VTech Go! Go! Smart Animals Forest Adventure Playset Review

I am a sucker for any toy with a bear (hmm…I wonder why). So when VTech offered to send me the new Go! Go! Smart Animals™ Forest Adventure Playset™ featuring a bear for Bear to review, I couldn’t resist.

This colorful play set is part of the new VTech brand extension Go! Go! Smart Animals, which follows the award-winning introduction of Go! Go! Smart Wheels last year. This interactive animal-themed play set features fun sounds, short tunes and sing-along songs, but can also used for traditional play thanks to the off switch (thank you VTech!).

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It comes disassembled in five pieces but snaps together easily. It took me a total of 2 minutes to set it up. Before I could even finish snapping the pieces together, Bear had the bear in her hand and was rolling it all over the coffee table. I showed her how to play with the Bear in the “forest,” which kept her attention for over an hour (yes, an HOUR!). She loved all the sounds and music, but the fact that the Bear could roll around the house like a matchbox car was her favorite feature. She also had fun with the twisting butterfly, sliding squirrel, spinning gear and turning gate.

vtech-toddler-toy vtech-toy

VTech came up with this cool technology called SmartPoint™. As an animal is rolled over one of the two various SmartPoint locations on this play set, fun sounds and phrases are triggered. Additional animals with this technology are sold separately (monkey, tiger, lion, hippo, giraffe, elephant, zebra and alligator). We were sent the Go! Go! Smart Animals™ Zebra and Go! Go! Smart Animals™ Monkey ($7.99 each) as well for Bear to enjoy. These three pals have been gracing my family room more than any other toy these past few weeks, which is a true testament that this set is a winner. All of the animals light up and have these super cool flashing mohawks.

animalsThe Go! Go! Smart Animals™ Forest Adventure Playset™ is for kids ages 1 – 5 and retails for just $14.99. I think it’s perfect for a 2-year-old and will now be one of my go-to toys for kid’s birthday gifts (how can you beat the price?!). It also works with Go! Go! Smart Wheels™ Playsets, which is nice as an add-on or a stand-still toy.

WIN IT!

Stay tuned for a fun giveaway starting next Wednesday!

Puppy Surprise is Back (and just as fun as it was in the 90s)

I received a Puppy Surprise c/o Just Play to facilitate the following review.

There are a handful of toys from my childhood that I really remember – my Cabbage Patch Kid Jolene, my purple tricycle, the game Mall Madness, and my Puppy Surprise, to name a few. I’m all about reliving my childhood with “new” versions of my childhood favorites for my daughter when I find them in stores. For instance, at 16 months old, my mom surprised my daughter with Cabbage Patch Kids twins. Well now I can surprise my daughter with Puppy Surprise because IT’S BACK!

Puppy Surprise and Doodle Bear

I first learned that Puppy Surprise was making its return at Sweet Suite this past summer. Please tell me you remember this toy; you know, the plush dog that had a Velcro belly that housed 3, 4, or 5 puppies (you didn’t know until you opened her up). My mom scoured the shelves for this furry friend back in the 90s and it turned out to be one of my faves. Now Bear can have one of her own.

Bear loves (I mean LOVES) “duggies.” So I anticipated Puppy Surprise would be a hit when she opened the adorable packaging with paw print vents on the side so that Popcorn, the mommy puppy, could breathe while with-child in her cage.

Puppy Surprise Vents

Bear opened the box and squealed with excitement. She squealed even louder when I showed her the mommy’s belly filled with puppies (I was still pregnant during the reveal, so she was even more psyched since she was able to make the correlation).

When it was time to give “birth,” I helped Bear perform the C-section and one-by-one, 5 little puppies entered the world (yes, we got FIVE!) – can you tell I’m still a kid at heart? Four girls and one little boy were inside her Puppy Surprise.

Puppy Surprise - how many puppies

five puppies

Mom Popcorn had abut five minutes of fame as she was set aside after Bear turned her attention to the puppies once they popped out (similar to most moms once we have our kids). She LOVES those puppies, who can usually be found cruising around in the trunk of her purple Barbie car.

