Archive for April, 2009

The Video Where I Wear A Nursing Bra – Evenflo Breast Pump Giveaway!


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So here it is.  The post where I wear a nursing bra and talk about breastfeeding.  I nursed my baby for ten months, and I’m honestly really glad that I did.  Whether you nurse for six weeks or two years, there are some wonderful items out there that will make your breastfeeding experience easier, more comfortable, and in so doing, more rewarding (read: less painful) for you and your baby.

Watch the video for deets, but my breastfeeding essential list includes:

And finally, a breast pump is a definite must-have for nursing moms.  I think the opportunity to share in feeding your new baby is one of the best gifts you can give your partner.  Plus, why not pass off one of those nighttime feedings to someone else?  And stock breastmilk in the freezer for those times you can’t be home for a feeding. Pumping can be challenging, but it’s well worth the effort in my view.

Want to win a super nice new pump?  Read on!

evenflo The Video Where I Wear A Nursing Bra   Evenflo Breast Pump Giveaway!

I’m so excited to be giving away the new Evenflo Comfort Select Dual Automatic Cycling Breast Pump and two boxes of their Disposable Nursing Pads to one lucky Babies Gotta Have It reader! How cool is that?

I’ve been reading up on this pump on their website and it looks like it has a lot of great features.

  • All the components are BPA-free and contain less than .01% phthalates!  Hooray!
  • Gentle vacuum curve and increased cycle time for more effective, comfortable pumping.
  • AC power adapter so you can plug it in!
  • Sleek, streamlined design.  You can definitely take this pump on the go with you. It’s compact and comes with a carrying case.
  • A stable bottle stand to prevent spillage!  Cuz believe me, after you pump it you so don’t want to spill it.

For more breastfeeding tips from other moms, visit the Mom Central Evenflo Comfort Select page.  Leave a breastfeeding tip of your own and be entered to win one of three pumps.  So enter here, then head over to Mom Central and enter there!  Thanks so much everyone at Evenflo and Mom Central.  And happy breastfeeding!

To Enter the Evenflo Comfort Select Giveaway:

  • Leave a comment on this post!  That’s it! Entering is that easy!

***Want extra chances to win? Do anything listed below and leave me additional comments for each one letting me know what you did!  Maximum of three entries per person.

  • Follow me on twitter (click the birdy button on the left to do so easily) and Twitter this giveaway (I’ve even made it easy for you, just cut and paste): @BabiesGottaHavT wants you to pump in comfort! Win an Evenflo Comfort Select Breast Pump! http://tinyurl.com/clrg69 #evenflocomfort
  • Blog this giveaway (send me the url so I can enjoy your post!)
  • Subscribe to my blog using the button on the left

Your email address will remain private and not be shared with anyone. Giveaway only open to those with U.S. addresses. Giveaway begins on Tuesday April 28th and ends on Tuesday May 12th  at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time. On Wednesday May 13th,  Random.org will select the winner I’ll email you immediately. After my baby called Larry the Cable guy the last time she did a drawing, we have decided to take a little vacation from her choosing the winner. Random.org is in no way as cute and unpredictable as my baby, but it is much more efficient and does not use any pieces of paper, even recycled ones. I am sure you will understand. Thanks for entering!

UPDATE!  And the winner is…

33

Congratulations sushi_noem! Check out her blog, and adeline too….!

Comments (58) »

Babies Gotta Have Fresh Air

playgroundpic Babies Gotta Have Fresh Air

It is finally warm warmish in the Northeast and I feel like a big fat lazy bear coming out of a winter sleep that in no way burned off those pounds of berries and peeps and garbage I ate before (and all during) the long cold winter.

I’ve been to the park with the Bean almost every day in the last few weeks. She is becoming a very good slider which delights me to no end.  Family and friends who haven’t hung out with us during the warm months in New York are worried about where the Bean will play and where she will learn to ride a bike.  And though we don’t have a cul de sac for her to toodle around, within a mile of my apartment we can access more than five different playgrounds plus miles of bike and walking paths with gorgeous views of the Hudson River. And a big fat skate park in case she decides to shave her head and skateboard extremely which would be okay too, really, though surprising in its own way.  But honestly, not as surprising as if she becomes one of those girls who really doesn’t understand that bejeweled flip flops are not reliable footwear.

I do not know what I would do without these playgrounds. And as soon as your baby is old enough to swing in one of those baby swings for half an hour while you soak up some sun, drink an iced coffee, and text your college roommate you will feel the same way.

