Giveaway - Stocking Stuffer Alert! The Mommy Hook

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This thing is aaawesome! You can hang about 20 christmas shopping bags off this puppy. Hook it to your stroller, your doube stroller, your jogging stroller, the shopping cart, there is nothing too big or too heavy for this all purpose grappling hook to hold comfortably. To test it out, I did some early christmas shopping.... you know, for myself... and Sagan and I gave the Mommy Hook a whirl. I think my favorite feature is the comfort grip that you can use as a handle to carry your bags in the house with out having to take them off the hook itself. You can use Mommy hooks to store things in your garage. I can't stop thinking of things I can do with this versitile hook... and I think it would be a good stocking stuffer for the Mommy in your life, the mommy club pot luck dinner, office co-workers, the sister who just had a baby, the kindergarden teacher gift, etc. Its original, it's unique and it's in your price range. Buy your's at Babies R Us today!

How cool is this? The distributors of The Mommy Hook have graciously given us one to giveaway! This is the perfect thing to help you out with busy Christmas shopping season. To win a Mommy Hook all you need to do is comment on this post and tell me - who do you know who could really use a mommy hook and why? Be creative! This contest ends December 3rd, and please leave a valid email on the post if it isn't on your profile! Thanks and good luck!

Giveaway: Pillsbury gift Set - Bringing family Home this Thanksgiving

Monday, November 17, 2008

You know the sound...."Hee Hee"! How familiar are you with the loveable commerical cream puff the Pillsbury Dough Boy? Well, I remember being a kid, and the Doughboy was clay-mation, and now, as an adult, he is CGI. I think I miss the old Doughboy, though the new Doughboy is much more millenium friendly. Anyway, The Pillsbury Home is Calling campaign is focused on bring your family back together around the dinner table. And who doesnt like sit around the table gnoshing on Crescent rolls? Do you have any idea how many recipes I have that use crescent rolls? Yeah, about 20.

Everytime you go to Pillsbury's Home Is Calling website and forward the message along to a friend or family member, Pillsbury will donate 1lb+ of food to food banks across America.

Pillsbury has generously sent me a gift basket full of goodies, plus 3 more to give away. THREE Sagan's Universe readers will win Pillsbury Home is Calling™ gift baskets containing the following . . .

a coupon for Pillsbury refrigerated crescent rolls
a magnetic coupon holder
a house-shaped mouse pad
pot holders
a cookie sheet
a bread basket
a loveable Pillsbury Doughboy figurine
And what perfect timing with the Holidays and all. Please leave me a comment with your favorite way to eat Crescent rolls, and if you feel brave... leave me a recipe. One can never have too many Crescent roll recipes. Make sure you leave an email where I can reach you when I pull the winners. Remember, there are three winners for this contest!!!! Look at the comments, I will post a few recipes of my own! and don't forget to check out Home is Calling!
Better get cookin! This contest ENDS November 24th!

Giveaway - ArtfulAr's Beaded Jewels - And Not Just cuz She's my Mother in Law.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My children are blessed with good genes. I am lucky to come from a talented family, and so is my husband. Proof of that talent, is my Mother in Law's artwork, ranging from painted bowls and other painted items, striking water colors, oil paintings on canvas, fabric quilts, french beaded flowers, and now, intricate beaded jewelry. The woman is a virtual dynamo of artistic talent. I've been with my husband almost 12 years, (married 8!) and I don't ever remember a time when Arlene was not creating something beautiful , not churning out some delicate, time intensive creation more unique than the last. I don't think there is an artistic medium the woman has not worked in. I look forward to seeing what's next.

Now, my MIL has devoted a website, called, where you can see her artistry and craft, and even purchase some of her exquisite beaded creations. Interested in getting someone you know and love something that's one of a kind this Christmas? Check out Mom's new and improved on-line store. Hurry, these pieces won't last!

Readers, you are in luck, because my MIL has graciously passed along one of these cool Kimono necklaces for a give-away. Check out the site, and tell me your favorite thing on the site in a comment. The winner receives one of these :

Remember to leave me an email to reach you at if it doesn't pop up automatically in your profile. Winner will be picked from a random number drawing. Contest Ends November 27th! Good luck!

As we embark on Potty Training, I introduce, the Boon Bench.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We recently were lucky enough to receive a Boon Potty Bench. This anit your Momma's potty seat, ladies. Yes, Boon is such an awesome company, it can even make teaching your child to go diaperless stylish, trendy and oh so easy.

This is the best, most versitile potty seat out there. We are maddly in love. I mean, how can I get this excited about a place where my son will be plopping down excrement in a few short weeks? ( We hope?) Well, this potty seat also doubles as a solid, strong step stool. Ha, I said stool, how ironic. Yes, I have a sick mind, but alas, I am whipped today, exhausted by a friend's visit with her two small children, excited about starting potty training, and stil reeling from the announcement my almost non verbal son mustered this evening... " I poo." Music to my ears. A complete phrase! And in true style of his father, it's about a bodily function. I am sure we are on the right path now, both with speech and toilet training.

So let me tell you the features of this potty seat, other than the fact it matches my FrogPod. Ok, so what if I am thinking of painting my bathroom white and green to match my Boon products? Do you think that's a bit overkill? No, but really, this seat is plenty big, made of Boon's usual sturdy high quality plastic, and has sliding storage on either side for things like toilet paper and books. The little "catchers mitt" is soft and easy to install, the drawer is easy to slide in and out, and when its not in use, it is a cool step stool that looks like this:

Groovy right? So, if you have a little one getting ready to learn to use the toilet, This is a great versatile piece that will make any little one a happy camper. Sagan gives it a two thumbs up! Now lets see if he understands what it is for. Check out the Boon Potty Bench at local retailers near you!!! I'll keep you updated.

There are choices out there - why not review some?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hey it's a review site, so, I will take a small break from all the goodies I have to review and tell you my take on some of the best tasting and worst looking GFCF foods I have given Sagan thus far.

Enjoy Life Snicker Doodles - Not the prettiest cookie you will ever see, but nice texture. Sagan loves them. He asked for one tonight actually with a very clear "Cookie, Please". This is the same kid who asked for things in his highchair up till two weeks ago by slamming his head backwards and screaming. I prefer his sweet little polite voice. Wouldn't you?

Thank you Bob, and your Red Mill. I don't know if you paint it red, or, maybe it's just colored red with beet juice and "Annato" like all of Sagan's foods lately, but, I love you and your big honkin' Ernest Hemmingway beard. We eat your pancake mix, your bread flour, ( who knew you could do that with garbanzo beans?) and I even bought that wacky bacterial outter casing stuff called Xanthan gum so my baking didnt have the consistancy of a rock. Thank you Bob for caring about what goes into our mouths. Love your stuff.

The plain ones taste just like Cheetos. These are Sagans favorite snack, but they are seem high in salt, so I limit them. Gluten Free Casein free junk food. He'd eat the whole bag if I let him.

