Let’s DressUp Birthday Party.

Sophia is turning 4 tomorrow, and I can’t believe how the time flies. I remember her being born and spending our Christmas 2010 in the hospital, and now we’re celebrating her 4th year of the life and enjoy her presence in our life every single day.

It’s fun to be a mom of a girl, because there are so many fun things to do with the girls. One of Sophia’s wishes this year was to celebrate her Birthday as a princess. Lucky us, because we have the perfect place for that in our neighborhood.

The place calls Let’s Dress Up. I mentioned about this place last year, when we celebrated one of Sophia’s friend Birthday there.

The place offers a unique experience allowing your child to dress up and become a princess with a small group of friends or just with you.

It’s all about dressing up at Let’s Dress Up -The Premiere Princess Party and Playdate Place … a place where you become the princess!

The place has two locations: one in Manhattan NY, and the other one in New Canaan CT.

To imagine how it looks like I even found the video on line from their place in NY. It’s several years old, but you can still see the atmosphere and the specialty of this place:

 

The range of the costumes is reflected in the variety of their theme birthday parties, which include a Princess Party, Cupcake Party, Red Carpet Party, Doll Tea Party, and Perfect Princess Tea Party. All the parties include Full Dress Up for the girls (beautiful dresses and accessories, sparkly nail polish, eye shadow, lip gloss, fairy dust, and tattoos) and Knight Costumes and Princely Toys for the boys; a tea party; cake; and a party favor (group photo and framed individual photo for each guest).

So we picked Sophia’s closest friends and invited them to a special Event at the Let’s Dress Up place: Dance with the Sugarplum Fairy!!!!

The place was decorated very pretty before holidays

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The girls had a chance to dress up in different outfits:

 

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Then The Sugarplum Fairy came to visit and read a book for the girls, put their make up on and played with them:

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Girls also had a tea party and after that made an ornament for the Christmas Tree:

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It was an amazing Birthday Party and everybody loved it:

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We will definitely be back to this magical place.

Kid’s Make Up Kit. Review.

My daughter was interested with make up for a while already. She kept stealing my make up case and if she is lucky, she even had a chance to use some of it:

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This time I decided to get her own make-up set, and she won’t use mine anymore. There are a lot of different kid’s make-up sets on the market, but 95% of them are cheap, plastic, toxic junk. I spent more than 2 months to find something that is kid’s safe, well made and fun to play.
Pinky Cosmetic Set

The set is made by Wonderworld company, that I wrote about before.

First of all it is made in Thailand from rubberwood and strictly using non-toxic paints, dyes and lacquers and formaldehyde free glue. Packaging is made from at least 70% recycled paper.

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The Pinky Cosmetic Set wooden pretend set includes a mirror, face powder, eye shadow, lipstick, nail polish and makeup brushes (yarn bristles) in a cute fabric cosmetic bag. This is the ultimate play cosmetic set.

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Sophia loved it from the moment she opened it:

 

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This adorable set allows her to feel that she is putting on makeup with out the mess.

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The “brushes” do not hold their shape but they are not supposed to.

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The cap for the lip stick doesn’t stay on very well, but because it is wood that is to be expected, and it does not bother us at all:

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I would recommend, especially for parents who would rather have their kids play with wooden toys instead of plastic ones.
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Our every day now starts with putting make up on, also Sophia puts everything in the make-up case and take it everywhere with her.
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Eco-Friendly Sand Toys.

Spring is finally here, and it will be summer soon, so it’s finally time to spend most of your day outside and enjoy the warm and sunny weather.

My topic today is about Beach, Sand Toys. I have been searching for the safe, eco-friendly beach toys from the time Sophia was born and found a few really well-made and affordable sets that we have been using for a year already.

I guess a lot of you heard about the toxic materials, plastic which has been used in kids toys and it makes me really sad, because our kids don’t deserve to play with poison toys, especially babies who takes everything in their mouth. When you walk in any toy store you can easily find a bunch of sand toys for the reasonable price. I actually recently got some cheap shovels in Michael’s for the playground. ( we have a playground in our neighborhood where you can leave some sand toys for the kids to play). Few of them broke at the first day, so no more cheap shovels for us.

To be honest, it’s not hard to find the safe and affordable sand toys for your kids, you just need to do a little research and there are a few brands who makes really cool and well-made, eco-safe toys.

