Reviews & Giveaways
I now post Review and Giveaways on my Home page. Look out for upcoming reviews and exiting giveaways!
I don’t want this blog to become a review blog, but I do post reviews and giveaways about great products once in a while, preferably green or organic or eco-friendly products. I only review products I think would interest my readers. Enjoy!
Review: Waterpik EasySelect Showerhead
I’m in love — with a showerhead. I was sent the Waterpik EasySelect Showerhead with five custom spray settings and asked Don to install it for me so I could try it. Weeks went by and he had still not gotten around to it, so I took matters into my own hand to install it in our shower stall. The box said it only takes five minutes — how hard could it be?
Honestly, it didn’t even take that long. You don’t need pipe tape and it comes with a little wrench. I was trying it out minutes later. Ah! Compared to our old showerhead, also a Waterpik, which sprayed at an angle and some of the water never hit you, this one mounts right over your head and the water comes out of it as if it rains on you. So relaxing!
I’ll probably always use the widest one of the five spray settings, but this is a great showerhead that grows with the family. If L was still a baby, I’d attach this to my bath tub shower and use the handle to gently wash him with it. It’s very easy to change the spray setting on the handle, and older kids will like using the handle and different settings themselves.
As a green mom, I appreciate that all Waterpic showerheads are equipped with their patented OptiFLOW regulator that limits maximum flow to 2.5 gallons per minute. Learn more at Waterpik.com.
I was sent one Waterpik showerhead to try out by MomSelect but received no other compensation. This is my honest opinion.
Eco-Friendly Easy Lunch Boxes Giveaway *closed
I was contacted by Kelly Lester — the owner, creator, and mom behind EasyLunchBoxes.com — just in time. Don had just read an article about how bad it is to store food in cheap plastic containers, that some of the chemicals can leach into the food, and I was about to buy expensive glass storage containers when Kelly asked me to try out her bento lunch boxes (set of 4 for $13.95). I’m so glad I gave them a try — I love them, they are so practical, safe, and I’m happy that I don’t have to handle heavy glass storage containers.
Easy Lunch Boxes with three compartments are:
- made out of non-toxic, food safe polypropylene (No. 5, PP) and free of BPA, PVC and phthalate.
- sturdy and reusable, with lids that snap closed
- safe for the refrigerator, freezer, microwave and dishwasher — and FDA approved!
As a frugal and environmentally conscious mom, the thing I like most is that Easy Lunch Boxes storage containers are eco-friendly and promote a waste-free lunch. It lets families organize and quickly pack healthy lunches without wasting time, money, paper or plastic. The Easy Lunch Boxes are very sturdy, I like the four different lid colors, and with the accompanying insulated cooler bag ($7.95 each) they are the perfect lunchbox system for your kids or yourself.
I still don’t heat up food in the microwave in plastic containers — I prefer glass or porcelain — but these containers are so much healthier for us than all the cheap ones I had. Another plus: I have a lot more space in my cabinet after getting rid of all the mismatched plastic containers and lids since you only need four lids and four containers with the Easy Lunch Boxes system.
Win a set of Easy Lunch Boxes containers and a Lunch Bag! *closed
Congrats, Gardenmom29, Random.org selected you to be the winner!
This giveaway ended August 31, 2010 at 10:00 pm. The winner was be chosen by Random.org and had 48 hours to respond to my email. Open to U.S. residents.
I received a set of Easy Lunch Boxes and one lunch bag for this review but no other compensation. This is my honest opinion.
UnderWAY and Smart for Life
Mom Central sent me bottles of new underWAY supplement drinks — infused with a special HeroFiber and heart-healthy vitamins — and packages of Smart for Life cookies, bagels, soups, cereals, cupcakes and shakes to try. Since I have been struggling to maintain my weight the last six month, I welcomed the opportunity to try out these new products.
Smart for Life all natural, 60% organic products offer great snacking on-the-go, containing necessary nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids and HeroFiber, zero trans fat and make you feel fuller. I wasn’t able to follow the recommended 7-meals-per-day schedule with 6 cookies or products plus a balanced dinner to maintain a steady blood sugar and glucose levels, but I especially liked the cookies and cupcakes I received. Smart for Life also offers soups, shakes, bagels, and cereals that taste great.
I wrote this review for a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of underWAY and Smart for Life and received samples of the products.
Gardenia Bonsai from ProFlowers.com
ProFlowers.com send me a beautiful little Gardenia bonsai tree! It came today and I’m all exited. I love that it comes in a pretty ceramic pot.
