Monday, December 7

Have a Very SweetPea Christmas

Remember this review? We tried the SweetPea3 out about a year ago and have been in love with it ever since. Buttercup might still prefer to throw tantrums when I don't give her Mama's Zune, but why make myself a nervous wreck when I can hand her a toddler-proof mp3 player and breathe easy?

I am so in love with the concept that I recently purchased one for my girlfriend's daughter for her first birthday. Mom and Dad report that they will eventually let their little girl play with it since Dad is having too much fun testing it out.

If you saw the original review or are falling in love with the SweetPea3 now, listen up because I've got a chance for one lucky reader to win a SwetPea3 of their own, in their choice of color, just in time for Christmas! Mr. Dan Lemay, the creator of the SweetPea3, has recently posted a video on YouTube.

Check the video out and if you think that your mom, sister, best friend, or neighbor might be interested in learning about the SweetPea3, forward them the link. You receive one contest entry for every single time you forward this link on to someone else.

All I ask is that you 1) CC me on every single email you send at (berriesweet dot info at gmail dot com) in order for the entry to count and be sure that the email contains your online ID so I can connect the dots. Rest assured I will delete every single one upon completion of the contest and that this is just a way for me to make sure that the contest entries are fair and legitimate, and 2) Leave comments on this blog post! Leave one for every round of emails you send out. Leave one telling me why you adore the SweetPea3 you already own or why you think your niecve or nephew would go crazy if you won the contest!

The contest is open to anyone 18 years and older and is limited to those living in the United States and Canada. You've got one week to email the world and the sky's the limit on this contest because if you email 500 friends, you've got 500 entries. Contest ends at midnight, Eastern Standard Time, on Dec. 14. Winner will be selected at random.

So get ready, get set, and win that SweetPea3!

Saturday, December 5

(Almost) goodbye

It's time for a sad announcement for me. I've been so busy trying to get my writing off the ground and concentrating on my writing-centric blogs that i've been neglecting to post here or to even attempt to find new and exciting items to review.
I have a few left to take care of contest and review-wise...so I'm going to take care of that and then call it a day.
Maybe I'll start this up again in a new format...I've got some ideas. But for now, this is (almost) goodbye on this blog.
It's been a great run!

Sunday, November 8

The Jimmies rocked my House

I get requests to review kiddie music All. The. Time. But because the blog is called Berrie Sweet Picks and not Berrie Sucky Picks, I call my therapist after having endured the mind-numbing stuff I wouldn't force on my own child, let alone yours, and then wait patiently for something that doesn't suck to show up in my mail box.

And instead of having to try to figure out a nice way to tell a PR person and/or musician that I, um, didn't think their music was a "good fit" for my audience, I am instead trying to figure out how many times I can call The Jimmies "like, you know, totally cool" without sounding like a valley girl because they are just that good.

Here's the deal: We got to check out The Jimmies' brand-spankin' new DVD Trying Funny Stuff and their kickin' CD Make Your Own Someday. First off, the titles are catchy and fun. Second, I squealed a little too loudly when Buttercup asked for her new "Muskik Cho" to play again. Third, The Husband thinks they are "cool." And fourth, I get a lot of stuff for free and would more than gladly pay my own bucks to stock up Buttercup's musical collection with all things "Jimmies."

The group, fronted by mastermind and uber-cool Ashley Albert, is getting rave reviews from blogging parents who are as picky as I am and wining awards left and right. The collection features real songs that parents and kids will find themselves singing together, a 45-minute DVD that I may have liked more than Buttercup (and she liked it a LOT), a bonus live CD, and a "Film 101" behind-the-scenes documentary on how the videos were made.

And of course, there are always the lessons. It's kiddie stuff, so it's a given that they'd be part of the package. But it takes a genius to incorporate them in such a fun way that they kids don't realize they are actually learning. With the musical cherry on top of the proverbial sundae, The Jimmies are in the process of being immortalized in my Zune playlist and Buttercup's iTunes "Play Time" list. I can't do much about the DVD, since Buttercup thought it was so much fun she actually ran off with it and shoved it into her toy box so her toys and "Jimmies" could get to know each other.

And that my friends, is the highest compliment any two-year-old can bestow.

Tuesday, October 27

Rock out with Lullabies for Baby!


Buttercup and I share a love of music and it's a bond I cherish. My little girl was humming "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star" at 10 months, is begging Santa for a piano at two-years-old, and loves to try playing her daddy's old guitar.

I say she's destined for Broadway. But for now, I'm content to sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" as many times as she requests. Okay, okay, so even a big music lover like myself can get a bit tired of the kiddie songs that come standard with Toddler Territory, so getting the chance to listen to some Aerosmith with Buttercup tonight was a huge treat for both of us. It was awesome; she fell asleep and I couldn't stop smiling.

And no, I did not deafen my daughter to sleep with rock legends blaring on the iPod. It was really a much more soothing experience thanks to Rockabye Baby! The company, which specializes in lullabye renditions of music parents actually want to listen to like AC/DC, Green Day, Queen, The Beatles, and Coldplay, was gracious enough to send me a review copy of the newest addition to their library, which includes liner notes by Steve Tyler!

It's.Just.Awesome. And I'll tell ya, listening to "Dude (Looks Like a Lady), and "Walk This Way," in a genius rendition soothing enough to almost lull me to sleep but so good I could hear the lyrics in my head was just the coolest musical experience I've had since becoming a mother.

My husband loves it, too, and we're already planning on adding to our collection. I see Metallica in Buttercup's future. (And I'm going to admit here and now that I'm adding the Aerosmith collection to my own mp3 player for those crazy moments when Mama needs some soothing of her own.)

So who wants to call dibs on cool music for your kid that you can't wait to tell your own friends about?

To enter, simply visit the site and leave a comment telling me which CD you'd love to get if you are selected the winner. Please note that the winner also has the option to choose the new green Digital Download Card option instead of a traditional CD. Make sure to include your email or Twitter ID so I can contact you if you are selected as winner. Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on Nov. 3, 2009 and winners have four days to respond or an alternate will be selected.This contest is limited to US residents only, and to those 18 years and older.

Additional extra entries are also available if you:
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Tweet about this contest and leave me a comment with the tweet.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest at berriesweet.info (at) gmail (dot) com and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!

Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address or Twitter ID to be considered for the drawing! That means that well, all entries must include an email address or Twitter ID to be considered valid. Simple enough, right? ;)

Monday, October 26

Sweet Sunday


One of my favorite books when I was a kid was a sing-along version of "Turkey in the Straw," complete with the cassette tape that allowed me to belt out the tunes as I flipped the pages. I was off-key, probably hurting the dogs ears, and happy as happy can be. Because right in front of me, I had my two favorite things in the whole world: Music and words.

Times have changed, but the power of music and the magic of a storybook are still enough to delight any child. Take our recent experience with Sunday in Kyoto, the new children's storybook-music CD from the award-winning publisher, The Secret Mountain. It's set for release tomorrow, Oct. 27, and Buttercup were given the opportunity to take a sneak peek, and oh what a peek it was.

Sunday in Kyoto features illustrations by Stephanie Jorisch, who has created sets for Le Cirque de Soleil, and songs by Gilles Vigneault, a central Canadian music figure. Vineault also wrote the 14 pages of text for the story, capturing his love of nature, culture, and travel, while telling the story of a Cajun musician enjoying a Sunday afternoon jam session in Kyoto with friends from far away places.

Sounds great to parents, but what's this all mean to kid? And to an American, at that, one who has never heard of these famous artists? Buttercup will tell you...it's magic. The combination of all creative talent fused into this one musical story-telling event is enough to whisk my two-year-old to a magical place where T.V., toys, and afternoon tantrums don't exist.

