Monday, August 31, 2009

eeBoo Tell Me a Story

Thanks, Megan, for bringing the Tell Me a Story cards from eeBoo to my attention!  I'm sure the concept isn't new, but I haven't come across one like this before.  It's an imaginative pre-reading activity for the young children and adults. Contains 36 3"x4" different images and props to spur creative storytelling.  Instructions include a variety of games and activities.  Includes: packs of 5 per style and a sliding tray box for easy storage.  Four styles available, chose from Fairytale Mix-up, Mystery in the Forest, Little Robot's Mission, or Circus Animal's Adventure.

At bed time, my 4 year old loves to tell us stories she makes up "on the fly" and it's so much fun to watch and hear.  I'm sure she will love these story cards and I look forward to more wonderful stories from her!  You can buy them through the link above or visit my new Amazon store, on right.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I made the cut!

I know this has nothing to do with shopping, but I'm so excited that I just had to post this here, too:

I just found out that I've been selected out of 2000+ articles to the top ten list of HubNugget Wannabes on HubPages! What a great week - found out I'm officially cancer-free, made my first Amazon commission, had my ovaries removed and now HubNugget Wannabe contender! Sorry if I'm going over board here, just haven't had a good week like this in over a year and it feels real good. I would appreciate your votes should you peruse my article, Parenting Help - How to Teach Your Child to Say I'm Sorry, and feel it's worthy ... here's the link to vote for my article. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Go Go Babyz

Traveling with baby or toddler? Looking for a way to lighten the load? Check out the Go-Go Kidz Travelmate(you can see it in my Store, on right, or click on the link below.) The Go-Go Kidz Travelmate makes traveling with toddlers a breeze! The Go Go Kidz Travelmate is a convenient and safe attachment for a variety of convertible/toddler car seats. Instead of carrying your car seat and child through an airport, they can now be wheeled through a crowd! The Travelmate is easily mounted or removed and it allows one hand to be free. It features 5” razor wheels and telescopic handle, and weighs 5 lbs. The quick release wheels provide extra clearance for storage and smaller x-ray machines. It attaches to airplane seats without having to remove anything, too. I just sold my two because my girls are getting old enough now that they won't be traveling with their cars seats any longer, but we used our many times - every time we traveled and they were completely indispensable!

MoMa Design Store

The MoMA Design Store (Museum of Modern Art) sells so many cool products...recently I came across this cool item - it's a light switch rack - you attach it right over an existing light switch cover and it contains two knobs on the bottom that can function as key holders and the top can hold mail or anything of the sort. I thought it was cool, along with many other products they sell. Check it out here. All purchases support the Museum of Modern Art.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ebay Shopping

If you are or ever have been an eBay shopper, like me, you know how anxious you can get when that auction nears the end and you end up being outbid in the last few minutes ..... so frustrating. Well, if you've never heard of Auction Sniper, you need to check it out - my father-in-law actually introduced me to it over a year ago and I signed up. When you join, you get free introductory try-it-out "snipes", no cost and no strings. Actually, I'm posting this today because I just won an auction this afternoon that I sniped. How it works: Find a product you really want on eBay, copy the item number, determine what the most you will pay for the item will be, then simply enter that information at Auction Sniper, after logging in, of course. Their server will snipe eBay just a few seconds before the auction ends, so you can rest easy. Sure, it's not guaranteed, but as far as my experience goes, the only time you won't win the auction is if you're outbid. I have won every auction that I have sniped. Check it out here or the links above and get your free try-it-out snipes - no catch - then get shopping and winning on eBay!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Looking for simple recipes?


Those of you who know me know that I'm not much of a cook, but I can follow a recipe! I published a couple of articles with some of my favorite simple, delicious ones. One contains three different tomato recipes, one has three great lasagna recipes (gotta give a shout-out to my good friend Jen for the Tex-Mex slow cooker one - everyone LOVES it, and the other is for my super-duper easy and delicious meatloaf - this is my favorite (see picture)! You can click the highlighted words to go to the articles or you can click here to see see all my articles.

More shopping to come...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Looking for great books for children?

I've compiled a list of my and my kids' favorite books from babyhood to toddler-hood - check out my favorites list here.

Find Coupon Codes

Worth a mention: Before I buy anything online, I always try and find discount codes first. It doesn't always work, but I've gotten pretty lucky with Retail Me Not. This site has saved me a lot of money!

Honorable Mentions



Buy these now! Look at this price! If only I had a place for these..... Sprout Bottle Vases from CB2.com for $2.50 & $3.95!! I take that back - I found a place and just purchased them! Lots of great deals can be found on the sale pages at CB2, check it out.

