Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Meet & Greet Week 14

It's Monday!  And that means I get to introduce you all to another new blogger!  This week I get to tell you about my friend Nancy!  I have been a long time follower of Nancy's and enjoy reading her blog so much!  I am originally from Arizona so this blog holds a special place in my heart.  I have had the pleasure of getting to know Nancy by working with her on several blog hops and been fortunate enough to call her my cyber friend.  Please read about Nancy and then drop by her blog and leave her some comment love!




Name 
Nancy aka fancygrlnancy


Where do you blog? 
Arizona Mama http://arizonamama-fancygrlnancy.blogspot.com/


How did you decide on what to name your blog? 
I was having a hard time with it. I asked a few bloggy friends and got some great ideas. Arizona Mama was suggested by Anna from The Baby Store Plus and I liked it immediately. Its simple and really identifies that I am in Arizona and I am a mom.

 


Tell us a little bit about you....
I am a mom to an almost 3 and a half year old boy. I started my family a little later in my 30's. My wonderful husband is 8 years older than me and he has a daughter that will be 24 soon. We are currently TTC our second together. I work full time in a Head Start Program. Currently I am a curriculum training specialist and I train the teachers and mentor them. I was a Head Start teacher in the classroom for over 10 years.


Tell us 5 of your favorite things
1. my son
2. my husband
3. my mom
4. chocolate
5. winning giveaways


5 of your least favorite things
1. smokers
2. liars
3. cheaters
4. peas
5. paying bills


When and why did you start blogging? 
I started blogging just under 2 years ago. I honestly started because I was reading blogs and entering giveaways. I wanted to get all those great extra entries for having the buttons and blogging. I also wanted to keep kind of a live journal of my son's life. I have been really bad about not writing in the baby book so I guess my blog is kind of pieces for the baby book.


What do you blog about? 
I blog about my life with my son. I also do many product reviews and giveaways.


What does your family think of your blog? Do they read it? 
Most like the idea. My mom reads it and even stared entering giveaways. My husband reads it when its a personal post. I know my brother in law and my aunt have looked at it, but not sure how much they read it.


When do you find the time to blog? 
I blog in the evenings while I should be sleeping.. lol! And nap time on the weekends.


What is your favorite blog post ever? 
I don't know about favorite posts, but recently I started a Thursday's Thoughts with Jayden and I write some of the funny things my son says.. he is so smart and cute.. Here are a couple:
http://arizonamama-fancygrlnancy.blogspot.com/2011/10/thursdays-thoughts-with-jayden_27.html
and
http://arizonamama-fancygrlnancy.blogspot.com/2011/09/thursdays-thoughts-with-jayden.html


What is your favorite item you ever reviewed? 
I have reviewed some great items! two stick out I love for both the product and the great people that work there.. Picture Keeper  and Ova Cue Fertility Monitor 


What brand or product would you really like to work with/review? 
I would LOVE to review The Learning Tower and I'd also like Vtech and Leap Frog


What are your favorite blogs to read? 
I like and read many blogs... Here are a couple:
The Jacobsen Family: http://ourjacobsenfamily.blogspot.com/
The Mommy Times: http://www.themommytimes.net/


Where can we find you?
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArizonaMamaBlog
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/fancygrlnancy

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Savvy Rest Review & Sponsor Spotlight




Savvy Rest, the company that helps me rest assured I made the right choice for my families needs when it comes to healthy alternatives to the traditional bedding on the market.  Savvy Rest offers only the finest organic mattresses, organic mattress toppers, sheets, mattress pads, and pillows.  By making their mattresses from natural latex rubber, certified organic wool and certified organic cotton you know you are sleeping on and can rest assured it is healthy.  Everyone deserves a natural mattress and with Savvy Rest it is possible.

Savvy Rest has a commitment to each and every customer: 
  • Purity: our materials are natural, nontoxic, certified and independently tested
  • Comfort: every Savvy Rest organic mattress is customized for the individual
  • Integrity: we treat customers with honestly and respect
  • Value: Savvy Rest will long outlast a conventional mattress
When Savvy Rest contacted me about doing a review I was very excited, having a fabulous pillow can make or break your nights sleep so the right pillow is crucial.  After checking out their website and researching the company I was very excited to partner with them and share my experiences with their products.   I chose to do a review on the Soap Shape Pillow because it is suggested as being ideal for smaller children and stomach sleepers, both of which describes Tates and after one night of me borrowing his current pillow I knew he NEEDED a better pillow.