And I have to smile each time she tugs on my shirt and looks up with an expectant smile on her face. "Music story, mama. Please?"


Sunday in Kyoto will be released tomorrow. You can get more information by clicking here.



Monday, October 5

Stuff those stockings with Prima Princessa!

I love it when I'm right. Last year, right about this time, I had the pleasure of reviewing a brand new DVD produced by two moms called Prima Princessa presents Swan Lake. It's a sweet little production designed to introduce little girls to the world of ballet with a fairy princess ballerina named Prima Princessa as the star of the show.

What's not to like? So I was pretty excited when Prima Princessa present The Nutcracker arrived in my mail box. Ijust knew that this was going to turn into a successful series!

As in the original DVD, Prima Princessa transports a group of pre-school girls to see a professional baller performance. And what's better than The Nutcracker for the upcoming Christmas season?

Prima Princessa narrates the story (which makes it a lot more interesting for me, too, and now I actually can say I understand the story behind the performance!) and seems to know exactly when to break to allow her young charges time to practice the ballet moves they've learned. That little intermission gives Buttercup time to play, pretend, and laugh along with the girls on TV.

Prima Princessa presents The Nutcracker is definitely going to be played a lot as the holidays draw closer, and each time Buttercup gets more and more excited when the opening credits start up. Why not order now and stow it away for a sweet little Christmas stocking stuffer for your own little princess?

And an FYI from one mom to another---make sure the volume is turned off on your computer speakers before checking out the product site. I'm a huge Prima Princessa fan, but am not crazy about sites that automatically start talking to me (and Prima Princessa has a lot to say!), especially since I do a lot of online shopping when the family is asleep. So if you wanna keep it a surprise, and I'm sure you do, just hit "mute" and make it a Merry Christmas!

Saturday, October 3

Fun with Charlie


Buttercup might be all about princesses and butterflies right now, but the girly-girl in her can't seem to resist the universal call of dinosaurs that seems to attract all kids from the age of two on up.

And while she may be too young to question how she got here or where the dinosaurs went, she is not too young to enjoy learning as she grows and having fun with both every day.

Enter Charlie's Playhouse: A super-smart company with the aim to provide children and educators with fun learning tools to help teach children about evolution. Buttercup and I were treated to the Giant Timeline Floormat ($49) which she fell in love with as soon as she realized her "Dinos!" were a primary focus. This illustrated, walk-on play mat is one smart toy. Kids ages 4-10 can sit and read it like a book, stand it up like a fort, and spread it across the living room floor for an 18 foot lesson spanning 600 million years!

The Giant Timeline Floormat is printed on enviromentally-friendly and durable synthetic paper, can be cleaned with a damp cloth, and is printed in the USA. What's not to love?

Wednesday, September 30

AP moms need Honeychunks

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know I'm in love with Honeychunks, an online boutique owned and operated by an attachment parenting Michigan mama.

I found her site through an online search a little over a year ago and then learned that she lives right around the corner from me! Well, I've since moved across the country, but I still make a point to stop by Honeychunks when the need arises.

Buttercup is getting into her "mothering" stage. She's two now, and wants to mimic what she sees and emulate what she knows. And well, in our house, that's co-sleeping, cloth diapering, and Time Outs for misbehaving.

Enter Honeychunks. When my mother pointed out that trying to button a full-sized cloth diaper onto one of Buttercup's many dolls was pretty much pointless, I got online and immediately ordered a few of the doll-sized cloth diapers for Buttercup to indulge her AP tendencies. We couldn't be happier. They're handmade, cute, and priced perfectly.

And in case you're wondering, the photo in this post is of her teddy in Time Out for not behaving during his diaper change.

Friday, September 11

Tie-Dye kits and fun for the family!


I remember thinking Tie Dye was the coolest thing since sliced bread when I was a kid. Looks like some things never change.

My husband helped me this weekend with the creation of a few Tie Dye masterpieces for our Buttercup. And I have to admit that the process was fun and the results worth the effort!

Jacquard Products, the makers behind the popular and award-winning Tie Dye and Funky Groovy Tie Dye Kits, have created an easy and fun way for families to achieve stunning results together, inspiring tons of creativity!

My husband did the majority of the work since I'm allergic to the rubber gloves and dye, so I happily snapped pictures as he went to work soaking the T-shirts in soda ash, mixing and applying the dyes, and then setting them out to dry for 24 hours in our garage.

This afternoon all he had to do was rinse and wash them, and after air-drying for about 30 minutes in the desert sun, Buttercup had five new reasons to smile. Click here for a list of places you can buy these great kits from Jacquard Products.

Buttercup's a bit too young to appreciate the experience as a bonding one, but my husband and I will always be able to tell you that the shirt she is wearing was made in our kitchen sink our first fall in Arizona and that we couldn't stop smiling at how her face brightened when she got to wear her "rainbow" for the very first time. She calls it her new shirt. We call it a great memory.




One lucky readers gets to have a blast with their own kids with a Tie Dye Kit of their own!

To enter, simply visit the Jacquard site and name one other item you would be interested in learning more about. Make sure to include your email or Twitter ID so I can contact you if you are selected as winner. Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on Sept. 18, 2009 and winners have four days to respond or an alternate will be selected.This contest is limited to US residents only, and to those 18 years and older.

Additional extra entries are also available if you:
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Tweet about this contest and leave me a comment with the tweet.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest at berriesweet.info (at) gmail (dot) com and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!

Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address or Twitter ID to be considered for the drawing! That means that well, all entries must include an email address or Twitter ID to be considered valid. Simple enough, right? ;)

Monday, September 7

Have fun Around the Table!


We're all busy. I know I am...Heaven knows it''s taken me forever and a day to get this post up with all of the daily challenges presented as a work at home mother. So how do we stay connected to our kids? When do we have time to learn what's going on in their lives?

The award-winning Around The Table Games company sent me a great new game concept to try out, and I happily passed it on to my friend Jill and her daughter Jordan, 6. Owner Beth Daniels can look forward to plenty of personal purchases from yours truly as Buttercup gets older. Her new line of games, which inspire and facilitate open-ended conversations with our kids, were actually inspired by her own.

Camp Talk, Buddy Talk, and Teen Talk encourage kids to engage in colorful conversations with new friends or learn things they never knew about old pals and family members. It's smartly designed, with a carabener clip to attach to a backpack or purse, and makes for great conversation starts on the first day of school or on the way to a field trip.

Jordan reports that her friends at school love Buddy Talk, and Jordan loves being able to have a built-in reason for making new ones. All she has to ask is ""Who wants to play a game?" With questions like "What's your favorite thing about summer break?"and "I you could have picked your own name, what would it be?" it works every time.

I'd also recommend Family Talk to try at home with your kids. Save it for a rainy day when the kids are moping about nothing to do or for that long car ride to visit the family. Sure beats 103 games of Eye-Spy in a row and you'll learn so much on the way!
And guess what? One lucky Berrie Sweet Picks reader (US shipping adress only and 18 and older) gets to choose their favorite Around The Table Game to try for themselves!
To enter, simply visit the site and let me know which game you would choose and why! Make sure to include your email or Twitter ID so I can contact you if you are selected as winner. Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on Sept. 14, 2009 and winners have four days to respond or an alternate will be selected.
Additional extra entries are also available if you:
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest at berriesweet.info (at) gmail (dot) com and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!
Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address or Twitter ID to be considered for the drawing! That means that well, all entries must include an email address or Twitter ID to be considered valid. Simple enough, right? ;)

Saturday, September 5

It's time to Potty!

You'll be seeing a lot of potty training related posts in the next litthe while since we are deep in the midst of Buttercup's PT University.

