I have no problem admitting to the rookie mistakes I have made as a mother…and there have been plenty! One of them was collecting a pile of adorable and incredibly impractical denim jeans for Kayla.
I really try hard to make sure that nearly every meal I offer is balanced and includes a vegetable and at least one fresh fruit. On really rushed evenings I sometimes find myself putting together a dinner plate and then realizing that I’m missing a food group. I like the reminder that filling all those divided compartments gives me to diversify what winds up on Kayla’s plate.
Honestly I can only say good things. I love that unlike plastic plates the Din Din doesn’t get scratched to bits by toddler forks because those scratches become bacteria hotbeds. I like throwing it the bottom rack on the dishwasher and watching it come out clean and dry each time. I also love that unlike muffin tins the compartments are sized differently so I can put larger main course items in those and save smaller ones for something like a dipping sauce.
The Innobaby Din Din stainless divided platter sells for about $15 and you can find it right here: Get my Innobaby Din Din
Zooligans Review and Giveaway
If you’ve visited the children’s shoe section at your local department store lately you might notice a trend for kids shoes these days… it seems the more bling, sparkles, neon writing, flashing lights and licensed characters the better.
Since my daughter is (hopefully) not a Real Housewife in training, I look for more simple yet very cute things when shopping for her. When I found an adorable new kids shoe line called Zooligans I knew they were on to something.
Zooligans are high quality animal inspired shoes for kids. Their designs are sweet, incredibly detailed and childish in a good way, just like kids shoes should be.
I’ll admit that I do a fair amount of clothing shopping for Kayla in Target (Tar-jeyy) since they usually have great things for little girls. One thing I won’t buy there is sneakers.
If you pick up the sneakers you’ll feel that most of them are actually pretty heavy. Their cheap clunky soles give the shoe the bulk of the weight. Now imagine your twenty or thirty something pound child wearing them – they’re almost like cement shoes!
Years ago, one of our mommy testers had taught me that light, flexible shoes were the only way to go. Zooligans are pretty light and have amazingly flexible soles. You can actually take the shoe and bend it almost all the way in half. These shoes are so well thought out that I was actually pretty shocked.
I have bought all velcro closing sneakers so far for Kayla. While they were easier to close than tying shoelaces they were still a pain to get on. You’d have to loosen the strap pretty far to make the opening wide enough to put a chubby little toddler foot it it.
Zooligans have wide openings and longer velcro straps to make putting them on and adjusting them to be snug easy.
From a child’s standpoint these shoes are irresistibly cute and detailed – Zooligans sent us the Sparky the Puppy shoes and he even has little nostrils on his adorable 3D nose. Kids also love the paw print soles.
Kayla is currently obsessed with making footprints on the ground and when she saw that she could actually make what looked like paw prints with her Zooligans she was ridiculously excited. Kayla begs to wear her puppy shoes every day and I have a feeling your child will too.
Zooligans come in a bunch of animal and color options like monkeys, koalas, pandas and many more and are available in toddler sizes 4-12. They retail for about $48. You can find them on Amazon.com right here: Get my Zooligans
|Our pedicure kit for the kid testers|
Recently my daughter Kayla developed an intense interest in nail polish. She had been asking me about my “pink toes” and chatting up any cashier who had interesting nail art. I have never performed a manicure or pedicure on myself or anyone else but after days of hearing “Mommy can I please have nail polish on my toes, pleeeeease!” I broke down and decided to make my first attempt on Kayla’s little toes.
I took her out to our backyard, sat her on a lounge chair and produced a bottle of the only color I’ve ever used, Essie Fiji. I went to work trying to paint those teeny tiny toe nails while Kayla watched in pure delight. A few seconds into painting she said “Mommy, what’s that SMELL?”
I had been so focused on trying to do a good job on her toes that I had forgotten about the awful and intense odor that nail polish gives off, especially to a tiny little nose that has never smelled the inside of a nail salon. I immediately felt pangs of mommy guilt and embarrassment for exposing her to those fumes.
Frustrated and still feeling quite stupid for not thinking about this before offering to paint her nails I started searching for non-toxic nail polish and that is when I found Piggy Paint.
Piggy Paint is made especially for little girls (or boys!) and unlike those kits you find in some stores that are “kid nailpolish” because they have licensed characters on them but are still filled with toxic junk, Piggy Paint was created because of the exact scenario I explained above. The nail polish is water based rather than solvent based, hypoallergenic and gives off very little odor.
If you’re questioning whether you should consider using a water based nail polish then take a look at this picture in which you can see the solvent based nail polish eating through a foam plate – how disturbing is that??