The lowest pillow offered in the Savvy Rest line I knew it wouldn't be stressful on Tates little neck and the design has hollow channels throughout to promote air flow, perfect in my opinion!  Having a stomach sleeper this is something I worry about quite often however now I rest assured.  Not only is this no longer a concern but I have tested it myself (as I am sure other mom's do with their children's toys or anything their child will be using) and it really does allow for easy breathing.



The soft organic Dunlop molded latex does have a very strong smell (obviously) to it when it arrives however the included pillow protection case covered the smell quite a bit and the smell has decreased over time quite a bit.  I use an extra pillow case over it for extra coverage just to mask the scent and a little bit of scent is worth it to me knowing my baby has a great pillow that is not only supportive and comfortable but also safe for him.

Buy It:

You can purchase any of Savvy Rest's products directly from their website 

Connect:

Be sure to check out Savvy Rest on Facebook!


Win it:

Savvy Rest is generously offering one Eco Baby Mama Drama reader a Soap Shape Pillow of their own!  Come back to enter during CouponCabin's 25 Crazy Dayz of Giveaways!  So make sure you come back and enter starting on November 1st and earn extra entries every day for tweeting and sharing on Facebook!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Graham Bear Wear Review & Sponsor Spotlight



I stumbled across Graham Bear Wear one day while page hopping around Facebook and boy am I glad I did.  The logo itself is just so cute you have to click the photos section to see what this store is all about and then it hits you.....the squishy fluffy goodness is irresistible!


Nancie the creative seamstress behind Graham Bear Wear got her inspiration from her mom cloth diapering her 'way back when' so she knew she wanted to cloth diaper her little Graham (Graham Bear) and began part time at nights and on the weekends until she was able to be a full time stay at home mom and cloth diaper full time.  This lead Nancie to search for cute cloth diapers like any fluff using mama and then she thought why not make her own so she did.  She drafted a pattern and tweaked it until she had what she wanted and within 2 months she had opened her Etsy shop and was in business.  Since starting in June of 2009 Nancie has come a long way including shipping her handmade diapers across the world and has a wholesaler in Malaysia.
Diapers off to Malaysia
Photo courtesy of GBW

Graham Bear Wear specializes in one sized pocket diapers with inserts along with sized and one sized fitted diapers.  With the wide selection of fabrics Nancie has in stock you will surely have a hard time settling on just one diaper.  The options Nancie offers make it where you can completely customize your babies fluff stash; side or front snapping, the previously mentioned sized or one sized, and also the option of adding a night time layer to any diaper.




Each diaper is hand constructed from only the finest materials including KAM snaps brand snaps for closure,  US grown and milled organic cotton velour, and fabrics purchased from reputable online vendors.  Woven and knit fabrics are offered and Nancie taught me that the difference between the two is that woven fabric has little to no stretch whereas knits are very stretchy.  Both fabrics function the same however.  PUL is the waterproof material used in the pocket diapers and fitted require a cover of some kind.

Hand dyed velour to match prints
Photo courtesy of GBW
Nancie sent me a set of her one sized fitted diapers to test out on the heavy wetting Tates and immediately I was in love!  The diapers are so adorable and soft!  Dino print and zoo animals oh so cute!  The tags are sewn in and the diapers have hidden snaps so there is nothing touching the baby to irritate their delicate skin and all they feel is heavenly fluffiness.  The fitted diapers are constructed with a unique tongue style double soaker that snaps to each other and the diaper so everything stays in place.




One of my favorite options is to be able to customize your absorbency.  Tates is a very heavy wetter and the choice of having a hidden layer of zorb is available at no additional charge.  Yes you read that right...super soakers don't cost you more here folks!  Graham Bear Wear diapers are a low-rise diaper that is designed to sit below the belly button for babies comfort.   The outer layer of the diaper is your choice of prints (knit, woven or velour) with an inner layer of organic cotton velour, and a hidden layer of organic bamboo viscous and hemp fleece; again don't forget you also have the option of the zorb as well.  The velour provides baby with a stay dry feel which I adore, no need to mess with a fleece liner. 



The gentle leg elastic is encased and makes absolutely no red marks on his super chunk thighs which is very important to me.  At the same time the elastic holds in place quite nicely as his little legs run around everywhere he goes, I don't think he knows how to walk honestly.  The soakers are very generous while offering full coverage with a quick dry time since they snap apart for washing.