I've had a potty chair in the bathroom for almost a year now just so she could sit when she wanted and get used to it being there. I waited until she turned 2 to get busy after taking a minute to make sure she was showing signs of readiness.

One nifty little contraption is the Potty Watch from One Step Ahead. It's cheap (10 bucks!), cute (I got the pink one!), and makes it fun for kids with musical reminders for when it's time to try and potty. We set ours for every 30 minutes right now, and it's working a lot better than the battle of wills that ensues every time I asked if she wanted to try going potty. Just make sure to save the directions. I've had to refer to them a few times to refresh my memory on how to access the different modes available.

Tuesday, September 1

Time for a change

Don't freak! I'm not going anywhere...
Well, okay, so I am. But I plan on taking you with me.
I've decided to take the plunge and move the blog over to wordpress. I've got another blog over there and think things will run a little more smoothly once things are settled. So for now, I'm still posting here until I find someone to help make the transition a smooth one.

Friday, August 28

Need a time out from time outs? Try this!


You know I live me some boon inc., so it goes without saying I heart the Time out Pad from Keen Distribution.

I never imagined myself the Time Out type, but they work wonders for curbing Buttercup's bad behavior. All I do is pop her little butt on the Time Out Pad, set the timer, and walk away. The smart little pressure pad sets off an alarm if she gets up before she's supposed to, and rewards her with a happy little jingle when she waits out her whole Time Out.

I use the "one minute per child's age" rule, so Buttercup gets two minutes on the pad, and I get two minutes to have a shouting match in my head. When it's all over, we hug, she apologizes, and I'm ready to do the Mommy-thing again.

Wednesday, August 26

Get Earth-friendly with CVS


Green is good. Thankfully, more and more companies are realizing that.

CVS/Pharmacy recently launched an eco-friendly line of recycled and biodegradable products and were kind enough to send me some for review. Earth Essentials offers consumes a variety of options for green-friendly get-togethers like bowls and plates made from biodegradable sugar cane, napkins and bathroom tissue endorsed by Greenpeace, and garbage bags that erase the guilt.

All products are very affordable (99 cents to $8.99) and easy on the planet.


Monday, August 24

Beaded bliss with MJennings Designs

If you want to get a head start on Christmas shopping for the women in your life, I'd like to recommend Mjennings Designs. Forget the lines and the hassle of trying to buy what everyone else is getting. Instead, take a look at this talented designer's site and I'm sure you'll find something you like for a niece, sister, or maybe yourself!

Christenings, school spirit, Greek pride, and holidays are also covered. There's plenty to choose from, and if you don't see what you like, send an email and request a custom creation!

We were lucky enough to receive a beautiful necklace for my niece that she proudly wears to school and for special occasions. It's gorgeous, and so is every item I have been browsing on the Mjennings Designs site.

I can't post a picture, but I can supply this link to the current Child-size collection, perfect for the little girl in your life.

Friday, August 21

Stay One Step Ahead while traveling with little ones

Have I mentioned lately how much I love One Step Ahead? The catalog and web site are phenomenal for one-stop-shopping from the comfort of my home for everything imaginable!

I know it's been a while since I moved cross-country from Michigan to Arizona, but I just had to make the time to share with all of you the items One Step Ahead was kind enough to provide us with in the hopes of making Buttercup's trip a little less stressful while flying with her Grandma.


I simply adore this diaper bag. It's light, easy to use, and holds an unbelievable amount of stuff. Thanks to the asymentrical shape, my mom was able to manuever through the airport with Buttercup in one arm and the diaper bag on her other without any discomfort at all. It's designed to distribute weight across the entire back, which is genius (and comfortable!)
My mother was able to fill the diaper bag with enough diapers, changes of clothing, snacks, sippy cups, and toys to keep Buttercup entertained on the way to meet me at our new home. I'm still using the Deluxe Healthy Back Diaper Bag, and highly recommend it.




Matching colors and Texture puzzle
This one was a life-saver in the airport terminal while waiting for the connecting flight. The Matching Colors and Texture puzzle helps teach kids as young as 12 months about colors, words, textures, and problem solving skills. You get 40-pieces with one side featuring an image and the other featuring a matching color and texture. Buttercup's favorite is the shiny silver fish!
We make the most out of this award-winning toy by providing Buttercup with five pairs at a time. The rest are put away and only taken out of the box when it's time to switch things up. This way it's always new for her and I don't have to worry about leaving half of the puzzle pieces in a random airport!



This clock saved my sanity while traveling from Michigan to New Mexico and back again and got some extra use when we finally arrived in Arizona. I'm one of those people who cannot sleep unless I have some background noise, like soft music or white noise, and this alarm clock fits the bill and it seems that my daughter sleeps better when we have something playing, too.
Buttercup and I were able to sleep soundly together in our hotel room on our trips, and it took up minimal room in the carry-on.
And since she still sleeps with me, my husband loves that our little girl's soothing night time clock alo gets him out of bed and to work on time! This is definitely one item that's not going to be outgrown any time soon.
Sounds include white noice, heartbeat,. rainfall, and more. The clock comes with an AC adapter and also runs on four AA batteries.



Baby B'air
Safety is just as important in the air as it is on the ground. And I will never understand why it's acceptable to travel with an unsecured child in your lap while in a plane.
We experienced turbulance more than once on the many flights we have taken in the past six months, and I've always been grateful that Buttercup was safe and secure in my arms with the Baby B'Air.
This incredible product exceeds FAA standards and is approved for the cruising portion of your flight when turbulance is most likely to occur. Just make sure to order ahead of time so you have it ready in the diaper bag before you leave for your own trip!

Thursday, August 20

Have a Poof-tastic Halloween!



The days are (sorta) getting on the cooler side as summer comes to a close. And that means that before we all know it, we' are going to be bombarded with the coming holidays.

First up is Halloween. I'm sure you've already seen advertisements for some super cute costumes for little ones in catalogs and in some of the stores. But have you seen Prissy Poofs? Buttercup and I absolutely love the cutesy and fun ballerina-inspired world of make-believe fun these little outfits provide.

Prissy Poofs was kind enough to send Buttercup a Patriotic Poof, which she proudly donned for the holiday festivities. And they are also going one step above and offering one lucky reader the chance to choose their choice of Spooky-Poof for Halloween! (Everybody say "THANK YOU!")

These are really cute and a sure-fire way to help your little girl stand out from the crowd while trick-or-treating. My favorites are the Lucky Pony Poof, the Bumblebee Poof, and the Ladybug Poof. Trust me, if Buttercup saw a photo of that one, I wouldn't hear the end of it until the "Lah-dee bug" showed up in the mail.

To enter, simply visit the site and let me know which Spooky-poof you would choose (and what size) if selected the winner. Make sure to include your email or Twitter ID so I can contact you if you are selected as winner. Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on August 28, 2009 and winners have four days to respond or an alternate will be selected. Please note that the contest is limited to the United States only. You must be 18 years or older to enter.

Additional extra entries are also available if you:
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest at berriesweet.info (at) gmail (dot) com and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!

Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address or Twitter ID to be considered for the drawing! That means that well, all entries must include an email address or Twitter ID to be considered valid. Simple enough, right? ;)

Tuesday, August 11

Homemade is perfect with Kidcards!


Since starting Berrie Sweet Picks, I've had the wonderful opportunity to come across a variety of incredible products for children. Sometimes, though, I'm just floored with the ingenuity of a particular product. There are a few stars that shine a little brighter in my opinion, and this little gem is definitely one of them.

