Monday, February 23, 2009

Are you the Ape to Zebra Giveaway Winner? Find Out Now

HEY HEY HEY READERS WE HAVE WINNERS!!!! YES I SAID WINNERS! So I woke up this morning to the best news ever. Cornel of Ape to Zebra had such a hard time picking one winner so he picked two. Yes two. He picked the following:

Coliebear said I teach Kindergarten in a low-income school district and I would love to have some of these items for my classroom..specifically the games. From an educators standpoint these products are great because they utilize and pinpoint a variety of skills necessary for a kindergartner's development like fine motor and balancing skills ( balancing cactus game, cone sorting), number concepts (king of numbers,) (spot the dots),and the majority of the games involve social skills and team work. These characteristics make these games very fun to play and enhancing for skill development and learning in the classroom. I also really like how most of the games are self-correcting because it puts more responsibility on student learning and less adult involvement is required. I would love to win this prize so that I may add some of these valuable games to my classroom learning environment.

Beverley said I would love to have the Quercetti Toys - Discovery Car. My three year old grandson is autistic, but remarkably gifted in mechanical things. His greatest joy is taking things apart, and most often he puts them right back together again. This would be an amazing learning toy for him. It would be great to find toys like this in stores for gifted special children like him.

Please contact me if have not already confirmed to you are the winner!

Thank you everyone for participating in this great giveaway!

Do you want to earn free products from Ape to Zebra? Well then please follow me over to this great link.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Current Giveaways Happening On Other Blogs

Little Partners carries the tower in a rainbow of non-toxic colors, and To Think is to Create excited to have the chance to give away one of these awesome towers (in the color of your choice) to one of their lucky readers! So head over to To Think is to Create by today to win this prize!

Giveaway: Fair Indigo is offering one Growing Your Baby reader the opportunity to win a Joobles Gift Package Containing one Joobles bear and a Hooded Sweater (value $98) Head over to Growing Your Baby to enter by tonight!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Little Painted Polka Dots Giveaway

I must introduce you to a great company that loves to put their guests first! I love how personal Little Painted Polka Dots can get for you. In the Little Painted Polka Dots shop they have a large variety of personalized products from jewelry to wall decor to dress up items. This is your one stop shop for that mother in your life, friend having a baby or for your own home. I looked around Little Painted Polka Dots and fell in love with so many things. I like to mention that Little Painted Polka Dots uses bright colors which I love that.

While in the Little Painted Polka Dots shop you can find the cutest little things for the little lady in your life. I adore the tutu dress that Little Painted Polka Dots featured it was beautiful. You may also wonder if they have regular tutus for you little ones, yes they do. I love the variety of colors they carry. They added a chart of colors you can choose from if you decide to create your own custom tutu. I must note that they carry tutus for newborns to little girls. A great bonus Little Painted Polka Dots made hair ties to match the tutus. How cute!

I bet you are wondering what it is you are entering in to win. Let me tell you, you are winning a sterling silver stackable necklace from Little Painted Polka Dots. I love how you can put your family on names on it and put your little ones on the top with a heart because we all know they are the ones that is closest to your heart. Wanna grab some swag from Little Painted Polka Dots use the code KIWI to get an additional 10% OFF your purchase. What a great deal!

Please join me for this giveaway by:
February 27Th 2009 11:59 CST

I will be picking the winner by using I will contact the winner via email. You have 48 hours in which to respond. I am sad to say :( by not responding means you forfeit your prize and a new winner will be picked.

Ways to entry are:

1) Go to Little Painted Polka Dots and come back and tell me your favorite item in the shop
2) Follow me here or on twitter
3) Get two additional entries for blogging about this giveaway
4) Get three additional entries for subscribing to Little Painted Polka Dots by clicking the coupons and sneak peeks located at the bottom of the page
5) Get 5 additional entries for making a purchase on Little Painted Polka Dots just remember to use the code KIWI to get that additional 10% OFF.
So head on over to Little Painted Polka Dots so see the variety of products they carry.