Barbie car

The real surprise was when my mom found MY Puppy Surprise in her basement.

Puppy Surprise moms

Now Bear has nine puppies to cruise in her Barbie car and Popcorn has another mom to chill with on the sideline.

Puppy Surprise retails for $24.99 and will soon be available at Toys”R”Us, Kmart, Target, and Walmart.

Booty Goo Prize Pack Giveaway 9/26

Booty-Goo-Giveaway

Diaper rash. Those dreaded red bumps that stare you in the face as soon as you open your little one’s diaper. I feel so bad for my kids when I see those bumps on their bums. If you’ve ever experienced this, then tis giveaway is for you! I’ve teamed up with Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro for a giveaway to soothe little tushies, sponsored by Booty Goo.

According to Booty Goo, there are 3 main types of diaper rash (information sourced from the Skin Sake website):

Irritant Diaper Rash The most common type of diaper rash is the irritant rash. This is when the area affected is within the diaper. For instance, skin dermatitis on the thigh area is not considered an irritant type rash. Products containing zinc oxide should be able to address this problem because it will provide a barrier to allow healing. Causes of this type rash can include stool enzymes, soaps and detergents, and baby wipes.

Yeast Diaper Rash A yeast infection can also be the cause a diaper rash. Symptoms of this type include dry, reddish patches with defined edges, somewhat scaly or scab-like. Areas most susceptible to this type rash include the skin folds of the upper thigh. To treat a yeast infection rash, use a product with anti-fungal medication. Yeast thrives in warm, moist skin and should also be suspect when a diaper rash does not improve in a couple days from using an ointment for such. If the baby is, or has recently been, treated with antibiotics, this will increase the chances of a yeast infection as antibiotics reduce the body’s natural ability to fight infection by compromising the good bacteria.

Friction Diaper Rash Friction is also a type of diaper rash, although it originated from moisture. Skin wetness increases friction. Areas usually affected by friction are the waistband and elastic legs of the diaper, especially when they are too tight. When the skin layer is compromised, whether by friction or moisture, bacteria can enter the inflamed area causing an infection. This causes the treatment of common diaper rash to be more resistant.

Booty Goo Diaper Rash Ointment is formulated with high quality ingredients to not only treat diaper rash, but also to prevent future occurances. Features of Booty Goo include:

  • Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties
  • Aloe and vitamin E added
  • Repels wetness
  • Skin protectant
  • Non-greasy
  • Doesn’t stain
  • Get rid of diaper rash fast and keep it from returning

Find out more about Booty Goo Diaper Rash Ointment by visiting their website. Then check them out on Facebook and Twitter. You can purchase Booty Goo directly from their website or at your local Walgreens for just $5.99. Click on this link to print out a $1 off coupon that can be used online or in stores! That means you can get it for less than $5 at Walgreens!

Booty Goo wants to give one lucky family SIX Tubes of Booty Goo and a $100 gift card to Walgreens so you can purchase a few packages of your favorite diapers and wipes!

This giveaway is open to residents of the US who are 18 years of age or older, unless prohibited by law. The giveaway will end at 11:59pm EDT on September 26th, 2014 and the winners will be drawn randomly from all eligible entries received. Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below. Good luck!

The participating bloggers have not been compensated for sharing this giveaway. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of Skin Sake. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. For questions about this giveaway, please email thriftyniftymommy {at} yahoo.com

4moms mamaRoo Giveaway 9/22

4moms mamaRooI’ve teamed up with Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro for an amazing 4moms mamaRoo giveaway, sponsored by PishPoshBaby. I’ve always wanted to try the 4moms mamaRoo (especially since Thrifty Nifty Mommy raved about hers) and now that I have a newborn again, I’m SO tempted to head over to PishPoshBaby and purchase one for my little man.