I was recently provided with a set of KidCards, which of course, were invented by a very smart Ohio mom named Melissa Mara. So what is it (aside from super awesome?) KidCards are the very reason I'm no longer buying my Thank you cards, birthday cards, or even Christmas cards in the pharmacy Hallmark section anymore. Sure, it might take me 30 minutes to choose "just the right" card for the recipient, but anything I buy in the store is going to pale in comparison to the creative genius that Buttercup throws into coloring a card instead.

Sure, the item description says that the younger card set is recommended for ages three and up, but my two-year-old LOVES to color, and I see no problem with sitting by her and her art supplies while her face lights up at the chance to "make a pretty" for a loved one.

Recently, a friend of ours was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and my first instinct was to run out to the store and buy a "Thinking of You" card. With keys in hand, I was ready to run out the door. But then I remembered the KidCards, and turned right around and walked back into the kitchen. Buttercup had a chance to get creative, and our friend was ever-so-thankful when he called to let us know that he had received Buttercup's artwork in the mail.

It's really a great idea. For about $18, you get a spiral-bound notebook with pre-drawn greeting cards. All your little artist needs to do is grab their markers, crayons, or paint set and go to town.
What's really smart is the included envelope set, making it super easy to stick a stamp on it and throw it in the mail box!

Take a look and seriously order a set! Your kids will love it and so will each and every person you receives one of these sweet cards in the mail.


For more information visit www.kidcards.org or call the company at 216-570-5019

Monday, August 10

Berrie Sweet Updates

Listen up, ladies. I finally got off my duff and wrote my blog disclosure. With so much happening right now in the world of blogging and the legalities of who gave what to whom and whether or not whom told their readers, this is something I know I have needed to do for a while.

So readers and sponsors, if you are interested, here is the link.

I've also decided to keep Berrie Sweet Picks running for the time being. I am in the process of starting a new writer-mama-centric blog to chronicle my life as an aspiring author, and in an effort to keep my product reviews separate for now, I will continue to keep things as they are.

I'll keep you all posted on my journey as there are still plenty of decisions to make. Do I stay here or move to wordpress? Do I eventually combine my reviews with my personal blog? Do I keep Berrie Sweet Picks up and running forever? I'm not sure yet. But I can tell you that for now, nothing is changing. When it does, you will be the first to know.

Tuesday, August 4

Pretty and natural...and good for your little girl


With all of the attention on organic foods for babies and children, sometimes I forget that what goes ON the body is just as important as what goes IN. Thanks to Sparklehearts, young girls now have a safe and pure option for skincare.

Their press release really caught my attention with the following information: "Most girls would wince in disgust if you told them their favorite body wash contained a chemical that is produced by boiling bugs (called carmine.) And, most parents would wince in disgust if you told them their daughter’s body lotion contained sulfates, phthalates and dozens of toxins and chemicals."

This is where I shuddered and said "yuck!"

Jordan, my favorite little reviewer, gave the bubble bath a try and happily called me soon after to report that it smelled good and made her skin feel soft. And most important to this six-year-old? "The bubbles last a long time!"

This is all good news, of course, but what especially impresses me is that Sparklehearts products are made from 99.6% natural ingredients and contain no harmful toxins or nasty surprise ingredients. Instead, your little girl can indulge herself as she pleases with essential oils, violet extracts, Shea butter, and other natural ingredients.

The best part, of course, is that the moms behind Sparklehearts created a product that is both natural and safe as well as prettily packaged so as to appeal to their dedicated young consumers. Who doesn't like pretty? Especially when it's natural?

Check out Sparklehearts for more information and learn how to stay away from "Skinemies!"



Sunday, August 2

Sustain your lifestyle with Sustain Stores


I live in the desert and am pretty far away from a lot of the conveniences I was used to in the Midwest. Since moving to Arizona, I've come to rely on a lot of Internet shopping to save on gas and time wasted driving. One of my newest and most favorite places to shop online is the super green and well-priced Sustain Stores site. Sustain is 100% committed to providing customers with well-priced, Eco-friendly options in order to live a--you guessed it!--more sustainable life.

The best part? Sustain co-creators and brothers Tim and Mark Appleberry independently verify all Eco-friendly claims for all products they sell on their site. That's commitment!

I had the opportunity to try the Evolve Roadrunner Optimized Shower Head, priced at $39.95. With four adults in my household, it's become increasingly important to me to conserve water for both environmental and budgeting reasons. This shower head is perfect for that. Not only does the Roadrunner save nearly eight gallons of water for every five minutes in the shower, estimated yearly savings top $200 on the water bill!

We've been using ours for a few months now and couldn't be happier.

Be sure to check out the Sustain Stores site for their Top Five under $25 section for wonderful ideas for you, your home, and those you love.

Wednesday, July 29

Want prime time summer fun? Try Prime Time toys!


Coming from Michigan, it's a whole new world here with Arizona summers. "Cool" is 90 degrees! So when I was asked to take a look at the new Prime Time Toys Water Toys, I had to say yes.

Prime Time offers four new styles for different age groups: The original Max Liquidator, the Critter Blaster, the Monster Blaster, and the Blaster Board, as well as a variety of other styles. After looking over the recommended age ranges, I decided to try out the Critter Blaster for some friends with older kids. J and G were more than happy to cool off in the name of a good product review, and their mom Jill reports that the Critter Blasters are a perfect way to burn off some energy and beat the heat!

I'm hoping Prime Time still has this one available (or even a newer version!) when Buttercup hits the recommended age of four years and up. And as a mom who wants to teach her child to respect the difference between real and pretend weapons, I'm extremely pleased that the company got creative with their product naming and avoided the word "gun" in their titles.

The Critter Blasters are nicely priced at $5.99 a piece, and come in fun designs like a dolphin or a hermit crab. I'm thinking I may order a few of these as birthday gifts for the summer parties Buttercup already has on her social calendar.

My only complaint is that in order to view the company's online catalog, you need to sign up for a password and wait 24 to 48 hours in order to get going. But a quick look on Amazon and you've got every imaginable way to help a good old-fashioned water fight get going right at your fingertips.

Wanna make a splash? Check out Prime Time Toys!

Wednesday, July 22

Will you still love me in the morning?

In the midst of my life doing the crazy dance right before my very eyes, I'm still thinking I need to change the direction of my blog just a teensy little bit and combine all three I (try) to manage into one.

Really.

Life.Would.Be.So.Much.Easier.

It's hard enough keeping up with one, but three? I'm an idiot! And then when you figure in the fact that I'm not making any money of of any of the blogs (seriously! No dinero accepted here for reviews!) and that I either have too many products to review and can't keep up or not enough and then find myself trolling for products to keep content fresh...well you can start to see why I sometimes feel cheap and dirty.

Don't get me wrong! I'm still going to do product reviews. I love that I can help recommend something I have tried to a friend with a need and be in the position to give a totally honest opinion. I love sharing reviews and contests with all of you! But that being said...My current format takes me right back to feeling cheap and dirty. All Ido here is review. I save the personal stuff for Deadlines and Diapers and the stuff about dealing with a Celiac Kid over in that neat little compartment. Sure, it was my original intention to keep things apart, but as time has gone on I'm thinking that I need to sound a little less like a constantly running informercial---and the only way I can do that is to incorporate my personal stuff in here too!

Before I do anything though, I'm finishing up the reviews I have committed to do, and then I can get going on a new and improved version of my bloggy life. Tell me, will you still love me in the morning?

Tuesday, July 21

Hello world!

Yep, I'm still here! I just wanted to pop in and let you all know that I'm busy trying products out, taking photos, and catching up on emails in order to get back on track and start posting reviews and contests soon!
Stay tuned! I've got a cool reviews from Prime Time Toys and Sparklehearts coming soon!

Monday, July 20

*Tapping Mic* Is this thing on?

Dear readers and oh so sweet sponsors, thank you for not ending up on my doorstep and stoning me for disappearing for so long!