Salt Water Canvas has perfect beach bags .... I went to the beach recently with my two daughters and I had a ridiculous number of bags for everything - towels, toys, change of clothes, sunscreen, my car keys and wallet, snacks, hats - did I mention snacks and more snacks? There just had to be a better way, I thought to myself. I found the answer! The Whale Bag from Salt Water Canvas. It is perfect - big enough for everything we need - it has tons of well-sized compartments and the material is screen-like and is super strong and durable and, best of all, the sand just falls through the tiny holes (but nothing else falls through!). I love all the color combinations, too, they are so fun! I bought the Salsa & Chartreuse Whale bag and since they were having a special promotion at the time, I got to choose another whale bag for free! I chose the Yellow with Kelly Green. Right now they are having a 30% off summer promotion with $5 shipping no matter how many you buy (well, they are limiting it to 8).

I must give a SHOUT OUT to my stay at home mommy friends (working mommy friends, please don't take offense!) and tell you about a new book by Dr. Laura Schlessinger called In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms. I don't know about you, but I sometimes feel like I'd be better off going back to work because the kids are driving me crazy, but Dr. Laura helps remind me why I'm doing this and it's a nice pick-me-up! I recently found this book at Borders on the Bargains table for $4.98!!

Everyone has already heard of Zappos, right? I'm pretty sure you have, but I like it so much that I just have to mention it here. I love shoe shopping at Zappos - the site is very user friendly and the search options are great, especially when you are looking for something very specific, stylewise. Their customer service is terrific and they offer free shipping (usually) and free return shipping, so you can't go wrong! I recently needed to find shoes to match a dress for an upcoming party and I ordered 8 pair with free shipping, tried them all on to see what worked and I sent back 5 for free (sorry Zappos - Love you!). It's like having the shoe department come to your house!

Want to find something cool? Original? Different? and Affordable? Then you should check out Fred & Friends. Fred says it best (from website): "...I have travelled the four corners of the globe in search of truth, justice, and the ultimate in style. Stuff that works, puts a smile on your face, and doesn't cost a fortune. I'm Fred. Why not let me into your home? I promise to help around the house..." I'm currently craving the Bloom clip light and the M-cups - measuring cups that stack inside each other like one of those Russian stacking dolls! Check out the hundreds of great products Fred has to offer!

Back to school time!

Mabels Labels has a large selection of labels for all those things on your kids' supply list. They have labels for everything from clothes and shoes to bags, lunch gear and stickers for toys, dishes, bottles and more. You can purchase just one type or in specially packaged sets. They also sell these great "My 411 Wristbands" which can be customized with names, phone numbers, allergies and/or other special needs a child may have - great for field trips, amusement parks, or everyday.

The Foogo Straw Bottle Thermos is leak-proof and made from BPA free materials. It is dishwasher safe, keeps liquids cool for 12 hours, and has a hygienic push button lid with pop-up silicone straw. It's made to be kid-proof - has an unbreakable stainless steel interior and the exterior withstands daily wear and tear and is only $14.98 at WalMart!

These Crocodile Creek lunchboxes are adorable. They are padded, insulated, 100% Phthalate PVC free, and they wipe clean with a damp cloth. Amazon has a great selection of these in many different colors and themes and they're between $13-$15.

The Ultimate Green Store has all things green! I love the Kleen Kanteen Reusable Water Bottles and check out the Bento Lunch Box Sets - its sturdy containers keep food from getting squished and it fits in most backpacks or you can purchase a carrying case separately, or purchase the whole thing as a kid - several designs & colors available.

Let's get organized!

Since I'm always trying to get my life organized, I must mention Neat Receipts. This product is for those of us (yes, I am one!) who hoard receipts and business cards and such - or for those of you who just want a better way to organize it all. These small scanners use technology to read and extract key information from your paper, so you can organize it, export it, or securely store it in their easy-to-use database system. You can get a mobile scanner or a desktop scanner, but you can use the mobile one as a desktop as well (and it takes up much less of a footprint)! It is available for Windows as well as for Mac. The price is a little on the high side, but isn't being organized worth it? More organization = less stress, right?

See Jane Work is a great web store for all things office and organizing. You can find so many things here - from pen pockets (love these!), paper clips and holders, and cool page tabs, to cool chalkboard decals and overnight and laptop bags. They have a lot of great ideas for you or to give as gifts. I love this: there's a kit you can buy called Habit.Former ($6) that is designed to help you organize your life and make order a part of your daily routine in 30 days. I really should try it out!

Holiday Ideas - Why not start early?

I first saw this Christmas-Tree-In-A-Box at Spoon Sisters last year and wanted it but it was sold out everywhere. It's very cutesy and seems like it would be a fun decoration for an entryway or side table - and it's just $14.95. While you're there, browse this site and you're sure to find lots of cool, fun stuff - like the Baker's Edge Brownie Pan, for those of you (like me) who LOVE the edges and corners of brownies!