I hope Don will take good care of it, because I’m going on a trip for two weeks and don’t even get to enjoy it. Can’t wait for it to bloom so I can smell that sweet Gardenia smell in the whole house.
Want to treat yourself, your mom, or your girlfriend? You can never go wrong with flowers — but maybe send a bonsai the next time?
I received a bonsai for this review but no other compensation. This is my honest opinion.
Silicon Valley/New York City Moms Blog Brand & Blogger Event
Last week I was invited to an amazing event by Silicon Valley Moms Group — I write for their New York City Moms Blog. Jill Asher, Linsey Krolik, Samantha Fein and Beth Feldman organized a fab Brand/Blogger Party with these companies: Bit Defender, Lifetime Television, Stonyfield Farms, Ebay Classified, Army of Women, JDub Records, Yoplait Kids, MobiStories, 23andMe, Panasonic, iGo, Cirque du Soleil, Mabel’s Labels, Lawry’s, Daymon Worldwide, Wicked, and BusyBodyBooks.
There is just no way for me to mention all the products, but here are my favorite:
Taga — Bicycle and Stroller in One!
Okay, I want one of these: this bike converts into a cool stroller in 20 seconds! Originally from Europe, Taga is now also available in the U.S. They are healthy because you get your exercise, they keep your children safe in a sturdy seat, they are environmentally friendly, and fun!
I love this charger because it’s another environmentally friendly product — iGo charges almost anything anywhere, either by being plugged into the wall or with the internal battery. It can charge two cell phones, Nintendo, TomTom devices, etc., at the same time. While being plugged into an outlet, it charges the internal battery so you can then take it anywhere to charge devices on the go, without having to use up more electricity. Check out iGo and its many power tips (sold separately) and their other cool, green products at iGo.com.
MobiStories — Digital Stories for Kids
MobiStories introduces a whole now world of reading. MobiStories are interactive books you can download for your children. I downloaded The Marvelous Toy and was amazed with all the things you can do. If you click on the windows of the house in the story, for example, the lights in the house go on or off — Landon loves to be able to make the story come to life like that. The prices for MobiStories are very reasonable (only $1.99 for The Marvelous Toy!).
Stonyfield Organic Yogurt:
I love all the Stonyfield products because they use only organic ingredients, their philosophy is about being green and sustainability, and they all taste so good! So I was exited that they were one of the brands represented at this SV event. Landon’s first yogurt was their yobaby yogurt, and I only buy him Stonyfield yogurt because it’s the only one that is purely organic. I was given a sample of their Oikos non-fat Greek yogurt with caramel flavor and was instantly hooked: That stuff tastes like ice cream — without the guilt! If you haven’t tried it yet, do yourself a favor and pick it up the next time you are getting groceries! You can find coupons and more at Stonyfield.com.
While at the event, I won a combo pack of personalized Mabel’s Labels for Landon. Their labels are amazing and exactly what I needed — little labels with Landon’s name that I can simply stick on his clothes so they don’t get lost at preschool. And the bigger labels are great for his sippy cup and larger items. Especially if you also have a child with an unusual name you can never get anything personalized for, Mable’s Labels are fantastic! They also made Landon labels for his shoes and two cute bag tags. All of the Mabel’s are waterproof and dishwasher safe.
Thank you for inviting me, SV Moms Blog Group! I had a blast!
I received several products for review purposes during this event but no other monetary compensation. This is my honest opinion.
KinderCone — A Wonderful German Tradition to Celebrate Your Child’s First Day of School
You have no idea how exited I was to learn about the KinderCone. Growing up in Germany I was given a “Schultuete” on my first day of school, filled with little gifts. It’s a big deal for kids in Germany to get a Schultuete and I remember standing next to my best friend Danja in front of the school with our Schultueten that were as big as we were while my dad took a picture of us. I wish I had the picture to share, but it’s in Germany.
One clever German mom, Vivian Lie, brought the Schultueten concept to America and I couldn’t be more happy to spread the word about it! I should have thought of this :) I felt so strongly about wanting to give Landon a Schultuete for his first day of preschool that I bought a little one for him on our last tip to Germany. See?
I’m so exited that KinderCones are now available in the U.S. and hope that this sweet tradition will also start to be celebrated here.
The KinderCone comes filled with Karli the Cat, a little KinderJournal, five pencils, and temporary tattoos. You can add your child’s favorite treat or toy to personalize the KinderCone.