I reached out to the folks at Piggy Paint to see if they would let us test out their nail polish with our girly kid testers and have a mani-pedi party and they happily agreed. We mommies set up a mini spa for the girls and got to work soaking their little hands and toes, and letting them attempt to file their own nails.
We did the actual nail painting inside to see if we would encounter fumes and you really had to stick your nose directly up to the bottle to smell anything at all. Even then it smelled nothing like conventional nail polish.
Piggy Paint doesn’t last quite as long as regular nail polish but seriously, what 5 year old needs the staying power of a gel manicure? It’s pretty much a guarantee that your child will want to change up their polish color or design before it chips away.
There are also nail polish pens for less mess and more independence for older kids as well as some neat nail art appliqués. Quite frankly we’re considering sneaking in some piggy paint time when the kids are asleep!
You can purchase Piggy Paint directly on their site as well as find retailers right here: Shop Piggy Paint
Piggy Paint Review , Piggy Paint Non Toxic Nail Polish
Living in San Diego sun protection is constantly on my mind. It’s not a seasonal thought, it’s a year round issue. To complicate things, I’ve got a little fashionista on my hands. My 3 year old daughter Kayla has recently developed an opinion of her own when it comes to clothing and that includes swimwear. It’s probably my fault as a veteran of the fashion industry, but don’t tell my husband I admitted that.
We have done nothing short of pure bribery to try to get her to wear a rash guard for the added protection from the sun and have struck out every single time. So much so that I recently donated a pile of rejects because it was becoming more painful to try to convince her to wear one for more than ten seconds than to be a helicopter mom with the sunscreen.
Each time I’d manage to get one over Kayla’s big melon head (yes, my kid has one) she’d pretty much freak out and then we’d get to do the whole thing in reverse while she screeched until she was free from the rash guard. So when I was contacted by Mompact to review SwimZip I was hesitant but excited to see that they offered rash guards that I thought were actually were cute since truthfully, most of the ones for girls I have seen are tacky looking.
Besides the aesthetic appeal what makes SwimZip so different is the zipper that runs the full length of the rashguard. It got me thinking…if there wasn’t a big head/small hole issue then perhaps I’d have a prayer of getting Kayla into it without me aging 3 years in the process.
I think you can tell from the pictures how this experiment in rash guard wearing went. Kayla was hesitant when she first saw it, obviously traumatized from past experiences but when I showed her the zipper and the clever zipper garage to keep it from irritating her chin she was willing to try it on. Five minutes later she was still wearing “My pretty ruffle swim shirt” and couldn’t put her shoes on fast enough to get out the door to the beach.
We spent a few hours there, Kayla got to spend some time in the water and enjoy the awesome playground that’s right on the beach. I felt better about Kayla being in the sun with her back and shoulders covered. I still slathered the rest of her body that was exposed in Babyganics Sunscreen before we left and reapplied while we were there but I found myself being less of the paranoid sunscreen wielding mother that I usually am and it was kind of nice for all parties involved!
SwimZip’s UV 50+ fabric did it’s job and Kayla came home minus any hint of browning or a burn on her and without desperately trying to remove the rash guard even once. Quite frankly, I’m still in awe.
SwimZip has styles for boys and girls and sells for $14.99-29.99 If you have a little one who refuses to wear a rash guard I highly recommend you give them a try. You can get your own SwimZip swimwear right here on their site: Shop SwimZip
You can keep in touch with Swimzip and Mompact on Facebook right here: Mompact on Facebook , SwimZip on Facebook
They sure do! If you’re looking for a last minute Father’s Day gift from your child to their dad then we’ve got it, giggles included.
Daddies Do It Different is a very sweet account of the ways moms and dad’s do things differently from a little girl’s perspective. She takes you through the day, showing how mom would get her dressed in clothes that coordinate, meanwhile when dad helps her it’s quite a different look.
A trip to the market with mommy involves sitting safely strapped into the shopping cart, reading nutritional labels and using coupons. With daddy she talks about how they eat all the free food samples they can, he pushes the shopping cart like a race car driver and sticks things in his nose to make her laugh.
Later at the park her mom puts sunscreen on her face while her dad must show off his skills on the monkey bars resulting in an injury. If your family functions anything like how some of ours do then a lot of these scenarios will resonate with you.
When it happens in our own homes we’re guilty of rolling our eyes at this behavior but the book speaks the truth, daddies definitely do it differently than we do but our kids love almost every minute of the chaos so this Father’s Day we’re going to embrace it and encourage it when we gift this book!
Daddies Do It Different retails for $16.99 and due to the time of year is sold out on Amazon.com but is available at Barnesandnoble.com or at some wonderful neighborhood stores. If you are local to the San Diego area, we found this great book at Geppetto’s in San Diego and Warwick’s books in La Jolla.