PishPoshBaby offers top of the line baby gear with top notch customer service to go along with it. They strive to give you clarity, confidence, and comfort when making important purchases for your precious little one. Their team of “Mom Reps” will walk you through all your options to help you decide which piece of baby gear is best for your family. PishPoshBaby carries all of the best brands, like 4moms. Their mamaRoo has been called “remarkable” and for good reason!

Parents don’t vibrate like bouncy seats or swing like swings. They bounce and sway, and that’s what the mamaRoo does: it moves like you do. The 4moms team used motion sensors to measure the movements of reals moms and dads as they soothed their babies, and replicated those motions in the mamaRoo. It’s the only infant seat with five different motions, all modeled after the natural movements parents make to comfort their babies. It isn’t just another infant seat. It also features built-in nature sounds, an MP3 hookup, and 3 reversible toy balls.

PishPoshBaby wants to give one lucky family a mamaRoo of their own!

This giveaway is open to residents of the Continental US only who are 18 years of age or older, unless prohibited by law. The giveaway will end at 11:59pm EDT on September 22nd, 2014 and a winner will be drawn randomly from all eligible entries received. Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below. Good luck!
Entry Form
The participating bloggers have not been compensated for sharing this giveaway. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of PishPoshBaby. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. For questions about this giveaway, please email thriftyniftymommy {at} yahoo.com

Rock Your Lunchbox with a Bright & Healthy Bento Box

This post was created in partnership with Stonyfield. All opinions are my own.

Rock Your Lunch - Bento Box

Getting kids to eat healthy can be a daunting task. As parents, we do everything in our power to get our kids to eat healthy foods. One of these ways is food presentation.

Over the past year, I’ve seen kid’s bento boxes rise in popularity. But not the bento boxes you might initially think of on the menu at Japanese restaurants (that was the only thing my dad would order when we’d go to our local sushi joint). Rather, creative moms and dads are compartmentalizing mealtime and cleverly segregating (and disguising) healthy foods to make lunch fun for kids.

Rock-Your-Lunch-Annies-Organics

As part of the Rock the Lunchbox campaign, we jumped on the bandwagon and filled a bento box of our own (the container shown above is from Laptop Lunches). We filled the four small removable containers with (1.) carrots and dip (2.) a curried chicken with raisins and mango wrap from one of my favorite toddler cookbooks (3.) Annie’s Homegrown organic snack mix and (4.) blueberries, mandarin oranges and grapes.

Rock the Lunchbox is a fun resource for parents with hundreds of tips for healthy lunches. To celebrate the back-to-school season, they’re asking kids to draw their idea of a dream lunch. Bear is still a little too young to participate in the “Draw Your Dream Lunch” campaign, but when I asked her what her favorite food was, she said “cheese.” I’m totally okay with that answer.

Bento-Box

Seeing all the bright colors and neatly placed “nummies” in Bear’s bento box made me want to dig in. A bit of a perfectionist, my daughter really enjoyed having each type of food in its own place, and I loved that I could just place a lid on the foods that she didn’t finish and easily put them back in the fridge.

Looking for healthy items to fill your lunch box? Check out healthy options from Stonyfield Organic, Annie’s Homegrown and Organic Valley. Plus, save some dough with these great coupons.

To learn more about Rock the Lunchbox, visit rockthelunchbox.com. Have your own idea how to rock your lunchbox? Submit it here!

LifebankUSA Peace of Mind $500 off Cord Blood Banking Giveaway 9/30

By sharing this giveaway, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.

Lifebank GiveawayAre you interested in cord blood, placenta blood and tissue banking? LifebankUSA is the only company that offers all three. The ability of stem cells to save lives via cord blood banking has proven successful for replacing abnormal or diseased cells and treating life-threatening blood disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. In fact, since 1988 stem cell transplants have been used to treat some 80 diseases.

Banking placenta blood stem cells makes cord blood collection even more powerful for the near-term and for the future. It gives moms the ability to bank more stem cells which has been shown to increase transplant success and survival rates. And placenta blood contains other types of progenitor stem cells which are expected to play a key role in regenerative medicine.

GIVEAWAY!