L is going to graduate to the “big kids” preschool class in a month and I plan to make that day memorable with giving him this KinderCone.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central on behalf of KinderCone and received one KinderCone sample. Mom Central will send me a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.
Bread Art Project – Fighting Childhood Hunger in America
Landon and I were invited by Jennifer James from Mom Bloggers Club to attend a special blogger event for the Bread Art Project. Melissa d’Arabian from Food Network’s Ten Dollar Dinners was also at this event, and I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to meet both of these amazing ladies. You can see more pictures of our fun trip here: Trip to New York City.
The Grain Food Foundation, who encourages all of us to include more grains in our diet, and the charity organization Share Our Strength are working together to increase awareness of the growing hunger problem in the United States with the second annual Bread Art Project.
Did you know that one in six children have to worry about their next meal? That’s 12 million children in America!! I didn’t know that.
The Bread Art Project lets you create your own bread art, and $1 will go to Share Your Strength. It’s fun, check it out! Submit your own creation now through June 30, 2010.
Landon and I had a fantastic time meeting other blogging moms and their kids (Jennifer Leal from Savor the Thyme, Amy Suardi from Frugal Mama, Hilary Morris from NJ My Way, Suzanne from Mom Confessionals — another breastfeeding mama!) and sampling some of the delicious food that was served. We even got to see my friend Maria from New York Mom and her daughter, famous Lily :)
Hearing Melissa d’Arabian, mother of four, talk about her own story of going hungry as a child in a single-parent household was very touching, and it was so nice to be able to talk to her afterward for a moment. Meeting Jennifer James and her cute daughters was a highlight for me as well. Landon was happy with getting a balloon doggy and his first fake tattoo from “Miss Christine,” and he loved the ride into New York City.
No child should grow up hungry! Please check out the Bread Art Project, tell others about it, and donate what you can.
Thank you again, Jennifer, for inviting us! It was a pleasure meeting you and your daughters. Here is Jennifer’s wonderful writeup about this worthy event on her Mom Blog Magazine.
Giveaway: Alexa’s Angels Jewelry! *closed
Alexa’s Angels contacted me to find out if I wanted to do a giveaway of their jewelry, and after I checked out their line of inspirational jewelry meant to inspire heartfelt emotion, I said, “Absolutely, my readers would love to win some of your necklaces!” The line offers many unique gift options, including necklaces, bracelets, and angel pins for moms, grandmas, aunts, teachers, and loved ones.
I was sent a pretty set of sterling silver necklaces with freshwater pearls called Strength, and I gave the larger one to my sister-in-law and kept the little one. I thought it was a nice gesture to be connected like this to my “sister.”
Your turn! Win this Strength necklaces!
This giveaway ended April 30, 2010 at 10:00 pm. The winner will be chosen by Random.org and has 48 hours to respond to my email. Open to U.S. residents.
I received a set of Alexa’s Angels jewelry for this review but no other monetary compensation. This is my honest opinion.
Review: BioGaia Probiotic Products for Infants, Kids, and Adults
I know about the great health benefits of probiotics (Lactobacillus reuteri), so I was exited to try out three new, innovative BioGaia® probiotic products: drops, chewable tablets, and straws.
BioGaia Probiotic drops are a simple, safe, and convenient way to reduce colic in infants, to improve gut heath and function, and to boost immunity in children and adults. It’s the first probiotic available in drop form, in a chewable tablets, and in a straw that is filled with friendly bacteria.
Don and I have been taking the BioGaia chewable tablets, and I am giving L the drops in his juice once a day or let him have on of the straws. Since the straws and the tablets don’t need to be refrigerated, I can take them anywhere, which is so convenient.
When taking antibiotics, a lot of the good bacteria in our bodies get destroyed as well, so it is important to take probiotics when you or your child are taking antibiotics.
I’m a great fan of probiotics and love the fact that they are a natural defense we can take every day to prevent from getting ill. For more information, go to http://www.childrensprobiotics.com. For a chance to win BioGaia Probiotics, join today’s Twitter party at 8 p.m. EST — look out for #BioGaia.
I received three BioGaia probiotics products for this review but no other compensation. This is my honest opinion.
Shabby Apple Review
Listen up, fashionistas! Shabby Apple let me pick out one of their dresses to review. Perfect — I needed a new dress for the summer! I chose the Amethyst dress from their flirty collection. I love it! I wish the fabric was more stretchy, but I love the color and the cut.
