Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Natural Comfort for Kids- Nui Organics #Style Review + $50.00 GC #Giveaway!

A season or two ago, I was introduced to the astounding difference between cotton and organic cotton. Organic means that something is grown or raised naturally, like plants and animals. What does that have to do with our clothing? Think about all of the chemicals that are used on farms, to produce faster, cheaper crops- or maybe it's something you don't really realize or think of, because it's not something that you see happening with your own eyes. Those chemicals spread through the farms, to the workers, and guess where else they wind up? On the products you purchase- your clothing, and your food. There's a reason why mom always made us wash our fresh fruits and veggies before eating them, right?

As a parent, I have grown more concerned over the chemicals that enter my home through products we have purchased. My job is first and foremost to protect my child, and by outfitting him in organic cotton clothing, I'm looking out for his health and well being. Recently, I had the opportunity to connect with Nui Organics, an organic clothing company for infants and children. Nui Organics was founded and is based in New Zealand, where the word 'nui' means 'big' or 'important.' Nui Organics believes in a clean start for children, and they love to provide families with safe, comfortable organic clothing options. Nui Organics uses Global Organic Textiles Standards certified fibers in all of their apparel and accessories, so you can feel good about putting these pieces on your precious children.

I was thrilled to get to know a bit more about the importance of organically grown fibers through Nui Organics, and was also excited for the opportunity to select a couple of pieces of their clothing for B to try out. I instantly found a top and bottom that would make a great summertime outfit for B.

Here's our special package for B from Nui Organics, complete with a handwritten note from their team!

I was interested in finding something that B could wear right now, and certainly wear through the summer, and into early fall. We normally don t-shirts from March into October! I was invited to have a look through the Nui Organic spring lookbook and select a couple of pieces. B likes to be comfy, and he's starting to have an opinion about what he wears, so I knew that my choice would be a gamble as to whether or not he would like it!

I selected the Kelp Seahorse T-shirt in a 4T...

The t-shirt is a beautiful green shade, with a printed seahorse on the front.

I also selected the Grey Kavi Shorts, in 4T.

As I removed the clothing from their packaging, I noticed right off how incredibly silky soft each piece was. There's a major difference in the way organic cotton feels against your skin. I invited my husband over to feel B's new clothing from Nui Organics, and his response was, 'I want some of these in my size!' Indeed... they feel so creamy, it's no wonder everyone goes crazy over them! I was pleased with the design of the t-shirt, and loved the green color, which seemed so cheery for spring!

The Grey Kavi Shorts, were also a great pick! It can sometimes be difficult to tell what something will look like, when buying online, but I was absolutely pleased with the look and feel of the shorts. They feature an elastic waist with a drawstring, as well as side pockets. I am a happy camper over the drawstring. I don't want to have to fiddle with buttons and zippers for potty breaks, and these are a quick up and down- great for toddlers, and pre-schoolers. They're also super comfortable, and they offer room to grow- both in the waist, and in the length. 

B was so excited to try his new outfit on from Nui Organics. Excuse the water spot on his shirt... you know boys, always into something!

The grey shorts are a wonderful length for my little bean sprout, and look great paired with the Kelp Seahorse Tee!

B was so pleased with his new outfit. He even commented on the softness of both pieces. I was not surprised when he asked to wear the outfit again the day following its debut. Sadly, it was in the wash when he asked, but it would make an encore appearance a couple of days later, back in his weekly clothing rotation. 

Wears well for all day play, as it should, for kids who are being kids!

B happily wore this Nui Organics outfit as part of our Earth Day celebration. It seemed so fitting!

Worn out from a hard day at work and play, celebrating the Earth!

Our family is hooked on the comfort of Nui Organics, and we're thrilled to have found such a wonderful company, that we can trust to help us keep our child safe from the potential harm from harsh chemicals used in other fabrics and fibers. 

Nui Organics offers beautifully made apparel and accessories for both infants, and children. 
Take a look at some of their wonderful pieces...

nuiCOTTON Kimono Tee Pink
Kimono Tee

nuiCOTTON Noemi Dress Pink Seaweed
Noemi Dress

nuiCOTTON Hadagi Gown Ocean
Hadagi Gown

Infant with Bubble Blanket - Silver Charcoal
Bubble Blanket

I only wish I had known about Nui Organics when B was an infant. I would have loved to have dressed him in organic cotton clothing pieces, or wrapped him up in a lush organic cotton blanket from the very start. The more I read about Nui Organics, the more I admire their brand, and what they stand for. I would encourage you to get to know more about this wonderful company, and read more about why you might want to consider adding organic clothing to your family's wardrobes... you'll be making an investment in their overall health by doing so. It's a smart, and easy choice.