 

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1. Zoë b Organic Biodegradable Beach Toys, 18 Months

Let me tell you a little bit about these toys:

1. They are made in US, not China.

2. Made of Mireland; bioplastic made from corn, not petroleum. No BPA, phthalates, or PVC.

3. Biodegrades in salt or fresh water, compost, or soil in 2 3 years (not 500 years like regular plastic).

They are a little pricey, but believe me, they worth it. These are my favorite beach toys. They are well-made, unique design and very comfortable for kids to play with.

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2.Hape Sea Creatures Sand Moulds

I love this brand and we have plenty of toys from them. Hape materials and finishes are all non toxic, child safe, and of the highest quality. These toys are pretty affordable too, I would say the same price as the toxic plastic sand toys in the regular toy’s store. We got different sets of them and Sophia enjoys playing with these colorful beach toys. One of her favorite one is: Hape Ice Cream Shop. She loves making ice cream for everybody.

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Just a little warning: IKEA has the same set of beach toys, but this set is not from HAPE!!!!So if you see it in IKEA, don’t be fooled, the price difference is maybe 1 or 2$, but it’s better to pay more and make sure your kids use safe toys.

Hape also have these cute sets that I am planning to get:

Hape – Sand & Sun – Beach Basics – Bucket, Sifter, Rake and Shovel

Hape Hape Collection Master Bricklayer Set

Hape – Sand & Sun – Watering Can in Yellow

Hape Hape Collection Baker’s Trio
So these are our favorite kid’s friendly sand toys which we like and use a lot.

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What’s in my Mommy Bag?

It’s been a while since my daughter was a baby and the inside of my diaper bag changed a few times. Sophia is 3 now, and my ‘diaper bag’ calls ‘mommy bag’ now, because first of all there is no diapers in our life for at least one year already. The traditional diaper bag changed to the regular woman purse, but comfortable enough to fit all the kid’s stuff in it. I am really happy to have some good looking purse, not just the huge diaper bag full of diapers, pacifier, toys, baby bottles etc.

My idea is to share the inside of my ‘mommy bag’, the most important things that I usually have with me when we are out of house. Sometimes the things change, but this is top 9, what I always have.

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1. Rule number 1: never leave the house with no extra set of changing clothes for your kid!!!!

The set of changing clothes. It’s always in my bag and changes by season. Usually it’s a pair of leggings or tights, underwear and  a long or short sleeves shirt.

2. Headband.

Holiday Bloom Headband by Polarn O. Pyret.  This is the only one headband that fits my daughter’s head, doesn’t come off and is well made. All the girls love hair accessories, and I always have some headbands or bows in my bag.

3. Sunscreen Lotion.

I tried different kinds of sunscreen lotions for my daughter but this one works the best so far.

Seventh Generation Baby Sunscreen SPF 30, 3 Ounce

Smooth on this gentle, hypo-allergenic lotion for baby-safe, broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection that’s good for the whole family. The water-resistant SPF 30 formula features non-absorbing mineral sun filters that stay on the skin’s surface to defend against harmful rays. Contains no chemical sunscreens, parabens, gluten or PABA. It doesn’t have any smell. ( I hate the smell of the regular sunscreen lotion). It’s not greasy and totally rubbed in.

4. Lipgloss.

Lipgloss is my “musthave” piece of make up every day. If I don’t have time to put my make up on in the morning at least, I can make my lips look fresh and pretty.

Korres Lipgloss.
Cherry Oil Lip Gloss is a full color, lip conditioning gloss with a non-sticky texture that softens and cares for lips and provides a high-shine finish. Cherry Oil hydrates the lips while vitamins E and C offer antioxidant benefits. It doesn’t have any harmful ingredients and takes care of your lips making them soft and smooth.

5. Potty Wet Wipes.

Earth’s Best Organic Flushable Wipes, 50 Count (Pack of 12)

Earth’s Best TOTS Chlorine Free: Flushable Wipes: Chlorine-free, Natural aloe vera and vitamin E formula, Makes potty training easy and better for the enviornment, Hypoallergenic, Unscented, Alcohol-free, 75% less packaging than a plastic tub, Flushable mess-free! 50 wipes.

We started using them when Sophia was in the process of potty training but these wipes are the best wipes for the little kids on the market, so we use them all the time now.

6.  First Aid Kit for Kids.

MediBuddy – First Aid Kit by me4kidz – Medi Buddy (Assorted Color)

This kit is something every mom should have. It’s not so much that the products included (cute bandaids, a few antiseptic wipes, some antibiotic ointment, a little gauze and some bigger bandages for skinned knees) are fantastic – they’re just run-of-the mill stuff – but having a handy portable kit like this that you can easily re-fill with some additional antiseptic wipes (a need) and extra bandaids in additional sizes can be a lifesaver when you’re out and about and the unexpected happens.