Thank you all for joining me and I wish you luck :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chalkydoodles Giveaway

How many of you parents out there have a teenager at home? I have the perfect product for them to keep you posted on what tasks they need done! I also found a product that allows their creativity to shine. I was excited to review the Chalkypalooza TEENS Teen wall sign. I currently use this product to create environmentally friendly notes to my husband. Instead of constantly wasting paper to leave notes. I used the Chalkypalooza TEENS Teen wall sign to leave him this quick info.

I never thought that a chalkboard could look so pretty. I love that the Chalkypalooza TEENS Teen wall sign is big enough to hold a lot of notes. This product will come in handy for when we have babysitters as well. It is great to have that posted up with all contact information for the babysitter to glance at if needed. I am looking for the right place to put it. It will either be in my kitchen or I might get my sister to do some magic art work on it and hang it in the Kiwi's Room. I am not that artistic so I need her assistance lol. I love that I can get her to make new art each month.

I must let you know that any Chalkydoodles products are not to be used by anyone under the age of 13 years of age. This product is geared towards teens but mothers I wanted to let you know it's also great for you to use. If you have your own business I would find this fun and creative to make a banner to attach to the table. It has the ties on it so it makes it easy to hang on the wall, table and other possibilities. Also if you are the winner of the Chalkypalooza giveaway you must season your banner before use. Included with the giveaway is a card that goes over what you should do before use. Please check out all of the other great products featured in Chalkydoodles shop.

My question is do you want to win a great prize? If you answered yes you will be entered in to win Chalkypalooza for TEENS Small Chalkboard Banner.
So I bet you are wondering how do I win this fabulous prize huh?
Well here is how:

Must enter by February 26TH 2009 11:59 CST. The winner will be picked by using and will be notified via email. You have 48 hours in which to respond if you fail to I will pick another winner.

Methods of entries

1)Head over to Chalkypalooza on Chalkydoodle
and come back and tell me your favorite product in the shop.
2)Follow Me here or on Twitter or Fave on Technorati
3)Get two additional entries by blogging about this giveaway or twittering about it.
4)Get five additional entries by making a purchase on Chalkydoodles

Thank you all for entering and I wish you all luck!

Parents Gear Giveaway

Hey readers so I have a fabulous giveaway to share with you that a great blogger has to offer! Please join Parents Gear for their great giveaway! Parents Gear is giving away a frameagram. I have created so many fun styles while entering this giveaway! Looking forward to you joining me at the giveaway at Parents Gear!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bumbo Potty Seat

As many of you know potty training can be quite tricky. Well at least for me it has. I tried so many products and for some odd reason the kiwi wanted nothing to do with the toilet. I bought a toilet seat cover that just sat on the top, it was one of those toilet seats that had no support. I kept thinking of ways to get her to understand it is ok and it is safe to use the potty. The trying was not working until one day.

THANK YOU BUMBO!!!!!! I had the chance to review a Bumbo Potty Seat and my gosh that was the biggest life saver ever. It fully supported her and she felt truly safe. I love how it contours the tushie so she feels comfortable and the material is really soft on the skin. I sat with her and started to read a book and I guess she was not nervous sitting on it because she immediately used the potty. SERIOUSLY I thought this is all I needed? I suppose so.

The next day she woke up no potty in the diaper and she sat on the Bumbo Potty Seat and again immediately went potty. WOOOHOOO I praised her so much! My challenge wasn't getting her to understand she had to go but it was her giving me a challenge to figure out why she did not like the typical potty seat. I guess she know quality when she sits down lol. I am glad my daughter used this product because she is picking up faster with the potty training than I had expected.

A bit of advice for all of the parents out there PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not freak out when your child wants nothing to do with the potty try the Bumbo Potty Seat and I bet they will love potty time just as much as the Kiwi. I will keep everyone posted on the success and the trying days of potty training.