I didn't intend for my blogging break to last over a month, and I'm sure neither of you did, either. I can't get into too many details on what happened, but I can say that in the past 6 weeks I've been to Michigan and Manhattan in the hopes of setting a grave family matter to rest. And don't think I've just been ignoring you! Oh no no, dear readers...Buttercup is now more attached to my sister and dog than she is to me, my dishes are laughing at me as I try to catch up on housework, and I've probably gained back the 20 pounds I tried losing with all the stress-induced eating I've been doing since I disappeared.

In short, I've neglected a lot of responsibilities, and I finally have the peace I've been looking for and the time to get back into my normal routine.

So if you are still with me, please be just a little more patient as I trudge through emails that need to be answered, sponsors that need to know I'm not running off to Aruba with a load of free baby products, and contests prizes that need to be distributed! (And then there's the reintroducing myself to my child thing...)

Berries is B-A-C-K!~ Who's with me?

Thursday, June 11

Berries and her family emergency

I can't get into many details, but I have gone AWOL on blogging here (and my other blogs) due to a major family emergency that has had me running around like crazy for the past two weeks and now packing for an unplanned trip to Detroit on Friday.

Buttercup's second birthday is the day I have to leave (she's staying here with her Abuela) and I feel horrible for having to run out on her special day, reschedule her birthday party, and plopping her in front of the TV (even if it was Noggin) to keep her occupied while I went nuts trying to handle the load of crazy I currently have on my plate.

I know I have contests to finish up and sponsors to contact in order to get prizes out, and I promise to do so as soon as humanly possible. As for reviews and contests that still need to be posted, I can only ask for patience and forgiveness from my sponsors for not having had a chance to get the posts online and properly publicize them.

I have every intention of seeing my product review responsibilities through, and am only asking for understanding from my readers. If I can take the laptop with me on the trip and sit down for five minutes, I promise to get the ball rolling again. Hopefully things will calm down enough by the time I land back in Tucson on June 17 so I can get back on track.

And thank you to everyone reading this in advance.

Tuesday, June 2

Why Berries is going (slightly) less crazy

Life in Berrie-land is unusually crazy right now. I've got family drama up the booty, a husband who is working so many hours I may as well be single, and no maid, nanny, ghost-writer, or clone to pick up any of the slack.

In fact, I'm sitting here at 9:45 p.m. wondering why the hell I am blogging instead of sweeping, swiffering, unloading and reloading the dishwasher, folding the laundry, or making the hubby his lunch for work tomorrow.

That's right, folks...when Buttercup goes to bed, Mommy clocks in.

But back to the reason I actually stopped trying to make my house look like less of a nightmare and decided to log in: Deadlines and Diapers, Berrie Sweet Picks, and The Celiac Kid will (hopefully soon) be no longer. Now, don't freak out! I know you need a daily dose of me to stay sane.

Riiiight!

I'm not going anywhere...I'm just in the process of getting a new domain, switching over to wordpress, and combining all three blogs. Trying to keep up with three with any kind of regularity is a nightmare, and it just makes more sense to be able to sit down at one place and cover it all. Contest, reviews, life as a mommy to a Celiac Kid and wife to Celiac Dad, and everything else...

*sigh*

I feel so much better now that I have officially made the decision to stop going crazy!

So please be patient! I will try to keep posting on all blogs until the process is complete. Stay tuned for the new blog name!

(I'm also in the process of starting an entirely NEW and separate blog...but that is a new topic, a separate post, and just one more reason why I am a permanent resident in the mental ward.)

Sunday, May 31

EcoStore USA is truly eco-friendly

I've admitted to not exactly being the greenest mom around. Not every plastic bottle makes it into the recycling container. Lights don't always get shut off when I leave a room. But I am trying and I know that every little bit helps when it comes to contributing to the welfare of our planet.

Thankfully, sponsors are taking notice of my attempts to "go greener" and I recently received a few natural cleaning products from EcoStore USA to try out in my home. I have stated on my blog time and time again that unless I can totally back a product that I won't share it with my readers, and this is one brand I truly think is one worth mentioning.

Ecostore carries a variety of products ranging from baby care to personal care to household cleaners. All are natural, non-toxic, and plant-based, making them friendly to the environment and safe for use in your home.

EcoStore USA sent me a bottle of their laundry liquid, a 100 percent certified organic Eucalyptus oil and plant based formula, which doesn't leave chemical resiue on clothing. I've been using this product to wash Buttercup's cloth diapers, and love the fresh scent. (And anyone who cloth diapers can tell you that if a laundry solution is gentle enough for cloth AND gets the gunk off that it's a keeper!)

I also got to try the Toilet Cleaner, and I plan to definitely purchase this one when I run out. It might be obvious, I never realized that the hamrful chemicals in the big-name brands I've been using to keep our toilet sparkly clean were also contributing to the degredation of our water supply. (Sorry, planet Earth!) No worries with EcorStore USA's cleaner. Just a clean toilet and a happy planet.

Lastly, EcoStore USA sent me a bottle of their Citrus Spray cleaner, which I have been happily using to clean everything from Buttercup's high chair to her toys to my stove and kitchen. Diluted, it even works on mirrors and glass!

Perhaps most impressive is the note included in the box, though. It proudly states that all packaging materials used are environmentally friendly, from the soy packaging peanuts to the boxes made from recycled paper to the very paper the note itself is printed on. Little touches like that are what makes EcoStore USA so very and so truly eco-friendly.

EcoStore USA is offering one lucky readers a chance at a $25 online gift certificate to their store. To enter, simply visit the site and let me know which product or products you would buy with your gift certificate if selected the winner. Make sure to include your email or Twitter ID so I can contact you if you are selected as winner. Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on June 8, 2009 and winners have four days to respond or an alternate will be selected. Please note that the contest is limited to the United States and Canada, only. You must be 18 years or older to enter.

Additional extra entries are also available if you:
* Become a fan of Berrie Sweet Picks on Facebook
* subscribe to my RSS feed and comment letting me know you did so.
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest at berriesweet.info (at) gmail (dot) com and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!
* Grab my Berrie Sweet Picks button and place it on your blog page. I'll check!
* Follow me on Twitter! (nickname: berriesweetest)
* Tweet the contest by saying "Eco-friendly giveaway at Berrie Sweet Picks!"
* Vlog about the contest and post at www.newbaby.com!

Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address or Twitter ID to be considered for the drawing! That means that well, all entries must include an email address or Twitter ID to be considered valid. Simple enough, right? ;)

Wednesday, May 27

Personalize it with Oliver's Labels

Kids loose stuff. It's part of the genetic make-up. And piles of shoes at friend's houses, forgotten jackets on the school bus, and mixed-up toys at every playdate just add to the confusion---especially if you bring a toy to share that the host already owns (like we did at our last playdate!)

But thanks to one motivated and loving auntie to one cute little guy named Oliver, the Land of the Lost is a little easier to navigate now with Oliver's Labels. Not only can you label everything from crayons to sippy cups to clothes and shoes, you can also count on the smart Found-It tracking system, an online lost-and-found tracking system that doesn't use your personal information, to reunite with misplaced items!

Oliver's Labels sent us a sample pack of labels (with Buttercup's secret identity, of course!). Our sample pack included a few mini and shoe labels in the sweet Fantasy pattern and (my favorite) a few original labels with the super practical No Gluten design to help alert those not currently in the know that Buttercup's on a gluten-free diet.

We've been happily labeling her crayons, her favorite sandals, her sippy cups, and anything else that comes to mind. I've even popped a few of her labeled sippys into the dishwasher and am happy to report they came out looking as good as new!

