June – 2012 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

June 2012

Chuggington News – Cold Stone Creamery Promotion! {Giveaway}

Our family loves to go to Cold Stone for a special treat. Even Brian, who can’t really eat ice cream, likes to go for their sorbet. And of course with HOT HOT HOT temperatures, something cold is even more appealing! The boys love to get Cotton Candy ice cream with gummy bears (although last time C picked mint to go with the gummy bears… interesting combo).

As if you needed another reason to want ice cream, Cold Stone Creamery is also hosting a Chuggington promotion offering $2.00 off coupon on any Chuggington DVD with the purchase of one of their creations. This promotion will run through August, so be sure to stop by with your trainee this summer for a treat AND savings!

Even better?

One lucky reader will win a $10 Cold Stone gift card!  This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Monday, July 16. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: I’m a Chuggington Conductor! I received a Cold Stone gift card for this post. All opinions are honest and are those of myself and my family. The prize for the giveaway is also being provided.
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Balboa Baby Shopping Cart Cover {Giveaway}

Shopping carts are something we use all the time without giving too much thought to all the germs that are lurking. It’s a little bit more common now to see wipes to disinfect carts, but generally people just grab them and go. Of course, when you’ve got a small baby you’re much more acutely aware of all the germy situations that are out there.

It’s really important to me to have a good shopping cart cover for when our baby is old enough to ride in the cart without her infant carrier. It’s not only useful for protecting against germs – it also provides a softer, more comfortable place for her to sit while we shop.

We received a cart cover from Balboa Baby to review. Balboa Baby is the brainchild of Shirley Pepys (creator of NoJo), her son Noel, and Dr. William Sears. They’ve worked to provide contemporary, unique products with beautiful prints to “make parents’ lives easier, babies happier and to give them both opportunities to bond and experience life together.”

They offer a wide variety of products in gorgeous fabric options – slings, nursing covers, nursing pillows, high chair covers, shopping cart covers, stroller liners, and bags. I had such a hard time picking which fabric I wanted our cart cover in because I loved so many of the prints! The Red Poppy was my other favorite, but Brian helped me decide between the two. Don’t you love these?

The Black/White Leaf pattern is just as striking in person as it was in the swatch online. I love the contrast! It’s really well-made and is slightly padded, adding to the comfort level for little ones when sitting in a hard metal cart. Since our baby isn’t arriving until September, C agreed to test it out for me. :)

The cart covers from Balboa Baby are machine washable and have four elastic corners to help for easy installation. They also have a safety strap to keep babies secure, and come with toy loops to attach items for keeping babies entertained while you’re shopping.

The cover also easily folds down into a compact storage bag:

I am already scoping out their stroller liners, too. Wouldn’t they be perfect to add a little style & comfort to an umbrella stroller? Be sure to keep up with Balboa on Facebook & Twitter for all the news on their latest products!

One lucky reader will win a Balboa Baby shopping cart cover!  This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Sunday, July 15. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: I received a cart cover to facilitate my review, and Balboa Baby is providing one for the giveaway. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

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BabaSling Lite by Joovy

I love babywearing and hope to do it with this baby even more than I did with the boys. It’s so nice to be able to have your baby close to you but still have your hands free.

Joovy makes a wide variety of great products for infants, but I didn’t know until recently about their sling! The BabaSling Lite by Joovy is an easy-to-use, lightweight sling. Some features you should know about this sling are:

– One size fits all with fully adjustable straps and dual railings
– Fits left or right shoulder
– Five different carrying positions and two breastfeeding positions
– Allows you to breastfeed discretely
– Shoulder pad is extra-padded for comfort
– Padded infant head support and railing
– Pocket to help position infant properly
– Easy quick-release buckle will not wake-up sleeping babies
– Second safety buckle for added security
– Made of 100% cotton, machine washable (hang to dry)
– Satisfaction Guarantee

The strap is padded and adjustable – both Brian and I were able to wear it comfortably.

There are two buckles – an inner safety buckle and a larger buckle too – this ensures that you don’t ever accidentally unbuckle the sling while wearing your baby.