Our favorite entree that we all eat is my Gluten Free chicken tenders. I use egg, gluten free corn meal, and lots of salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. The best chicken to use for these is that really tender stuff that comes in the huge packages from Sams Club. I hate how each tender seems to be suspended on a nasty little tendon, but I pull the meat off, roll it in the corn meal mix and then fry it in a light canola oil, and it has the texture and crunch of really good fried clams. The bigger peices I store away for the next day and make organic Chicken Parm with Rice pasta and soy cheese. I have to say I make those chicken tenders three times a week and everyone in the house devours them, even Sophia.

I make slip ups here and again, like I got him Soy pudding thinking I was being all slick and what not, and come to find out it has Wheat Starch in it. Didn't seem to have much effect on him. If I give him bread or pizza, then I was seeing the head banging and "gluten fog" come rolling in for the day. We don't even let him near stuff like that anymore. Eventually I hope to have his diet more fine tuned, but this is the best I can do with only three weeks experience. all I can say is thank Garsh for the internets.

Celebrate Green for guilt free Holidays that are Enviro-friendly!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wondering how to not clog up the environment ( and your lives) with more plastic and clutter around holidays? Well look no further. Celebrate Green is your one stop website for all your green celebration needs. There is something for everyone.

Lynn and Corey are a mother daughter team whose passion is "greening up" celebrations with tips and tricks that are affordable and planet friendly. From reusable gift bags ( a passion of mine!) eco friendly halloween bags and costumes, and even easter baskets, no holiday tip is left unturned.

Now, as well as their extremely easy to use and interesting website, they have a book out called Celebrate Green! It is chock full of eco friendly holiday tips that will quickly become tradition in your household.
Check out Celebrate Green! And learn more about keeping your holidays healthy and eco-savy this season, while making fun your family's number one priority.

A Greener Home - Heating with Pellets is a great Eco-alternative

Today I want to talk to you a little about how Stu and I heat our home in the cold New Jersey Winter months. We moved into the house two years ago, only to find a very nice pellet stove in the basement, stratigically placed in a location that would allow hot air to blast up the stairs of our small, bi level home. Faced with the daunting tasks that came with a pellet stove - buying pellets, lugging them to the garage, and the worst - keeping the stove clean, we weren't even sure at first if we were going to use it. Then we learned of the savings - both to our wallets and the environment. Pellet stoves are a great way to heat your home. They look cool, they are odorless, and our pellet stove saves us a ton of money. I'll explain.

An average 20 to 30 year old home of 1500 to 1800 square feet like ours, will consume approximately one 40 lb bag of pellets within a 24-hour period of time with a 40,000 BTU stove. We have baseboard heaters and they do not even turn on most of the winter months, and it gets down below 15 degrees for many days in the winter.

Pellet fuel is made from the sawdust left over from lumber manufacturing. It is dried, ground up to the consistency of course flour and fed through a mill that compresses it into small cylinders 6 mm in diameter and up to 25 mm in length. The mill puts such pressure on the wood flour that the natural lignin that gave strength to the original tree is reformed to produce a shiny glazing on the surface of each pellet. In fact, pellets are much denser than natural wood. You can test this by dropping a pellet in a glass of water: it sinks!

You can't burn pellets in a regular wood stove; they would just lie there in a smoldering pile. But a pellet stove is smart. A turning auger slowly feeds pellets from a storage hopper to a small pot in the firebox that holds just a handful of fuel. A fan pulls air through the pot to produce a bright and hot, yet clean and controlled fire. The exhaust is then passed through a heat exchanger that transfers the heat into the room. A solid state circuit board controls everything: the auger speed, combustion air fan and heat circulation fan, turning them all on and off at the right times. Once properly set up, a pellet stove is a clean-burning and reliable heater. There is no visible smoke in pellet stove exhaust.

The burning of pellet fuel is such a controlled process that a regular wood stove chimney is unnecessary. Instead, a simple double-wall pellet vent is used to route the exhaust to outside. Under ideal conditions a stove can be vented horizontally through the wall like a clothes dryer, but a rise of at least five feet is usually recommended, so you need to get advice from your dealer.

The environment gains in a couple of ways when wood pellets are used for heating. First, pellets are made from sawdust that would otherwise end up as waste in a landfill where it would decompose and emit carbon dioxide and methane, the two most important greenhouse gases. Rising amounts of the greenhouse gases create the problem of global warming and may also be responsible for the climate changes that have produced extreme weather events in recent years. Although carbon dioxide is also a byproduct of pellet burning, at least homes are heated in the process instead of just letting the sawdust rot in a landfill.

The second environmental benefit is that home heating with pellets almost always displaces the use of fossil fuels like oil and gas. Burning fossil fuels increases greenhouse gases because the million-year-old carbon they are made of is converted to carbon dioxide and sent on a one-way trip into the atmosphere. In contrast, the carbon dioxide from wood pellet combustion is re-absorbed by young trees as they grow, so it is a renewable cycle.

Why is pellet heating such an appealing option? For one thing the 20 kilogram bags of pellets are convenient to use and compact to store. Also, a pellet appliance can run unattended for up to 24 hours on a hopper load of fuel, which is a big advantage for working families. Perhaps a less obvious reward is the knowledge that you are using a renewable fuel that will not contribute to the global warming problem, one that is also a recycled waste product from lumber operations that might otherwise end up in a land fill site.

When you heat your house with a pellet stove, you can feel good about it in more ways than one. Check back with us in a couple years when we hit phase 2 of our "Go Green" house plan...installing soloar panels and buying a hybrid minivan!

Rebecca Frezza and Big Truck is Sensational Children's Music

Friday, October 3, 2008

So I want to talk about our new favorite kid's cd, "Special Kind of Day" by this great kid's group, "Big Truck". I'm sure alot of you moms have heard of Rebecca Frezza and her band Big Truck on XM radio Kids, because that's where my friend and her kids discovered this band, and after looking her up, I was mesmerized. Instantly hooked. Simply put, Rebecca's voice is delicious. These songs are reminiscent of the Laurie Berkner genre, but at the same time, much more folksy and earthy, and you will find yourself listening to "Special Kind of Day" when your kids aren't even in the car. Rebecca's well trained voice and well produced songs are the main ingredients to this fun and lively band's music. I assure you, when your kids are in the car, they will ask for this CD over and over again, like mine do. This woman's voice is captivating!
Below is the video for my FAVORITE Big Truck song, "Carnival Ride". Go check it out:

Like it? Want it? Well, you are in luck, because Rebecca has sent me a copy of this awesome CD for a giveaway! I'm not throwing this one out there for just any comment, oh no. Check out the You Tube video of "Carnival Ride" . Come back and tell me in a comment what color shirt Rebecca has on when she is dancing in front of the Yellow and Green buildings. I'll give you a hint - her pants are orange. Also, check out her band's site "Big Trucks" to see and hear samples of their other great cds. I promise you, you will become an instant fan like we did! Contest Ends October 15th, so good luck!

Casey and Bella take on... NYC!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Have any of you had the pleasure of reading Jane Lovascio's Casey and Bella Books? If not, you and the kids are missing out. What a treat we were in for with this book, and Sophia has had me read it to her three times all ready. It does help that one of the dogs, the little Jack Russell Casey, looks exactly like my own Dixie. Casey and Bella are real dogs, and they live with the author, Jane, a Boston University grad and loving dog owner.