LifebankUSA is giving parents the chance to win $500 off cord blood banking! This giveaway is open to residents of the US, ages 18+.

Enter HERE

Lifebank Giveaway Promo

This prize is not transferable and no other discounts apply. Must be enrolled for banking within one calendar year to claim prize. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. By entering the contest, you understand that you are providing your information to LifebankUSA and not to Facebook.

Yummi Pouch Brights Giveaway 9/15 *Closed*

Welcome to the Ready to POP! [a Labor Day inspired Giveaway Hop]
hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network!

POPbutton

This giveaway hits close to home since I “labored” last week and we just welcomed our little man! I’m excited to be teaming up with a group of fabulous bloggers to celebrate Labor Day in a fun way – by offering giveaways for mamas and babies who have done some of the hardest labor out there! Each blogger has a fabulous mama or baby prize for you to enter to win, so be sure to hop around to them all after you’ve entered to win my giveaway for Yummi Pouch Brights and the fabulous Grand Prize, featuring Buttons Diapers and Beautiful Earth!

Yummi Pouch Brights Giveaway

We all know that I’m my daughter is a pouch addict. But buying disposable pouches can get pretty pricey. That’s where Yummi Pouch comes in handy. Yummi Pouch was created by a mom and dad team to help parents meet their children’s fundamental need of good nutrition while making the feeding process simple, Eco-friendly and cost-effective.

The generous duo is offering one lucky reader two packs of Yummi Pouch Brights (8 total reusable pouches). To enter to win, please use the entry form below. Giveaway is open to residents of the US, ages 18+.

SPECIAL OFFER!
Take 10% off your next order with promo code PARTY4YP


Spit Up is the New Black, So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Ready to POP! participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Winix FresHome P150 Air Purifier Giveaway 9/11 *Closed*

Welcome to the Winix FresHome P150 Air Purifier giveaway, sponsored by Winix America and hosted by Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro.

photo 2-1The Winix FresHome P150 utilizes the best air cleaning technologies to capture all of the unseen particles suspended in the air, including dust, pollen, smoke, mold spores, organic chemicals, and household odors.

 

Featuring a 3-Stage Air Cleaning System, the P150 uses an Activated Carbon Pre-Filter to remove household odors, hair, lint, and other large particles, which helps to extend the overall life of your HEPA filter and reduces the amount of housekeeping, by reducing the amount of dust in the room it is kept. The True-HEPA Filter is the second stage in the FresHome P150’s Air Cleaning System. Winix’s True-HEPA Filter is designed to capture a variety of particles that are unable to be seen by the human eye; these particles include: pet dander, smoke, pollen, mold spores, and many other irritating allergens. Finally, the third stage in Winix’s 3-Stage Air Cleaning Process is Winix’s own PlasmaWave Technology, which is responsible for safely breaking apart odors, chemical vapors, and other pollutants, at the molecular level. Winix’s PlasmaWave Technology offers you superior all-around cleaning, without generating harmful ozone.

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To find out more, read Thrifty Nifty Mommy’s full review of the larger Winix FresHome P300 Air Purifier.

Winix wants to give three lucky families a FresHome P150 of their own!

This giveaway is open to residents of the Continental US and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 years of age or older, unless prohibited by law. The giveaway will end at 11:59pm EDT on September 11th, 2014 and the winners will be drawn randomly from all eligible entries received. Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below. Good luck!
Entry Form
The participating bloggers have not been compensated for sharing this giveaway. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of Winix America. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. For questions about this giveaway, please email thriftyniftymommy {at} yahoo.com

Cooking Like We’re in Ella’s Kitchen

I received samples c/o Ella’s Kitchen to facilitate the following review.

Ellas-Kitchen-Snacks

I have a soft spot for dads. Each day I watch as my husband bonds with our daughter. We’re so blessed that he can stay at home with her while I work full-time. I love that she spends the day with Daddy going to the park, doing arts and crafts, and even learning how to cook.