Here’s the part where I have to tell you about this amazing non-profit organization called Kaboom. The people at Kaboom are dedicated to finding and creating safe playspaces within walking distance for every child.  What’s a playspace?  A playground, field, a skate park, roller hockey rink, lake, dog park, community center, basketball court–any place where kids can engage in unstructured play for free or a nominal fee. Not only are they participating in constructing fantastic playgrounds around the country, they have created an online database where you can share your favorite playspace and also search for playspaces in every part of the country. How cool is that?  Traveling to your parents and want a place for the kids to blow off some steam during a break in your road trip?  Search Kaboom!  Stumble across a hidden gem in your hometown?  Enter it in Kaboom.

Kaboom has made a commitment to log 100,000 playspaces in 100 days.  And  they’re teaming up with Julianne Hough, two-time winner of “Dancing with the Stars” to donate $1 to one of a number of charities, for each playspace you and I and everyone in the playground-going community enters into the Kaboom database.  AND, with each entry you qualify to win some super cool prizes. Ready to write about that twisty slide by the ball-field?  Here’s what you do.

To participate, head over to Kaboom’s “100,000 Playspaces in 100 Days” and select a “team.”  I’m playing for the Mom Central Team and all the money we raise will go to Jumpstart, a national early education program.  So pick a team (new playground game: you pick the team, the team doesn’t pick you!), and then add a playspace.  All you have to do to contribute a playspace is enter the address (street and cross street will do), upload one picture, and provide your personal rating of the space.  Kaboom!  You just shared a playspace with some other Mom suffering from spring fever, the Dancing with the Stars chick gave a buck to your team’s charity (consider Mom Central…I’m just sayin’), and you qualified to win a Kindle or some other cool prize.

Fresh air, slides, sunshine, spray parks, swings…yeah, that’s something baby’s just gotta have.

Comments (3) »

Mama’s Gotta Save Some Green – Print and Prosper Giveaway!

kodak Mamas Gotta Save Some Green   Print and Prosper Giveaway!

The severity of the current economic crisis has been hammered home. It’s bad.  I know.  I totally get it.  But I have to say, serious as this crisis is, I’m just an itsy bitsy, teeny tiny, eeny weeny bit tired of hearing talking heads on TV say just HOW bad it is.  It’s bad.  I get it.  It’s so bad I’m already worried my daughter won’t be able to get into a good public school in three years because all the rich people in New York are taking their kids out of swanky private schools and enrolling them in public schools because even they can’t pay thirty thousand dollars a year for tuition any more. It’s wicked bad.

What I do like, however, is listening to clever women share how they are thwarting the recession and saving money. I got to hang out with some great bloggers a couple of weeks ago to brainstorm just how we Mamas are going to keep our heads above water since it’s pretty much looking like no one is going to send us billions of dollars in bail out money. Laura Rowley, Yahoo.com’s Finance Expert and author of the book “Money and Happiness: A Guide to Living the Good Life” kicked the event off by sharing her money-saving tips for every room of the house.  There were so many amazing tips flying around the room and over the internet that I could barely keep up with them.  If you’re a twittering gal, go to twitter search and search #printprosper for a peek into our conversation.

But I just want to share my favorites with you:

  • Coupons. Coupons. Coupons. Coupons are apparently the new black. I remember my mom heading off to the store with her “coupon caddy” and thinking, “like that quarter you’re gonna save on Cheerios is going to buy me a car when I’m sixteen.”  Well, let me tell you gals, there are women out there saving hundreds and hundreds with coupons.  Check out the amazing sites like A Full Cup, Mambo Sprouts and Deal Seeking Mom to find and print coupons online.  Dying to shop organic but don’t want to spend the extra bucks? Find a local farmer’s market using the search engine at USDA.gov or check out the websites of organic companies like Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, and Horizon for online promotions and coupons.
  • Check out faxZERO where you can send free faxes anywhere in the U.S. or Canada if you agree to have an ad printed on the fax cover page.
  • Beware vampire drain! I love this term.  Apparently we as a nation spend 3 billion dollars a year on electricity for our appliances…when they’re turned off! This is not okay. Get a power strip.  Unplug non-essential stuff.
  • Ok this one really really floored me. Not everything that says “dry clean only” needs to be dry cleaned! Whaaaaaaat?  Yup. 65% of dry clean only products can be washed at home on the gentle cycle.  Go to The Laundress to learn more.
  • Install low-flow fixtures in your faucets and showers to save money on water bills and conserve this valuable natural resource!
  • Basically, call every service provider you have: your car insurance, your home insurance, your credit cards, your mortgage broker and ask if they can make you a better offer. It just plain doesn’t hurt to ask.  And while you’re at it, are you really watching all the TV channels you’re paying for?  I am. But are you? Maybe you don’t need them all.  Oh, and Laura says when you’re calling your credit cards, ask to speak to the cancellation department. They are the ones who have the power to negotiate.
  • Two words: the library.  Video rentals. Free books. Free magazines. Free internet service.  Free story time and activities for kids. Free lots and lots of stuff.
  • This was my tip so I just like it.  Plant vegetables.  In a garden or in containers on your deck or patio. You will have tomatoes and basil for days and if you don’t spray nasty stuff on them, they will be organic.