Join Casey and Bella as they journey into NYC on the Ferry and meet interesting animals and make new friends along the way. The Illustrations and story are just adorable, and we will be looking to add more booksfrom the Casey and Bella series to our library very soon.

The best part is right now, Cuddlybooks is holding a contest for kids to help develop the next book in the Casey and Bella series! The Grand Prize Winner receives a $500.00 cash prize, plaque, certificate, and his/her story idea will be developed and written by the author, then professionally illustrated and published by Big Tent Books the following year as the next book in the Casey and Bella book series. How cool is that?

For more information on the writing contest, specifically held for third and fourth graders, check out the official rules here. Writing is so liberating for children, and boosts their self esteem and confidence, improves their imagination, and makes parents proud whether they win or not. Get your kids writing when ever they can, and enter this contest before April, 2009. I know entering writing contests was a huge part of my childhood, and did wonders for my self esteem, plus, I still have the savings bonds I won in the 6th grade!

I can't wait to get the next installment in the Casey and Bella series, "Casey and Bella go to Hollywood". 'Can't get enough of the cuteness? They have cute and cuddly Casey and Bella plush animals. I think those will be in the Christmas stockings this year!

Good Criminey, Even Martha Blogs!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I love my homegirl Martha. I make her recipies every holiday, i attack her site with vervent enthusiasm weekly for inspiration. Now, she has a awesome blog I can't stop reading. Stop by and check it out and enter her blog contest to get reviewed on her site! How cool would that be?

Tiffany Ard - Amazing Art for Serious Science Nerds

Friday, September 19, 2008

This post took me a long time to write. I'm literally nervous writing it. Can you sense the nerves from there? That is because I want to celebrate this artist's work in any way I can, and the only celebratory tool I have right now is this blog and these words. Come celebrate the genius of Tiffany Ard with me, won' t you?

Every once in a while, you get that racing feeling in your guts over artwork. This is that kinda artwork for me. You see, ever since I was a child I have loved science, usually, all things biology and astronomy. I hid my love for science because it got me picked on in school, so, I pretended that I was too cool and too sexy to love Earth Science and all things planets. Then years and years later I net my husband, a fellow nerdling, and we fell in love with each other based mostly on our brains... the rest was secondary. Science was once again, sexy. We shared a love for astronomy, computers, and even archaeology, which was my focus in college. We had a couple kids. 'Named one Sagan to honor one amazing astronomer we both loved. We want to share the world and the universe with our son, but we realize now that with the name, comes some serious expectations. And THAT'S the kind of feelings Tiffany Ard's work invokes in me..... feelings of belonging, of sharing with my children. She gets what is cool, and funny and beautiful about the scientific world. Tiffany's art simply said, makes it graceful and glorious... to be a nerd.

I am the proud owner of what is now one of my most prized posessions ever obtained from the bloggy world... a set of my very own ABC Nerd Flash Cards. I am so jazzed. I can't wait to frame them all and make a mural of them on Sagan's wall. Sophia is 5 and she loves science too, so I will frame some of Tiffany's beautiful art work for her room s well. Just look at these:

So you guys are in luck. Tiffany has been generous enough to submit one of her 8X10 prints above for a giveaway. You can own one of these gorgeous prints hand signed by Tiffany. Just go to and do ONE of the following: Tell me your favorite letter of the Nerd Flash Card Set and why. (Mine is H for Hydrogen Bonding but you can not pick that one!) OR go to the "Well Technically..." section and tell me the three animals she has featured on that page. All valid entries will be entered to win the print; drawing held on October 7th. Please make sure there is a valid email where I can find you! Good luck!

New Toys from Thinkativity bring Diversity to Playtime!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sagan got to try out two of the new toys from Thinkativity, the Soar and Explore Story Teller and the Musical Mixer. First off, Sophia claimed the Musical Mixer, because it's really not made for an 18 month old. It's a very interesting toy with lots of options, but it's way to wordy and complicated for a little one. What you have to do is, press a food, then find the magnetic ingredients to put into the mixer. So, for Pizza, you would try to find the crust magnet, cheese magnet, and mushroom magnet. You fish through the colorful half circles and press them into the half moon slots. When you make the food correctly it plays a song. I did like how if you put broccoli OR mushrooms, it still says "Great job! You have made: Pizza!" There is a salad, chocolate chip cookies, Pizza etc. Sophia loves putting the magnets in and figuring out the ingredients. Its a really colorful toy and kids will love it, but I really hope thinkativity rethinks the age to about 2 or 3 years.

The other toy we were lucky enough to play with is the Soar and Explore Story Teller. It is cute. See below.

Ok this is a very unique toy. You spin those panels and then press the button in the left hand corner and it tells a story using different languages. But the lettering is almost too small to read, it's confusing for little ones, and to hear it well, you have to point the nose toward you. I was impressed with the illustrations though.

Overall, Thinkativity toys, which challenges children to create their own learning experience, is on the right track. They have a very impressive line of colorful, unique and challenging toys that actually teach kids. However, I do think these two particuloar toys are little to no interest to an 18 month old, nor a 2 year old. My older daughter plays with them more. Look for lots of cool Thinkativity toys in your local toy store and on-line stores, soon!

I'd like to introduce you to: Flight of the Conchords

Saturday, September 13, 2008

When Im bored, which is rare, or, when I'm down, I love to search YouTube for funny things to share with my sister and friends, you know, corny stuff. I know we all do it. Anyway, my husband introduced me to this hilarious twosome, because apparently, I have been living under a rock for the last year, and never heard of them. Check out all the Flight of the Conchord stuff on YouTube. I hear they have a TV show? I have to look into that. I could watch these guys for hours - and I think that gives quite a glimpse into my warped sense of humor.

and this one, one of my favs - no comment on why:

Acting Out is Fun, Pretty - and Musical.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sophia was incredibly lucky enough to receive a Blue Waltz Dress featuring the music of the Blue Danube from this hip new company called Acting Out Dress Up. Ok, I have to say, at first I was wary. I thought this dress up may be annoying, itchy, poorly made. Man, was I wrong. This is the coolest dress up product out there. I was completely impressed with the quality of the items. They are not cheaply made. They aren't itchy. They are satiny smooth and well stitched. The colors are bright and modern, and there is attention to detail. So right there, it's worth it. But as a bonus, this dress up line plays music - and it's not that tinny sounding music box music either, it sounds like a CD playing inside the dress. Granted a small CD, but the song is good quality, which was also really impressive.

Upon further research, I found that the story of its inventors was pretty interesting too. Anna and Andrea began Acting Out five years ago as an "ah ha" idea while watching their "princess" girls dancing around in their dress-up. Why not add music to the skirts? Anna ever the dreamer and idea person forged ahead with turning the dream into reality. At the time, Andrea was winding down her career as the Director of New Business for a musical instrument company. While commuting to work, Anna would call to discuss her idea of the day. Valuing Andrea's opinion, Anna knew that Andrea would be truthful about each invention and when Andrea loved the musical dress-up idea it was "game on". Anna was extremely persistent in asking Andrea to be her partner. She knew without Andrea this idea could only go so far. Well one month later, Andrea gave into Anna's persuasion and came on as a full partner and has never looked back.

