Sunday, December 14, 2008

Skip Hop Stay Put Mat

(This is not String Bean)

I recently recieved this Skip Hop Stay Put Mat to try out. I love how the girl in this photo has such a balanced meal on her mat. My String Bean's meals consist of carbs, carbs, and a bite or two of fruit. She's somewhat of a picky eater.

We've got a really nice wooden high chair for String Bean with a tray that has this groove around it (presumably to keep your little one from knocking food on the floor, but clearly a parent did not design it). We've tried the Gerber Lil Trainer Tableware (plate with a suction cup bottom) and we can't get it to stay on this tray. We tried it in public, too, and found that String Bean is smart enough and strong enough to pull the suction off of the table and throw the plate on the floor. No good.

When I got this mat in the mail, my number one priority was to make sure it stayed securely on String Bean's high chair tray. Check. Our next priority was to make sure the plate was secure enough that she couldn't pull it off on a whim. Check.

This plate has non-skid rubber pads on the bottom so String Bean can't push it away. The plate easily comes off the tray for washing (yes, it is dishwasher safe!), and the silverware sits on the tray to keep from getting accidentally knocked off. Of course, String Bean has no idea what to do with a spoon or fork, so she just picks them up and plays the drums with them. Hey, at least she's entertained!

We really like this tray and would recommend it to you if you're teaching your toddler table manners or you're just trying to sit through a meal without having to pick up your toddler's plate off the floor numerous times. At $20, it is more expensive than Gerbers' or some of the other brands' options, but then again, you get what you pay for! This product is more sturdy and is BPA-free, Phthalate-free and PVC-free. I'm not sure I can say the same for the rest of those guys.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wii Fit giveaway

Check out this great giveaway!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Days Ago

I have chicken noodle soup that has been in the refrigerator for 3 days, a jar of baby food that has been in there for 2 days, and it has been 9 days since I last used my electric toothbrush.

I know precisely how long it has been with all of these things because I have this cool new product, the DaysAgo timer. It counts the days (or hours if you wish) that an item has been in the fridge. Kathleen Whitehurst, the inventor of DaysAgo, sent these along to me to try out. I am sure glad she did. No longer am I tossing out mystery food from the rear of my refridgerator!

The great thing about these timers is that you can track all sorts of things with them:
  • how long food has been in the refridgerator
  • how long that package of chips has been open
  • how long you've been wearing those disposable contact lenses
  • when you last administered pet flea medication
  • how long it has been since changing the kitty litter
  • how many days ago you did your last self-breast exam
  • which day of your menstral cycle it is when you're trying to (or not to) conceive
  • how many hours since you gave that last dose of medication (I could have used this after getting my wisdom teeth removed. I was so drugged up, I had no idea when I last took medications!)
  • how many hours breastmilk has been out or how many days it has been in the refridgerator (especially helpful during those early newborn days!)
The DaysAgo timers come in three styles: magnetic, band, and suction cup. The magnetic ones are great for jar lids. I hear people use the suction cup ones on bathroom mirrors to remind themselves of self-breast exams. The band ones can go around canisters or non-metal jars.

If only I had thought to put a DaysAgo timer on the milk yesterday when Mr. Bean left it out for several hours, I would have known whether it was salvagable or not. (We are betting on NOT salvagable.)

You can purchase the DaysAgo timers on their website, through,, and at a few other retailers in the US. This product has been featured on Oprah and HGTV. It has also earned the Good Housekeeping Good Buy award.

I imagine you could come up with hundreds of uses for this little gadget and I want to hear them! Leave your ideas for the use of these timers in the comments section!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

EcoZoo Bags

Check out the cutest eco-friendly bags on the market! They are made of organically-grown cotton canvas and rope materials, with non-toxic dyes and recycled plastic components.

EcoZoo's tag line is "Saving the world one bag at a time." With these cute bags, your kids will feel more like they are carrying their best friends around than saving the world.

The EcoGear company was founded by Jimmy who says, "My inspiration for creating eco-friendly bags came while I was on vacation with my family. In the summer of 2006, watched my kids play on the beach. Realizing how special these moments were and thinking about how fast my kids were growing up, I was struck by a thought. What can I do to help to ensure my children have a clean and healthy planet to enjoy?

Months later, our company started developing a new line of bags, designed with the environment in mind.

Our statement is in the bag."

These bags retail for $29.99 and can be found on the EcoGear company website. There are some mom and dad-friendly styles, too! These would make great Christmas presents.

I have had the chance to look over these bags. The straps can be adjusted small enough for my 1 year old to wear on her back. I can also adjust them long enough that I can put it on my back. I can't say enough good things about the quality of this product. The stitching is solid, the pocket of the bag is appropriate for the size of the bag, and the drawstring on the bag is made of canvas, not one of those plastic thingys that your little one can get their finger stuck in!

I think this bag would make a great "diaper bag" for your toddler who is still in diapers but going to the church nursery or daycare. It is small enough for them to wear but large enough to fit all those diapering essentials in. I can also see this as a great bag for the beach or a picnic. I think you could even use it as an overnight bag for grandma's house!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Amazon Wishlists

For several years now, I have been using as the "host" for my Christmas and Birthday wish lists. I am in love with their new feature. It is called the Universal Wish List. You simply install this little tool (which is more like a bookmark with your web browser) and you can add ANYTHING to your wish list. It does not have to be from Amazon at all. On my wish list, I have items from Old Navy, Ann Taylor, Kohls, and Sharpie.

Another great feature I've fallen in love with is the ability to have more than one wish list. I used to be a teacher and had a wish list specifically for things I needed for school. I don't believe anyone ever purchased items for me from that list, but it was nice to have them handy when I needed a few extra bucks to earn the free shipping from Amazon.

Now I have a wish list of things I want for String Bean. That way when my mother or mother-in-law want to know what to get her, they have several ideas of things she needs (or things I want) available to them. You can name your wishlists, too! My mom has her wishlist on Amazon. My dad, however, doesn't get around to those things. So one of my mom's extra lists she's renamed as his wish list.

If you start a wishlist on Amazon, your friends can search for your wishlist. That way, if you have a birthday party or do something really nice for someone, they can just look on Amazon to see if you have a wish list. It is a really awesome feature that has revolutionized the way my family shops for Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A New Blog for Product Reviews

I'm starting this blog to do product reviews. If you have a product you'd like reviewed, contact me by leaving a comment on any post!