esp7 corner Mamas Gotta Save Some Green   Print and Prosper Giveaway!

Oh and there’s one more thing. Ink.  Have you noticed how much inkjet ink cartridges cost lately?  They are crazy expensive.  And according to Kodak, they don’t have to be.  We, the printing public, are being seriously gouged.  Kodak is now offering ink at a fraction of the cost of most other companies.  Use their ink and printers, save money.  In fact, they even have a website where you can see just how much money you’d save on ink every year if you switched to a Kodak inkjet printer.  I recently had the opportunity to check out the Kodak ESP 7 All-in-One Printer.  Let me say, it is one very pretty, very tricked out, very very nice printer. Yeah with this printer you’re gonna save on ink, but you’re also gonna be able to print gorgeous photos; print, copy and scan photos and documents; print super fast in color and in black and white; make color copies, and print wirelessly with Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity.  And he’s it’s smart too.  He It knows the difference between photo paper and regular paper and adjusts automatically.  I know, I’m a little breathy and excited too!

So here’s the really exciting part.  Thanks to the very generous folks at Kodak, one incredibly lucky Babies Gotta Have It winner will win a Kodak ESP7 printer.  I am not joking. Yeah, that’ll save you some green.  To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me how you’d use this printer to stimulate your family’s economy.  I will pick the winner randomly using random.org.

But wait, there’s more.  Thanks to Kodak, 20 bloggers are offering this Print and Prosper Giveaway over four different weeks.  This week, three other fantastic blogs are doing this giveaway.  Check out the posts by: Resourceful Mommy, Little Miss Know It All and Sugar Jones. You can enter all of them!  And the 20 winners will be eligible to win a free, all-expense paid trip to the BlogHer blogging conference in Chicago this July.  Laura Rowley will look at all the winning entries and pick her favorites from each week to win the blog scholarship. So put on your thinking caps and make your entry count!

A free, money-saving printer and a trip to BlogHer?  Yeah, that’s something Mama’s gotta have.

To Enter the Kodak Print and Prosper Giveaway:

  • Leave a comment on this post sharing how you would use this Kodak printer to stimulate your family’s economy.  How could you use this awesome printer to save or earn some cash? Entering is that easy!

***Want extra chances to win? Do anything listed below and leave me additional comments for each one letting me know what you did!  Maximum of three entries per person.

  • Leave another comment sharing a favorite money-saving tip.
  • Follow me on twitter (click the birdy button on the left to do so easily) and Twitter this giveaway (I’ve even made it easy for you, just cut and paste): @BabiesGottaHavT wants you to Print and Prosper! Win a Kodak all in one Printer! http://babiesgottahaveit.com/?p=700
  • Blog this giveaway (send me the url so I can enjoy your post!)
  • Subscribe to my blog using the button on the left

Your email address will remain private and not be shared with anyone. Giveaway only open to those with U.S. addresses. Giveaway begins on Monday April 20th and ends on Sunday April 26th  at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time. On Monday April 27th,  Random.org will select the winner I’ll email you immediately. After my baby called Larry the Cable guy the last time she did a drawing, we have decided to take a little vacation from her choosing the winner. Random.org is in no way as cute and unpredictable as my baby, but it is much more efficient and does not use any pieces of paper, even recycled ones. I am sure you will understand. Thanks for entering!
UPDATE: And the winner is….

#56 Carol!  Congratulations Carol!  Happy Printing!