Tates put these fitteds to the test-SLEEPING in cloth!  They held up beautifully, very absorbent and when Tates woke up he was rash free and happy!  Tates like a bit of cuddle time when he wakes up from napping or overnight so it is a struggle to change him right away, with these diapers there was no worry that we could cuddle and Tates was still dry and comfortable.  I love theses diapers.  They are absorbent enough for him not to have a cover on during a nap actually which is amazing in my book.  The only question now is how do I talk my husband into an entire stash?




Buy them:
Purchase your own diapers from Nancie's stocked Etsy shop or explore her facebook page for more information and fabric choices!


Win it:
Nancie is sponsoring the Trick or Treat Halloween Hop here at Eco Baby Mama Drama and you can win by filling out the easy Rafflecopter form by clicking the button below!  Good Luck!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fun with Food Friday

Mama Chocolate


I am super excited to be co-hosting Fun with Food Friday this week with Mama Chocolate!  I have been a long time follower of hers and used many of her recipes so when I was given the opportunity to co-host with her I jumped!

For my recipe I chose a yummy breakfast treat submitted by PiggyGiggles.com for Banana Cupcakes.  I love sweets and I love easy recipes so this was perfect for me!



What you need:

  • 5 bananas (if I have an extra banana I throw it in too)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (or even milk)~I used milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour  
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
What you do:

  1.  In a mixer, mix the bananas until smooth.  Add in sugar, egg, oil, sour cream (or yogurt) and vanilla
  2.  In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until moistened.
  3. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cooking time really varies depending on how big your muffin cups are and how much you fill them. 
  4. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks or plate.


I don't have a mixer so I mashed my bananas in the blender then used a whisk to mix everything else, super easy!

The recipe made 2 dozen cupcakes and are super tasty!  I am not kidding you when I say baby Tates has already eaten like 4!




Now head on over to see what Mama Chocolate cooked up for you today!

    My Wonderful Walls Review & #Giveaway & Discount Code



    We live in an apartment and have for a few years now.  The last 3 apartments we have lived in have painting restrictions which make it pretty boring for not only making it feel like 'home' but also hard to decorate.  I was so excited when I came across My Wonderful Walls and after working with the two owners and getting to know more about them and their business I am so glad I had the opportunity to partner with them and introduce them to you all.


    Michael and Stephanie still consider themselves a 'Mom & Pop' business only with more of a modern take on it as they ship all over the world and even had a customer in the North Pole once!  The idea for the business was born when Michael was painting a mural on their oldest child's bedroom wall and they both thought what a great idea it would be to help other parents be able to provide beautiful and fun artwork in their child's bedrooms even if they didn't have the artistic abilities or self confidence to attempt it.  


    Michael and Stephanie not only offer wall murals, wall sticker kits, full-room stencil kits, and color-adjustable canvas art for decorating young children's' rooms and baby nurseries but they also offer personalization options. They offer a wide range of popular kid's themes including farm, flower garden, transportation, jungle, dinosaur, princess, forest, fairy, outer space, bugs, ocean, Noah's ark, clouds, and coming in the near future are pirate, circus, wizards & dragons, and owls.







    Being the busy mom that I am I opted for a wall sticker set for two reasons; #1 I knew it would be quick and easy to decorate Tates room even if he was helping and #2 when we move I don't have to worry about losing our wonderful room decorations.  I kept the paper the stickers came on and when we move I am going to use them again on the next room.  When applying the stickers a few times I needed to reposition the sticker or during transfer the sticker got stuck to itself and I love being able to untangle on gently remove and reposition.  Take a look at the quick video of how easy it is to apply the stickers.


    It was so hard for me to choose which sticker kit since there are so many great ones, I went with the Space Wall Stickers.  The set comes with an amazing 71 stickers!  Stephanie and Michael were also so generous that they sent us a customized flag for Tates!  

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Trick or Treat Halloween Hop

    Trick-or-Treat Hop

    Welcome to the Trick or Treat Halloween Hop hosted by Tales From the Nursery, Formula Mom, and Mama on a Green Misson, where you will go trick-or-treating virtually at each blog for a chance to win some totally ghoul prizes. I am really excited to participate in this Treat of an Event and can't wait to drop by all the other participating blogs to see what goodies are up for grabs!


    So you want to know what Treat I have in store for this Halloween Giveaway?  I am super excited to announce Graham Bear Wear is sponsoring Eco Baby Mama Drama for the Trick or Treat Halloween Hop!