In fact, Oliver's Labels are totally durable, and can withstand a variety of climates, and are strong enough to be placed on dishes that go into the microwave, and the freezer.

The company also just introduced a new no-iron clothing label, called Stick-eez(TM), that help keep tabs on your child's clothing. Take a look at the company site, sit down with your child, and let them pick out a label design they like!

Oliver's Labels is offering one lucky reader the chance at a $20 online gift card for use on their site. To enter, please visit their site and then stop on back here with a comment on your favorite label design.

If you are on twitter, simply leave me your twitter ID with your comment so that I can notify you if you are selected the winner. Otherwise, make sure to include your email so I can contact you. Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on June 3, 2009 and winners have four days to respond or an alternate will be selected. You must be 18 years or older to enter.

Additional extra entries are also available if you:
* Become a fan of Berrie Sweet Picks on Facebook
* subscribe to my RSS feed and comment letting me know you did so.
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest at berriesweet.info (at) gmail (dot) com and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!
* Grab my Berrie Sweet Picks button and place it on your blog page. I'll check!
* Follow me on Twitter! (nickname: berriesweetest)
* Tweet the contest by saying "Oliver's Labels giveaway at Berrie Sweet Picks! Great for kids!"
* Vlog about the contest and post at www.newbaby.com!

Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address (or a valid Twitter ID) to be considered for the drawing!

Oh, and I can't forget to mention the super sweet discount code, Labeleverything (all one word!), which gets you 10 percent off your order through June 31, 2009.

Friday, May 22

What to do...

Okay, so you all know that I review mom and kiddie products, love baby-wearing, and try to maker Kermit proud.

But did you know that I blog at Deadlines and Diapers? And that I've been trying to find the time to blog at The Celiac Kid? But blogging (at least for me) isn't paying the bills, so making time each day to sit down and update each blog is pretty much impossible. (So is staying sane, but that's another blog post.)

I'm working on a changeover to Wordpress, and before I take any actual jumps, I need to determine if I am keeping my blogs separate or if I am combining two of them or even all of them into one. And if I do that, which blog name do I use? Or do I create a new one?

I know my readers here stop by for the reviews and the contests and chances at winning some pretty sweet stuff...but do you want more? Do you even care?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, May 20

Happy feet and happy memories

Since they showed up in the mail, Buttercup has officially decided that her new Nowali Mocassins are her new favorite article of clothing. Forget the other million pairs of shoes and sandals and slippers she owns. Oh no. This little girl has an opinion and when I say it's time for "zapatos" (which is spanish for "shoes") she stomps her little feet and says, "No, mama! Socks!"

So far, I have succeeded in convincing her that her Nowali's are for indoors only, thank heavens! She wears them everywehere but the bath tub, and I'm loving the idea of a flexible, non-skid sole, mocassin that stays on and allows her to toddle about our two-story home (including the stairs!) without having to worry about her losing her footing while asserting her independence.

My mother's first comment when we opened the Nowali's was, "I remember when you kids had these!" And sure enough, so do I. These tried-and-true Swedish favorites have been around since 1950. And it's no wonder! They're fun, practical, and have been known to be outgrown before being worn out!

We received the Pink Confetti for Buttercup's ever-growing feet, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Nowali Mocassins fit fantastically with plenty of room to spare!

And as those of you who check back here often already know, I'm a big fan of products free of harmful chemicals, especially for my little girl. So it's nice to know that yarns and foxings used in Nowali mocassins comply with the ├ľko-Tex Standard 100, an "eco" standard which simply means that they contain no harmful dyes or substances.

I can't wait for the Fall/Winter collection to make its debut in early July! I've already been taking a peek trying to decide which pair to buy for Buttercup and her cousins so I can put them away for Christmas presents!

To sneek a peek at the new collection and take advantage of the sizing chart (complete with US and Euro sizes, ages, and heel-to-toe measurements) click here. (How else are you going to know which size and design to request if you win the contest I'm about to mention!)

Nowali is offering one of my readers the opportunity to select a pair of mocassins in their style and size of choice. To enter, click on this link and then stop on back here with a comment on your favorite style.

If you are on twitter, simply leave me your twitter ID with your comment so that I can notify you if you are selected the winner. Otherwise, make sure to include your email so I can contact you. Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on May 27, 2009 and winners have four days to respond or an alternate will be selected. You must be 18 years or older to enter.

Additional extra entries are also available if you:
* Become a fan of Berrie Sweet Picks on Facebook
* subscribe to my RSS feed and comment letting me know you did so.
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest at berriesweet.info (at) gmail (dot) com and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!
* Grab my Berrie Sweet Picks button and place it on your blog page. I'll check!
* Follow me on Twitter! (nickname: berriesweetest)
* Tweet the contest by saying "Nowali mocassin giveaway at Berrie Sweet Picks! Which would you choose if you won?"
* Vlog about the contest and post at www.newbaby.com!

Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address (or a valid Twitter ID) to be considered for the drawing!

Oh, and I can't forget to mention the super sweet discount code, HAPPYFEET, which gets you 10 percent off orders of $40 or more, PLUS free shipping! Happy shopping!

Monday, May 18

Change it up with Mag-tagz!

One of the coolest parts of reviewing new products is learning about the very inventive moms behind some pretty sweet stuff.

Take Mag-Tagz, for instance. This mom-invented interchangeable line of magnetic jewelery for young girls is fun, cute, smart, and makes me wish I had thought of it! Anita Wentworth (the mom in question!) is on to something here. Gone are the days where yesterday's favorite accessory is long-forgotten. Instead, girls can choose to change up their look with a variety of affordable tagz (or charms), trade with friends, play online games (with chances to win a Nintendo Wii! All participants receive a special, limited edition tag just for playing!)and even enter their own designs and possibly see their idea become a super cute Mag-Tag! Seriously, this woman thought of everything.

The idea is pretty simple: Just get your little girl a magnetic base of choice (like the super cute and limited edition green world flower design, which was a recent design contest winner), and then she's on her way. The interchangeable tagz come in small and large sizes and are priced just right, too.

Mag-tagz are a wonderful choice for girls five and up. Since Buttercup is too young, we had new best friend, "J", try it out, and the reaction was exactly what I am sure Wentworth was going for. Within seconds of putting the necklace on and being explained the concept, "J" was smiling from ear to ear as she made plans to share and trade tagz with a friend living thousands of miles away.

Here she is showing off her new Mag-tagz bling...



Cute, huh?

If you'd like to see this smile on your own kid's face, you can visit www.mag-tagz.com and start your collection now, or you can try and win a necklace and either a small green earth or bee mag-tag here! Mag-tagz is offering one lucky Berrie Sweet Picks reader the chance to win, and I think that's pretty sweet.

To enter, simply click here and post a comment sharing which tgag you or your daughter like the best. Make sure to include your email so I can contact you if you are selected as winner. Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on May 26, 2009 and winners have four days to respond or an alternate will be selected. Please note that the contest is limited to the United States and Canada, only. You must be 18 years or older to enter.

Adoitional extra entries are also available if you:
* Become a fan of Berrie Sweet Picks on Facebook
* subscribe to my RSS feed and comment letting me know you did so.
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest at berriesweet.info (at) gmail (dot) com and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!
* Grab my Berrie Sweet Picks button and place it on your blog page. I'll check!
* Follow me on Twitter! (nickname: berriesweetest)
* Tweet the contest by saying "Mag-tagz giveaway at Berrie Sweet Picks!
* Vlog about the contest and post at www.newbaby.com!

Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address to be considered for the drawing! That means that well, all entries must include an email address to be considered valid. Simple enough, right? ;)

Only one person can win, but everyone can benefit from coupon code of "blogger20" which will get you 20 percent off an order of $20 or more! So what are you waiting for? Change it up!

