9.16.2014

Review & Giveaway: Mayapple Baby


There is nothing quite as awful as a teething baby/toddler. Their wailing pierces your ears and makes you so sad but frustrated because there are few things you can do to help your little ones.

Thankfully the parents behind Mayapple Baby, Melissa and Mark, were also quite frustrated with their own newborn daughter's teething process. After night after night of no sleep Mark and Melissa found inspiration (via frustration) and decided to make their own teething toy line--and WAHLA!--  Mayapple Baby was born.

All Mayapple Baby products adhere to four basic standards (from initial design through finished product). These four basic standards are; 


  • Safety-All Mayapple Baby products are created with non-toxic materials
  • Quality-Mayapple Baby products are made under strict quality controls.
  • Usefulness- Innovative and practical design is Mayapple Baby's goal.
  • Environmental Responsibility- Mayapple Baby sources environmentally responsible material whenever possible for products and packaging.


 My Review
I received the Suri Teething Toys in Blueberry and the ABC Teething Letters in Guava to review from Mayapple Baby. These teething toys are not only ADORABLE they work! In fact, POPSUGAR rated Suri Teething Toys as one of the 10 Best Teething Rings, along with So'Pure Sophie the Giraffe! The Suri Teething toys have a marine theme featuring an octopus, anchor and Yoke (aka Ships Wheel).   The Suri Teething Toys are available in Blueberry and Lemon colors and each character has multiple sensory points and textures. 
     The ABC Teething Letters are available in Guava and Kiwi colors. Both sets are made from German medical-grade silicone have been tested as a choking hazard and are free of plastics, heavy metals, BPA, Phthalates and Nitrosamines. The ABC Teething letters are educational but also soothing. Each item features colors, a chew ball, raised edges and teething grains/ridges. Whether you choose one set or both these are sure to be a hit with your lil' teether. They also make GREAT baby shower gifts!


The Giveaway
Open to US Residents Only

Enter to win ABC Teething Letters and Suri Teething Toys in winners choice of color from Mayapple Baby!

Enter after the jump!

9.15.2014

Post: Matilda Jane 2014 Halloween Bag Contest!


If you haven't read my Matilda Jane 'Back to School' review then head on over and read it now! 

I am so excited to announce that Matilda Jane is launching their 2014 Halloween Bag this week!

Isn't it BOO-tiful?




Matilda Jane 2014 Halloween Bag Contest

Matilda Jane wants to start off this Halloween Season off with a pumpkin of a contest! 

Head on over to the Matilda Jane Facebook page where you can 
“Post your favorite Halloween picture” 
to be eligible to win a Matilda Jane 2014 Halloween Bag!*

*FIVE Winners will be picked at random. You can enter through Facebook or Instagram between 12:01am Tuesday, September 16, 2014 through Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 11:59pm.

 Winners will be announced Thursday, September 18th at 10am!

Good Luck!

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Review & Giveaway: Infanteenie Beenie




Missy Woolf was inspired by the birth of her daughter, Scarlett Adair, to start Infanteenie Beenie. Missy and her husband had two boys and eight years later they were finally blessed with a little girl. When their little girl was born, the nurse placed a generic blue and pink hospital beanie on Scarlett's head. Missy was not about to put a generic beanie on her daughters head after waiting eight long years for a girl! Missy took off the generic beanie and quickly replaced it with an adorable girly beanie from her hospital bag. She quickly went through three beanies that she brought from home and realized none of them would stay on her daughters head. So, to her dismay, her 9 months of "thinking pink" was halted as Scarlett adorned the blue and pink striped hospital beanie. When Missy posted hospital pictures of her daughter many people thought she was a boy because of the generic beanie. The light bulb went off and Missy set a goal to make gender appropriate hospital beanies or 'beenies" that would not only fit but also distinguish the boys from the girls. 

My Review
I was sent two adorable Infanteenie Beenie's to review; Her First Bling Bow and Vintage I love Mom. Both of the little beanies are adorable and made beautifully. I love how soft both of that hats are and that they come perfectly packaged for gift giving in a little canvas bag. Sadly, my days of having a newborn are past but if I had a little one I would definitely purchase one of these hats! They would make the perfect gift for the expectant mom! Also, these hats are the only newborn hats GUARANTEED to fit and stay snug on ALL newborns and will fit up to 3 months. 

The Giveaway
Enter to win any Beanie hat of your choosing from Infanteenie Beenie!

Enter after the jump!

9.14.2014

Review and Giveaway: Little Caesars Pretzel Crust Hot-N-Ready Pizza

Some nights we just need pizza and I don't want to cook. I'm always happy to turn to Little Caesars and their Hot-N-Ready pizzas. Even though it is a bit of a drive for me it is still worth it! This weekend was one such "pizza need" and we decided to try out the new Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza.



Between the hours of 4-8pm this pizza his Hot-N-Ready for $6! That means you don't have to call in advance, you don't have to order online, you don't have to wait in the store, you just walk in, pay, and walk out. (**I walked in at the end of a "rush" and had to wait all of four minutes for my pizza to finish cooking. This is the longest wait I have ever had since Little Caesars started their Hot-N-Ready campaign. Four minutes is hardly an inconvenience in my book.)

For the first time in probably ever I skipped the crazy bread, assuming (correctly) that this was plenty of carbs and my kids would forgive me.

