Friday, July 27, 2012

EcoPosh Recycled Organic Training Pants Review




When we were planning a trip to Washington D.C. with our 3 year old I was a little nervous. She was already potty trained, but accidents would happen often when she was busy playing or when we were out. Sometimes it was my fault, I forget to remind her to go potty, toddlers need to be nudged now and then. Other times she would ignore my reminders even though we both knew she needed to go. How would I deal with this on a road trip with so many new and exciting things around her? 

Surprisingly it proved to be easier away from home in two ways. First, I found myself thinking a lot more about when and where she needs to go so that we avoid accidents. I wasn't as distracted as I am at home, constantly thinking of meals to make and work projects to finish. Second, we had the EcoPosh Recycled Organic Training Pants with us in case of an accident. These organic training pants are of superior quality and they are made by Rumparooz (Kanga Care). They come in four great colors, we got the Biscuit pictured above, perfect for our girl and later for our boy when he is at potty training age.


These trainers are awesome! They are so incredibly soft and look so comfortable on my three year old. They are trim and but a lot thicker and thirstier than regular underwear. It isn't something that wouldn't show under a pair of leggings, but it works just fine with regular pants, skirts, and jeans. I think they would be perfect for night time potty training and all around they are the best trainers we have tried. The absorbent panel is two layers of super soft bamboo and organic cotton which just feels luxurious on the skin. There is a hidden layer of waterproof, biodegradable TPU to protect clothing and surfaces from accidents. It comes in three sizes that offer a perfect fit for a baby from 1 year old to about 4 years old (or 25 to 45 pounds). 

We also really like the thick elastic band on these training pants, it makes it easier for the toddler to pull them on or take them off on their own. My daughter always has trouble grabbing the elastic band on regular underwear, it gets twisted. The way it is designed on the EcoPosh trainers, it doesn't twist at all! What a relief not to have to hear whining and "Mom I can't do this!" again.  




The only issue you may run into is removing them for accidents with #2s, which we never had to deal with - so I can't say how easy or hard it would be without side snaps. Our toddler has been potty trained for a year already, so accidents with #2s are thankfully in a distant past. I would still choose these over some side snap trainers we've tried, they are so much more attractive! We think the price of $15.95 is very reasonable, I would have expected them to be more expensive considering the superb quality, high end fabrics, and thought-out design.

Buy EcoPosh Recycled Organic Training Pants at Thanks Mama

 Shop all EcoPosh products



 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Healthy Habits in the Play Kitchen




Raising healthy kids, of course, starts in our own kitchens. Although it doesn't always happen, most times our kids will eat what we are eating. In our kitchen we have simple rules, we do not stock anything that we do not want our kids to eat. We don't buy anything with artificial colors or flavorings. We buy very minimal amount of things prepackaged in boxes. We try to always have plenty of fresh fruit and veggies available. My three year old daughter loves to replicate what I cook in her own play kitchen, one of her favorite toys This is a great opportunity to teach nutrition to little ones!

Thanks Mama has a full 'market' of play foods that can be used to show your little ones what is good food. Here is a dozen healthy staples and what you can tell your little one about each one:



Lemons: High in vitamin C - strengthens immune system, aids in digestion, prevents infection.
Bananas: High in potassium - great for nervous system, heart health, kidneys, and bones.
Cucumbers: High in vitamins A, C, and K - decreases inflammation, good for bone health, and helps lower blood pressure. 
Garlic: Packed with a variety of vitamins - strengthens immune system, promotes heart health, natural antibiotic. 
Radish: High in vitamins C and K - strengthens immune system, clears congestion, eliminates toxins. 
Tomato: High in potassium, folic acid, vitamins A, C, and E - reduces inflammation, great for bone and heart health.  
Carrots: High in vitamin A - improves vision, skin health, and promotes a healthy heart. 
Pears: High in vitamins C and K - promotes heart health, helps regulate bowel movements, boosts immune system. 
Apples: High in fiber and vitamin C - promotes heart health, bone health, aids in cancer prevention. 
Yellow Peppers: High in vitamins A and C - improves vision, promotes heart health, strengthens immune system.
Oranges: High in vitamin C and A - strengthens immune system, improves vision, promotes heart health.
Mushrooms: High in potassium, niacin, riboflavin, and selenium - eliminates toxins, strengthens immune system, fights infection. 

Actually, this abundance of vitamins is good for every part of our body, not just certain areas. Vitamins work together in combination to benefit our health. Kids have amazing memories and often they will remember things years later that they learned as a child. What they learn becomes part of them. While it is great to have kids with you in the real kitchen, cooking along side and helping you prepare real foods, it's also fun to let them play pretend - something they are naturally drawn to!