Shabby Apple dresses are made from thick cotton, charmeuse, and jersey fabrics that don’t require ironing. Their prices are affordable, and Shabby Apple donates 5% of their proceeds to support the fight against global poverty.
Shabby Apple also sells cute maternity dresses, shoes, bags, girls and bridesmaids dresses, and fitness outfits — so run, don’t walk to take advantage of this offer :)
I received one Shabby Apple dress for this review but no monetary compensation. This is my honest opinion.
Review and Giveaway: Simplisse Breastfeeding Companion Pump and Accessories (value of over $130!)
As you know, I am a passionate breastfeeding advocate, and I was thrilled when Simplisse contacted me to review – and give away! – a whole box of their breastfeeding products. Specially designed for the health of mom and baby during breastfeeding, Simplisse is a new brand and the only complete line of breast pumps, breastfeeding accessories, skincare products, and nutrient supplements.
Their products are developed and produced by a team of lactation consultants and moms to naturally support the positive bond between moms, babies and breastfeeding. I received their innovative hand pump, lactation vitamins, breast pads, nipple cream, cleaning wipes, and breast milk storage bags.
I had a girlfriend of mine, who just had a baby, try out the pump and she loved it. The Simplisse breast pump is designed to be very gentle and has patented new technology for expressing breast milk. It simulates babies suckling to make for an easy letdown and flow of milk. There is no tugging or friction, and best of all, it’s affordable (around $35). Even I, who didn’t pumped much for L because he didn’t like bottles, used to have a hand pump around for times where I was engorged or to pump some milk to put in his baby cereal. Moms who pump to be able to go to work or go out for a special occasion will love this pump as a backup.
All of the other Simplisse products are phenomenal as well: the breast pads are thin and designed to stay in place without adhesive, the nipple cream is lanolin free, the storage bags are extra thick and can stand upright, the supplement are designed for optimal health for baby and mom, and the cleaning wipes are non-toxic and come in a convenient container.
One lucky winner will win all of theses breastfeeding accessories!
- Simplisse manual breast pump
- Box of 50 Breast Pump Cleaning Wipes
- Lanolin-Free Nipple Cream
- Box of 60 Disposable Breast Pads
- Box of 25 Breast milk Storage Bags
- 1-month Supply of Essential Lactation Vitamins
This is a perfect gift for any nursing mom or as a baby shower gift!
This giveaway ended April 11, 2010 at 10:00 pm. The winner was chosen by Random.org and has 48 hours to respond to my email. Congrats, Heather L! Only open to U.S. residents.
I received a pump as well as accessories from Simplisse for review purposes but no other monetary compensation. This is my honest opinion.
Review: Episencial Sunscreen and Foaming Wash
Thanks to Jody (@EcoMomCEO) from SproutBaby.com — which makes purchasing healthy, eco-friendly products for your family easy and accessible — I was able to try out Episencial sunny sunscreen SPF 35 ($14.99) and their Playful Foaming Wash ($8.99). Episencial makes just the kind of products I want for my son.
- Uses recycled plastics that are phthalate and BpA free
- Manufactures their products using solar power
- Includes certified organic ingredients
- Their products are made in the USA, cruelty free, and vegan
The sunscreen is free of additives, parabens, hormones, phenoxyethanol, SLS, fragrances, and petroleum, and includes organic green tea, shea butter and zinc. It is baby safe, water-resistant, and was easy to use on my son. The body wash made nice bubbles and didn’t smell, which I appreciate.
I received one Episencial sun screen and one one-time sample of the body wash but was not paid for this review. This is my honest opinion.
Review and Giveaway:
Simply Breastfeeding DVD by Shari Criso, MSN, RN, CNM, IBCLC
Breastfeeding isn’t that easy for most moms in the beginning. It wasn’t for me, and too many moms give up after just a short time because it hurts them too much or they are afraid that their child is not getting enough milk.
I am always frustrated when I hear that moms give up breastfeeding because they didn’t get enough support or correct information — that’s why I started writing Dagmar’s momsense — and now I have one more excellent resource to point moms to: Shari Criso’s amazing DVD Simply Breastfeeding, which teaches you everything you need and want to know about breastfeeding.