Want It? Buy It!

Head on over to Nui Organics to browse their entire collection of organic clothing for infants and children. To view the spring collection, click through their lookbook. Nui Organics kindly offers free shipping on orders over $100.00. Nui Organics is social, and would love to connect with you through Facebook, and Twitter.

Want It? Win It!

Thanks to the generous folks at Nui Organics, one lucky MBP reader will win a $50.00 Nui Organics Gift Card! Just use the handy dandy Rafflecopter entry form below to enter for your chance to win! Giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older.

Special thanks to our friends at Nui Organics for allowing us to experience their beautifully made children's clothing, and for offering this wonderful giveaway for our readers.

Good luck!

The Best Gifts for Mom Are at Best Buy! #GreatestMom

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Best Buy, written by me. I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card, for sharing my original thoughts and opinions.

I can't believe that Mother's Day is almost here! Every year, it seems to sneek up on me. I know full well when Mother's Day is, but it always comes on the tail of something else, so it's easy to lose track of it! In true mom fashion, I'm usually so busy, that I hardly have time to think about what type of gift I might like to receive for Mother's Day. I have many interests, and would be pleased with a big hug from my son, but every now and then, it's super special to receive a thoughtful gift.

My friends and family certainly know that I love cooking and entertaining. After my husband and I were married, we sort of became 'foodies,' seeking new recipes, and the finest cooking and baking tools and appliances we could find. I enjoy having the right tools for successful cooking in my kitchen, because it makes the overall cooking or baking experience much more enjoyable. My grandmother taught me to how to be a good hostess, which meant always having something to offer to your guests, and having plenty of it!

I am looking forward to doing a lot of cooking, and light baking this summer, as I entertain friends and family, and enjoy everyday meals with my husband and son. I've been poking around, looking at some great products that would make great gifts for someone like me, a foodie mom! Is there a special lady in your life who enjoys cooking and baking, and would love to receive a new gift to fuel that foodie fire?

I have some great gift ideas to share with you! Thankfully, Best Buy has all types of gifts for all types of moms! Take a look at a few of the items below, that would make great gifts (all under $100.00, I might add) for that Foodie Mom in your life this Mother's Day!

Dash - 2-Quart Greek Yogurt Maker - Larger Front

Dash - 2-Quart Greek Yogurt Maker

Greek Yogurt is all the rage, but a lot of people (including me) shy away from buying a lot of it, because it can be pricey. I'd love to be able to make my own Greek Yogurt, and enjoy delicious parfaits with fresh fruit and granola for breakfast all summer long! Making a Greek Yogurt swap for sour cream is a super healthy swap, as well! This Greek Yogurt maker looks so incredibly handy!

Frigidaire - 8-Bottle Wine Cellar - Silver - Angle

Frigidaire - 8-Bottle Wine Cellar - Silver

Okay, I don't do this all the time, but sometimes, when I'm cooking, I like to relax, and sort of get into the groove. I love enjoying a crisp glass of wine, and listening to music when I cook. It's all part of the experience to me! I'd love to have this, and to be able to keep our wine in a seperate place from our 'fridge. It would make grabbing a chilled bottle of wine super convenient when we're ready to enjoy a glass, or when we're hosting guests.

Ninja - Professional 72-Oz. Blender - Black - Angle

Ninja - Professional 72-Oz. Blender - Black

Anyone who cooks or bakes needs to have a good blender. I'm not so experienced with a blender, but I am nothing short of amazed by what you can do with one of these! I love smoothies, and my husband and son truly enjoy milkshakes, so having this blender would make our tummies very happy this summer!

Special offer: 20% off Misfit Shine Products
To redeem coupon on enter code MOMSHINE20 at check out!

I would be thrilled to receive any of the above mentioned gifts for Mother's Day! How about you? Not looking for a 'Foodie Mom' gift? No worries, Best Buy has the perfect gifts for all types of moms- entertainers, adventurers, fitness fanatics, and on-the-go moms, too! I love shopping Best Buy because of their low price guarantee... their prices are always awesome, and that's one of the reasons we shop there- over and over again! Plus, if you shop online, you can receive free shipping with a qualified purchase!

Join the Party!

Best Buy is hosting two Mother's Day Twitter Parties on Friday May 2nd at 12:00pm CST and Wednesday May 7th at 7pm CST . Feel free to join one or both of these parties for a chance to receive Best Buy gift cards and other great products. Tweet #GreatestMom with your favorite Mother's Day Gift ideas from Best Buy.

Ready to Get Your Gifting On?

Head on over to the Best Buy Gift Center for even more great gift ideas for Mother's Day!