So calling all parents ADVICE is super great right now getting through this tough stage! I hope you all give the Bumbo Potty Seat a whirl and I am looking forward to all the comments!!!!!


Sikulu & Harambe Book

Hey parents out there so I wanted to let you know about a fabulous book I came across. The name of it is Sikulu and Harambe. This book helps to teach your children about helping and what can happen if you do not help. The book is considered the African version of the Good Samaritan story.

In the book Sikulu and Harambe they have many languages featured in it. Also the book gives you the proper way to enunciate the words. I love that they do that because, then I am not saying the words wrong. I like how the artist Bruce McCorkindale created fun whimsy animals and my kiwi loved looking at them as well. My daughter has become a big helper since we read this because I told her that helping makes it easier for others. She now loves helping me with small easy tasks she can complete.

I would suggest the book Sikulu and Harambe to any parent trying to teach their children how helping can change the world. In Sikulu and Harambe I have learned that one small act can make a big difference. So if you want to make a difference in your child's life, buy this book with great morals for them to learn. Head over to Sikulu and Harambe to get your copy today!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Princess Is Three

So I had to work all weekend so I must say sorry to my readers for not posting. I am so sad Friday was Kiwi's third birthday. Wow that time has gone way too fast. I am currently having empty newborn baby nest syndrome lol. Yet that won't last for long :) I also found out on my Kiwi's birthday that my brother is expecting with his girlfriend. Yay another baby!

As I look through the years I see so many changes in my Kiwi, she was practically bald till she was one and a half lol. Then when she did finally get hair, she had these little curls at the ends :) Also she is grew really tall for her age. Probably gets that from her dad because she did not get it from me. I am a whole five feet tall.

So join me through these three pictures of my daughter getting older. I will always remember her as my little baby and she will never be different in my eyes.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

BestBuys.Com Helped Me Find My DVD Rental Service

So I have been debating which company to use as a DVD rental provider. The toss up was between Blockbuster and Netflix. Well let's just say I am excited to have found BestBuys.Com comparisons. Its great that Netflix is right now giving a free trial so you can find out all the great benefits it has to offer vs Blockbuster who is only offering 50% off the first month. I found out that Netflix carries 5,000 more movies than Blockbuster. Wow! Who would have known that one? I sure didn't. I guess I just assumed that store that featured all the latest movies would have a larger variety. Guess not lol. Also another great bonus about Netflix is that you can view the movies right away. So you are wondering what is great about Blockbuster because you see me raving about Netflix well let me tell you. Well Blockbuster is perfect for the gamer in your life. They feature games and unfortunely Netflix does not. Also you can return your movies in-store with Blockbuster when Nextflix you can't.

So my results from reading BestBuys.Com I made my choice. Wonder what is and why. I picked Blockbuster and the reason my husband and I are gamers well not all the time but every now and then we like to try new games :) So I hope that this helped you pick which DVD rental service you will choose.

Wanna get the facts yourself and take the challenge head over to BestBuys.Com's Product Comparison or you just wanna shop for electronics head over to BestBuys.Com

Flu Advice Needed From All Parents

Finally our family is feeling better after a long time being sick with the flu. Yikes who would have known it could be that bad! I had to miss three days of work and yes I must admit you know how you get that sick feeling in your stomach on your arrival back to work yeah well I have that. You always know that someone you work with it not understanding and of course everyone has their opinions. I will say I am truly excited to get back to work. It has been long enough to be away from work. I am ready to go back to telling people what to do haha lol no I am not. Yet hey that's my job. Management gotta love it. So I must ask my readers what was your diet to cure the flu lol. I did the bread, rice and applesauce diet. Yet that didn't work until the third day. By that day I was in the doctor's office and them saying hmm I think you are dehydrated. Then they said they might have to hook me up to an IV ughhh I fear needles. So I have to ask for future reference so I never make it to that point. ADVICE NEEDED PARENTS :)

PinkGasoline Giveaway

I am excited to introduce a great company PinkGasoline. PinkGasoline is comprised of three "Southern" ladies who work full-time in order to support their love of sewing, jewelry making, scrapbooking, and all other creations. PinkGasoline has a lot of great products and they are open to wholesale large quantities in addition to retailing one of a kind.

