16
Oct

Win a $100 Whole Foods Gift Card

by Tiffany in Freebies

TGIF! Have an awesome weekend everyone! I don’t usually link to giveaways like this but in this economy I know some people could really use an extra $100 towards healthier foods. It is all too easy to tighten your wallet and put the more expensive but healthier and organic foods on the chopping block.

As part of its “Be Good to Your Whole Body” campaign, for the month of October, Whole Foods Market has created podcasts focusing on maintaining a healthy mood.  As the seasons change, these simple, free tips, consider how conscious breathing, herbs, and eating well, can help maintain a healthy mood.  

Just listen to one or all of the podcasts and leave a comment telling them what you think.  On October 30th one person will be randomly chosen to receive the gift card!

Please comment on the following podcast fields: Breathe and Meditation for Stress Relief, Herbal Approaches for Healthy Mood, or Boost your Back to School Brain Power. Good luck!

Friday, October 16th, 2009

8 Comments

10
Mar

LeapFrog Tag Giveaway

by Tiffany in Freebies

Remember my Leaprog Tag review from awhile back? Well, we my daughter is still using her Tag frequently…as in once a week or more. In the evenings she often likes to wind down by listening to Fancy Nancy or Olivia books. I am still convinced that it is a great way to keep a child occupied in an educational way while you run errands, travel, or sit in the DMV waiting for your number to be called.

March is National Reading Month and to celebrate LeapFrog has started a campaign to get parents to pledge a combined 1 million hours of reading time for their children. Their goal is to bring attention to literacy and to encourage families to make time to read together..even if it is only 10 minutes a day. Who can’t manage ten minutes a day???

All participants will receive special rewards and offers from LeapFrog but one of my readers will get something EXTRA special!!! All you have to do is go to the LeapFrog pledge page and pledge (it’s FREE) the number of minutes you will read to your child or children every day. THEN come back here and tell me in the comments section how many minutes you pledged or just that you pledged if you don’t want to share the minutes. The comment will be your entry. Subsequent entries can be gained by linking to this post, or submitting it to social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Stumbleupon. Each entry needs to be a separate comment but you must pledge for it to be valid.

So what do you get??! One winner will get, directly from LeapFrog, one Tag reader + 5 books for personal use, as well as an expanded-memory LeapFrog School Tag reader + 10 books to donate to your local library.

Closed!! The winner is #73 Anne!!! Congrats!!!

 Paige with her Tag Reading System

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

223 Comments

28
Jan

Better Life Green Cleaners

by Tiffany in Freebies, Green Cleaning

Kevin and Tim of Better Life Cleaners

Green cleaners are not negotiable in our home. We are just too sensitive to the chemicals in conventional cleaners. My son had a severe reaction to toilet cleaner a couple years ago and I got hives the last time I touched bleach and Windex. So we use green cleaners around here. Some I make and others I buy. It just depends on my mood at the time but a green clean is not negotiable.

Better Life Green Cleaners are a nifty new option for green moms. They are called better life because as parents we want a better, healthier life or our family when we shop for products and these products meet that need. The company was founded by two dads and life long friends (Kevin and Tim) who wanted products that’d be good for their kids, our kids, and our planet.

They have also seen the trendiness of the word “green” and they wanted to stand apart as a company who walked the walk and actually sold safe products instead of just greenwashing questionable ones.

I know you want to try them. Well, Mama Goes Green is a store that sells sustainable goods for practical families. The owner Sara has graciously offered one of my readers a Better Life Non Toxic Cleaners Set.

It includes:

I Can See Clearly, WOW!™ glass cleaner  – It is solvent-free (no ammonia, alcohol, or ethers) and pH neutral, so it’s safe to use on acrylic and tinted/treated windows and glass.

Even The Kitchen Sink™ gentle scrubber- This naturally powerful gentle cleaning scrubber works wonders on tubs, tile and grout, toilet bowls, shower doors, stovetops, glass cooktops , stainless steel sinks, porcelain, ceramic, enamel, stone, cultured marble, non-polished solid countertops, and laminate. If concerned, test in an inconspicuous area first.

What-EVER!™ All-Purpose Cleaner- Use this safe cleaner on any washable non-porous surface, including: countertops, appliances, sinks, toilets, baseboards, walls, floors, tables, chairs, showers and tubs. Better Life products are ethoxylate-free so waterways and marine life will not be harmed.

This set is valued at $22.50 and one lucky reader will get it free, courtesy of Mama Goes Green. Thanks Sara!

The winner is #5 Andrea! Congrats!!

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

85 Comments

16
Jan

Organic Baby Food Giveaway

by Tiffany in Freebies

The wonderful company Earth’s Best has been gracious enough to offer one of my readers a great giveaway gift pack.

I remember when my two youngest were babies and I made their own baby food pretty much but I always had some of those little jars on hand just in case and they were always Earth’s Best. They were great for a trip to grandma’s house. Organic food at this stage is hugely important for those vulnerable little bodies so I love what Earth’s Best stands for.

They also have a special promotion going on called Earth’s Best Celebrate the Firsts. Simply purchase any of the following products between 1/1/09 and 3/31/09:

  • Earth’s Best Organic Infant Foods Cereals, jarred foods, infant juices, teething biscuts and pastina
  • Earth’s Beat Organic Infant Formulas
  • Earth’s Best TenderCare™ Chlorine Free Diapers and Wipes

Then mail in the completed official redemption form with dated register receipts to receive your baby rewards which could include baby care items and toys.