Comments (145) »

Handmade, Green and Affordable

It’s April!  It’s Earth Day!  And everyone’s going ga-ga for green.  So you’ve got a new baby on the way or one who is very lightly sleeping while you’re typing with one hand and trying to snap your nursing bra shut with the other…and you want to slather her in green.  But the prices of some of those absolutely exquisite green items at those absolutely delicious green boutiques are sometimes enough to make you green around the gills. BPA-Free bottles, organic mushed apples, dye-free wipes, bamboo hooded towels…your friends and family were generous when the baby was born, but this stuff starts to add up.

So does living green have to be crazy expensive?  No!  And here’s proof!  I went scouring the internet (okay I browsed Etsy) for great green independent craftspeople who are making amazing Earth-friendly products using amazing Earth-friendly processes every day!  Here are just a few of their lovely items.  And bear in  mind, Etsy items are often one of a kind so if a product link doesn’t work, check out the Etsy seller’s store which I’ll also link to in each listing!

botttle covers 225x300 Handmade, Green and Affordable

Using glass bottles?  Afraid of what will happen when you drop them on the ceramic tile floor during your 2 am feeding haze?  Organic Cotton Bottle Covers from Peanut Tree Designs are maybe not a must-have, but they are a really nice little bit of luxury and security for you and your baby.  Starting at $9 for a pair, they are also great for catching wayward drips and keeping baby’s sweet organic cotton onesie clean and dry for another hour anyway. Pair a set of these with some glass bottles for a really thoughtful baby shower gift.

burp cloths 299x300 Handmade, Green and Affordable

SewnNatural is another Canadian-based Etsy shop full of gorgeous hand-crafted, green, and upcycled things for baby.  At $15 for two, these Organic Cotton Burp Cloths are a really nice price for a gorgeous item.  If you check out this Etsy shop, be sure to look at her organic fall-winter sleepsacks. For $39 they are on par with some and cheaper than many online boutiques.

organic rattle 300x225 Handmade, Green and Affordable

“Handmade. Eco Friendly. Baby Safe.” That’s LocoMOmomma’s motto.  For seven dollars you can buy this gorgeous Organic Cotton Rattle, crocheted with 100% organic cotton yarn and stuffed with natural wool. Pair it with the matching baby toy ball for a lovely shower gift that will run you only $12.75.  That’s the kind of green Mama loves.

bamboo onesies 300x287 Handmade, Green and Affordable

Organic baby clothing costs a fortune in the stores.  Bamboo Couture, an L.A. based Etsy seller, offers Organic Bamboo Onesies for nine bucks and Organic Bamboo Sleepers/Playsuits for sixteen bucks. Beat that big box store.

stacker 300x293 Handmade, Green and Affordable

TickiTackiToys wooden toddler and baby toys are all handmade in Quakertown, PA by a couple.  He does the woodworking.  She cooks up the dyes in her own kitchen, and does the sanding, staining, and finishing.  The dyes are all natural, and made of beets, blueberries, concord grapes, and molasses.  Each piece is finished with beeswax and flaxseed oil. You may very well lose weight if you gnaw on your baby’s toys. Which you can do with no fear.  The glues are all non-toxic. These rattles, teethers and stackers are gorgeous and unique works of art. And for $26, this All Natural Wooden Stacker will not break the bank.

organicfleece 300x225 Handmade, Green and Affordable

This gorgeous Organic Bamboo Fleece Baby Blanket from OrganicByNature’s Etsy shop will run you $35 plus shipping. Seem like a lot? Search “organic bamboo fleece baby blanket” on Google and come back to me.  Yeah, it’s a lovely deal on a lovely blanket which would make an even lovelier baby gift. This Canadian based company is family owned and operated and offers reasonable shipping to the U.S. Check out all of OrganicByNature’s beautiful organic blankets including gorgeous cotton and merino wool items. Luxury you can live with.

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Stainless Steel Sippy Cups & A No Plastic Giveaway!

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I’m getting creeped out by plastic. And chemicals. BPA-free is better. But maybe no plastic is best? I don’t like the idea of anything leaching out of my baby’s sippy cup. ANYthing. So lately, I’ve been digging the stainless steel and bamboo cups, utensils, plates and bowls that are increasingly available for our babies, toddlers and kids.