They truly take the time to create great products. I love how they take time to understand what it takes to carry a baby around and how it can hurt after awhile. I also love how they add tassels to keep the baby's attention. The bold color is also a great attention grabber. They also created a burp cloth to match. I love that I know what burp cloth is the one to take on the go. I am a mother that loves to coordinate my stuff so it's great for me.

PinkGasoline understands my need for coordination that they are offering of my readers a chance to coordinate like me. They are generously giving a reader a chance to win a coordinating car seat handle wrap, burp cloth and a wristlet key fob.

Also a great bonus PinkGasoline is offering a 10% discount to buyers who convo them and mention Little Kiwi! If you purchase 2 or more items you will get a 15% discount when mentioning Little Kiwi!! The more items purchased the cheaper the shipping!! What a great shop PinkGasoline is! They truly give you more product for your buck. As a reminder you have to convo them prior to purchase so PinkGasoline can make a "special order" with all the discounts.

So you want to win this great prize.
First the giveaway ends February 19Th 2009 11:59 PM CT randomly by

Comment on the post with what item you love in PinkGasoline shop.

Additional entries available.

Get one additional entry for following or commenting about my blog on technorati

Get two additional entries for blogging about the giveaway

Get three additional entries for making a purchase

Thanks for entering and good luck :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Why Skipping Naps Equal Meltdowns

The Volcano Effect: Why Skipping a Nap Results in Meltdown

By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of The No-Cry Nap Solution

From the moment your child wakes in the morning he is slowly using up the benefits of the previous night’s sleep. He wakes up totally refreshed, but as the hours pass, little by little, the benefits of his sleep time are used up, and an urge to return to sleep begins to build. When we catch a child at in-between stages and provide naps, we build up his reservoir of sleep-related benefits, allowing him a “fresh start” after each sleep period.

As shown on the sleep chart below, as children age, the length of time that they can stay “happily awake” increases. A newborn can only be awake one or two hours before tiredness sets in, whereas a two year old can last five to seven hours before craving some down time for a nap. When children are pushed beyond their biological awake time span without a break that’s when they become fatigued, fussy and unhappy.

“Happily Awake” span of time between naps

1 – 2 hours

6 month old
2 – 3 hours

12 month old
3 – 4 hours

18 month old
4 – 6 hours

2 year old
5 – 7 hours

3 year old
6 – 8 hours

4 year old
6 – 12 hours

As the day progresses, and the sleep pressure builds, a child becomes fussier, whinier, and less flexible. He has more crying spells, more tantrums, and less patience. He loses concentration and the ability to learn and retain new information. The scientific term for this process is “homeostatic sleep pressure” or “homeostatic sleep drive” . . . I call it The Volcano Effect. We’ve all seen the effects of this on a baby or child, as it is often as clear as watching a volcano erupt; nearly everyone has observed a fussy child and thought or said, “Someone needs a nap!”

As a child progresses through his day, his biology demands a sleep break to regroup, refresh and repair. If a child does not get this break the problem intensifies: the rumblings and tremors become an outright explosion. Without a nap break, the homeostatic pressure continues building until the end of the day, growing in intensity – like a volcano – so that a child becomes overtired, wired and unable to stop the explosion. The result is an intense bedtime battle with a cranky, overtired child, or an infant who won’t fall asleep no matter how tired you know he is.

Even more, a child who misses naps day after day builds a sleep deprivation that launches her into the volcano stage much easier and quicker. If she is missing naps and also lacking the right quality or quantity of nighttime sleep…watch out!

