of Harvard Medical School. We all have stress in our lives. What differentiates us is how we handle it. The combination of these stories, from people who have learned how to manage stress, and Dr. Brown's practical advice, will have you wondering what you were worried about! Who knew there were so many easy ways to manage your stress?

* My Thoughts *
When this book arrived I took it out of the package and my husband laughed. Then he turned to me and asked if I had requested this one. Yes, it's true... I'm stressed.  I think it's pretty impossible to not have stress in your life. I work part time, I'm a wife and mother full time, my house is always a mess, there is always food shopping to be done, one load of laundry comes out just in time for another to go in.... life is hard.

I think this is a great book for anyone with stress... no matter how much or how littler... how critical or how trivial... to read. It's much smaller than the typical Chicken Soup Books, so you can get through it pretty quickly. It's full of stories that help you realize you're not alone, things could be worse, and that stress can be damaging to your health and relationships. Then there's the advice from Dr. Brown. This is what really helped me. I love reading the stories to feel connected and like I'm not alone, but the stories don't help me cope and manage my own issues every day. Dr. Brown's advice was practical and his tips were things that you really can do in your life to help reduce and manage your stress.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Daddy's Girl

I hope all the dads out there had a wonderful Father's Day this past weekend! We were lucky enough to spend the entire weekend at the lake enjoying time with my husband and my dad. It was perfect!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pear Tree Greetings - Birth Announcements

Announcing the birth of a child is one of the most special moments in a parents life. I remember when my daughter was born how long it took me to pick the perfect announcement. I knew I wanted it to be girly, and fun, and have a place for a photo of her adorable face! I wanted it to be just perfect.

Pear Tree Greetings makes it easy to find the perfect birth announcement. With their wide selection you are sure to find one (or more!) that us just what you are looking for.
With the variety they offer you will find so many different styles. And to take it even further you will find a variety of shapes, including circles, to make a unique touch. They also offer these very cool booklets where you can share even more photos of your precious new baby!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ball Park Franks - Great Moments in Guy Time

Ball Park Franks is offering a really exciting contest on their Facebook page! You can enter to win a $15,000 prize that includes cash and year's supply of groceries. All you have to do is submit a photo of your personal great moment in guy time. Was it your bachelor party? OR a football game with your old college roommates? Show us your guy time!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Enjoy "Royal" Entertainment at The Melting Pot of Westwood, NJ

The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant based in Westwood, N.J.., is hosting a special princess luncheon on Sunday, June 24, 2012 from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Participants will be able to enjoy a delicious fondue lunch, join in a parade as well as take part in numerous craft activities.  

This popular affair draws many children, their families and the young at heart.  In previous princess events, many guests got into the spirit of things by wearing the attire of the time period.  To help guests remember the special day, photographs will be taken at each table with the princess and will be given to the participants.

The cost to take part in the event is $29.95 for adults and $19.95 for children (kids under 3, FREE).  Reservations are recommended, please call the restaurant at (201) 664-8877 and visit

This sounds like it would be right up my daughter's alley! Anything that has to do with princess's is a big hit with her. Not to mention that her daddy and I are big fans of the food! So it's a win-win for the whole family. What a fun day out this could be!

Kidorable Hangers

Have you checked out the adorable items that are offered by Kidorable? This is a great place to go to mix fun and function. I remember as a child I would fight my mom about wearing a raincoat. Now I see the selection of fun raincoats, boots, backpacks, towels, and more that make all of those every day items extra special. My daughter has a boots and raincoat set from them that she begs me to wear even when it's not raining!

With all the fun things they have to offer you will be so excited to learn about a special going on starting today (June 11th) and going on until June 18th. You can receive 20% off your entire order just by purchasing one of their impossibly cute Kidorable Hanger Sets!

All you have to do is enter the coupon code CLEANUP2 at checkout.

My daughter was lucky enough to get to check out the Ballet Hangers in person. She spotted them in the box and fell in love immediately! Right away she asked if she could hang her ballet clothes on these very cute hangers. So off we went to collect her leotards and get them cleaned up and organized in her closet.

As you can see, she was thrilled. Now hanging up her clothes and putting things away can be a little bit more fun! And as a mom I am very happy with the quality. They are sturdy and seem like they will last for years to come.

Head on over to to check out all they have to answer and take advantage of this great opportunity to save 20% off your entire order with the purchase of a set of hangers and the coupon code CLEANUP2!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Celebrate Best Friend's Day!

June 8th is Best Friend's Day! What a great day to celebrate with your nearest and dearest friends. Here is a fun clip from the movie An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for The Stars to help show how important good friends are.