Turning the idea into reality involved sourcing manufacturers in China. Andrea will never forget the day; Anna wrote that $15,000 check against her personal line of credit for the first order. They had never met their skirt manufacturer. He was sourced over the Internet and all communication was via email and one phone conversation. This was a huge amount of money for her and her family -but it sealed the deal of their commitment of turning this from an "expensive hobby into a profitable business".

When Acting Out began Anna was working part-time as a hairdresser. It was tricky business, maintaining a career, being a mom and starting a business. They made many mistakes along the way. One of the reasons the partnership works is they both buoy each other up when one person is down. They never dwell on the mistakes and do their best to learn from them (and hopefully not repeat them) and most of all, they have fun!

Andrea and Anna are both NJ natives (I'm a Jersey girl myself now!) and residents. Andrea has two daughters Haley (10) and Anja (7). Anna has three children Max (9), Carolyn (7) and Ava (5).

In the beginning, they sold our products through craft shows and out of the back of their cars. By December of that year (after only two months of business) they had 100 accounts. They are in almost 1,000 stores, six countries and major retailers such as Target online,, QVC, Toys r Us online, Hearthsong, Highlights, Young Explorers, Toys to Grow on and Sensational Beginnings.

The ladies have won and come close to winning many awards such as Family Fun Magazine Toy of the Year Finalist 2005, Finalist in Family Fun Toy of the Year, and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum winner. They have appeared on HSN, QVC, and were featured on The View – Mom Inventors.

I know there are alot of you out there who have great ideas like this, savy minds for business, and a knack for getting things done. It can happen for you too, moms. These ladies put their minds to it and their hearts into it, and created and marketed a sensational product that I would be proud to give as a gift to even the pickiest little princesses. Is it time for you to get your ideas out there and make them work for you? Think about it.

Heres a silly video of the kids dancing to Blue Danube. That is actually the dress playing right on Sophia's body!

We Interupt this blog to bring you: Asthma

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yesterday I got quite a shock at the doctors office. Apparently I have Asthma. I have never had a lung problem in my life, but, I have have terrible nasal allergies for about 20 years. I'm allergic to mold, mildew, cats. Dust. You know, invisible stuff in the air and all that. The doctor said that as we get older, our lungs have a harder and harder time healing after all those allergy attacks, and this can happen. Recently, I have noticed that along with my runny nose when cleaning, dusting, taking care of my neighbors cats ( eh hem!) I was also getting a cough. Then about a month ago, I got a terrible head cold that went to my chest and never got better. Then a couple weeks ago, I started wheezing. Then the last few days, I couldn't really, ya know, breathe. So once breathing got hard and the cough was knocking me off my feet, I finally broke down and drove down to my primary care office. A few tests later, turns out, I was having a pretty bad Asthma attack. Well, as we all know, Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. In order for my lungs to work properly, I need drugs to open those passages back up. This is a quandry because I am technically sensitive to the very drugs that are needed to get me back up and breathing. Bronchio dilators,a nd things like Sudeo-nephrines actually raise my heart rate and Blood Pressure. I'm one of those people who can't take most over the counter allergy meds. So now I am basically pumping my body full of steroids and all sorts of fun things That get my heart jiggy wit it. But the benefits outweigh the side effects... being able to breathe.

Listen, if you are coughing for a long period of time, and you can't shake it, go to the darn doctor. don't wait as long as I did to figure out what's up with your lungs. You can do permanent damage to your lungs if you don't take care of the wheezing, and its not good for your oxygenation levels... and low oxygen levels are bad for your organs. If you are hacking and coughing, and your family and friends just poo poo it as a lingering cough and tell you if will eventually go away? Don't listen. Get yourself to the doctor. I am glad I did.

Stride Rite Children's Shoes - What You Want; What They Need.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sagan is a whirlwind. He never stops moving. Jumping. Running. Puddles call his name. He splashes and screams, climbs the playground, kicks the ball, runs laps, throws mud... yes, he is all boy. Feet like his needed something fantastic to keep them safe and dry, but also be fun, comfortable, and light.

the TT Jet Stream Hook and Loop boy's sneaker is the perfect shoe for Sagan. This athletic shoe is packed with features for active boys. Breathable mesh delivers built-in air conditioning while a natural cushioning system provides some serious shock absorption. Best of all, can you believe this slammin' sneaker is Scotch Guarded? Puddles don't stand a chance. Plus, with extra medial and lateral support, Sagan will be better supported on his feet, which means better flexability and less trips and falls for my rapid grower who is currently clumsy on his feet. And with Stride Rites Toddler Tech natural cushioning system, I am guessing they will be comfortable.

I got a pair of Stride Rite Shoes for Sophia to start her school year off with too, and was very impressed with the style and quality of their shoes. There is a reason they have been around for 85 years. They make premium shoes like no other. They use only the toughest materials that are rigorously tested, for wearability. And if you want to purchase on-line, they have a cool "e-fit sizing help" webpage to make sure you get only the best fit for your kids feet. And if you want style, they have the cutest stuff this year!

Right now, Stride Rite has a sweepstakes going on called "Official Rewards of Childhood" . You can win one of of four weekly prizes, or the grand prize - a $2000.00 gift certificate to the Land of Nod. I can't even imagine winning that. I assure you I'd probably blow it on their amazing furniture for kids. Or bedding. Not sure. It's a toss up.
Entry into the Stride Rite sweepstakes is easy, make sure you sign up for it here. Then, go check out their shoes, here. I assure you, Stride Rite shoes are slightly more expensive for a reason. It's obvious in their quality - give them a try, you and your kid's won't be sorry.

Great Wolf Lodge

Saturday, September 6, 2008

How about a video from our trip to Great Wolf Lodge? Im warning you, cuteness ensues.

If you are looking for a great family vacation thats also fun for the wee ones, this is it. It is very kid oriented. There's something for everyone. We wanted to go somewhere close to save in gas, and if you are in the NYC area, it's perfect. Check it out today!

First day of SCHOOL!!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Today was Sophia's first day of Kindergarden. She took it like a pro, completely chill, like she does most things in life. I see her get so stressed out over a little paint on her shirt, but getting on a big yellow bus with a bunch of strangers seemed to be a highlight of her year.

I am having a tough week, lots of ups and downs. Sorry for the lack of products this week, Sophia started school, Sagan saw a neurologist for the first time, and he needs more speech therapy ( like, loads more) but other than that seems to be doing pretty well over all with his "mad skilz". Sophia loves school and made a new friend. Oh, and the Lands End back pack is awesome! I couldn't have gotten her a better suited pack for those hauls too and from school.

Speaking of Lands End, the back pack contest is officially closed! I will announce the winner tomorrow. Good luck everyone!

We Interupt this Blog to Bring You: Tina Fey for VP!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Oh.. wait. What do you mean Tina Fey is not running for VP on the McCain ticket? What, you mean thats actually Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska? Wait I'm confused....