You can wear the BabaSling Lite in any number of positions:

The fabric is nice and breathable, and I know we’ll get a ton of use out of it. Where to Buy: Available on Joovy.com. And keep up with Joovy on Facebook, too!

Note: I received a BabaSling Lite to facilitate this post. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and my own.

VTech Safe & Sound Audio & (Full Color) Video Monitor

When the boys were newborns, I can remember going in repeatedly to check on them and see how they were doing, and even this third time I have a feeling it’ll be the same way! We didn’t have a video monitor before, but our good friends have one and we saw how useful they can be, so we knew we wanted one for this baby. With two “not-good-at-inside-voices” little boys, I figure this baby will be napping in the other room, so having the video monitor to check on her will be great!

The VTech Safe & Sound monitor provides both audio monitoring and full-color video. It also has an infrared LED view, allowing you to watch your baby at night, too. We tested the night view and were really impressed with how well it worked:

You can also see in the shot that the monitor also tracks the room temperature. I never would’ve thought about wanting this feature, but it’s really nice for being able to make sure the room isn’t too cold or warm. You can even set it to be alerted if the temperature reaches a certain minimum or maximum temp. You can also turn the sound on or off – if it’s off, there’s a vibrate feature to the device to still alert you if your baby cries.

You can also push the “talk” button to soothe your baby remotely. I can imagine using this if you want to offer them comfort without going into the room and waking them up or upsetting them.

The parent unit has a rechargeable battery and lets you know when the battery is getting low. It’s also got a clip to make it easy to stick on your pocket – or you can fold the clip out to use as a stand.

The camera can run on 4 AA batteries, or (as recommended) with the plug. You can also use up to four cameras with this system – a great feature to get different angles of the room or check on more than one child.

The VTech Safe & Sound monitor retails for $129.95. It’s available in many retail stores and on Amazon.com. It’s less expensive than many other monitors on the market, and I love all of the features it offers. We’re excited to have this for keeping an eye (and ear!) on our newest addition once she arrives!

Note: I received the VTech Safe & Sound Audio & Video monitor to facilitate this review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and my own.

aden + anais crib sheets

I’ve already written about how much I love aden + anais – but did you know that they also have crib sheets? This is one of their newer products, and is also made of their great muslin. We received the “For the Birds” pattern, which features a sweet print of owls in trees.

They have a good variety of designs to choose from – and since we don’t use bumpers or a comforter, having a really cute sheet is a great way to express personality in your baby’s nursery.

Here are their options for the classic sheets (they have organic options too!):

Visit the aden + anais site to see all of their great muslin products. I plan to use a lot of their items with this baby because I love them so much!

Note: We received an aden+anais crib sheet to facilitate this post. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Molar Muncher

Anyone who’s dealt with a teething baby knows what it’s like to hunt for something to help soothe. The Molar Muncher provides a solution – it is a hands?free teether that soothes the entire gum line simultaneously.

It’s made out of FDA-approved, non-toxic silicone and is all one piece. It’s BPA free as well, and is dishwasher and refrigerator safe. You can find the Molar Muncher on Amazon.com.

Note: I received a Molar Muncher to facilitate this post. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and my own.

Beaba Bottle Warmer & Accessories {Giveaway!}

Have you heard of BEABA before? It’s a French company started in 1989, so they’ve been focusing on well-designed and functional products for babies. They promote attractive products with innovative concepts and practical uses.

I received the Bib’Secondes, bottle brush and Bib mixer to review. If you bottle feed, you know it’s great to have good accessories to help make prep and cleanup easier.

The Bib’Secondes is a bottle warmer that allows you to warm baby bottles in less than 2 minutes and baby food jars in less than 5 minutes.

It’s easy to select the amount of liquid or food you’re warming, and you can also designate whether you’re heating it from room temperature or the refrigerator.

The cover removes with a twist; you then fill the base to the designated line. I made a short video to show you a little more about the device.

And here’s a video provided by BEABA to show a little more about the Bib’Secondes:

The Bib Mixer provides parents with a way to quickly and efficiency mix formula. When you shake a bottle to mix it, a large amount of foam/air bubbles can form, which can potentially cause gas and discomfort in your baby.