7. Wet sanitizing wipes.

Cleanwell All Natural Hand Sanitizing Pocket Pack Wipes, 10-count Resealable Package (Pack of 8)

Cleanwell All Natural Hand Sanitizing Wipes help to get rid of germs and dirt easily. Great for on-the-go; open, remove wipe and rub over hands. Cleanwell products are based on a patented formulation of natural thyme oil that kills germs. CleanWell products do not contain alcohol, triclosan, or benzalkonium chloride. This natural formulation is safe for kids and great for sensitive skin.

8. Snack reusable bag.

Resnackit Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bag, Pink/Green/Brown

Reduce, Reuse and ReSnackIt. ReSnackIt reusable snack and sandwich bags are giving families the chance to dramatically reduce the amount of non-recyclable trash they produce each week. ReSnackIt is made with 100% cotton and an undyed nylon lining that contains no lead, no vinyl (PVC), no phthalates and no BPA. They have a folder over design that is snugly secured by hook and loop closure keeping contents and freshness inside. ReSnackIt is perfect for your on the go eats and an easy-to-use accessory for little fingers. Moms love being able to wash ReSnackIt reusable bags in the washing machine and dryer; Kids and adults love the cool designs.

This one is not the best snack bag, but we still use it a lot.

9. Water Bottle.

Klean Kanteen 12 oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Sport Cap 2.0 – Be Green

Klean Kid Kanteen 12oz. with Sport Cup 2.0 Every new parent wants to make sure their baby’s environment is as healthy as possible. Klean Kanteen can help with that. It’s BPA-free polypropylene and integrates seamlessly with our 12oz Klean Kanteen Classic bottle. The bottle is made from 18/8, food-grade stainless steel that’s totally free of BPA and other toxins. Because stainless steel itself is safe, they don’t need to coat the inside of the bottle with a plastic or epoxy lining, which is one of the main differences between a stainless steel Klean Kanteen and aluminum bottles. Food-grade stainless steel is used in the brewing, food and winemaking industries too. It’s the material of choice because it doesn’t retain or impart flavors.

The best water bottles on the market. We all have these bottles in our family.

It was a little piece of my “mommy bag” and what we can’t live without. Share your thoughts and experience about “must have” items in your purse.

Clean Out Bag from ThredUp and Polarn O. Pyret.

I have been cleaning our closets recently before the holidays. Spring is here, and I went through my daughter’s and my clothes and found a big pile of stuff that we don’t wear anymore. Usually I just pack it in boxes and put it in storage. Later, I will give it away to my friends or donate it.

One of my friend ordered some stuff from Polarn O. Pyret for her daughter and got a Clean Out Bag from them. They are doing a promo for Earth Day and let you to send the used clothes to ThredUp ( consignment service) for free and get the store credit at POP instead of it.  She told me about it. Was I surprised? Yes!!! I decided to use this servise and get rid of some clothes that we don’t wear anymore.

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I contacted POP (thredup@polarnopyretusa.com) for bags and got them in 2 days. I got some extra ones, so I guess I will share them to my friends. On Saturday me and Sophia packed the stuff. She was a big help and I told her we will get some store credit for the clothes and can go to the store and pick new dresses for her( she loves dresses).

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Here is a little instruction how the promotion works. ( you can also find the instruction on the package when you get your bags).

Clean Out and ThredUP

What am I to do with the polka-dot bag?

Fill the bag up with freshly-washed, name-brand clothing with no signs of wear or tear. (This is important for maximizing what credit you receive.) Before you send the bag, you must register the bag. If you don’t register the bag, you may not get your credit. There is a handy link to register the bag on the bag itself.
How much Polarn O. Pyret credit do I receive when I send in a bag?

Customers can earn 10-40% of the resale value of accepted clothing as Polarn O. Pyret credit. If you need an idea of what you may earn, they have sample bags listed on their website. It really depends on what you send and how well it has been maintained.
Once I have filled the bag with name brand clothing, then what?

Leave it on your doorstep or near your mailbox for your mailman (or lady) to pick up or you can drop it off at USPS or UPS. thredUP processes the clothing in its facility and they will notify you on how much you will receive for the bag. 
Your clothes will then be resold on thredUP’s online consignment shop.
How long does the process take?