No, Actually, I am not confused about that, I am pretty sure I can tell the difference between Sarah Palin, and Tina Fey. I am a huge fan of Tina Fey, while, like most of America, I hadn't heard of Sarah Palin until 72 hours ago. In that time, I have read that she is not actually the mother of her 5 month old baby, Trig, that rumors are circulating that it's actually her daughter, Bristols baby. Ok, I think thats disgusting to spread a rumor like that, especially since the baby has a disability.... then I hear today that Bristol is infact.. wait... pregnant? What IS THIS, Zoey 101 or the race for leadership of the free world? After today, I am having a hard time telling the difference. Can someone explain to me what the heck people are doing up there in Alaska for fun, and how this kind of family dynamic emulates the conservative right? Was McCain infact napping when Sarah Palin was tagged for VP? My biggest question of course is what matters most to me... When is the season premire of Saturday Night Live and will Tina Fey be the guest star?

My money's on Tina.

Snort! Hog Wild stuff is Fun for Kids.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

When you order chinese food, do you use chopsticks? What's your favorite food of asian persuasion? Myself, I prefer sushi over pretty much anything else on earth. I adore the ones with avocado in it, crab, or that crunchy tempura and cream cheeze one...My daughter, only eats the noodles from the chinese food place, usually the ones in the chicken noodle soup. Up till now, I didn't know what to give her to eat her soup with... a fork? Spoon? Well, these little training chopsticks for kids make eating fun. Hog Wild Toys carries a plethera of fun and dynamic toys for kids. I found their site recently and couldn't stop browsing. Then I saw these little choppy sticks, aptly named Fish Sticks, Farm Sticks and Dino Sticks, and I just had to try them. Hog Wild is a super fun company, and I can't wait to try more stuff on their site, like Spyro Gyro activity book, Zoo pops, and Moo Mixer.

Go check out Hog Wild Toys yourself, then come back here and leave a comment, and 3 readers will get a pair of these cool chopsticks for kids. Make sure you tell me in your comment "What is your favorite thing to eat with your chopsticks, or, what your kids will likely eat with their chopsticks"... Sushi? Noodles? Maybe Peanut Butter and Jelly, or Hard Boiled Egg? What exactly CAN you eat with your Dino Sticks?

Contest ends September 15th. good luck!

Two years Without Her...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Vicki died two years ago today and it still feel like it happened last month. She's missed so much. I feel so selfish sometimes. I feel like I miss her more than I should. But I can't help it.

Sorry for the downer. She was so amazing. Heres a vid I made on her anniversary last year.

Miss you, Vicki.

High Five is a Highlight of our Evenings!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Remember Highlights magazine? I remember always reading them in the pediatricians office while waiting to see the doctor. I loved Goofus and Gallant. My husband often quotes them... well, in a funny way, but, still the memories are there. Well, now, the editors of Highlights magazine has a new magazine geared specifically for the 2-6 set and we love it. The quality of the pages is uncanny. The colors are perfectly bright, the stories short and cute- it is really a great, great little magazine for your kids. The pages are super durable, printed on some sort of thick paper, the ink is also safe for little mouths... like Sagan's.

Highlights High Five is intended to be enjoyed by the child with an adult or older sibling, although there are features that many children will be able to enjoy again independently after they are introduced to them. Each issue features a high-quality mix of Highlights fun, such as read-aloud fiction stories—including stories that introduce the Spanish language - as well as age-appropriate crafts and cooking activities, poems, finger play, and rhymes. Based on widely accepted and well known theories of child development, Highlights High Five is designed to help stimulate children's social and emotional growth, their ability to reason and to think creatively, their physical well-being, and their acquisition of language skills. But your little ones won't even think about that technical stuff. This magazine quickly became a bedtime favorite in this house, and I highly reccomend it for kids. Check out High Five today and subscribe here.

Where the Heck ya Been?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sorry 'bout the lapse in posts, but we were on vacay for a few days at Great Wolf Lodge. You know, its that resort; that big, indoor waterpark you've heard about and you know your kids would love it there.... well, we just finally said well, what the heck, its only money, and we headed out to the one in the Poconos. I will write more about it later, because right now I am waterlogged, chorinated up to my eyeballs, and tired to the point of hallucinations, but MAN we all had a fantastic time. Best of all, it was 100% quality family time, and I think thats what it's all about. Just look at my happy kids, and I'll be back with reviews starting tomorrow! Night!

Kisse Girl products for our little ladies!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sophia is at a weird age right now, and I don't really know how to put my finger on it. Too old for baby things for sure, but also starting to get too old for pre-school things now, she tends to toggle between Barbie slash Polly Pocket things, while keeping one foot firmly planted in princess dress up. Now, there is the addition of a new love - make up, lotions, and lip gloss. Especially lip gloss and anything that is made to look like liquid glitter you apply to the body. My little girl is growing up and becoming more self aware, but also, she loves to sing along to Dora with her brother just as much as stealing my makeup.

There is a wonderful line of young girl bath and body products called Kisse Girl. We tried out the Pineapple flavored gift set and Sophia is hooked. I was really impressed with the gentle scent, the quality of their lip gloss ( complete with sparkles and cool brush applicator!) and their deliciously creamy body lotion. Their bubble bath and lip balm are also great. Most of all, after looking at their web site, I was moved by the message Kisse Girl's creator conveys to our young girls:

  • "Kisse Girl™ was created November of 2006. One year later, the product line was launched. I grew up with very little confidence and low self esteem. It took me years to overcome these issues. My sole mission is to provide girls with products designed to help them feel good about who they are. When you smell good, you feel good, when you feel good, you look good and that makes you a Kisse Girl! All of the products are made by me. The lip balm, lip gloss, dry oil spray, body splash, and the body icing are all made from scratch and do not contain any preservatives, harsh chemicals or petroleum which means they are all natural. I want every girl to know that no one can replace you. You are special and your existance matters. Nobody can walk in your shoes but you. BE YOU!"

Isn't that nice? Kisse Girl products come in a wide range of delicious flavors and offer such items as "The Athletic girl's bath soak", and "Skin Dessert" - that one looks like a Banana Parfait ( and probably smells like it too). Here's the best thing... the price for all natural products like this can't be beat as Christmas approaches. Hook your favorite little lady up with some really high quality skin products today at Kisse Girl.

Blog to Fight Diabetes - contest, check it OUT!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

As many of you know, Sophia's best pal Tyler who is 6, has Type 1 Diabetes. ( or as Soph used to say, "the dinabeanies"). One woman over at Soy is the new Black recently found out her daughter is also a Diabetic. Check out her blog to fight diabetes and win some fabulous prizes as well here.

  • She writes "My four-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. This is a chronic condition that she unfortunately will deal with for the rest of her life. For more information about Type 1 Diabetes, visit the American Diabetic Association and the Juvenvile Diabetes Research Foundation International.Though this is a lifelong chronic condition, researchers are making great strides in both treatments and improving the lives of those with Type 1 diabetes. Fundraising efforts, such as the Step Out Walk to Fight Diabetes, can raise substantial funds and make real changes in the lives of children and adults who struggle every day. Diabetes can be life threatening, but it doesn't have to be.Please show your support and help fund research by making a donation on behalf of my Step Out Walk to Fight Diabetes campaign. Every single dollar adds up. Contributions can be made securely through ChipIn. 100% of your donation goes toward the Step Out Walk charity event.