The blade comes out allowing for easy cleaning, and for easy storage in the bag that comes with the mixer.

The mixer is battery-operated making it easy to take with you and use wherever you go. I was curious what the strength of the motor would be for such a compact mixer and was pleasantly surprised – you can see for yourself in this video:

We also received the BEABA 2-in-1 bottle brush. I love the colors and how its storage container resembles a flower pot:

On the end of the handle is a small brush perfect for cleaning bottle nipples, and on the other is the wider brush for cleaning the bottles themselves:

The Bib’Secondes retails for $64.95, the Bib Mixer for $19.95, and the 2-in-1 bottle brush for $19.95. You can find BEABA products on Amazon.com and other online retailers (check the BEABA site for a full list).

You can also enter to win a BEABA prize pack featuring the three items shown above (Total ARV $122.85)! This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Friday, July 13. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: I received BEABA products to facilitate my review, and BEABA is providing prizes for the giveaway. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

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Tiny Love’s Gymini Play Mat Sure to Be Huge Fun for Your Little One

When babies are little the play mat is almost always one of the first toys they interact with. It’s the perfect setup – they can lay on their backs and be engaged by the items hanging above them. The boys both loved theirs, but like all the other gear we sold it after C outgrew it. Since we’re having a girl this time, I was really excited to get a pink-themed mat. But not only that, this mat is above and beyond what we had before!

The Tiny Princess Gymini Move N’ Play Mat adapts to your baby’s growth, allowing for play throughout their whole first year.

Sliding arches create a variety of play positions. This is probably one of my favorite features, because you’re not just limited to the traditional setup – the sliding arches make it really easy to use the mat for  tummy time, too. All you have to do is squeeze the green button and it’s simple to move!

For newborns, the Tiny Princess Gymini Move ?n Play activity mat has the brand?s classic features, including hanging toys, teethers and mirror. There’s a toy at the center of the arches that has electronic music and lights – it plays seven different songs!

The hanging toys slide along the arches and can also be removed, and there are a couple of wings on the floor of the mat that have a great crinkle sound to them that babies will love.

Another aspect of the mat that I really like is the ability to have raised borders. Once your baby starts rolling you’ll definitely appreciate having something to keep them contained!

But it’s just a matter of unsnapping the corners to get a completely flat mat, which has a larger surface area than many play mats. It’s really easy for parents to unsnap the arches from the mat as well so you can throw the mat itself into the washing machine if you need to.

This mat retails for $74.99, which is slightly higher than some other mats on the market, but I think its versatility and larger size add value. Plus, parents of little girls may (like I do) really like the pink look and bright, cheery colors that are feminine without being  over the top. This would make a great shower gift and would be something that could be used for a long time!

Note: I received a Tiny Princess Play N’ Move play mat to facilitate this review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and my own.

Ritmo Advanced Review {Giveaway!}

I wrote a post about the Ritmo the other day, and now I’m following up to share another option with you – the Ritmo Advanced!  They have a great comparison chart on their page that makes it easy to see some of the differences between the two:

The Ritmo Advanced comes in a really well-designed gift box. I was impressed with the packaging and this really would make an impressive gift.

This green device you see in the photo aboveis the Ritmo Safe & Sound Controller, which is a device that learns the patterns of music and sounds and plays it to the baby in the womb at a continuous safe and stable decibel level that uniquely fits their physical growth stage during the pregnancy. The Advanced system also comes with a really convenient zippered pouch to house everything in.

One lucky reader will win a Ritmo Advanced System (ARV $149.95)!  This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Friday, July 13. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: I received a Ritmo Advanced system to facilitate my review, and Ritmo by Nuvo is providing prizes for two giveaways. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

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Glad One Bag Challenge

Glad trash bags are now stronger and stretchier than ever before, allowing you to fit more in them and use less bags overall. To celebrate these new improvements, Glad challenged me and other blogger to a one bag challenge – hosting a get together with friends and using only one bag to hold all of the trash.