So it’s no wonder we’re big fans of Ella’s Kitchen, which was started by who else but a dad (Ella’s dad that is). He started Ella’s Kitchen for his daughter (and her entire generation) so that kids could discover that healthy food can be fun, tasty and cool. He took simple, natural ingredients and created delicious baby food with adorable packaging and product names.

Ellas-Kitchen-Nibbly

I just love the name “nibbly fingers” and the fun cartoon-looking drawings and font.

Ellas-Kitchen-Cookies

We’ve been loyal Ella’s Kitchen customers since Bear began solids a year and a half ago, so I was overjoyed when I found out that Ella’s dad came out with a cookbook and a baking book, featuring easy, healthy, kid-friendly recipes for young families. My daughter loves cooking alongside her dad, so they two of them were eager to test out a recipe.

Ellas-Kitchen-cookbooks

It’s not like we’re lacking cookbooks in our kitchen, but I must say that a children’s cookbook, where mom and dad can enjoy the recipes too, is a great addition to our collection and I would recommend the Ella’s Kitchen cookbooks to everyone!

Ellas-Kitchen-inside-cookbook

After looking through the Cook Book (The Red One), the two of them decided to test out a recipe for dinner last Tuesday night. My husband picked the Totally cool Caribbean chicken with mango + pineapple, loaded with potatoes, tomatoes and mangoes. Just as with every home cooked dinner, my daughter helped with the cooking (and discover “ingos”).

Mango

She loves to stand at the counter with Daddy as he preps, chops, and simmers. He amended the recipe a little, cutting the suggested potato measurements in half. This made the potato to mango ratio is bit more even, and we still had plenty of leftovers for a family of three.

Ellas-Skillet

This was a great recipe for the family and toddler friendly. My daughter is willing to try just about any food at least once (and usually likes it the first time around). After thoroughly enjoying the mango recipe, I’m excited to try many more recipes in this book and check out The Yellow One, which is all baking and this mama’s forte.

Connect // Sign up to become a friend of Ella’s Kitchen here (they send great coupons), and join them on Facebook and Twitter.

Belly Dance Maternity Screen Print Tee + $25 Gift Card Giveaway 9/7 *Closed*

I received a sample c/o Belly Dance Maternity to facilitate this giveaway.

Pregnancy can be a pretty uncomfortable time for many moms and moms-to-be, but Belly Dance Maternity bridged the gap between 9 months of comfort and style.

I recently had the chance to check out their West Village location in New York. I felt a sense of comfort when I walked into their shop. The associates were so friendly and helpful. They showed me one of the newest additions to the shop – screen print tees by NOM. I tried on a few of the variations, including the Ice Cream Graphic Tee, since ice cream is this mama’s weakness.

NOM-ice-cream

But after seeing the Blue Kiki Heart Tee, I fell in love (since I’m having a baby boy)!

NOM Tee - NYC

I seriously can’t get enough of this top. It’s flowy, so it can be worn both during pregnancy and postpartum. Plus, it’s made in the USA of super soft material with adorable graphics printed on front. They have a few other options too, including the Kiki Question Tee, Pink Kiki Ampersand Tee, and Pink Kiki Heart Tee.

Belly Dance Maternity Giveaway

The kind ladies behind Belly Dance Maternity are offering one lucky winner their choice of NOM graphic tee PLUS a $25 gift card for use at one of their two store locations –  Manhattan or Chicago – or online at bellydancematernity.com.

To enter the Belly Dance Maternity Screen Print Tee + $25 Gift Card Giveaway, please use the entry form below. Giveaway is open to residents of the 48 contiguous US states, ages 18+.

SPECIAL OFFER!

Save 20% off your purchase with code SPITUP at checkout now through September 30, 2014. Valid only at bellydancematernity.com.

Spit Up is the New Black and any blogger that promotes this giveaway are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations. Open to residents of the 48 contiguous US states and Canada, ages 18+. Winner may select choice of NOM screen print tee. $25 gift card may be used in store (Chicago or NY location) or online at bellydancematernity.com. Shipping not included for gift card redemption.