Want to know where to find them? NoPlastic.ca offers a great variety of stainless steel children’s items including the safer stainless steel sippy cup and cutlery set the Little Bean rejects in favor of her fingers in my video, at a reasonable price. Also check out the stainless steel and bamboo kitchen items, food storage items, and water bottles for grown ups! And thanks to the awesome people at NoPlastic.ca one lucky Babies Gotta Have It reader will win the Stainless Steel Sippy Bottle (complete with Avent Sippy Spout) my Bean is now enjoying! As I mention in the video, this is best enjoyed by a bigger baby or toddler–you’ll want to put it away for a few months if you’ve got an itty-bitty sipper in your family!

To Enter the NoPlastic.ca Stainless Steel Sippy Giveaway:

  • Take a swing by NoPlastic.ca and check out their great array of plastic-free products for your safer home!  Leave a comment on this post sharing one other plastic-free product besides the Sippy Bottle and Cutlery Set you’d like to try.  Entering is that easy!

***Want extra chances to win? Do anything listed below and leave me additional comments for each one letting me know what you did! Make sure you include your email address with your entry. Maximum of three entries per person.

  • Follow me on twitter (click the birdy button on the left to do so easily) and Twitter this giveaway (I’ve even made it easy for you, just cut and paste): Stop by @BabiesGottaHavT to win a NoPlastic.ca Stainless Steel Sippy Cup http://tinyurl.com/czracu
  • Blog this giveaway (send me the url so I can enjoy your post!)
  • Subscribe to my blog using the button on the left
  • Email a friend about the giveaway and cc me in the message at babiesgottahaveit@gmail.com (I promise I will not spam you or your friends – cross my heart)

Giveaway  open to those with U.S. and Canadian addresses. We will not share your email address with anyone.  Giveaway begins on Friday April 17th and ends on Friday May 1st  at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time. On May 2nd,  Random.org will select the winner and I’ll email you immediately. After my baby called Larry the Cable guy the last time she did a drawing, we have decided to take a little vacation from her choosing the winner. Random.org is in no way as cute and unpredictable as my baby, but it is much more efficient and does not use any pieces of paper, even recycled ones. I am sure you will understand. Thanks for entering!
UPDATE!

And the winner is…

38

Congratulations Lisa!  Check out her blog, Cheerios Underfoot!  Thanks to everyone who entered and to NoPlastic.ca!

Comments (56) »

What’s Better Than A Hug?

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Video music: “Innocence” by Pamela Martin

Leg Huggers Bamboo Leg Warmers for Babies. UV Protectant. Odor Resistant. Biodegradable. Antibacterial.

What’s better than a hug?

Comments (2) »

Mama’s Gotta Have Game Night – Earth Day Giveaway!

earthopoly Mamas Gotta Have Game Night   Earth Day Giveaway!

Game nights in my family are legendary. The game of choice has changed over the years, but the passion for gaming has not.  What started with Candy Land in 1976 became Hearts and Pictionary in the 80′s, House Rules Uno in the mid-nineties and Texas Hold ‘Em today. Oh yeah, and we’re playing Candy Lane again.  What goes around…

Whether it’s Cranium or Chutes and Ladders, Pinochle or Spades, gather the family and some friends around the dinner table, pop some pop corn, and play a game.  But make sure the bathroom or kitchen sink is nearby.  Cause someone’s gonna end up laughing so hard the diet coke comes out their nose. Mark my words.

So here’s an idea!  How about a “Green Game Night” in honor of Earth Day?  Cook up some seasonal Green Recipes (or amass all your favorite green foods like green Jello squares, mint chip ice cream, wasabi peas and pistachios) and dive into a game of Earthopoly!

Patterned after the classic Monopoly (which is in no way green–hello urban sprawl!), Earthopoly is a completely green game in which players buy properties and increase property values not by building houses and hotels, oh no!  But by collecting Carbon Credits and exchanging them for Clean Air. Lose $78 when you’re forced to fill up your gas-guzzling monster car!  Buy the Concrete Jungle, the Coral Reefs, or the most valueable of all properties, Mother Earth herself!  Get rewarded when you switch to energy-efficient light bulbs! Oh yeah, this game is green, but you’re still totally gonna want to win.  And each property deed comes with a “Go Green” tip you and your kids can share.  As they say on the website: “It’s all fun and games until someone gets sent to the Dump.”  That cracks me up.  I think this game looks like a hoot.