Watching Shari’s DVD is like chatting about breastfeeding with a trusted girlfriend – only Shari’s got the education, experience, and credentials to back up what she says. She is a registered nurse, certified midwife and board-certified lactation consultant who recently released this brand-new, HD version of her DVD, Simply Breastfeeding. She has almost 20 years of experience and now owns The Birth Boutique, a specialty store and learning center in New Jersey.
I was given the opportunity to review the DVD and am so impressed with it! This DVD really addresses every question and concern moms, and dads, have about breastfeeding.
You will learn about:
- Benefits of Breastfeeding
- Latching and Positioning
- Preventing Nipple Soreness
- Signs Your Baby is Getting Enough
- and much more (this DVD is about an hour long)
Bonus: Shari offers a free workbook you can download for your hospital bag that provides useful reminders and quick tips when you need them the most. She also supplies a list of things she believes will help you breastfeed successfully — she mentions the My Brest Friend pillow, which was my best friend for over a years!
Ideally, you would watch this DVD before your baby even arrives, because that is the best time to absorb all the information, not when you have a screaming, hungry newborn to take care of!
Win a Simply Breastfeeding DVD! *closed
This giveaway ended Sunday, March 28, 2010 @ 10:00 p.m. EST. The winner will be chosen via Random.org. I received one Simply Breastfeeding DVD but was not paid for the review. This is my honest opinion. I am so glad Shari made this DVD!
Nutella Blogger Breaksfast
When I received an e-mail that Nutella wanted me to come to NYC to talk with other blogging moms about the challenges of a nutritious breakfast, I jumped at the opportunity. I grew up in Germany eating Nutella — with a spoon instead of on bread most of the time. For anyone who doesn’t know, Nutella is a hazelnut spread that was created in the 1940s by Pietro Ferrero, the founder of the Ferrero Company.
At the breakfast I met and sat next to Vanessa from ChefDruck Musings. After communicating via Twitter, it was so nice to run into her and to find out that she grew up in France with Nutella! We shared how hard it is to raise bilingual children. I also saw Corine from Complicated Mama and Coleen from Classy Mommy again.
I actually learned a lot about Nutella during the presentation given by Connie Evers, a nutritionist, and Karl Krohn (he’s originally from Hamburg and I got to talk in German with him) . Did you know that Nutella is made with more than 50 hazelnuts in every jar, and that it is a nut butter, not a chocolate butter — NUTtella, get it? It does not contain any artificial colors or preservatives, peanuts or peanut ingredients. The spread is also gluten-free, and the ingredients are simple: sugar, hazelnuts, skim milk, and a hint of cocoa.
I gave the second jar away after the first jar survived only three days in our kitchen. I love Nutella, but I can’t have it in the house all the time, it’s just too tempting. In moderation, it is a great tool to get kids to eat whole wheat or multigrain bread they might not always want to eat. Have you tried Nutella on bananas? Heaven. You kids will like it too.
I received a bag of Nutella goodies at the event. I did not receive any other compensation and this is my honest opinion. Would I lie about how much I love Nutella?
Hasbro NYC Toy Fair Blogger Event and Giveaway
Hasbro invited me to an exclusive sneak peak of all the new toys they are showing off at Toy Fair that is happening right now is New York City. When I read that they make Play-Doh, one of Landon’s favorite things to play with right now, I immediately said I’d come. Even if that meant getting up at 6 in the morning.
After being greeted by the PR firm ladies and receiving my badge, I grabbed some coffee and started talking to some other mom bloggers. There were about 25 of us. I knew Kelly from Centsible Life and Niri from Mommy Niri from previous blogging events, and made a new friend, the Toy Queen, Keri.
After a quick bite, we sat down to listen to Brian Goldner, Hasbro CEO; Jane Ritson-Parsons, Hasbro’s Global Consumer Insights Leader; and Jerry Perez, Hasbro Senior Vice President Global Brand Leader Preschool Marketing. Hasbro wants to reimagine their brands with innovative products, and all three pointed out how being able to get consumers’ input via social media and mommy blogs has changed how they develop their products. They thanked us for taking the time to come and told us how much they really valued our input about their new toys.
After that we were lead through the showroom in small groups to look at all the new toys. Gosh, I had no idea that Hasbro is behind games and toys like Playskool, Mr. Potato Head, Monopoly, Twister, My Little Pony, etc.. It was overwhelming how many new toys they are launching and reintroducing!