What's on your Mother's Day wish list?

Wordless Wednesdays: Daddy Time

Nothing makes my heart happier, than seeing my two favorite boys spending time together. B loves his daddy, and relishes the time they share, just being silly, having tickle parties, dancing around the house, playing cars, doing puzzles, reading, or just chilling out.

Having fun with an I-Spy Book...

Together at the NC Transportation Museum...

Hunting for eggs at the recent neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt...

 I'm blessed to be married to someone who treasures family time, and making memories, as much as I do. There isn't anything he would do for our little B.

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday!

My MBP Signature

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Creative Play at its Finest: Imagine I Can Magnetic Play Sets by Manhattan Toy #Review + #Giveaway

As we begin to close in on the end of the school year, we are spending a bit more time at home than we're used to. Most of the programs that I volunteer with, and involve my son in, have ended for the year. Some of the afternoon programs we attended kept us busy and engaged through out the school year, and made our time spent at home more enjoyable, too. During the 'off months,' I find myself having to plan extra activities, to keep my son busy, and from getting into things around the house. He's a bit ahead of other children his age, and becomes bored, if he isn't challenged enough. This is both a blessing, and at times, frustrating for me, as I look for appropriate activities that will pique his interest.

I'm thankful for amazingly creative learning toys. They are sanity savers for me! One of my favorite toy companies happens to be The Manhattan Toy Company.The Manhattan Toy Company has been around since 1982, when it was founded by Francis Goldwyn. The neat thing about The Manhattan Toy Company, is that they were leaders in introducing toys that consist of non-traditional fabrics in their toys, as well as new designs for soft toys. Manhattan Toy knows the value in play time. After all, it's how children learn from early on in their lives, and playtime plays an important role in their development. It's always been my belief that playing with and reading to your children are two of the most important things you can do as a parent, and it's wonderful to see a toy company that holds fast to those same beliefs.

I was excited to learn that Manhattan Toy, who has several brands of fantastic toys under their umbrella, was adding some brand new play kits to their award-winning Imagine I Can line. We first had the pleasure of reviewing the Imagine I Can kits around the holidays last year, and we were so pleased. You can check out our previous experience with the Imagine I Can line, here. We were able to select one of the new releases to try out and enjoy at home!

A special package has arrived for B, from Manhattan Toy!

It didn't take much for B to realize that the box that arrived was meant for him! One glance at the whimsical Manhattan Toy logo gave it right away! B couldn't wait to see what type of toy or activity the box would reveal! We sat down together, and carefully opened up the package to find a brand new Imagine I Can Travel Time Play Kit, for ages 3+.

'Check this out, everyone! Looks totally cooler than cool!' (B's words, not mine!)

The Imagine I Can Travel Time Play Kit came packaged in a brightly colored sleeve, with photos of the play kit, and information from parents... like the kit contains a whopping 104 pieces! Can you imagine? B was so excited by the photo covering the actual play kit, that he just wanted to sit and look at it for a while. After I finally coerced him to allow us to remove the sleeve, we uncovered the play kit tin! I think it is so neat that the Imagine I Can play kits come packaged in little tins with handles and hinges! That's definitely thinking outside of the 'box!'

Here's what the Travel Time play kit tin looks like. Bright, colorful, and quite imaginative!

After seeing the tin, B was absolutely hungry to see what it contained, so we opened it up and found four different scenes printed on paper, as well as a set of magnets in all sort of shapes and sizes! One small tear into the bag (by daddy), and the magnets were spread out all over the floor in front of us! What an assortment!

Here's the inside of the play kit tin, with the magnets still in their packaging, and the printed play scenes.

B, happily sorting through all of the different shapes. Triangles over to one side, circles to another.

The idea of the Travel Time play kit from Imagine I Can, is to place a scene on either side of the inside of the tin. The paper is cut to fit inside of the tin with ease. After selecting your scene (space, ocean, farm, or construction site), use the magnets to create different vehicles, or what-have-you, on top of the paper scene. The magnets actually hold the paper scene to the tin play kit, just as a magnet would hold your child's artwork on the refrigerator. Since there are so many magnet pieces included in the kit, in various shapes, colors, and sizes, the possibilities of what you can create from them, are endless!

Quality time- daddy and B, working on their space ships and boats.

The paper scenes in this kit are vibrant and fun- each one opening up endless possibilities for fun and adventure!

One of the many wonderful things about the Imagine I Can play kits, is that children can use and enjoy the kits by themselves. They really don't need much supervision with these. B truly enjoys bringing this kit out from his room, all by himself, opening it up near wherever I happen to be, and then playing quietly while I work, read, etc. I know that the ability to do this on his own, gives him a sense of independence, and makes me awfully proud of him, as well.