And I love how it’s not only green-themed, but green through and through!  You can read the really quite interesting and totally impressive details on the Earthopoly website, but my favorite green facts about this game are:

  • The game board and box are made from recycled materials.
  • The printing is done in soy-based ink.
  • I love this one…the shrink wrap is a compostable plant-based product called EarthFirst PLA film.
  • The tokens are all made by nature and vary game to game!  In your box you may find: a lima bean, a piece of crystal from Arkansas, a bamboo ring, a pyramid carved from black walnut by local woodworkers, and a Southeast Asian shell!
  • All the manufacturing is done in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Right here in the good old U.S. of A.  Hooray!

And even better…the fantastic folks at Late for the Sky Games are giving away an Earthopoly game to one Babies Gotta Have It reader!

Family game night with an Earth-friendly twist. Yeah, that’s something Mama, Dada and all their Babies gotta share!

To Enter the Earthopoly Earth Day Giveaway:

  • Take a swing by Late for the Sky Games and check out their neat array of Monopoly style games.  Leave a comment on this post sharing one other Late for the Sky game besides Earthopoly you’d like to try.  Entering is that easy!

***Want extra chances to win? Do anything listed below and leave me additional comments for each one letting me know what you did! Make sure you include your email address with your entry. Maximum of three entries per person.

  • Leave a second comment telling me your family’s favorite game to play at game nights.
  • Follow me on twitter (click the birdy button on the left to do so easily) and Twitter this giveaway (I’ve even made it easy for you, just cut and paste): To celebrate Earth Day @BabiesGottaHavT is giving away Earthopoly! http://tinyurl.com/dzle6d
  • Blog this giveaway (send me the url so I can enjoy your post!)
  • Subscribe to my blog using the button on the left
  • Email a friend about the giveaway and cc me in the message at babiesgottahaveit@gmail.com (I promise I will not spam you or your friends – cross my heart)

Giveaway only open to those with U.S. addresses. We will not share your email address with anyone.  Giveaway begins on Tuesday April 14th and ends on Tuesday April 28th  at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time. On April 29th,  Random.org will select the winner and I’ll email you immediately. After my baby called Larry the Cable guy the last time she did a drawing, we have decided to take a little vacation from her choosing the winner. Random.org is in no way as cute and unpredictable as my baby, but it is much more efficient and does not use any pieces of paper, even recycled ones. I am sure you will understand. Thanks for entering!

UPDATE: And the winner is….

40

Congratulations Amanda!  Have fun playing Earthopoly!  Thanks to everyone who entered!  Happy Earth Month!

Comments (173) »

Mama’s Gotta Have It – Some Sweet Indulgence

brown sugar Mamas Gotta Have It   Some Sweet Indulgence

You deserve it.  Even when it’s not Mother’s Day. Especially when it’s not Mother’s Day.

Every now and then. And again. And again. And again…you deserve something rich and smooth and creamy and decadent and utterly delicious.  And don’t you dare look at the fat content or the sugar content. Do, however, look at the ingredients list.  This is what you will find: Skim Milk, Cream, Brown Sugar, Sugar, Egg Yolks.  Or you may find: Skim Milk, Cream, Sugar, Egg Yolks and Mint Extract.  That and nothing more.

Did the cat puke on your bedspread this morning?  Did the baby pee in her playhouse while you were trying to wrestle her into her overalls? Did your husband say he would be home at four and then pull in the driveway at 6:18? Did your boss scowl when you said you had to leave early to pick up your sick kid from kindergarten?

Run. Don’t walk, to the frozen foods section of your local grocery store. Pick up a container of the brand new Haagen Dazs Five. Return to your car. Retrieve the plastic spoon from the glove compartment. Do not bother to leave the parking lot before you taste it. Believe me, the sunset over the Mobile sign will look more beautiful than you could have ever imagined, when it’s accompanied by a sporkful of this ice cream.

Sweet indulgence.  Yeah, that’s something Mama’s just gotta have.

mint Mamas Gotta Have It   Some Sweet Indulgence

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Celebrate Earth Day with Sprig Toys! Plant a Seed Giveaway!

earth day graphics 09 Celebrate Earth Day with Sprig Toys! Plant a Seed Giveaway!
Every spring when the seeds on my windowsill sprout, I am amazed.  When the daffodils finally come up after months of dismal winter weather, I am amazed.  When the black spindly skeletons of winter trees become cotton candy coated with blossoms, I am amazed.  What better time of year to celebrate Earth Day than Spring, when the miracle that is this planet blooms in front of us.