Shop Kitchen Play Toys at Thanks Mama




Friday, July 20, 2012

Pinterest Contest: Summer Fun with ThanksMama.com!



Our first ever Pinterest contest is here! Entering is easy, all you have to do is:

1. Follow ThanksMama if you don't already. Create a new board on your account and title it "#ThanksMamaSummer Fun" (if you don't have a Pinterest account, let us know - we'll invite you, send a quick note to anastasia at thanksmama dot com). 
2. Repin the contest image and at least 3 other pins of products that make summer awesome from our "Summer Fun with ThanksMama.com" board.
3. Be sure to use hashtag #ThanksMamaSummer for all pins. You can add whatever you want that would make your summer complete - your favorite vacation destination, your backyard pool, favorite summer recipes, games your kids like to play outdoors, anything you can imagine!



Terms & Conditions

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 
1. LIMIT ONE (1) ENTRY PER PERSON. Subsequent attempts made by the same individual to submit multiple entries by using multiple or false contact information or otherwise may be disqualified. Mechanically reproduced entries may be disqualified.  The Website’s database clock will be the official time keeper for this Contest. Illegible and/or incomplete entries and entries submitted by entrants who do not meet the eligibility requirements (including all requirements with respect to age and residence) are void. Those who do not follow all of the instructions, provide the required information in their entry form, or abide by these Official Rules or other instructions of Sponsors may be disqualified.

The Sponsors are not responsible for the actions of entrants in connection with the Contest, including entrants’ attempts to circumvent the Official Rules or otherwise interfere with the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Contest. Persons found tampering with or abusing any aspect of this Contest, or whom Sponsors believe to be causing malfunction, error, disruption or damage may be disqualified. Additionally, any attempt to cheat the Contest, as determined at the sole and absolute discretion of Sponsors, may result in immediate disqualification of the entrant, as well as other possible consequences, including disqualification from any and all existing and future Contest. ANY ATTEMPT BY A PERSON TO DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE (INCLUDING THE CONTEST WEBSITE) OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS CONTEST MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSORS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK ALL LEGAL AND EQUITABLE REMEDIES FROM AND AGAINST ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Sponsors reserve the right, at their sole and absolute discretion, to disqualify (or terminate the prize of) any individual who is found to be, or suspected of, acting in violation of these Official Rules, or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike, obscene, immoral or disruptive manner, or with the intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person.
2. Prize Rules. The Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to modify, suspend, terminate the Contest (or any portion thereof), or take any other action deemed necessary, should virus, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes beyond the reasonable control of Sponsors, including, but not limited to, war or armed conflict (whether or not officially declared), labor controversy or threat thereof, and/or acts of God, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play of the Contest and, in the event of termination or suspension, at its discretion, select winner for the drawing at issue from among all eligible, non-suspect entries received as of the date of the event requiring such termination or suspension. By participating in this Contest, entrants agree to be bound by these “Official Rules”, and the decisions of the Sponsors, which are final and binding in all respects. Failure to abide by these Official Rules may result in disqualification. In the event of a dispute over the identity of an online entrant, entry will be deemed submitted by the registered account holder of the e-mail address associated with the entry for the domain associated with the submitted address provided that person is eligible. Winners may be required to show proof of being the registered account holder. Registered account holder is defined as the person assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, on-line service provider or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses. In the event a dispute regarding the identity of the individual who actually submitted an entry cannot be resolved to Sponsors’ satisfaction, the affected entry will be deemed ineligible. 
Prizes are not transferable, and no substitutions or cash redemptions are allowed, except by Sponsors, which reserve the right to substitute a prize (or component thereof) with one of comparable or greater retail value, at their sole discretion. All costs and expenses not stated herein as being provided in connection with the redemption, receipt and/or use of the prize are the responsibility of each winner, including, without limitation, transportation. Prize details and availability are subject to change and prize provider’s rules and restrictions, and in the event that Sponsors are unable to provide the winner with his/her prize (or, for example, in the event people specified in the prize description prove unavailable for whatever reason), the Sponsors may elect, to provide winners with the approximate value of such item in cash or award an alternate prize of comparable or greater value. No extension of event dates will be granted, except at Sponsors’ sole discretion. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited.
3. Grand Prize Winner Selection and Notification. There will be one (1) Grand Prize Winner selected from a combined pool of all online entries received during the Contest Period. The winner will be chosen by Thanks Mama in their sole discretion, based on random number generator. The Grand Prize Winner will be selected on or around August 11th, 2012. The Grand Prize Winner will be notified through a Pinterest comment on their winning board/pins OR through social media links provided on their Pinterest account within a reasonable time after each drawing. The Sponsors are not responsible for false, incorrect, changed, incomplete or illegible contact information. In the event the Grand Prize Winner cannot be contacted within a reasonable time frame or declines the prize, another winner will be selected by the same criteria under this section.
The Grand Prize Winner will receive one (1) $50 Gift Card to ThanksMama.com store. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Independence Day Fluff Photo Contest Winners!