An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for The Stars will be available on DVD on July 3rd!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Daddy's Do It Different - Book Review and Giveaway

As a new father, I often find myself on the receiving end of more than a few scornful looks from my wife whenever I fly solo and handle some of the typical child chores revolving around our daughters--from buttoning onesies (“WRONG! If they don’t line up, you just can’t send her out into the world all crooked.”), to loading up the diaper bag with a few new supplies (“WRONG! Chocolate colored espresso beans do not a park snack make.”), to resting a Red Bull in the car seat next to her so that it won't spill while I am simultaneously driving, texting and scarfing down a chili-cheeseburger.
            Okay, that last one is a joke. However, some of the things I happened to have found funny, innocent, appropriate, or entirely defensible considering the duress of the circumstances I was under at the moment--well, let's just say my wife and I take a different paths to achieve the same goal. (While I might have nipples, I do not have milk and when hungry cries hit the decibel level of an Iron Maiden concert, a man will do all sorts of things to more speedily warm a bottle.)
    Make no mistake. I love my daughters. I cherish my time with my daughters. When each of them was born I instantly realized I would lay down my own life without batting an eye to protect either of my girls from any harm. But there are lots of ways to give a bath, cruise through the aisles at the grocery store or wipe a messy chin, and it didn’t take long for me to see that we live in a new era, one where dads are actively, willingly, lovingly involved in the raising of their young children unlike any prior generation of dads (or so it seems).    Daddies do it… but daddies do it different. (My book title was born from a tagline frequently uttered to my wife as I explained the reasons behind why I did the things I had done in the “unique manner” in which I had done them.)    One way is not necessarily better, or worse . . . it’s just different. My way might be sillier, her way might be more efficient, or vice versa.    In the book I really sought to capture the spirit of fatherly love and joy (and humor) that I so evidently see in society today. Dads love being dads but when called upon to tackle parental tasks, no one should be surprised that the job got done yet, it’s just that, well… Daddies Do It Different. - Written by Alan Sitomer, author of Daddies Do It Different
This books definitely hits home for me! From the moment my daughter was born my husband was a super hands on dad. He tackled diaper changes and was always asking me questions on how to do things. But somehow those answers seemed to go in one ear and out the other. Don't get me wrong... he did great. But just as Alan says, he did it different than I would have.

Throughout this fun story you witness the love and bond between a father and his daughter. The smiles that they both share as they do every day things shows how much they enjoy doing things together. But they are doing everything just a little bit differently than mommy would do. She is well cared for and ends up dressed, gets her bath, and is fed. But when they're done her clothes don't match, the kitchen's a mess, and the bathroom is slightly flooded. It's a wonderful relationship they have! But when it comes to love she knows that mommy and daddy love her the same and that's all that really matters, isn't it?

This book could have been written about our family. My daughter even has a shirt that says "daddy did my hair." Now that's a scary sight! But he adores her and has the best time doing things with her. I often have a bigger mess in the end, but it's worth it for them to have that special time together.

This is the perfect book to share with your husband and child this Father's Day! To learn more about Alan Sitomer you can visit his website. And be sure to check out the next stop on his book tour over at 5 Minutes for Books.  

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Birthday Bash - Magic Cabin

I had a really great time planning my little girl's third birthday party this year. The princess theme was one that we both enjoyed. When I was little I loved princesses and dressing up, and now my little one is enjoying that magical stage. She has an extensive dress up box filled with dresses, jewelry, shoes, hand bags, and more. But she was missing two key items that every royal needs... a royal cape and a sword.

Magic Cabin has so many magical items to offer. When I searched the word princess on their site so many fun things came up. And of course they had just what I was looking for! Their Royal Cape and Wooden Sword were just the things I needed to complete her dress up box!
This royal cape and sword was a huge hit with my daughter. They arrived quickly and just as I expected them. She was eager to get on a beautiful dress and her cape and head out for an adventure. She uses the sword sometimes... but more often she is handing to my husband to fight off a dragon! I love watching her imagination run wild as she transports herself... and us... to magical places. It's priceless to see and be a part of.

I often turn to Magic Cabin for unique and special items. Their belief in letting children use their imagination and having open-ended play means a lot to me. They offer simple, natural, toys and crafts that support a child's ability to take part in some good old fashioned make believe!
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*I received one or more items for review purposes. However, all opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Birthday Bash - Little One Books

Sometimes finding the perfect gift for a child's birthday is tough. Even more so if you don't have little ones that age in your home. As we are all aware, books make great gifts. My daughter loves to look at books and have me read to her. But very often I receive books that are either too young or too old. 

Little One Books gives you a place to turn for information to help guide you in the right direction for your children or a child you are  shopping for. Little One Books offers a great selection of books, DVD's and CD's for children ages birth to 5 that isn't too overwhelming. They have broken everything into appropriate age categories to get you headed down the right path.  But they have taken it a step further and provided a brief section that explains why they have chosen to offer each individual item.  Everything about this site is really well done! It's easy to navigate and full of useful information! 

Little One Books was kind enough to be a part of our Birthday Bash! For this review they sent me a book I just new my daughter would love. Walt Disney's Classic Storybook with 17 of some of the most beloved stories. With my daughter being such a huge fan of Disney I knew that she would love flipping though to see familiar faces and settling in for story time with me.
On the Little One Books site Audra writes a lovely piece about why this book was selected to be a part of their site. She talks about how the characters are familiar, the stories offer great opportunities for asking questions and starting conversations, and how the book can be enjoyed for many years. I feel the same way! My daughter love to point to different characters and tell me their names. She's even familiar enough with some of the stories to tell me what's happening in the picture. It's magical for both of us!

I look forward to enjoying these stories with my daughter for years to come. Each story allows me to relive my childhood while viewing the magic through my young daughter's eyes. Check out this book and all the other great selections at Little One Books!

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* I received a free book from the company for this review. However, all opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way.