Newborns and young babies have a much shorter span in which their sleep pressure builds. They rapidly reach the peak of their volcano in one to three hours. This is why newborns sleep throughout the day, and why young babies require two or three or four daily naps. Over time, as a baby’s sleep cycle matures he will be able to go longer periods between sleeps. It is not until age 4 or 5 that a child is able to go happily through the entire day without a nap, and sleep research suggests that even through adulthood a mid-day nap or rest break is extremely beneficial in reducing the pressure in all human beings.

The Volcano Effect is not something reserved only for children! This biological process affects adults as well. Understanding this can help you interpret what is really going on in your home at the end of a long day, when children are fussy and parents are grumpy – resulting in a whole mountain range of volcanoes.

Sleep pressure can be exaggerated by environmental issues such as the previous poor night’s sleep, on-going sleep deprivation, or daily stress. What's more, each person’s moodiness feeds off the others, causing contagious crankiness. And then you’ll find yourself losing patience and saying to your child, “I’m sorry, honey. Mommy’s just tired right now.” (This is a very telling explanation we don’t often stop to analyze.)

This Volcano concept brings to light one more important point: Quality naps can make up for lost night sleep – but extra nighttime sleep does not make up for missed naps, due to the homeostatic sleep pressure concept. Therefore, no matter how your child sleeps at night – great sleeper or poor sleeper -- his daily naps are critically important to release the rising sleep pressure.


This is a copyrighted excerpt from The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, December 2008).

If you want to find more great tips on nap times please check out The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems” by Elizabeth Pantley

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Kiwi's Birthday Is Right Around The Corner

Kiwi is going to be three. Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday I had her. It breaks my heart my mini me is no longer a baby, she is a big girl now. I can't even dare to think about two years from now. School yikes! I know I am going to be one of those parents crying as she walks away and then trying to sneak a peak into the door. I know my husband is going to be extremely sad as well.I think he will not cry but he will be very close to lol. His princess is getting older.

She has already started screaming and running around saying "Kylie's birthday, Kylie's birthday cake!" I laugh how whenever we say we have to go to a birthday party she immediately starts talking about cake. Haha that's great.

As you can see from the princess up top she is already to be the princess of the day. She will always be the princess of my life as well as my husband's. I love her so much and I can't believe she is going to be three.

Fondant is Kinda Tricky

My kiwi has a birthday coming up soon, really soon. I wanted to get creative for the cake and I thought hmm.... why not try fondant. I followed this marshmallow recipe.

MM (Marshmallow) Fondant Recipe

16 ounces white mini-marshmallows (use a good quality brand)

2 to 5 tablespoons water

2 pounds icing sugar (please use C&H Cane Powdered Sugar for the best results)

½ cup Crisco shortening (you will be digging into it so place in a very easily accessed bowl)

NOTE: Please be careful, this first stage can get hot.

Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave or double boiler: Put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted. It usually takes about 2 ½ minutes total. Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix.

Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY - palms, backs and in between fingers, then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle. (By the way, this recipe is also good for your hands. When I’m done, they are baby soft.)

Start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands. If you have children in the room they will either laugh at you or look at you with a questioning expression. You might even hear a muttered, “What are you doing?”

Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage! Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more. Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant is sticking. If the mix is tearing easily, it is to dry, so add water (about ½ tablespoon at a time then knead it in). It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake.

Its best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight (but you can use it right away if there are no tiny bits of dry powdered sugar). If you do see them, you will need to knead and maybe add a few more drops of water.

Prepare the fondant for storing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening, wrap in a plastic- type wrap product and then put it in a re-sealable or Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.

MM Fondant will hold very well in the refrigerator for weeks. If I know that I have a cake to decorate, I usually make 2 batches on a free night during the week so it is ready when I need it. Take advantage of the fact that this fondant can be prepared well in advance.

Thank you Peggy for this great recipe.