It can take 1 to 2 weeks for thredUP to receive your bag from USPS/UPS. They will send a confirmation email so you know they received it. Then, it typically takes an additional 5-10 business days to review your items at their offices. Upon review, they’ll send another email about your credit. It then takes Polarn O. Pyret another 5-7 days to receive that information and process the gift certificate.
Is thredUP the right way for me to consign my items?

thredUP has strict quality standards and typically accepts 40-50% of the clothing they receive. For many parents, the convenience of just packing it up and shipping it off is enough, especially for our urban customers who are limited in storage space. Please note that thredUP is not looking for items from lower-end shops where the price point begins is than $20.

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Anyone who wants a ThredUp bag for themselves can contact Polarn O. Pyret at thredup@polarnopyretusa.com and a bag will be sent to you absolutely free! They will send as many bags as you want!

What better for Earth Day? Recycle those duds in your kids’ closets which they have outgrown! Send to online second hand store ThredUp and get credit back to spend at Sweden’s leading children’s wear brand Polarn O. Pyret!!!

 

Healthy Surprise Monthly Box. March 2014.

Today  would like to share with you my experience with my favorite monthly box subscription: Healthy Surprise. This is the best monthly subscription box for me so far.

I wrote one review about them before, but it was my first time trying them, and after a few more boxes I can say they are the best in the market with monthly delivering healthy snacks and treats.

Healthy Surprise is a monthly service that delivers packages of vegan, gluten-free, all natural snacks directly to customers’ doors. Each month the boxes boast a different assortment of large and small, sweet and savory snacks – introducing customers to a variety of new products and brands. Products are thoroughly vetted to ensure their ingredients and business practices demonstrates a dedication to health, quality, and sustainability.

Healthy Surprise is simple – choose from 3 box sizes.
Snacks include dried fruits, nuts and trail mixes, bars, crackers, chocolates like dark coco espresso beans, kale chips and varieties changing each month. It never gets old.

I am trying to avoid packaging food recently, but guess why I trust Healthy Surprise? THEY READ THE LABELS!!!!! All their snacks are: gluten free, corn free, plant based, wheat free, gmos free, natural.

I got my box at the beginning of March and we finished the snacks in 3 days, but I still want to write my review about them and maybe somebody will find new and healthy snacks for themselves.

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Here is what my box looked like this time:

 

1. Just Pure Foods Kalenola Chocolate.

Value 8$.

I would call it Kale Granola. Sounds crazy, but it actually tastes good. They recommend to serve it with nut milk, but I ate it as a snack. This is crunchy, delicious, healthy to go snack for me.

2.Samai Plantain Chipsin Pacific Seasalt.

Value 6$.

Let me be honest with you. I didn’t like these chips at all. They are great for somebody who really loves potato chips, but for me they were too oily and too salty.

3.The Daily Crave Veggie Chips.

Value 1.50$

We tried these chips before and they taste great.

4.Nibnacks Under the Boardwalk.

Value 2$.

Delicious, natural dried fruit snack. Who doesn’t like dried fruit? I always use them as a candy for my daughter and she loves it.

5.Enjoy Life Seed and Fruit Mix.

Value 1.50$.

Delicious Trail Mix. Works great on the go, travelling or quick snack. I love “Enjoy Life”, because all their products are gluten, soy, GMOs free.

6.Trophy Arms Roasted Almonds.

Value 2.50$.

I didn’t have a chance to try those, because Sophia finished them in no time( she loves almonds). But I prefer raw nuts, so I am not sure if I will buy these again.

7.Beanitos. 

Value 1.20$

Delicious chips are made of beans. Great alternative to the regular potato chips. They taste great.

8.Danielle. Royal Sweet Potato Chips.

Value 5.00$

I can live on those. These are the best healthy chips that I’ve ever tried.

9.Seasnax.

Value 1.25$

One of my favorite snacks. I tried a lot of flavors, but onion is my number 1.

10. Oloves. Pitted Green Olives with Lemon and Garlic.

Value 2$.

I don’t usually buy olives, but these were so delicious. I can’t find them in the store though.

11.That’s It. Fruit Bar.

Value 1.25

We didn’t try it yet, but we are going on vacation in a few weeks so will definetely take it with us.

12. Theo Chocolate Bar.

Value 2.00$

The only chocolate I buy because of the ingredients list: organic, no soy, no GMOs.