I am not a big fan of action figures or all those loud toys for boys, but who knows, maybe that’s something that’s in my future once L gets older. I wish he would play with TinkerToys all day :)
I gravitated more to the girl toys. I thought theses are adorable and affordable: this is one of the “Furreal Friends Snuggimals” palm-sized pets. When you push her tummy, she comes to life and her head moves. There are 20 different kinds of these and they will be available this spring ($7.99). I think L would like these — I know I want one!
The display of Play-Doh was extensive and L would have been in heaven!
Another toy I liked for L was this little computer called Alphie. This learning pal boasts an LCD screen to depict facial expressions, a friendly voice and a playful, inquisitive personality. He comes with thirty double-sided cards containing over 350 fun questions and challenges. I liked the fact that he never says that an answer is wrong and encourages the child to try again. He’s going to be $39.99 and available in the fall.
This is my favorite toy of all of them: as a passionate attachment parenting mom, I love the fact that this little pony has a sling for her baby! This is called “My Little Pony Family Sister’s Day Out” playset ($14.99, available in fall 2010).
I had such a fun time going to the Hasbro event, and I want to pass on one popular Hasbro game to you!
Win Clue Carnival!
This giveaway ended Sunday, March 7, 2010 @ 10:00 p.m. EST. The winner was chosen via Random.org. I received a a bag of assorted Hasbro toys at the event. I did not receive any other compensation and this is my honest opinion.
Book review: Katharine McMahon’s The Crimson Rooms
I love reading, so when I was asked to review Katharine McMahon’s new book The Crimson Rooms, I said “sure, send me a copy!” McMahon also wrote the bestsellers The Alchemist’s Daughter and The Rose of Sebastopol.
The book promised to be interesting since it is about a young lawyer, Evelyn Gifford, after World War I in London. I love books set in the past and was hoping for a romantic love story. The first few pages are a little tough to swallow, the writing is so precise that it captures the gore of the war in detail, but the book is an enjoyable read after that.
I was mostly interested in the love story, which there wasn’t enough of for my taste in the many pages of descriptions of Evelyn’s home life and courtroom drama she is involved in. She is working on two cases while trying to figure out what to make of a woman who shows up on her doorstep with a little boy who looks just like her beloved brother James, who was killed in the war. This certainly is a very intricate, well-written story. I liked the book but was disappointed to read how the love story ends. I wanted more romance :)
I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by MotherTalk on behalf of G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Riverhead and received a copy of the book to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.
Book Review: Blast Off! by Allison Maslan
“The secret is to spend less time doubting, and more time doing.” Allison Maslan
I had the opportunity to read Allison Maslan’s new book Blast Off! The Surefire Success Plan To Launch Your Dreams Into Reality and I would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who wants to change their life for the better and pursue making a living with what they are truly passionate about. Too many people get stuck in a rut and are unhappy with their job but fear change, and that is so sad to me. As Allison pointed out in the guest post she wrote for my blog, it is NEVER to late to change course and follow your dreams!
I already found my calling — I love nothing better than to write about what I am passionate about: motherhood, breastfeeding, attachment parenting, green and frugal living, and my addiction to social media. I love sharing my life and my experiences on my blog, Dagmar’s momsense. I love connecting with my amazing readers and fellow bloggers and getting invited to exiting blogging events. And as a freelance editor and proofreader and writer, I have the best job in the world: I am able to work from home and get to be with my little boy a lot because my schedule is flexible. And yet I learned a lot from Blast Off!
Do you want to create positive change in your life? You can — regardless of your age. In Blast Off!, Allison tells motivational stories about her own life and gives you strategies and specific action plans to help you to tap into your life’s purpose. She wants you to “achieve abundance in all areas of your life” (business, health, finding the love of your life), and that’s how this book differs from other self-help and entrepreneurial books. Since Allison is also a homeopathic physician, she wants to make sure you take care of your health while pursuing what you love, and she included a whole chapter on a “Healthy Body and Mind.” Since I am a big believer in homeopathic remedies — I used them for the drug-free birth of my son — I really appreciate that approach.
Allison credentials are impressive: she is an author, speaker, homeopathic physician, and serial entrepreneur. She has successfully started nine businesses and now helps others infuse their passions into an inspiring career and personal life. Her holistic approach to success is the result of many years of coaching people reach their full potential. She has personally applied the principles in her book to reach her own success and to even find her soul mate.
Blast Off! is now #1 on the Amazon list for all books on entrepreneurship in the U.S.! That is very impressive, but not very surprising to me. Do you want to get inspired? Then run to get Blast Off!