The Obamas planted a garden at the White House. This delights me to no end.  This Earth Day I’m all about planting seeds. What better way to give back to the planet, and give to your family, than to plant a garden.  Whether you’re planting flowers to brighten your yard and your home, or sowing veggies to enrich your table and nourish your family, every seed you plant will grown into a plant that sucks the carbon dioxide out of the air and replaces it with oxygen.  Planting a garden is, very simply, good for the Earth.

When the people at Sprig Toys contacted me to say that they were planning to sponsor several Earth Day Giveaways to get people thinking about what Earth Day might mean for their families, I jumped at the chance to be involved.  I profiled this amazing green toy company earlier this Spring, and I’m crazier about them than ever. This company walks its talk from the remarkable child-safe, bio-composite material made from reclaimed wood and recycled plastic they use to make the toys; to the all-recyclable packaging with assembly instructions printed on the box to save paper; to the battery-free kid-powered toys that still light up but keep batteries out of landfills.

Oh yes, and every toy set in their new Spring Hollow line of indoor/outdoor toys for preschoolers comes with plantable seeds.

So how are you and your family going to celebrate Earth Day?  Do you have any wonderful ideas for activities to do, books to read, or events to attend?  Sprig Toys and Babies Gotta Have It want to know.

gardenkeeper 300x273 Celebrate Earth Day with Sprig Toys! Plant a Seed Giveaway!

In honor of Earth Day, Spring Toys is giving away ten of their brand new Garden Keepers Sets pictured above to TEN lucky Babies Gotta Have It readers!  Each of these sets comes with the adorable Sprig Hollow Bee, two Sprig Toys planters (a hive and a flower planter) which double as homes for the bee, and a plantable seed “flower.” Just leave a comment on this post sharing one great idea for how to celebrate Earth Day with your family.  Ten winners will be chosen at random.

sprig hollow farm1 300x200 Celebrate Earth Day with Sprig Toys! Plant a Seed Giveaway!

But wait, there’s more!  I’ll read each entry carefully and my favorite entry will win the grand prize of the Sprig Hollow Bee and Butterfly Farm Set that I reviewed in an earlier post (watch the video here)!  So put your thinking caps on and come up with some wonderful, creative ideas to win this great, grand prize.

Need some inspiration for Earth Day ideas?  Check out Kaboose.com’s wonderful Earth Day page for lots and lots of amaizng ways to enjoy Earth Day with your family.

To Enter the Sprig Toys Earth Day Giveaway:

  • Leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite idea for how to celebrate and honor Earth Day with your family.  Entering is that easy!

***Want extra chances to win? Do anything listed below and leave me additional comments for each one letting me know what you did! Make sure you include your email address with your entry. Maximum of three entries per person.

  • Follow me on twitter (click the birdy button on the left to do so easily)
  • Blog this giveaway (send me the url so I can enjoy your post!)
  • Twitter this giveaway (I’ve even made it easy for you, just cut and paste): @BabiesGottaHavT and @SprigToys are celebrating Earth Day with a wonderful giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/cc5qrv
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  • Email a friend about the giveaway and cc me in the message at babiesgottahaveit@gmail.com (I promise I will not spam you or your friends – cross my heart)

Giveaway only open to those with U.S. addresses. We will not share your email address with anyone.  Giveaway begins on Wednesday April 8th and ends on Tuesday April 21st  at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time. On Earth Day, Wednesday April 22nd,  Random.org will select 10 winners of the Garden Keeper Sets, I’ll select the grand prize winner of the Bee and Butterfly Set, and I’ll email you all immediately. After my baby called Larry the Cable guy the last time she did a drawing, we have decided to take a little vacation from her choosing the winner. Random.org is in no way as cute and unpredictable as my baby, but it is much more efficient and does not use any pieces of paper, even recycled ones. I am sure you will understand. Thanks for entering!
UPDATE! Happy Earth Day and Congratulations Jessica (comment 58) – The panel here at Babies Gotta Have It (which is composed of me and my mom) chose your entry as our favorite way to honor and celebrate Earth Day.  We love the idea that Earth Day is about taking care of our planet AND the people in it!  What better way to do so than to pass along gently used items to people who will love them anew, and then  do your shopping at a thrift store to keep stuff out of landfills!  Thank you all so much for all the wonderful entries.  My Mom and I talked for a long time about them and love so many of the ideas!