I also got 25$ Gift Card to shop with Healthy Surprise!!!!

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So this is a monthly subscription box with the option of 3 sizes. This was the smallest box labeled Starter Box that is meant to feed 1-2 people. All the snacks are full.

The boxes are on the pricey side. This box goes for $40 (free USA shipping) and the largest box with 27+ full size snacks goes for $95 I guess the idea is to have all healthy snacks that are not so easy to get your hands on come right to your house so you pay a little for the convenience and variety. I think these would be a super gift to give pretty much anyone. I know if a friend send me a box of snacks I’d be super stoked.

If you decide to try them here is a link to their website:

http://mbsy.co/healthy-surprise/299725

One more thing for Chocolate Lovers: Now you can order the monthly box full of natural, organic CHOCOLATE from Healthy Surprise. I can’t wait to try it!!!!!

 

This post was sponsored by Healthy Surprise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polarn O.Pyret kids’ clothes Review.

I am always looking for a good quality, nice and pretty clothes for my daughter. As you know there are multiple choices of brands in US, and sometimes you can’t really decide what to buy for your kids, because how you will know about quality of the clothes, if you’ve never worn it before. It happened to me so many times at the beginning, when I was pregnant and at the first months after my daughter was born.

I came to the store and like some pieces so much. I bought them and when it came to wear them, it lasted us a month ( I saw little holes after a few washing or it worn out pretty fast etc). But you learn with experience and I got the most important lesson:

“It’s better to get a few good quality pieces, than a lot cheap ones.”

One day I was searching on the internet and found Polarn.O.Pyret website:

Every-Day-a-Play-Day

http://www.polarnopyretusa.com

I got in love from the first sight.

Polarn O. Pyret is a Swedish kids’ clothing brand (pronounced ‘Pole Arn Oh Pier Et’ in case you were wondering) with a few stores and online store in US. It translates to “Buddy and the little guy” from Swedish.

If you are from the other country, you can still order from their online store, you just need to ship it to a domestic  US address. They work with a bunch of freight forwarders who can get the order to any country.   The customer service is very friendly and helpful.

My sister from Ukraine got her order in 2 weeks.

Polarn O. Pyret makes incredibly high quality products. They wash well, no bleeding or discoloration, they wear well, you can pull and tug on them and they don’t seem to stretch out, and they look great. I can see these lasting for many years through many families. Polarn O. Pyret makes the type of clothes that are hand me downs forever.

What makes me love this brand even more:

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That means girls and boys can wear the same clothes, except dresses of course.

Sounds cool for me, because if we have a son in the future I don’t have to buy completely new wardrobe for him, I can still use Sophia’s clothes. As I mentioned before Polarn.O.Pyret clothes is a great quality clothes, so you can pass to your future kids and it will still look like new.

Eco friendly Line!!!!!

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 Polarn O. Pyret’s ECO collection is manufactured from 100% organic cotton. The entire supply chain has received the Nordic Swan Eco-label (“Svanenmärkt” to Swedes) an indication of its environmentally friendly manufacturing.

We are lucky to have their store in our area. Last week I took Sophia there and we got some very cute pieces.

The store is so bright and kids’ friendly, so while you do shopping, the kids can play and explore around.

Because  of Valentine’s Day coming we got the most adorable red dress with stripes there.

The stripes are really their brand bearer – you can look at their Classic Stripes in poppy and navy and know in an instant that it is Polarn O. Pyret.  The stripes were launched in 1976 at the same time as the reintroduced brand itself.  They were designed meticulously by two well-known Swedish textile designers down to the millimeter – which according to the lore makes all the difference in their visual appeal.   They are now known as the “Stripy Company” as they always use stripes in their collections from their Signature Stripes to our Block Stripes to even our now equally famous Sailor Stripes.

  I and Sophia are in love with this dress:

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We also got a few pieces for Sophia’s friends birthday presents.  I like to buy clothes for the kids:)

By the way, they have the warmest and the cutest winter clothes. Because Sophia skates, I always worry for her to get cold on the ice, and at the same time she doesn’t like bulky, heavy clothes. Polarn.O.Pyret makes great warm outfits that keep your kids warm and comfortable:

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1. Softy Pile Fleece Hoodie.

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2. Merino Wool Long Jones.

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3. Best Basic Merino Wool Top.

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You can find them on line:

Polarn.O.Pyret online store

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 By the way they have Last Call Winter Sale now up to 70% off and extra 20% off for all the sale items)DON’T MISS IT!!!

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