I was given one copy of Blast Off for this review and no other compensati0on. This is my honest opinion.
The Best of New York in Just 10 Seconds — Book Review and Giveaway
I was approached to review Baffled by Travel’s new The Best of New York in Just 10 Seconds guidebook, and since I am still pretty new here and I know that there is always something exiting to discover in New York, I said yes.
I am glad I did — this book is so informative and beautiful with all its incredible photographs. And since the book is so well organized and easy to navigate, it really only takes second to find what you are searching for.
Locals and visitors alike will love this guidebook, which has been compiled by people who express their personal experience.
This giveaway ended Saturday, January 30, 2010 @ 10:00 p.m. EST. For this review, I received a The Best of New York guidebook for review and four for my readers. I did not receive any other compensation and this is my honest opinion.
Yoga By The Dozen Review and Giveaway!
Since Don was a yoga teacher when I met him, I was delighted when Yoga By The Dozen™ contacted me to find out if I wanted to review their yoga products for kids. Absolutely! Yoga By The Dozen™ is an independently women-owned company. The Yoga By The Dozen DVD is a fun, interactive children’s yoga video designed especially for kids ages 2 to 6. It promotes a healthy lifestyle in children regardless of their fitness level and teaches them about body awareness, strength, and flexibility.
In the video, JoAnna Ross — an accomplished yoga teacher, dancer and fitness educator — and her 12 little friends demonstrate a dozen fundamental poses that introduce your child to the exciting world of yoga. Landon loved the DVD; he couldn’t get enough of seeing the children demonstrate the poses and having fun interacting with JoAnna. He especially loved the additional song on the DVD, the yoga mat that features prints of hands and feet, and the colorful T-shirts.
As a former yogi himself, Don was in his element when he watched the DVD with Landon and helped him with his poses. Landon has since requested watching the DVD again and again, and he is very proud when he shows his daddy and me some of the poses. As a parent, I am exited that the Yoga By The Dozen products introduce Landon to yoga and its many healthy benefits at such a young age. It is too cute to see a three-year-old do the tree pose!
Want to preview the DVD, see celebrities wear the YBTD T-shirts, and get more information on Yoga By The Dozen? Then check out their website.
Key Benefits of yoga for children:
* Increased cognitive and motor skills
* Confidence, courage, and self-esteem
* Balance and coordination
* Memory retention and concentration
* Nurture creativity and self-expression
* Respect for themselves and each other
This giveaway ended Friday, January 1, 2010 @ 10:00 p.m. EST. For this review, I received a Yoga By The Dozen Starter Kit, one extra T-shirt, and one extra DVD for free. I did not receive any other compensation and this is my honest opinion.
Update 01-01-2010: Congratulations, Tori and Gaileee, Random.org decided you are the winners!
The Ultimate Cloth — Clean Anything With Just Water!
I was contacted by the makers of The Ultimate Cloth to review their cloth that cleans anything you can think of — with just water. I was skeptic after I read that it cleans basically everything — windows, mirrors, glass, blinds, floors, walls, tiles, chrome, granite, marble, leather, car paint, you get the idea. Since I like to be green and frugal, and The Ultimate Cloth promises to cut down on my use of paper towels and expensive cleaners, I was eager to try it out. And let me tell you — I have never seen anything like it!
Here is the proof, because I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes: I wet the cloth as instructed and cleaned three surfaces I had previously wiped down and thought to be clean — my kitchen table, my living room table, and my TV. And what did I find? I don’t know how this cloth does it, but look at this:
I am almost embarrassed to show you this picture, because it looks like I never clean, but that’s not the case. The Ultimate cloth, made from MiraFiber TM, was able to lift more dirt from the surfaces than cleaners and paper towels together— with just water!
The Ultimate Cloth cleans streak-free and is washable, bleachable, and chemical free.
Here is the best deal ever: The makers of the Ultimate Cloth are so exited about their product, they want you to try it for free (retails for $6) — you only pay for shipping. My tip: get it while you can! You are going to want to give everyone you know one of these!
I was given one Ultimate Cloth for free and did not receive any additional compensation. This is my honest opinion.
Need Some Great Gift Ideas for the Holidays? Run to Staples!
Staples recently sent me a $200 gift card and basically said, “Hey, here is a gift card, have fun shopping and let us know about your shopping experience.” Well, twist my arm! I go to Staples for all of my office supplies anyway, and there were a few things I needed for my proofreading/editing and blogging businesses. So I went to Staples the other day when Landon was in preschool and I had plenty of time to look around and enjoy this shopping spree.