    Nancie from Graham Bear Wear is offering up a fabulous fluffy prize sure to be a treat to any babies bum this Halloween and every other day after!  The luxurious diapers handmade at Graham Bear Wear will be featured in a review here on Eco Baby Mama Drama later this week so make sure to come back for the full story on these fluffy creations!


    Catch The Social Wave - Twitter & Facebook Follow Hop-Week 14

    Welcome to week one of the all new Catch The Social Wave Twitter & Facebook Follow Hop.








    Photobucket



    Welcome to Catch the Social Wave! A blog hop for your Twitter and Facebook. The rules to join in this hop are super easy. To be in the hop you must follow all the host on either Twitter or Facebook. We do follow back. So when you stop by make sure you let us know you are new so we can return the favor. Only direct links to your Twitter and Facebook pages will be accepted. All others will be deleted. Please no spam. It is that easy.


    Feel free to grab our button, Tweet or Facebook about this hop or grab the Hop code! Have fun!














    Sibu Beauty Review & #Giveaway


    As a mom of two very busy boys sometimes it is honestly hard to even get a second to take care of myself which makes it very important when I do get a minute that I am using products that not only work but are good for me.  Taking care of yourself both inside and out is an important thing that I believe lots of moms overlook.  Having an older teen child I have noticed that it is very important to set a good example in taking care of myself.

    Sibu Beauty products are a mother's dream come true.  First of all the product line is 100% natural. They contain no dairy, wheat, gluten, sodium, yeast or preservatives. They are also Paraben-FREE and Cruelty-FREE. The more I learn about healthy options for myself and my family the more I try to avoid so many ingredients and practices that are unsafe and these products are a fabulous example of healthy, safe choices for my skin. The goodness doesn't stop there; the company also takes special care in producing their nutritional products with the least amount of impact on the planet while maintaining Fair Trade practices.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Thermos Foogo Review & #Giveaway

    We searched forever for a sippy cup for Tates and tried everything; soft spout, hard spout, handles and no handles and finally one day let him try to drink out of a cup I was using that had a straw since he was so determined to copying mommy.  To my shock he had no issues with it and got it on the first try.  That was it, the hunt was over and we went straight to the straw at a very early age of about 15 months.  I was ecstatic when given the opportunity to try out the Foogo Vacuum Insulated 10 oz Food Jar and Blue Foogo Vacuum Insulated Leak-Proof Straw Bottle.  Thermos offers some great product solutions that are reusable and easy to use.


    Tates is very independent and loves to walk around with snacks all day long when we are home and with both boys busy schedules it is nice to have these for when we are outside of the house.  Both containers are perfect size for little hands to hold; the bottle features a contoured body.  At the same time holding a good amount of snacks.



    Tates loves using his big boy straw cup and was immediately fascinated by the easy to use push button lid that covers the pop up straw when not in use.  The bottle holds 10 ounces and is double wall vacuum insulation for maximum cold temperature retention which really works, we left it in the car on a warm day while visiting my sister and when we headed home later that night Tates drink was still cold.  The containers boast a 10 hour window to keep food and beverages cold and fresh inhibiting dangerous bacteria growth.  Although it is leak proof when closed if left open and tipped on it's side it does drip out of the straw quite a bit however with the development of better cup handling skills this won't be an issue.


    Made of stainless steel on both the exterior and interior makes the containers sweat proof so no water rings are an issue and having non-slip, scratch resistant bases, keeping cool to the touch with hot foods is a bonus.  The ergonomically designed lid with rubber grip on the food jar makes it easy to open and close without causing little ones frustration.

    What'd You Win-October Edition with Linky!




    Happy Wednesday! It is the last Wednesday of the month which means it is time for Darcy from Tales from the Nursery, Michelle from Sometimes You Win and myself to share with you what we won this month and ask you to share too and linkup with us!

    Here are my wins for October in no particular order:

    $20 Sunglasses Warehouse Gift Certificate from Real Mom Reviews (not received)
    Tree Hugger Mama Cloth Sampler Pack from Crunchy Beach Mama (received)
    Coach Wristlet Fall Fashionista Event (Participating blogger giveaway) (not received)
    $20 Target Gift Card from Social Moms TweetAThon (not received)






    And a Feature.... We will also be featuring a reader and their favorite giveaway blogger every month! Fill out our form if you are interested in being featured and thanking a giveaway blogger for what they do!