We decided to have a picnic at the park with friends to celebrate the rare not-insanely-hot weather. Glad sent us a One Bag kit filled with all sorts of great items like compostable forks, knives, spoons, plates, bowls, cups, and napkins along with other things like a candle, cleaner, and more. We grabbed all the supplies, set them up at a park table and were ready to go!

Of course after all that eating, there was trash to deal with. The Glad bag held up great and had more than enough room for everything:

We’ve loved Glad bags for a long time and they’ve been our number 1 choice, but now I love them even more knowing their commitment to reducing waste. Find out more by visiting their site.

Note: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Glad and received a One Bag kit to facilitate my review, a kit to give away, and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Do the {Sandwich} Shuffle! {Giveaway}

We are HUGE Jason’s Deli fans in our family, and eat there 3-4 times a month. The boys love the kids’ meals, the muffins, and of course the ice cream. We love the food and the organic ingredients (and the fact that the boys eat well there), and how friendly everyone is at our local location.

When I heard about an opportunity to help promote their Sandwich Shuffle competition, I couldn’t pass that up. This is a fun contest where you design your own sandwich at SandwichShuffle.com and then enter to win. Win what, you ask?

Pretty good reason to play, right? Each week four $100 gift cards will be awarded to the contestants that have submitted their entry. There will also be a $5,000 grand prize winner (the sandwich that receives the most votes), a $2,000 prize & a $1,000 prize.

It’s really easy (and fun) to enter. Just build your dream sandwich, then share with friends and family and get them to vote for your creation!

I included Herbed Foccacia bread, meatballs, pepperoni, asiago & provolone cheeses, Roma tomatoes, and basil pesto on my sandwich – it sounds like something Brian would choose.

I was sent some fun t-shirts and some gift cards to help promote this contest – LOVE these shirts! I shared some of them to spread the word about the contest with friends at work:

Aren’t they fun? And guess what…

Three lucky readers will each win a prize – two winners will get one t-shirt each, and one winner will get $25 in gift cards to Jason’s Deli!  This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Wednesday, July 11. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: I received t-shirts and gift cards from Jason’s Deli, some of which I used and some which were given away. All opinions are honest and are my own.

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Make Bath Time Extra Fun with Munchkin!

If you’ve seen the movie “What to Expect When You’re Expecting then you might remember this guy that made a cameo appearance:

Pretty cute, huh? Well, we had this Munchkin tub for the boys and I can tell you it’s not just cute – it is amazing for baths with little ones! J went through a phase where he seemed terrified of the big bathtub, and every bath was a struggle. Then we discovered this duck bath, and our problems were solved. It’s soft, it’s cute, and it feels more secure for babies, letting them have fun in the bath. Since it’s inflatable, it’s also easy to deflate and bring along with you on trips. Another great feature of this tub is that there’s a White Hot sensor in the bottom, letting you easily identify if the water is too hot or not.

We don’t still have our duck tub anymore, so I was thrilled to receive one for review – I am sure this baby will love it as much as the boys did! You can find this tub in many local stores (we got our last one at Target) and online at retailers like Amazon. It’s really affordable at $14.99 and it’s durable, too, so it’s a great value for the cost.

Along with the tub we also got two other Munchkin bath products. Their rubber ducks are so fun and are the perfect add-on to a shower gift, in my opinion! They come in a ton of different styles – here are just a few:

I love our little football player – so cute, right?

And just like the duck bath, these are more than just cute additions to bath time – they also have a heat sensor underneath, letting you test the temperature of any bath water before your baby gets in.

We also received the Wonder Waterway, which is a set of three stackable toys that work great together or apart.

 

When the toys are linked together, it creates a fun waterway that kids will really love! These are great shapes for little hands, too, making them a good option for when your little one first starts playing with toys in the tub.

If you’re looking for a good baby gift, I think a basket of bath products and toys from Munchkin, and some cute wash cloths would make an adorable gift basket! Be sure and check out their products in stores and online. Visit Munchkin.com for more information on all they have to offer, and you can also keep up with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Note: I received Munchkin products to facilitate this review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.