So won't you check it out for Tyler and this little girl and thousands of kids all over the world, so we can help put an end to Juvenile Diabetes forever?

Review: Dropps makes Laundry Less Boring

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dropps are a cool and eco-friendly alternative to messy and gritty liquid and powder detergents. These handy pre measured paks are incredibly easy to use, and get your clothes super clean. While Dropps provides a powerful scrub for your duds, it isn't the harsh kind of cleaning found in other detergents. Instead, their kindly formula gets ferocious on the dirt, but is easygoing on your clothes. I found it to be perfect for Sagan's super dirty clothing and it got my towels very clean and left them smelling nice.

Best of all, at least for me, it is HE washer friendly. We got a great deal on a front loading LG washing machine a few months ago and it takes only the HE kind of soaps. Now, don't fall over and off your chair or anything, but - my husband does ALL the laundry in the house, and yes, usually, he is the one who folds it too. I have been known to throw a few loads in a month, like if the kids laundry is particularly foul or there is a crib poop out. So, technically, I had to ask Stu if he liked these, and he said they were fine. I loved how my towels felt after using Dropps. Stu's only complaint is that in the humidity of our basement washroom, the next day when he went to do laundry, the Dropps capsules were slightly tacky and stuck together. This probably could have been avoided had he remembered to shut the top of the bag better! Any hoo, I think Dropps are a great idea. Smart, economical ( if you do the math) and great for sensitive skin. And the best part is you can find Dropps at Walmart, Target, and their complete line, including buing them in bulk, can be found at Amazon.

Try some Dropps, and you won't go back to big sticky, leaky bottles of blue stuff ever again, I promise.

Giveaway: Land's End Back Packs are Synonymous with Back-To-School!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Have you seen the back to school line this year over at Lands End? Slammin. I didn't know what to do with myself over there, the sweaters and tights and shoes... oh my. They have the richest colors, great quality fabrics I can wash a million times and they never thread, and this year the clothes for little girls ( and boys of course) offers the cutest selection ever. However, before I go off on one of my Lands End tangents over here, I want to talk to you about their brilliant idea in back packs.

Land's End Class Matetm and Junior ClassMatetm back packs are not your regular packs. The Junior Back Pack is sized for smaller kids, 4-7, but trust me, it will still hold all their library books, school gear, workbooks, and projects as they return from school. Sophia and I stuffed hers full of books off her shelf, stuck all her pencils and marker boxes in it, practiced zipping and unzipping it, and gave hers quite a pounding to test it out. Results? I love this pack. The Classmate tm is for ages 7 and up and even has compartments for a CD/MP3 player and CDs.

ClassMate™ packs are doubly durable where it counts—the bottom. It happens all the time with some packs—halfway through the year the bottom blows out. Not so with ClassMate. Maybe that's because in addition to the extra-tough bottom, they double-stitch all seams for a long life. Comfort features include padded c-shaped shoulder straps that fit kids better, and a padded lumbar panel that cushions their back. The Junior Back Packs were ranked as "Best for ages four to seven" by Real Simple Family Fall 2007 magazine!
Head over to Land's End and check out these packs for yourself. Right now they are on sale, so hurry! Make sure you get the matching lunch sacks ( so cute in pink I can't even tell you) which are also on sale right now. And the grey area is reflective for safety. You can't go wrong with this pack.

Want one for your little scholar? Land's End has generously provided a gorgeous Red ClassMatetm for a back to school giveaway. If you are like me, you waited till the last minute to get your kid's their packs for school didn't you? Ok then enter this contest, because when school starts? The contest stops!

How to Win: Go over to Lands End and check out their entire site. This can include their packs, girls outfits, swim suits, jeans, pull overs, canvas totes, shoes, boy's things, etc. (You can also buy their products at Sears, did you know that?) Build a "wish list" of a few of your favorite products Lands End provides. Throw it in a comment...... and you are entered, Folks! The winner will be pulled on Sophia's first day of KINDERGARDEN - SEPTEMBER 3rd by random selection.Here's what ya' win! Good Luck!

Excuse me theres a Frogpod in Your Shower...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh Boon, you make the best stuff. Here we have innovative bath toy technology - in other words, a way to keep those bath toys from getting crumby, and at the same time, makes it easy for your kid to help you clean up the tub after bathtime. The Frogpod is a smart choice for any parent who a) bathes their kids regularly and b) doesn't like moldy bath toys all over their bathroom. If either of these descriptions fit you, then go and get yourself a Frogpod. the Frogpod provides a drainable scoop for collecting and rinsing toys and a wall-mounted base for storing bath products.

The Frog Pod attaches to the bathtub wall with one of three options: adhesive strips, suction cups, or screws. We opted for the adhesive method. At first I worried how I would get behind the frog and clean it, but it turns out the frog comes off the mounting and all thats left is a small green rectangle that it snaps onto. Easy to clean around. You just scoop up all the toys with the brim facing away from you, click it into the froggy base, and it drains right into the tub. Ingenious. It even has a little shelf on the top for baby shampoo and the like.

I found my bathtoys to go with it at Baby's R Us. You can too! Boon has a ton of great line of colorful, high quality, Mod baby and child products that are really quite unique. I visit their site all the time to see what's coming up next. I think I am drawn to Boon stuff because of the hip colors they use and their modern, almost European feel. Their feeding gear is also really great, I love their spoons and forks for little ones learning to eat.

Won't you give them a gander and tell your friends to look for Boon in their favorite local retailer?

Bad idea #244 - Banana Flavored Oreos

Monday, August 18, 2008

You know how bananas don't actually taste like banana "flavoring"? Like for example banana laffy taffy. Remember that stuff when we were kids? I mean it was yellow and it hinted of banana, but compared to the actual fruit you peel and eat, it wasn't very similar. Well, The folks over at Nabisco have done it again. Created something that not only has empty calories galore for your mid section, but a chemical replica of banana so intensley wrong, that it challenges your taste buds and your mind to a duel of who can cut and run first.

There are things that don't go together -Bacon and Chocolate. Orange juice and toothpaste. McCain and youth. Saddly, I have to add "Oreo filling and banana" to that list. Sorry Nabisco. The only thing worse than these would be Onion Oreos.

When you enter the grocery store and see these things on the end caps, try to avoid them. I mean, not just because they are yellow and taste like bananass, but because you don't wan to contribute monitarily to a company whose next cookie flavor just might be "Tabasco Oreos".

Greasy Faced Bean Boy says eh.... so so.

The MimoBots are coming! Squeeeeee!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

One of my favorite things about having this blog is showing people something they have never seen before. It's quickly becoming the highlight of my week. So, Let me tell you about this great little deisgner USB drive I found called a Mimobot. Just LOOK at all the choices you have. Our personal favorites around here are Mimobots from the Star wars Collection. This little Ewok over here came in a little velvet tree carrying case and his face pokes out. I mean, its so ridiculously cute.