    Please welcome… Kim Davis

    Tell us about your giveaway entering: 
    I enter giveaways in spurts my favorite Blog giveaways are on Justfindit4U.com , http://psmomreviews.blogspot.com , http://www.thingssentmyway.com/ and http://www.leslielovesveggies.net ( I have never won anything from her but I am not giving up! hahaha) I love all of these bloggers articles and I love their giveaways. I and a group of my friends find freebies and giveaways to enter we also share couponing tips so we have a good time finding deals. I of course love getting things for free and with a group as big as we are there is always someone that can use something we win!

    Kim would like to specially thank… Mike at Justfindit4U.com

    Why do you want to thank them? Did you win something cool? Do you like what they offer?

    He was my very first blog giveaway entry and win. I had entered other giveaways but never correctly and never seriously and I never won either. When I came across Mike's blog I read the sincerity in his notes which caught my attention and held it. Then when he introduced his giveaways I took the time to learn how to do it, and he was very patient with my bungles and mess ups. I had the feeling he was cheering me on. You get the feeling from Mike that he is a real friend and not just a stranger staring at a computer screen.



    Monday, October 24, 2011

    PinkTogether.com Giveaway


    Now in it's 5th year running, PinkTogether.com is a unique online community of people who have been toughed by breast cancer and are supporting each other with their passion for the cause.  Whether you are currently battling breast cancer, have beet it or are affected by knowing someone who has the disease you can visit to read stories, share your own stories and find hope.


    It amazes me how women can feel connected and find support through online access.  And, to encourage personal connections, General Mills will donate $1 to the Komen organization for each Message of Hope that is sent to someone who has shared their story on PinkTogether.com (up to $25,000) during October. This is in addition to a $2 million donation General Mills is making to the Komen organization.


    This year, for the first time in its five-year history, at PinkTogether.com consumers can choose how $1 million of this donation will be shared between two important Komen programs: the Treatment and Assistance Program, which assists women in securing care they otherwise may not be able to afford, and Prevention Research, which helps unlock the keys to preventing breast cancer. Visit PinkTogether.com from September 19, 2011 through April 14, 2012 to make your choice. Results will be announced on Mother’s Day 2012 – Sunday, May 13.


    Smart Thinking Lifestyle Tips for the Blogging Mommy


    Thanks to Tervis for sponsoring my writing. Visit their website http://www.tervis.com to learn more about the world’s first smart cup.

    It seems like everyday there is more and more to get done and less time to get everything accomplished.  I find myself staying up late and and still feeling like I am not getting things done that I want to cross off my to-do list.  I am adding things to the list quicker than I am crossing them off and it stresses me out, however knowing I have a list is reassuring that I won't forget anything.


    Even if you don't think you are a list person I bet you would be surprised at how making a list can help you to evaluate things (prioritize), stay organized and stay on task whether it is your monthly budget or daily schedule.

    First things first, what kinds of lists do you need?
    • Grocery list (wants verses needs)
    • Daily Schedule of events/appointments/tasks to complete
    • Bills/Payments (with due dates & amounts owed)
    • Christmas/Holiday shopping list (include gift ideas & spending limits)
    • Blogger list (events you are participating in/topics you want to write about/goals)
    Next, stick to your lists within reason of course.  Whether on a tight budget or having money to play around with, don't get too crazy when you go to the grocery store; things can add up.  Special treats are nice however remember your Bill/Payments list....it would be nice to cross off a payment to a creditor or be able to splurge on an extra special Holiday gift for a loved one rather than having extra junk food around the house wouldn't it?  

    For your Daily schedule depending on your flexibility this can be juggled a bit, for instance I am able to do laundry pretty much anytime because I am a stay at home mom however I try to stay on top of it because if I don't it never fails that someone has to have something clean and I am not informed of it until the last second.  

    If you are a blog owner you know list are a valuable tool.  Keeping track of contacts, review items you are using and when you need to share your thought on the items as well as keeping an open list of topics that pop into your head of things you want to share with your readers is the backbone of a blog.

    And last of all re-listing or redoing your lists.  We are all human and life happens.  Kids, coworkers, family members and sick days (whether yourself or your kids) happen.  It is probably pretty close to impossible to have every list get done on time and in the order you originally planned it to happen so simply revamp your list or start a new one that includes any adjustments or tasks that need to be carried forward to a new day.  Remember that "Better Late than Never" is usually true and you will still feel accomplished when you cross tasks off your list.



    I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. To learn more about Tervis, visit their website http://www.tervis.com.