Great for alone time play, or side by side play with a parent or friend!

The Travel Time play kit is a winner in B & daddy's books!

Just as my husband has enjoyed bonding with B while playing with the Travel Time play kit together, I have enjoyed the same. The kit has been a wonderful addition to my resources for creative play while we home school for Pre-K. It can be hard to find activities that will keep a three-year-old engaged for more than ten minutes. When B sat down to explore the kit for the first time, he worked with it for almost an hour. Since then, he's played and created with it for at least thirty minutes at a time, each and every time! We've been able to use it alongside some our our lessons, as we've learned about submarines, astronauts, and even as we took a trip down memory lane, and I told B stories of my late grandparents, who were farmers.

Getting creative with mommy... let's make a submarine!

Another huge plus to this awesome magnetic activity kit, is that it's totally shareable. If you have two children, they can happily work and play side by side, just as B and I did. This is a wonderful toy for siblings or friends to share, and though it's geared toward younger children, it's not limited to just the little ones. Older children and adults will enjoy this creative play set, as much as a 3-5 year-old will. I could definitely see B and his cousin C, who is ten years old, enjoying this set together.

Here, B is pointing out the different shapes used to make the vehicle we created.

When play time is over, the contents of the kit can easily be places back into the tin. The tin is then closed, and can be easily carried by the child, to be put away. This is the perfect activity to send along with a child to a friend's house, or relative's house. It encourages quiet play time, or together playtime, with a friend or loved one. B has enjoyed introducing his grandparents to this wonderful kit, and they've all had a hand in helping him create special scenes, and lasting memories.

Imagine I Can Travel Time picture
Details of the Imagine I Can Travel Time Play Kit

Create endless combinations of transportation vehicles and scenes.. Includes 104 magnetic pieces and 4 paper background scenes. Place a background scene on inside of tin, then place magnetic pieces on scene to create and play. Tin case with handle allows for easy storage and portability. Ages 3+

We have already enjoyed countless hours of fun and learning together, thanks to another winning Imagine I Can play kit by Manhattan Toy. These are stimulating toys that I feel good about my son spending time with. I know that Manhattan Toy has a commitment to quality and safety, which makes me feel even better! I appreciate a toy company willing to go the extra mile to keep our children safe.

 Imagine I Can has released a whole series of fantastic new magnetic activity kits!
 Take a look at some of the other kits by Imagine I Can...

Imagine I Can Character Mix-up picture
Character Mix Up

Imagine I Can Fashion Friends picture
Fashion Friends

Imagine I Can Notes N' Stuff picture
Notes N' Stuff

It's easy to see why the Imagine I Can sets have won so many awards, and have received a phenomenal amount of praise from the media. I'm not the only one who thinks these wonderfully creative activity kits are brag-worthy, and worth adding to your classroom, or to your child's personal toy collection. If you have a little one graduating from Pre-K or Kindergarten this spring, this would make an adorable gift for their graduation, or would make a special birthday gift! Heading on a family vacation this summer? Keep your little one entertained on the go with one of these must-have magnetic activity kits!

Want It? Buy It!

Head on over to Manhattan Toy to browse even more Imagine I Can products! I guarantee that you will love what you find there! You can also stay up to date with what's new from Manhattan Toy, by connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube!

Imagine I Can Travel Time picture

Want It? Win It!

One lucky MBP reader will win their choice of an Imagine I Can Magnetic Play Kit! Choose from Travel Time, Fashion Friends, or Character Mix-Up! Just use the handy dandy Rafflecopter entry form below to enter for your chance to win! Giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older.

Special thanks to Manhattan Toy for allowing us to have fun with and learn by playing with another one of their magnificent play kits, and for offering our readers the chance to win one, as well!

Good luck!

Mickey Mouse CLUBHOUSE: Around the Clubhouse World Comes to Disney DVD May 20th!

Where Mickey and pals explore the wonders of the world in MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE: AROUND THE CLUBHOUSE WORLD out on Disney DVD May 20th!

We're so, so excited about a brand new addition to the MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE DVD series! B loves visitng the clubhouse with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Goofy, and even sneaky Pete! We can't wait to see what types of sumemrtime adventures the gang will go on, and we can't wait to tag along!

Take a look at this exciting clip from MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE: AROUND THE CLUBHOUSE WORLD!

Doesn't this look fun! If you have little MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE fans at home, you'll definitely want to mark this new release on your calendars, and plan to add it to your DVD collection! We can't wait to see it, and share about it with you! We're ready to celebrate, so let's all stand up and do the Hotdog Dance!

As Mickey would say, 'See ya real soon!'