This is what I ended up buying:
I have been meaning to buy an external hard drive to back up all the information on my computer, because there is nothing worse than a computer crashing and losing all your data. I decided to get the Seagate FreeAgent Go Portable Drive with 250 GB (79.99). Don’t know what to buy someone for Christmas? If that person uses his or her computer a lot, an external hard drive will be very much appreciated. Don’t want to invest that much money? Think about buying them a portable zip drive; they can be bought for around $15.
I also wanted a cordless mouse for my laptop, and I found a nice one with a plug-and-forget Nano receiver (V45 Nano Cordless Laser mouse for notebooks, $49.99). I also grabbed another envelope of Avery two-sided clean edge business cards ($16.79). I love them because I can instantly update and print new business cards when I run out of my old ones – no waiting for them to arrive in the mail or picking them up at a store. They also make a great present for someone with his or her own business since you can never have enough business cards.
I’m all about being green and being kind to the environment, so I bought a box of Staples 100% recycled 3-tab file folders ($14.99) instead of the non-recycled ones. I was looking for a pretty notebook so I can take notes in style the next time I am out and about for my blogging adventures and decided on a Staples notebook made out of sugarcane-based paper (80% sugarcane waste, $2.49). I always make a point to buy the recycled product if I have the choice. Even though it might be a little more expensive, I think it is very important to let companies know that recycled products are demanded and bought by their consumers.
After all the items where rung up and I had used my $6 Staples credit voucher I had recently received for recycling two print cartridges, I still had over $30 remaining on my gift card. Instead of looking for another item, I had them put $25 on a separate gift card. I like having gift cards handy for various occasions, and if I don’t end up giving this one away, I can still use it during my next trip to Staples, which undoubtedly will be soon!
I was given a $200 Staples gift card for this review (Staples.com/holidayblogger). I did not receive any additional compensation and this is my honest opinion.
Wowgreen — Green, Non-Toxic Household Cleaning Products
Did you know that millions of children are accidentally poisoned each year? Wowgreen is a new company that develops cleaning products that are safe, effective, and all natural. Their mission is for families to be able to go green and create a safer environment by exchanging toxic cleaners with non-toxic products.
Wowgreen encourages you to sign the Kid-Safe Chemical Act at kidsafechemicals.org and also offers fundraising opportunities for schools, churches, and other organizations.
For this review, I received a Green Trial Pack for free from Wowgreen (Bonnie Rogers). I did not receive any other compensation.
Ebeanstalk — Manhattan Toy’s Automoblox Minis
The toy website ebeanstalk, dedicated to selecting quality, safe toys, contacted me to see if I am interested in helping them pick the toys they feature. They send us Automoblox Minis ($30) from Manhattan Toy, who makes great developmental toys.
These three cars (one C9 red sports car, one S9 blue sedan, and one T9 green pick-up truck) are just the kind of toy Landon is into right now. They have a universal connector system that enables the rapid interchange of parts, and L was busy for quite a while learning how he can pull the cars apart and put them back together in different configurations. I encouraged him to learn about colors while using these cars when I asked him to put all the green or red or blue pieces together.
I have to say I have never seen a more unique, well-crafted wooden toy — these cars are truly beautiful and encourage creative play. Designed by world-class industrial designer Patrick Calello, they are toys L will be interested in for a long time, and when he is done playing with them, we can display the cars in his room as an heirloom. This toy was awarded the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Award in Platinum. Thumbs up from me!
For this review, I received one box of Automoblox Minis with three cars and no additional compensation. This is my honest opinion.
Namely Newborns – Luxury Personalized Gifts for Babies
I was approached by Namely Newborn to review one of their many unique items. Roz Stuzin and Denise Glasser began Namely Newborns five years ago when, upon becoming grandmothers, they were frustrated by the lack of selection and personalization of many baby products and their questionable quality.
They send me a sample of the beautifully crafted Caden Lane Personalized Baby Hooded Towel ($34.95):
I love the fact that Namely Newborns donates 25 percent of their profits to children’s charities and that they offer free personalization on most blankets ($20 value). Check out their website, there are countless products they offer, like plush toys, blankets, gift sets, and slings. I adore the Rosy Cheeks dolls; I might have to buy a little boy for Landon!
I was given a sample blanket for this review and did not receive any other compensation. This is my honest opinion.