Happy Birthday to me!

Oh my GOD!

I just realized that May 17 marks the one year anniversary since I began blogging here at Berrie Sweet Picks! And if it hadn't been for an inquiry from a recent product review asking for site visitor numbers, my little blog's birthday would have passed by without a second thought!

Since I'm here blowing out the imaginary cake on my blog's imaginary birthday candle, I'd like to thank every reader and every sponsor who has taken the time to stop on by and shared your wonderful products with me and like-minded moms.

Wow, a whole year already. Where does the time go? Here's to another great year filled with great product reviews and exciting contests. Oh, and thanks to all of you moms and grandparents and aunts and sisters and cousins and friends who keep coming back to Berrie Sweet Picks and continue to give me a reason to log on in the midst of all this mommy-craziness.

I love you guys!

Sunday, May 17

Post-it Products go eco-friendly!

Earth Day has come and gone, but the Post-it product company has now made it easier to stay organized with style and sustainability on an everyday basis.

I recently received a (very colorful!)variety of samples from the Post-It Recycled Collection, and I'm loving the fact that I'm now recycling used post-its that are made with a minimum of 30 percent post-consumer content.

I mean, really, how long does a Post-it note stay up where you stuck it? For me, it used to just get tossed in the trash as soon as whatever I was reminding myself to do had been accomplished. But even when I decided to join the environmentally-concsious, I was still recycling a product that wasn't exactly contributing its share to doing some good for the planet.

With that said, it's great to see that Post-its made with recycled paper are now being offered. My thanks go to the Post-it Brand for taking such a major step in truly making every day Earth Day! With SFI (Sustainable Forest Initiative) Chain-of-Custody certification, it's nice to know that the Post-it Brand is now making their products from paper sourced from well-managed forests where trees are replanted, which contributes to the protection of wild habitats and many other initiatives.


Oh, and major berrie sweet bonus points for the vibrant color choices! (Just remember to do your part and continue to recycle your Post-its!)

Want to try them out for yourself? Post-it is offering three lucky Berrie Sweet Picks readers the chance to win one set each containing Post-it Recycled Notes and Post-it Super Sticky Recycled Notes. To enter, leave me a comment telling me your favorite place to stick your Post-its. Is it on your computer screen? Your bathroom mirror? Make sure to include your email so I can contact you if you are selected as winner. Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on May 25, 2009 and winners have four days to respond or an alternate will be selected. Please note that the contest is limited to the United States and Canada, only.

Additional extra entries are also available if you:
* Become a fan of Berrie Sweet Picks on Facebook
* subscribe to my RSS feed and comment letting me know you did so.
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest at berriesweet.info (at) gmail (dot) com and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!
* Grab my Berrie Sweet Picks button and place it on your blog page. I'll check!
* Follow me on Twitter! (nickname: berriesweetest)
* Tweet the contest by saying "Post-it Notes Recycled Products giveaway at Berrie Sweet Picks!
* Vlog about the contest and post at www.newbaby.com!

Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address to be considered for the drawing! That means that well, all entries must include an email address to be considered valid. Simple enough, right? ;)

Wednesday, May 13

Buttercup has a new music box

Buttercup just got a new music box and she's absolutely in love with it. But this isn't just any ol' music box...it's a new CD from Maine musician Mary Kaye, and it's been a non-stop request from my music loving toddler since the folksy collection arrived in our mail box.

Mary Kaye's vocals are surprisingly deep and rich, and hooked Buttercup right from the start. And with the lyrics to each song reading more like the pages of a much-loved and dog-eared book, it's no surprise Buttercup keeps asking for me to play, "Bok, mamma!" (That's "Buttercup" for "Box!")

Music Box is slated for an official release date of July 2, and will be available at CD Baby and Amazon. The indie children's recording artist has received rave reviews from Parenting Magazine, The Los Angeles Daily News, Booklist, and many more.

Five lucky winners also get the chance to each win one copy of Mary Kaye's Music Box CD for their own child's enjoyment, thaks to Mary Kaye herself, before you can actually buy it! To enter, please click here and leave me a comment telling me which other CD you and your kids would like to have reviewed on Berrie Sweet Picks! Make sure to include your email so I can contact you if you are selected the winner. Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on May 20, 2009. Please note that the contest is limited to the United States and Canada, only.

Additional extra entries are also available if you:
* Become a fan of Berrie Sweet Picks on Facebook
* subscribe to my RSS feed and comment letting me know you did so.
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest at berriesweet.info (at) gmail (dot) com and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!
* Grab my Berrie Sweet Picks button and place it on your blog page. I'll check!
* Follow me on Twitter! (nickname: berriesweetest)
* Tweet the contest and leave a comment with your username telling me what you said to your "tweeple"!
* Vlog about the contest and post at www.newbaby.com!

Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address to be considered for the drawing! That means that well, all entries must include an email address to be considered valid. Simple enough, right? ;)

Monday, May 11

Trebellina is a Berrie Sweet Pick!

I know that every parent has dreams of greatness for their children, and I am no exception. Since the moment she was born, I have sworn that Buttercup is going to be a broadway star. (Feel free to skip to the review ad contest portion of thos post, because I'm about to go all "braggin' mama" on all of you.)

This child came out with the most amazing set of lungs I have ever heard on a baby. And she didn't just cry...she screamed. As in mommy bought earplugs to keep her sanity horror-movie-heroine worthy pitches. (Another note-worthy moment would be when she met her uncle for the first time. The first impression resulted in him comparing my precious princess to a baby velicaptor. True story.)

Buttercup's been humming "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to herself since she was ten-months old, but I know she is way too youg for formal music lessons. So I was super excited when the Cristofi Baby Company asked me to review a copy of "Introducing Trebellina." Created just for babies, toddlers, and pe-schoolers, Trebellina is the perfect way to introduce your child to music. It's fun, cute, and most definitely caught Buttercup's attention! (She keeps asking to watch "Alina," which is how she pronounces "Trebellina" right now. So flippin' cute!)

Having a bit of music in my background with seven years of flute and percussion experience in my background, I can vouch for the patented method of teaching note reading and pitch in an engaging anf effective manner. Kids get the full gambit here with introductions to various instruments and their names and sounds, shown both individually and collectively as a piece of music. And at only $19.95, it's a small investment in helping instill a lifelong love of music in your child.

Thanks to the Cristofor Baby Company, I have one copy of the Trebellina DVD and one adult shirt for one lucky reader up for grabs. To enter, please just leave me a comment telling me why you'd love to win the DVD for your Make sure to include your email so I cachild. Make sure to leave your email address so i can contact you if you are selected the winner. Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on May 18, 2009. Please note that the contest is limited to the United States and Canada, only.

Additional extra entries are also available if you:
* Become a fan of Berrie Sweet Picks on Facebook
* subscribe to my RSS feed and comment letting me know you did so.
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest at berriesweet.info (at) gmail (dot) com and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!
* Grab my Berrie Sweet Picks button and place it on your blog page. I'll check!
* Follow me on Twitter! (nickname: berriesweetest)
* Tweet the contest and leave a comment with your username telling me what you said to your "tweeple"!
* Vlog about the contest and post at www.newbaby.com!

Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address to be considered for the drawing! That means that well, all entries must include an email address to be considered valid. Simple enough, right? ;)

Thursday, May 7

Loop it, girl!



I'm the kind of person who loses my keys in my purse, and was FAMOUS for losing my glasses when they were on my face. Yeah, that's right. I'm all kinds of impressive.

So when I heard about La Loop, I was definitely intrigued. The smart accessory line for eyewear has an awesome variety of designs ranging from casual to classic for both men and women, and I was lucky enough to give the SportLoop a try. The beauty lies in its simplicity.