Cute may be the way to go, but these are still infact, a utility for your computer or laptop. These are 2 Gig flash drives, after all. I assure you if you have one of these little suckers plugged into your laptop the next time you hit the internet cafe' people will notice it.... and want to know where you got it. So make sure you send them over to Mimobots, because they have a HUGE selection to fit any mood. Check these out:
I have mad love for the galaxor, myself. They are made of durable matierials, are very affordable, and best of all, they are cute with a capital C. Go check out Mimobots today!

Bugalug - Stay-Put Hair Accessories for the Urban Girl

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Head bands and hairclips sometimes annoy me. Sophia has thick hair that is rather curly and nothing lasts in place more than a few minutes. Well, Finally the problem has been solved. These amazingly ingenius hair acccessories for little girls, babies and even tweens and teens will revolutionize the way you put pretty things on your head.
When I first heard Bugalugs were coming to me for review, I wondered how they were going to get a headband to stay in place on Soph...- Traction? Pins? Sticky tape? Its nothing like that actually. It's one of those simple, head thumping technologies that truely makes you say, "OH! Why didn't I think of that?" brilliant idea, Bugalug.

On top of these snazzy, mod head "ribbons" that stay in place, they also make some of the best hair clips I have seen, and believe me, we have ALOT of hair clips. Their design is fantastic, and they also stay in place in some magical way that I really appreciate them inventing. They also have other things like soothies and bib clips coming soon. All their fabrics are colorful and trendy, and the quality can't be beat.
So as school once again approaches, head over to Bugalug and pick up some slammin hair accessories to send your little girl to school in style.
Check out Bugalugs site here!

We Interupt this blog to bring you: a Husband on an Elephant

This weekend we headed over the state fair. Granted we got there a little late, and had to leave a little early due to a torrential rainstorm, but boy, we had fun. While I do not condone the use of elephants in a circus sitiuation, we did however contribute to the traveling zoo's bank account with an elephant ride for Stu and Sophia. Stu's leg immediately cramped and he was stuck on the back of the elephant with a grueling Charlie Horse.

The NJ State fair is a great family activity, and brings back so many memories of being a kid and going to the NY state Fair in Syracuse. I remember being young and thinking the "giant horse" and the "fun house" were the coolest things going. Who can resist barn after barn of chickens, cows and horses, and these gorgeous miniature Donkeys? I wanted to take one of these donkeys home SO BAD. Stu said we had no room for them. I say poo! We can make a lean too in the woods! And of course the food, funnel cake, zeppolis, gyros, skanky women in dirty flip flops and tattoos.... oh wait, I got a little ahead of myself there.

So as we were exiting the fair in the pouring rain, I ran across a booth, colorful and remeniscent of a pack of bubble gum, and purchased the following drink:

This is, apparently, Bubble Tea. For the first-timers, ordering a Bubble Tea can be an event. A confusing event, as your brain and your mouth can't figure out what on earth it is experiencing, The tea or, some sort of gummy candy. The unique ingredient of Bubble Tea is the tapioca pearl. About the size of pearls or small marbles, they have a consistency like gummy candy (soft and chewy). Being heavier than the drink they tend to always stay near the bottom of the glass. These drinks are usually served in large see-through plastic containers with an extra-wide straw to sip these jumbo pearls. Just sucking on the translucent straw creates a show, with pearls floating up in succession. I ordered the "Vanilla Chai" which tasted fine, until I got a mouth full of gummy balls that tasted like a cross between Molasses and coffee grounds. I read that children like to blow the balls out from the straw to shoot at targets or at each other.

Some people find the tapioca balls bizarre and repelling. I was somewhere in the middle.

"The Bubble Tea craze has been huge in Taiwan, and other parts of Southeast Asia for the last 15 years. In fact, Bubble Tea has taken Taiwan by storm over the past decade. The drink originally started as a childhood treat in Taiwan in the late 1980's at small tea stands in front of the schoolhouses. Teenagers and elementary school children looked forward to their after school tea. Tapioca pearls are made mostly from tapioca starch. Tapioca starch is starch made from tapioca or bitter-cassava plant, sometimes called manioca or yuca in some parts of the world. The bitter-cassava plant is native to South America and was introduced into Asia sometime during the 19th century. Someone came up with the idea of adding tapioca pearls as a bit of novelty, and the idea spread. This created a new fad of adding tapioca pearls into the children's favorite tea drinks. "

So now you have learned something new... that we love the state fair, and that there's a new drink craze out there that I didn't know about that will remind you of eating frogs eggs.

VIDEO REVIEW: Step 2 Goes Retro for Phenomenal 50s fun!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Can you imagine the squeals in my house when we received this fantastic toy from Step 2? I have a boy and a girl, and I was looking high and low for some gender neutral food-play toys to encourage my daughter and my son to play and work together, instead of always fighting. I have to look no farther, because the Step 2 50s Diner is that very toy. The 50s Diner is chock full of some of the most creatively designed play food items I have ever seen in a play kitchen, all neatly packaged in a cheerful, adorable diner situation with a throughly retro feel. I wanted to run out and get my daughter a poodle skirt. Heck, I still might.

Get a jump start on your big ticket Christmas shopping at Step 2 and see what other amazing new products they have lined up for us. They have many different styles of play kitchens to fit every family and yard size, bouncey houses, train tables, playgrounds, I mean, I could get lost over there looking at their selections. Each toy is expertly created by their very own design team, most of them with small children of their own, so they know what parents and children like when it comes to playtime. Durable, American made, and super affordable. That's what Step2 is all about.

Watch my review in high quality here, have a giggle, then head over to check out their other new products.

Want some Run around Fun Around? Animal Scramble.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Well, since I seemed to have overtaken the Hyper Dash game for myself, I was thrilled that there is yet another awesome shake and move target tagging game from Wild Planet called Animal Scramble. Animal Scramble is brand spankin new and is great fun for preschoolers to age 5.

Animal Scramble features an electronic hand-held tagger (sound familiar? Yes! It is like my favorite game Hyper Dash, thanks for asking!) shaped like a giraffe and four fist-sized friends (a monkey, parrot, tiger and elephant). The giraffe calls out which animals kids should run to and tag and tracks the amount of time taken to complete each course. In team mode, kids are instructed to pass the giraffe to other players as they work cooperatively to achieve their fastest time. The giraffe houses a microchip that uses Radio Frequency Identification to recognize the different animal targets, which can be set up side-by-side, or spread out across the length of a football field. Personally, I think it reminds me a little bit of a bar code scanner technology!

When the giraffe is placed over the correct animal, the circuit is complete and the players advance. As the game progresses, the commands become more challenging. In early levels, the giraffe calls out the first letter or full name of the animal to tag. Once kids master the names, the game adds in animal sounds, colors and characteristics. (Who says "roar!" "Who is orange?" "Who has stripes?")

As a side note, my kids SLAM that giraffe down on the animals and they hold up. The materials that this game is made of can stand up to a toddler and a preschooler slamming it around with out so much as a scuff. Good quality!

Animal Scramble requires physical exertion through running, bending, reaching and tagging movements that aid in the development of large and small muscle groups while improving coordination and motor skills. The sharing, listening and turn-taking aspects of the game practice positive social behaviors. Animal Scramble is just another fun, fast paced game that causes kids to giggle, run, think on their feet, and most of all, have fun.