Well she wasn't telling a lie when she said grease your hands and your counters well. My counter ugh it took a beating after that mess. I had grease and fondant stuck to it. Boy oh Boy. It was crazy how much it sticks to everything. My husband walks in and immediately says I am not cleaning the kitchen. HAHAHA love him so much. I said I figured that much lol. So he sat there for quite sometime and then something magical happened. The fondant became solid and no longer that goopy marshmallow mix. After that he was all over it. Let me try once. Nice let me deal with the crazy sticky stuff so you can have fun playing. He was such a big help and for our first fondant cake trust me it could have been worse.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

L.A. BabyCakes

I had the chance to review one of the cutest cakes. Well not the typical type of cake lol. I had received a toddler spa cake from L.A. BabyCakes. I love it was professionally packaged and that on the box it stated which way it had to held to ensure the product was delivered properly. Also it was covered in plastic and had ribbon tied on the top. If I was giving this as a gift I would not have to do any work before giving it to the receiver.

I was unsure if it was the soap in the package, but when I opened it oh my goodness I smelled bananas. :) Kiwi was so excited that she barely let me get it open before she tried grabbing everything. The toddler spa cake has two super soft yellow towels with a really cute hippo wash cloth. Also included was a full bottle of bath and body gel. L.A. BabyCakes. also put in a really yummy looking cupcake bath bomb along with cute soap flakes and this soap that looks like the bubble tape candy. The Kiwi thought they were candy and trust me she wanted to try them. Kiwi created her own beautiful picture of flowers when we pulled the toddler spa cake apart. I would highly recommend the toddler spa cake as a gift to that special toddler in your life.

Do you have a baby shower coming up? Trust me I have so many coming up. I swear everyone is pregnant right now. Head on over to L.A. BabyCakes. they have so many styles of diaper cakes that you can quickly buy or you can create a custom cake. So do not stress the next time you have to buy a cute fun and easy gift for the young person or pregnant person on your list. You will be completely satisfied with the high quality product you will receive.

$75 Gift Certificate to Ape to Zebra Giveaway

So I was searching the internet for a great store that carried a variety of items and that the age range was larger. I then came across Ape to Zebra and the selection was large. While searching their site I found so many great products that are safe. They have strict rules on what products they carry.It's great because they are concerned about the latest lead related toy recalls and stay up to date.

Ape to Zebra specialize in safe educational toys as well as natural and environmentally friendly toys including German made wooden and soft toys, Wood toys made in Thailand and toys made in USA and other countries from all over the world. They truly make decisions about the quality of the toys you buy, the educational benefits and the origin of the toys and hope that the list of toy manufacturers and information on where their toys are manufactured will be of help to you. It's great because they concerned about the latest lead related toy recalls so they only feature products that are safe for children to explore.

Ape to Zebra have some great added bonuses on their site. My husband and I are trying for a second and on their site they have a list of baby names and how popular they are. Thanks for making it easier to find a name. :) Also on their site they have a section to child development. They go into detail about each age group and define fine and gross motor skills. They also have more great skills defined for you.

Ape to Zebra makes shopping super easy for you! I went to through the sidebar and they had categories for all ages, manufactures, toy brand, best seller, accessories, award winning, by theme, product type.

So you want to win this great prize?

Please enter here by February 15Th, 2009 by 12 P.M. CST
The winner will be personally picked by Ape to Zebra so make it count and get noticed :)

Head over to Ape to Zebra and come back and tell me what products you love and why. Also tell me if there are any products you would like to see in the store.

Please feel free to follow me or blog about the giveaway. They will not be counted as additional entries since Ape to Zebra will be picking the winner.

Thanks for entering and I wish you all good luck!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Great Valentines Day Craft

So I was searching for a fun not so messy craft idea for Valentine's Day and I came across this great video.

At Christmas time I had asked the family to get kiwi some Crayola color wonder stuff and they did. I am super excited to create this great project with her.

I would love to see your great craft ideas you have. Please share them and I will be excited to share them with my other readers!