The Gift Pack includes:

  • 4 jars each of 2.5 oz First Foods Apples, Pears, Peas, Bananas, Sweet Potatoes and Carrots (a total of 24 jars)
  • 4 jars each of 4 oz Apple Juice & Pear Juice (a total of 8 jars)
  • 1 box each of 8 oz infant Rice Cereal, Multi-Grain Cereal & Oatmeal Cereal (a total of 3 boxes) 
  • A delightful Earth’s Best Cereal Bowl and Bib
  • As an added bonus, the much loved children’s book, “Guess How Much I Love You” written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram.

This Gift Pack is ideal for babies just starting to eat solid food. You will also receive the Earth’s Best feeding guide and valuable coupons you can use to purchase Earth’s Best baby food at your local grocery store.

Contest Closed!! The winner is Brooke D. Comment #77!!!! Congrats!!

giftbox

Giveaway courtesy of Earths Best and Mom Generations.

Friday, January 16th, 2009

294 Comments

13
Jan

Natural Toys and CPSIA

by Tiffany in Children, Freebies

fairy doll

Due to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) natural toys have been getting a lot of attention lately. It has quite frankly woken many people up the value of homemade and all the reasons we need to fight to protect these items.  To lose them would be to lose a part of our natural history… a part of our heritage. For us and for children all over the country it would mean a loss of the magic that is unique to hand crafted toys.

By voicing our concerns over the poorly written CPSIA legislation we can save the toys and help to ensure that our local artisans can continue to operate… artisans like Beccijo Neff of The Fairy Ring and The Enchanted Cupboard. Toys and handcrafted items like what you find here are magical, charming, and bewitching.

I interviewed Beccijo this week and asked her about CPSIA, her business, and why preserving the traditions of handmade are so important. Of course first I asked her how she got started in this business.

Beccijo: As a child in rural Pennsylvania I spent much of my time inventing new things to play with.  New games and toys were always being made by me in my free time, and I never remember being bored.  My parents encouraged creativity.  I loved kids, and there was never a short supply in my big, extended family. There was always someone around to try out my new game with.  I felt blessed by my life back then. After high school, college beckoned.  I pursued the course that my artistic talents led me on, but in my heart I always wanted to be a nanny.  My mother had a nanny growing up, and I loved the stories she told me about afternoons at the beach in Australia with her sisters and the nanny.  I decided to follow my dream, and in 1991, I enrolled in The English Nanny and Governess School.  Afterward, many years passed as I lived that dream being the enchanted Nanny I always dreamed I would be.

Years later I found a prince among men and married him in 1997.  We started our family in 2000 and now have 4 beautiful, wonderful children for me to create for and dream with.  I am now a happy housewife, SAHM and homeschooler trying to find ways to bring that same childhood enchantment that I experienced to my own children. Besides caring for my family, the other thing that brings me great joy is making things that encourage creativity. First I was just a shopper on Etsy, and then I started making items for other kids and thought that this might be a good idea for a few shops. This year I got the biggest joy knowing that under other people’s Christmas trees, my toys were waiting all wrapped up.

Tiffany: What is CPSIA?

Beccijo: The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is a new law that is intended to insure the safety of basically any consumer product that is intended for 12 year olds and younger.  It requires materials testing of all clothes, toys, books, educational materials, baby items, etc. to prove that they do not contain any toxic materials.  It was passed last year in response to the influx of materials from overseas that had lead paint and other toxic materials on them.

Tiffany: Who will be impacted by this legislation? And why should parents care?

Beccijo: Everyone who buys or sells items for kids 12 yrs. old or under will be affected by this law.  Parents should care because the law as it is stated now is too broad and will eliminate many nice and useful products from the marketplace because smaller manufacturers will not be able to afford the testing that is required by the law.  Handmade toys and other organic and safe products are required to be tested even though by their very nature they are made from safe materials.  This means that many handmade wooden toys and other products like them will disappear from the marketplace. 

It is good that the government is stepping up and taking action on lead, but this law is very vague in it’s terminology to the point where it encompasses anything and everything. The lawmakers wanted to make sure that there were no loopholes in the law, but they went too far.  And now the law is affecting those who make, sell and benefit from quality items that are safe including small shops, crafters, charities, yard sales, EVERYONE!  One of the worst parts of the law is the mandatory (re)testing by third party certified laboratories. The cost for the testing is overwhelming and has actually increased by as much as 20% in the last few months. My main complaint regarding the law is that my supplies are bought at the same craft stores you buy you paints, etc. and they have already been tested and labeled as non-toxic. When I put them together, they are still non toxic and should not have to be retested.

Tiffany: What is being done right now to try and save the hand made toy?

Beccijo: Things are changing fast. Right now, the government is beginning to hear the complaints, and they are making exemptions and rewriting parts (see the story at this link. So right now we need to keep writing letters and emails and making calls.

Those that know and care are doing what they can, but we need to get the word out and we need support from every parent. Everyone just needs to write, type, email and call. Get yourself heard! Contact Congress! Your representative can be reached at:

https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

Contact your Senator here….
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
(choose your state on top to get started)

Contact the CPSC directly here….
http://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/commissionernord.aspx

Tiffany: Anything else to share about CPSIA?

Beccijo: As a parent I try hard to live in such a way as to be an example to my children. When I have to wait in line, I point out that I, as an adult, have to take turns. When they don’t like to share, I point out that I let them share my things even when I don’t always want to. So this is another great example for me to show them.  Just like for them, for adults there are rules.  Sometimes those rules are not fair in my eyes, for them it is bedtimes and eating veggies.  For me, right now, it is the CPSIA.  I have heard lots of comments about the toy police not coming after the crafters. And to me, openly disobeying the law is not the point and not the example I want to send to my children.  I would rather take the opportunity to teach them how people can influence the government to achieve what is fair and right.  Let’s find a way to get a good solid law in place that protects the quality of our children’s lives without removing the things that are already there and safe for them.

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

95 Comments