For $20, you get your choice of fun color in a stretchable, fun, washable, and light essential for you sports fanatics and sunglass lovers out there. La Loop is designed to keep your glasses in place with the help of a hinged loop. That's all there is to it, and it's a savior for those looking for a quick (and easily findable!) place to hook their glasses when not in use. It's perfect for active and casual wear, and I know you already want one.

In honor of Mom's Nite Out, I'm happy to host my easiest contest ever. To win a SportLoop in your choice of color, simply tweet the details with a link to this post, and then leave me a comment letting me know you are celebrating #MNO-09! This contest begins now and will end at 2 a.m. EST. (Yes, I live in AZ, but it's just easier this way!)

Happy Mother's Day!

It's National Mom's Nite Out!

We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto...

Or, what I mean to say because it's 5 a.m. and my brain wants to know why I'm not still I bed is that if I was celebrating the first national Mom's Nite Out in Michigan with my old friends, I'd be partying and laughing and having a blast with great friends, good food, and lots of laughs.

But I'm not and well, I may have been demoted on the social butterfly corporate ladder because I haven't exactly had the time to establish any solid friendships yet here in AZ. (Does a morning playdate with a very new friend count?)

My evening might not be any hotter than the steam on the mirror during Buttercup's bed time bath, but it doesn't mean you can't go out and live it up with your friends, your mom, your sister, or favorite co-worker! Celebrate motherhood and all you bring to it with the first National Mom's Nite Out. Sunday might be about your mother-in-law, but tonight's about you.

So call your friends, have Dad order a pizza for the kids, grab your keys, and go!

Or, if like me, you are stuck at home tonight, you can participate in the fun with a good old-fashioned Twitter party from 3 p.m. (EST) to about midnight by following @momsniteout and @momTV to have your comments seen, and don't forget to end your posts with hashtag #MNO-09!

Wednesday, May 6

Peekaru! I see you!

Before I begin this review, I'd like to thank Parenting By Nature for their patience in getting this one up! You all know I've been trying to recover from my recent cross-country move, and this particular review item was one I had to hunt for once I arrived in Arizona thanks to the movers mistakingly packing it up just a few days after I received it.

Now, it might seem out of season at this point, but trust me...it isn't. Parenting By Nature sent me and Buttercup the Peekaru Vest to try out, and we couldn't be happier with the product. Sure, I'm dealing with 100 degree weather right now, but I know for a fact that there are plenty of other states (like Michigan!) where Moms and their babies would get tons of year-round use for chilly evening walks and early morning outings.

The Peekaru is defintely one of the coolest and sweetest products I have had a chance to try out. It's a definite must-have for any baby-wearing parent, allowing you to keep you AND your child warmer without the hastle of trying to work around traditional jackets or extra blankets. Made from 85 percent Malden fleece, the Peekaru is also an eco-conscious parent's dream. Each 150 Peekaru's made save about a barrel of oil, with about 25 two-liter plastic bottles used to create each one. And what can be better than a product made in the USA under fair labor conditions supporting work-at-home moms?

I tried the Peekaru out with Buttercup hanging out in her Ergo, both front and back facing, and we both loved it. We also gave it a shot in her Baby K'tan, and were equally pleased. There's plenty of room under the vest for me to add a jacket for when it gets cooler, and with Buttercup at 27 pounds, I have no doubt this vest will last me as long as the Ergo!

The Peekaru comes in a variety of colors to suit your taste, and fit wonderfully. This is definitely one item I will be packing for family visits in Michigan!

Also check out Parenting by Nature for their great selection of cloth diapers, baby carriers and slings, and gift services, and more. It's the perfect online one-stop shopping destination for parents. And the site os mom-owned and operated!

Thanks to Parenting By Nature, I have one Peekaru Vest in choice of size and color for one lucky reader up for grabs. To enter, please visit their site and leave me a comment telling me what other item you'd love to see reviewed on Berrie Sweet Picks! Make sure to include your email so I can contact you if you are selected the winner. Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on May 13, 2009. Please note that the contest is limited to the United States and Canada, only.

Additional extra entries are also available if you:
* Become a fan of Berrie Sweet Picks on Facebook
* subscribe to my RSS feed and comment letting me know you did so.
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest at berriesweet.info (at) gmail (dot) com and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!
* Grab my Berrie Sweet Picks button and place it on your blog page. I'll check!
* Follow me on Twitter! (nickname: berriesweetest)
* Tweet the contest and leave a comment with your username telling me what you said to your "tweeple"!
* Vlog about the contest and post at www.newbaby.com!

Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address to be considered for the drawing! That means that well, all entries must include an email address to be considered valid. Simple enough, right? ;)

Saturday, May 2

Sustain stores makes buying green easier

I'm not exactly a true shade of green, but my eforts to lessen my carbon footprint and be as eco-mindful as possible do make me feel pretty good.

A new site, Sustain Stores, is just one resourse eco-mommas like me can rely on to make it just that much easier. No more nasty surprises that can come with learning a "supposedly" sustainable product was nothing more than just sneaky marketing. Instead, the Sustain Stores staff has done the work for all of us by independently verifying each and every item in their inventory.

Buy green for your home, your baby, and yourself with Sustain Stores with the help of a sweet little 20% percent off coupon code off your TOTAL order! Use code "sustain" during checkout and then wait for your email confirmation after order processing for a great bargain on buying green. The discount code expires May 15.

Wednesday, April 29

See new styles from See Kai Run

If we were still in Michigan, we'd just be pulling out the sandals and flip flops. Here in Arizona, though, it's been bare-feet weather since about five minutes after we got here.

It was perfect weather for Buttercup to wear her new Isabella sandals (from the Spring/Summer 2009 collection) with her sweet little Easter dress. Too cute!



I am so head-over-heels with SKR's. They are a great first shoe option for new walkers with the flexibility necessary to developing little feet. What's not to love about the wide toe box and butter-soft leather in a line of footwear designed to meet the American Podiatric Medical Association's rigourous standards?

I know I'm not the only one searching for my child's next pair of SKR's, and while I didn't need new colors and designs to lure me back, I certainly am not complaining! There are metallics, sophisticated blacks, and leaf green accents. Buttercup's Isabella fisherman sandals are accented with the cutest little white hearts and go perfectly with her nicest dresses as easily as they pair with her most comfortable play outfits. In all, See Kai Run has introduced a total of 14 new styles in sizes 3-9.


And for the tiniest toes, the Smaller soft-soled baby bottie line (sized 0-18 months) has 17 new styles, like the sweet and adorable Anne! (And thanks to my friend Sara for allowing the beautiful Brynn to model!


Retail prices for this Berrie Sweet Pick start at $32.

Thanks to See Kai Run, I've got a contest for one lucky reader to choose their favorite style of See Kai Run or Smaller shoes. To enter, please visit the SKR site and leave me a comment with your style of preference and your email so I can contact you if you are selected the winner. Entries will be accepted until 12 AM (Arizona Time---which is kind of like Mountain Time, but a little bit more confusing.) on May 6, 2009. Please note that the contest does not include the Eleven shoes, and is limited to the United States and Canada, only.

Additional extra entries are also available if you:
* Become a fan of Berrie Sweet Picks on Facebook
* subscribe to my RSS feed and comment letting me know you did so.
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest at berriesweet.info (at) gmail (dot) com and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!
* Grab my Berrie Sweet Picks button and place it on your blog page. I'll check!
* Follow me on Twitter! (nickname: berriesweetest)
* Tweet the contest and leave a comment with your username telling me what you said to your "tweeple"!
* Vlog about the contest and post at www.newbaby.com!

Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address to be considered for the drawing! That means that well, all entries must include an email address to be considered valid. Simple enough, right? ;)