We have a winner! Thank you everyone for entering our photo contest and for taking the time to capture those moments and share them with us! Congratulations to Christine M. Tubbytelly on winning the grand prize of a $100 gift card to Thanks Mama! What an adorable photo that captures the spirit and fun of Independence Day, it received more than 80 votes!

There were so many great entries, we would love to have picked 5 winners. :) So we decided to at least have a runner up prize of a $20 gift card for Julie Anthony Murphy and her adorable little baby below rocking a red diaper and the star spangled banner. 

Be on the lookout for our next contest, first one ever on Pinterest! If you follow us there you're already on your way to entering! 


Photos by: Christine M. T., Julie A. M.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Green Sprouts Disposable Potty Covers Review



Have you ever traveled with a potty training toddler? How about small children? Don't you just love the trips to the public restroom? [sarcasm] I recently had the chance to try out the Green Sprouts 5 Pack Disposable Potty Covers and it looks like they will be a permanent item in my diaper bag! These are a must when out and about. [above: the restaurant where we used a public restroom]

We traveled to Washington D.C. in May and I took a package of these with me so that I could take Baby E to the bathroom without worrying how unsanitary it is. You know what my toddler has to listen to on a bathroom trip? "Don't touch that, it's dirty. No, don't touch that either. You don't want to know what kind of microscopic bugs live here!" Yes, she is already familiar with what 'microscopic' means and it is really cute when she says the long word in Russian. I'll tell you, these potty covers make trips to public bathrooms with a kid so much easier! Here is what we absolutely love about them:

  • Generously Sized: Some potty covers are so skimpy, you have to be an acrobat to sit on it and not touch the toilet. These are sized large enough to cover the toilet well and to keep your toddler or child from touching the dirty seat with their hands. 
  • Extremely Soft: These are so so soft! When I took my toddler to the bathroom for the first time with this cover I was amazed at how soft they are. Of course I tried it too! I felt kind of bad throwing something so nice away. Maybe I should cover the toilet at home with one of these?!
  • Made of plant based material: These are not plastic and made without petroleum, good for the earth and you. 
  • Resealable Bag: The covers come in a resealable bag that is convenient to use and is quite compact.
  • Disposable: As much as we love all things reusable, in this case disposable is a great idea! Obviously you wouldn't want a reusable potty cover and all those nasty germs to take home.

The price is $5.99 for a package of 5. Yes, I did cringe a little when throwing out that $1.20 each time we're in the bathroom, honestly. Surprisingly we didn't even end up using the whole package on our 4 day D.C. trip because I made it a point for her to go to the bathroom in our hotel room before we leave. It's not something you will use very often, but you'll be very happy you have them when you do. I certainly remember many occasions when we went through potty training with Baby E when I wish I had these!

Thanks Mama also carrier a variety of other Eco-friendly Green Sprout products most of which are made from plants, silicone, or bamboo! Their baby toothbrush is pretty cool. The glass storage cubes for baby food are pretty fabulous if you make your own. Love the natural wooden ring rattle too, great for drooling babies since wood naturally repels germs. 

Shop Green Sprout products at Thanks Mama



Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fun Games for Toddlers



Naturally, toddlers are infinitely curious about the world around them. It can be a challenge sometimes to keep them busy and interested in an activity. But once you find something they love, it is fun to watch them and a relief to get a few minutes to get things done around the house (or to read a book in peace until the first scream). Since all children are so different, you really have to go by trial and error when it comes to any activity. We should be careful not to push them to do something they aren't interested in and likewise not to discourage them from something they are genuinely into. For example, I am not thrilled when my toddler plays in the mud and dirt, but it is one of her favorite things to do! I try not to interfere. The best of course is when your ideas and your kids' enthusiasm collide and everyone wins. Here are some fun activities that are simple, age appropriate for toddlers, and [relatively] mess-free for your peace of mind. 