Shutterfly is my favorite site for creating photo projects, especially photo books. Their program for creating the books far exceeds others I have tried with so many layouts and backgrounds! I began creating photo books for every 6 months worth of pictures rather than buying costly photo albums and pay for prints. Not to mention, the photo books take up much less space on my already crowded bookshelf! Another thing I like to create on this site is ornaments - every year I create a ceramic ornament with a picture of each daughter - one for each - to hang on our Christmas tree. My thought is to give each daughter all of her ornaments (18 years worth?) when she's an adult and hopefully it will be something special that she hangs on her own tree. Is that corny? Maybe, but I like it. I also like the photo coasters - they make terrific grandparent gifts, as do the small photo books and picture mugs!

Looking for a cute grandparent gift? Flipclips. This is a great idea - turn your digital video clips into these adorable and fun flip books. I've made at least 3 of these and they really are fun - everyone who sees them loves to flip through them. They start at just $4.99 and are super easy to create. The website offers great tips and instruction and walks you through every step. My parents loved getting these little books of their grandchild when they lived 3000 miles away. These are also great coffee table books!

Baby & Kid Related:

Ticche & Bea ~ I have wanted to do this for a long time. Ticche & Bea make baby size (and larger) memory quilts. You can cut up pieces of your baby's clothes and have a quilt made from them or you can even create a grown-up version from t-shirts! I have a couple of large bins of baby clothes from each of my girls that I couldn't stand to part with. I have always thought it would be great if I could make a quilt out of their baby clothes. The best part? It's actually reasonably priced! You buy a kit which includes everything you need to make the quilt as well as detailed instructions. Even better - if you don't want to sew it yourself, you can send the cut squares and kit back to them and they'll do it for you, for an extra fee, of course! You can also pay a little more and send them the clothes and THEY will cut out the squares for you! I can't wait to do this.

Jan Brett is a children's book author. On her website you can choose from tons of wonderful black & white illustrations from her books and print them out for your kids to color!

Nashelle has beautiful jewelry, specifically worth mentioning here are the initial pendants. I had wanted charms that were simple and had either my daughters names or initials on them for the longest time. Most of the ones that I found were either too pricey or they were sterling silver or some other material that required maintenance (I do not like to polishing jewelry)! Nashelle's customer service was great, too - I ordered two of the "identity" initial charms with my daughter's names on each. They're 14 carat gold fill - NOT plated - so virtually maintenance free - they can be worn in the shower! I love them and they go with everything! UPDATE: enter promo code "hotmama" at checkout to receive 10% off.

Patemm Pad is a beautiful, compact, practical and smart solution for on-the-go diaper changing. I've had mine for years and still use it all the time. I keep it in the back of my car and change my daughter's diaper there every time we're out - check out the website to see how stylish they are. These make a great shower gift.

The Zipbin is describe as "The toy chest that's also a toy". This is a great toy storage solution that parent and child will both appreciate and love. It comes in regular and mini sizes. The material is very sturdy and it has a carry handle and lid; it unzips at all 4 corners and turns into a play mat. There are many different designs to choose from, from fairy castle, to road and rail (we have this one), fairy castle, dinosaur playscape, farm and more. You can store toys inside the bin when it's zipped up and when play time is done, just zip up with toys inside and all is nice and neat! And also can be folded flat to fit inside it's lid for storage when not in use. Also comes in a mini size which would be terrific for travel!

Goodnitelite offers an innovative solution for parents who's kids get out of bed way too early. The goal is to teach kids to stay in bed until it is morning. It is a combination of a nightlight and a timer that changes the visual display to either a sun or moon to teach kids "day" and "night". Best of all, YOU choose the time you want the sun and moon to be displayed - just don't expect your little one to stay in bed until noon just because you programmed the sun to shine at that time!

Cool Home Decor

Magnetic Trimmings is a really neat idea for decorating. They make magnetic charms that will instantly attach to most metal objects (think lamps, sconces, chandeliers, candle holders...) to dress them up. They have so many different designs, from classical "crystal" shapes to fun fruits and lots of fun holiday related trimmings. My dining room chandelier is dressed up with these and I love how it looks!

I love those removable wall decals that everywhere lately, but they won't work anywhere in my house because we have "knock-down" walls - texture. The decals won't stay unless you have a flat surface. The answer is Tatouage Designs! I've used these many times over the years and they are very easy to apply - just rub on with a "popsicle" stick that comes with them and -voila! - it looks like someone hand painted it on your surface. When my oldest daughter was born, my mom hand painted roses on her nursery walls and loved it, but is was not easy, especially on my mom's back. When we moved, I wanted to recreate her nursery and I used tatouage instead for the flowers and everyone who sees it thinks I hand painted her room!



What's this all about?


Over the years, I've found and purchased a lot of cool items and lots of people have asked me where I find so many neat things. I tell them that I spend too much time shopping online and just come across a lot of great stuff. My sister has told me over and over that I should start my own blog for my friends and family with links to cool shopping items or sites. Well, here's my attempt at it. I'm still learning, so don't judge too harshly! Check back often for updates and please share it with your friends and family...