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 (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 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.