Water Painting: I get nervous when I see my toddler with paint! Tell me I'm not the only one! I found a great alternative for everyday play - water! Take out some colored construction paper, brushes, and a cup with water, let them go wild! This activity is perfect for doing outdoors, that way you don't care where they spill it. On a hot day my toddler loves to water paint. We have also successfully used larger brushes to paint on asphalt and our front step. Best of all, the canvas dries and they can do it all over again. Go ahead, ask them to 'paint' your wooden fence with water all day long!

Bead Lacing: Granted not every toddler may have the patience, but many will love this activity. You could have them string macaroni on thread, grapes onto skewers, or other household items you may find (just make sure there are no infants grabbing things to put into their mouth and that the toddler is past the 'choke on tiny things' stage) . The Plan Toys Lacing Beads are ready to go if you don't want to come up with your own threading toy. Great to keep on hold and pull out when you need just those extra ten minutes to finish something or get dinner on the table. 

Sorting: My three year old has a mild case of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), or at least that's what my husband and I call it. She likes to sort things. I even got her a divided stainless plate so that she can keep her food separate, she doesn't like to mix things. I use this to my advantage! Have the toddlers sort laundry - socks, shirts, pants, etc. They will do half the work for you. Sorting the mess they have made? Great idea! Blocks in one pile, cars in another, clothing in the third, books, etc. Just for fun, like when you need to take a shower, you can put a package of pasta shells and package of macaroni mixed into one bowl and have them sort the two! (Just thought of that, so doing it!)

Dress Up: I admit we do not nearly play enough dress up, that's my fault. I think a big box of dress up clothes should be easily accessible to the kids - especially girls, just seems to come naturally to them! You could hang a bag (like the Bummis Tote Bag) somewhere they can reach it and stuff it with old glasses, shoes, hats, purses, legwarmers, skirts, etc. My toddler's doll carrier has become part of her dress up arsenal as well!

Picture Books: I am raising a little bookworm, she has officially told me she would rather 'read' than help me make pie - which used to be her favorite thing. Of course toddlers can't read yet, but if you have an in-home library of picture books and access to a public library, there is a never ending resource of imagination stretching for your little ones. Of course this didn't happen overnight, I didn't suddenly decide that she should spend a lot of time looking at her books. We've been reading at bed time since she was 6 months old, now it is just second nature. Somehow it makes me feel warm and fuzzy when she is sitting there 'reading' a book, not exactly how I feel when she is playing with the computer or tablet. Books have saved me in terms of keeping my toddler busy while I nurse her baby brother, change him, or carry him around while he cries in teething pain!

What are your favorite mess-free toddler occupying activities?


*Photo of my daughter originally taken by me for my Eco-Babyz blog

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Kushies On the Go Snack Bag Review



Snacks. Kids can't get enough. My toddler girl is such a little snacker, but I am trying to minimize them as much as I can so that she is hungry at meal time and actually finishes her meals! At home that is. But with summer comes a lot of travel, and the best way to survive in a car (at the beach, park, playground, etc.) with a toddler is to give them a snack. I have tried many ways to carry snacks, the Kushies reusable snack bag is one of my favorites. This isn't the first snack bag we have, but by far a winner because of the materials it is made of. I've had problems with other bags that absorbed smells and started to become stinky after a while. This bag is very easy to wash and it seems that smells just don't 'sink into it'. It repels liquid well, though of course I would put a cut up tomato in it or something.

The Kushies snack bag pictured is the medium size, it is 6.5" x 6.5" and costs $7.99. Pays for itself pretty quick considering the price of toxic plastic ziplock bags. Roomy enough for a small sandwich or a few handfuls of dry fruit or snack. The velcro is holding up well to being closed and opened many times, though only time will tell how long it will actually last, it looks like good quality and I love that it spans the entire width of the bag. The snack bag is also available in small (6.5" x 3.5") for $6.99 and in large (8" x 7") retailing for $8.99. 



This little snack bag is BPA, lead, and phthalate free (unlike some plastic bags). It also has a little loop (see right in the middle of photo above) that makes it convenient to hang anywhere, on the stroller, diaper bag, or your kid's bike. It comes in a variety of prints to suit your taste, ones that may be used by adults as well. My husband uses it to take nuts to work, my toddler eats her dry fruit out of it, I can even stuff her wet bathing suit into it after she is done with her snack at the beach! You could store small toys in it. Road trip busy pack. Your infant's teething toys. Give it to your kid and they will show you dozens of ways to use it. Your imagination is the only limit!

Buy Kushies On the Go Snack Bag at Thanks Mama

Check out other Kushies products



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