The ten winners of the random drawing have all been chosen and emailed.  I’ll publish all of their names as soon as I hear from you!  Thanks to everyone who entered and listed this giveaway.  And thank you SPRIG TOYS!

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In Honor of Mother Earth – Green Baby Products I Use Every Day

It’s April!  Happy Spring!  Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day, here’s a list of the green baby products I use every day.  And when I say every day, I pretty much mean every day.  There are lots of natural and organic baby products you’ll use every once and a while.  These?   Daily. Check these out!

bambu In Honor of Mother Earth   Green Baby Products I Use Every DayOrganic Bamboo Kid’s Fork and Spoon In Honor of Mother Earth   Green Baby Products I Use Every DayI’m starting to get a little creeped out by plastic.  Much of it appears to have nasty stuff in it that, over time, leaches out.  Ick. And though there are lots of BPA free spoons out there, these days I’m liking using a natural product for my little bean.  And how green is this company? Bambu products are made from Certified Organic bamboo that is sustainably harvested and free from pesticides or fertilizers.  Why choose bamboo? As one of the Earth’s fastest-growing plants it’s a remarkable renewable resource with an incredible growth cycle of three to five years.  I literally use these every day.  The spoon is a nice size for feeding toddlers. My babe loves eating from a fork like a big girl. They aren’t dishwasher safe but they wash up in five seconds.  Love them.

babybottommist 192x300 In Honor of Mother Earth   Green Baby Products I Use Every DayI reviewed the Miessence Organic Baby Bottom Mist a few months ago and I’m still loving it. I spray it on my eco baby’s sweet bottom every single day. It is Certified Organic, it comes in recyclable non-leaching plastic, and it works beautifully.  Why choose organic baby skin and hair care products?  No nasty chemicals contacting  your sweet baby’s skin and no nasty chemicals used in manufacturing ending up in the soil or the air or the grass under your sweet baby’s feet.

safe sippy1 In Honor of Mother Earth   Green Baby Products I Use Every Day

The Safe Sippy In Honor of Mother Earth   Green Baby Products I Use Every Day Okay it’s not cheap. I’ll say that right now. But I really dig this sippy cup. You gotta love the way it looks. It’s awesome. Oh yeah, green can be super sleek and cool. But more than that, I love that this safe sippy cup is made from non-leaching stainless steel, and all the plastic parts are certified free of free of Bisphenol A, phthalates and DEHA. Bye Bye BPA. I can’t say for sure that the process to make stainless steel is any less damaging to the Earth than the process to make plastic.  But, oh yeah, plastic is made from oil. So there’s that too…

svan chair In Honor of Mother Earth   Green Baby Products I Use Every Day

I’m sure my definition of “green” could be seriously challenged by someone.  But in my eyes, if a product is made from a natural substance (bent birchwood in this case), through an environmentally friendly process, and if all materials used in the making of the product meet federal regulations and are not harmful to my child, then I feel good about buying it. The Svan High Chair In Honor of Mother Earth   Green Baby Products I Use Every Day meets these criteria.  To top it off, the plastic play tray is Phthalate-free and the optional cushion (which we bought in sage green) is PBDE-free.  I love it.  Also, the  Europeans argue that their products are made to such high standards of quality that they can be used over and over for many years.  My baby can use this chair as a high chair and later a booster chair until she’s 8.  Then, theoretically this quality chair will still be good enough to pass along to someone else who needs it, reducing waste.  Look for one on Craig’s List. In my eyes, buying quality products that will last for years, is a green choice.   And I feel good about that.

seventh gen baby laundry In Honor of Mother Earth   Green Baby Products I Use Every Day Seventh Generation Baby Laundry Liquid Detergent My skin is crazy sensitive.  My baby? Remains to be seen. But I think this detergent has helped, I really do.  Think of all that gray water that goes down our drains and back into the ocean.  I don’t want all kinds of nasty stuff in it, do you?  This product is (deep breath): biodegradable, safe for septic and greywater systems, phosphate free, hypo-allergenic,  non-toxic, not tested on animals, and perfectly effective.  Worried about the extra cost of these organic household goods?  Go to SeventhGeneration.com, register to become part of the Seventh Generation Nation, and print valuable coupons right from the site! In fact lots of these green companies offer coupons online!  Go to Earths Best, Mrs. Meyers, and Horizon Organic online for money-saving offers and coupons!

Now that’s saving some green!

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