Interested in getting in on the fun too? You can find Animal Scramble at many retail locations, or, order it here, from our friends at Wild Planet.

You can't accuse me of being a stiff....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Explaination: It was cold. Night fell early, the snow, blustery. I hadn't slept in a year because of Sagan. My house was trashed, my brain, fried. I watched too much Oobi over those cold winter months. This is the result. A side of Stacy not many see... and not many should.

This post will self destruct in 20 days.

Safe & Stylish Teething Jewelry For Mom And Baby...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Dr Bloom's Chewable Jewels are a great idea. We don't have any teethers in this house, as Sagan has had all his teeth since before his first birthday ( yea, I know, he's a freak) but we do have a child in this house with some issues that cause him to want to put EVERYTHING in his mouth. Yup, that's right, Sagan is speech delayed and has oral motor issues, on top of some other things we will get into at a later date, but our number one concern right now is keeping him safe from his non stop desire to mouth things. One of the things we are working on now is showing him that certain things are "ok" to chew on, so he doesn't chew on things like, ya know, paper clips, electrical wires, wallpaper, etc... and these cheweable jewels are just the thing he needs to keep that mouth busy! I can imagine they would be perfect for teething babies too! And they come in the coolest colors.

Dr. Bloom, Inc. was founded in 2003 by female entrepreneurs, and loving mothers, Dr. Helen Bloom Smith (DMD), Joy Bloom Wright, and Mary Wheeler Settlemier. The company, Dr. Blooms's conceptualized and manufactured the original teething and nursing jewelry known today as Dr. Bloom’s Chewable Jewels ®. All products are made from FDA approved materials, phthalate, BPA, PVC free, lead and latex free, both waterproof and dishwasher-durable, and are officially endorsed by dentists nationwide. Today, the company is proud to be offering moms and babies everywhere a chance to be Safe & Stylish with over 50 different product options, colors, and packages. Personally, I am a huge fan of their bangles. Just layer them up and down your arm and let your little teething munchkin chew away. You don't have to worry they are getting lead, or chemicals in their system. It's a brilliant idea!
Feel like getting some of this unique and lively colored jewelry for yourself and your little chewer? ( teethers or mouthers alike!) Dont be shy! head over to Dr. Boom's Chewable Jewels today to order your own!

It's like the Baskin Robbins of Girls Clothing - maggie delaney

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Set aside a chunk of time when you visit maggie delaney's website, because it transforms you into the designer of your very own masterpeice.

Sophia loves zebras and zebra prints, so, that part, she picked. I love polka dotted anything. That touch is mine. And their "Lacey Candy Aqua" fabric, a big seller, is a delicious touch to any style dess. So, here you see Sophia in her custom made maggie delaney dress, and oh, what a dress it is. Fun to make. Fun to wear. Countless possibilities. Bright, high quality fabrics in many styles and colors, detailed edging, and a perfect fit. I am highly impressed with this site and this product.

Now a little bit about them. Just design a dress or design a skirt on their interactive online clothing design website, in three easy steps: 1. select a style. 2. choose your fabrics. 3. pick a size.
Your custom girl's dress is made in the United States and will be shipped to you in 2-3 weeks. With custom dress design and custom skirt design, you can coordinate maggie delaneys for family events or photographs. When you design a dress or design a skirt on their online clothing design website, you choose the style that best suits each girl and fabric combinations from funky to demure to match each girl's personality.

Other great options:

maggie delaney dresses are perfect for a baby girl gift, a birthday gift for a girl, or any special occasion. Not sure what to order? Choose a maggie delaney gift card and let the young girl in your life design a dress or skirt on our online clothing design website.
BUY DRESSES OR SKIRTS If you need the perfect girl's dress or skirt for a party, birthday, or family reunion right away, you can also order ready-made maggie delaney girls' dresses and skirts in our online store.
HAVE A DRESS DESIGN PARTY You can host a party in your home. Or find maggie delaney at upscale arts festivals. Create maggie delaney designs day or night at the maggie delaney interactive online clothing design website.

Stop by to create your dress today!

VIDEO Fun Idea - An easy Ball Pit for One!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Here at Sagan's Universe, we will be offering a plethora of videos to entertain and stimulate! Or, just to make fun of my kids.

Contest: Sagan's Universe Toy Favorite - Hyper Dash!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I have alot to say about this game, so, forgive me ahead of time for going on, and on. Sophia received this game as a birthday gift, and I immediately wrote the company I liked it so much. This may be, in a nutshell, one of the best games for kids I have ever had the pleasure of playing. I know - I am not a kid. But I have clocked more hours on this game than both of my kids. I even had one of my girlfriends over and SHE was addicted by the time she left. Yes, Hyper Dash is that good. You know when you find a gift for those endless birthday parties that is so unique, so fun... that you go out and buy 10 just so every kid you know will get one? Hyper Dash is one of those kind of games. Let me explain.
This game is designed to give kids a fresh and lively alternative to sedentary entertainment. The game is psychically and mentally engaging. It promotes listening, memory, math and coordination skills. I actually think we get an aerobic work out from this game... but all that goes by the way side, because its just so fun you forget its good for you!
Hyper Dash consists of one electronic tagger and five diffferent colored and numbered targets. The tagger ( that blue cone thingie you see there) Plays pre recorded music and calls out which targets you need to strike. It tracks the amount of time it takes to complete each course. The tagger uses radio frequency identification (RFID) to recognize the targets, which can be set up side by side, ( if you are lazy like me!) or, across the length of a football field! ( pant, pant, pant...) The farther the targets from each other... the more they excersize!
As you progress in the game, it becomes harder, and there are four levels. You hear the caller say " Double Strike... Yellow!" and you have to go WHAM WHAM! on the yellow target... then you hear "5 minus 2!" and you have to go find the "3" and smack that target. OMG... It is so much fun! We laugh so hard watching each other run around the house smacking targets. There are so many variations of this game, and the kids can make up their own little micro games, like hide and seek, etc. There is also a tag team option for team playing! I mean, its like organized chaos. It gets kids on their feet, even on rainy days, gets them expending energy, and best of all, having fun!
Also, just as a side note - my husband made a comment about the packaging of Hyper Dash. Don't you hate those mounds and mounds of plastic wrapping, little plastic ties, clips, string bindings... and worse of all the dreaded VACCUFORM! ( my husband's arch nemesis!) This game is NOT packaged like that. It comes in a simple recycled cardboard box... with a recycled fiber container inside holding the actual game. Thats it. Easy to open and incredibly environmentally friendly packaging! Don't think we didn't notice, Wild Planet!
I am now a huge fan of Wild Planet products for children and plan to review more. I firmly believe that these games and toys go one step further than most on the market to enhance childhood, both mentally and physically.
So... have I turned you on to Hyper Dash yet? No? Well, you are in luck, because our friends over at Wild Planet have sent us ONE copy of Hyper Dash to give away to one of our readers. Just leave a comment on this post after visiting Wild Planet and tell me which game seems to fit your families tastes the best! Contest ends August 25th!