Other than the soft pretzel crust on the pizza the other change is the sauce. Instead of the classic tomato-based sauce this pizza is adorned with a creamy cheddar cheese sauce. As soon as my oldest discovered the gooey cheesy middle he exclaimed "this changes everything!"

One of my neuroses is eating the pizza crust first --I have a thing about last bites, I'll spare you the details but it's well-justified in my own mind-- and my family thinks I'm absolutely crazy but with this pretzel crust pizza I actually ate my pizza like a normal person, saving the soft pretzel as my final flavour. I loved that soft salty finish to my meal.

The Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza will not replace my affinity for the traditional Hot-N-Ready pizza, but it's always fun to switch things up every once in a while. My husband missed the tomato sauce of the other pizzas (it's good sauce!) but I don't think the kids minded at all. We can't eat like this all the time but it was a very fun treat! I know the boys will request it again, soon. At $6 I can't very well say no.

To help you try this yummy new pizza we've got a Little Caesars gift card to give away!



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THE GIVEAWAY:

One lucky reader will win a $15 gift card to Little Caesars!

US residents only, please.

~enter after the jump!~

Disclosure:
I received a gift card to facilitate this review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.
The opinions presented in this review are mine and have been written in my own words.

***Be sure to check our sidebar for additional giveaways that may interest you!***

9.13.2014

Review: Patagonia

Fall is right around the corner and already there is a crispness in the air. I for one can't wait for the change of season! Every year my children and I go coat shopping for the Fall and Winter seasons. The experience isn't much fun. You see,the coats are either too small, too large, not the right color, aren't warm enough etc. Lets just say its quite difficult to find the perfect coat for my little girl and boy. 

I had heard of Patagonia before but had never tried or owned any of their items. Of course, guess where we found the perfect jacket for my eight year old daughter? Yep, Patagonia!

About Patagonia
     Patagonia grew out of a small company that made tools for climbers. Alpinism remains at the heart of a worldwide business that still makes clothes for climbing – as well as for skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, paddling and trail running. These are all silent sports. None requires a motor; none delivers the cheers of a crowd. In each sport, reward comes in the form of hard-won grace and moments of connection between us and nature.

Patagonia's values reflect those of a business started by a band of climbers and surfers, and the minimalist style they promoted. The approach we take towards product design demonstrates a bias for simplicity and utility.

At Patagonia, a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them, and to help reverse the steep decline in the overall environmental health of our planet. Those at Patagonia donate their time, services and at least 1% of our sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups all over the world who work to help reverse the tide.

Those at Patagonia know that their business activity – from lighting stores to dyeing shirts – creates pollution as a by-product. So they work steadily to reduce those harms. They use recycled polyester in many of our clothes and only organic, rather than pesticide-intensive, cotton.

Staying true to their core values during thirty-plus years in business has helped Patagonia create a company they're proud to run and work for. And their focus on making the best products possible has brought us success in the marketplace.

My Review
   I was sent a Patagonia Girls' Nano Puff Jacket in Radiant Magenta to review. This jacket is not only incredibly warm but super fashionable. It goes well with skirts, leggings, you name it. It is the perfect jacket for transitioning to fall weather and keeps my daughter warm on crisp mornings. She is so excited to wear it this fall. My daughter absolutely LOVES the color, the fit and how comfortable it is. I love how durable and versatile it is. In my daughter's own words "This jacket is quite lovely, Mom!"

The details: The Nano Puff Jacket is made from a polyester mini ripstop shell that is treated with a durable water repellent finish. It is wind resistant and insulated with lightweight and compressible 60-g PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation polyester. The jacket serves as outerwear in cool conditions or as a second layer when temperatures get REALLY cold. The full-zip front has an internal wind flap and a zipper garage for chin comfort. Spandex at the sleeve cuff and an adjustable drawcord hem seal out cold air. The zippered handwarmer pockets have reflective webbing pulls, and a hand-me-down ID label keeps track of the owner. 
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Disclosure:
I received this item free of charge for the purpose of my review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.
This review is my opinion and has been written in my own words.

9.12.2014

Review: Back to School with Matilda Jane





    Matilda Jane just released their new fall collection entitled 'Secret Fields'. The Secret Fields Collection features the bright colors and unique designs that Matilda Jane is known for. The collection is described as " a collection of pieces designed to help transition your little one’s wardrobe with style. From cozy sweaters and jackets to printed dresses and tops". The collection is inspired by "...the golden fields where your imagination can run free. It’s a celebration of life and love and friendship. Like a mason jar filled with fireflies, Secret Fields glows and makes you feel safe. Like an inner strength you never knew you had."



A bit about Matilda Jane
   Matilda Jane Clothing's designer and founder, Denise DeMarchis, started the girls' clothing company in 2005. A mother of two boys (good ones, if ever there were) and a successful decorative artist, Denise brought her unique, soulful approach to creativity and relationships to her new venture—an "unpredictable clothing company."
After early success at art fairs around the Midwest, Matilda Jane Clothing moved the business toward a Trunk Keeper model—a direct selling approach that keeps the spirit of art fairs alive while building personal relationships across the country.

Matilda Jane Clothing's designs are youthful. Playful. And expressive. Matilda Jane's whimsical approach to texture, pattern and color results in designs that capture the spirit and imagination of childhood. Remember when your grandpa let you pick your own flavor of ice cream for the first time? That'swhat being a Matilda Jane girl is all about. Lucky for you, gals of all ages and sizes can join the fun! Matilda Jane Clothing is available in girls, tweens and adults. Flavors for all!

My Review    I was sent the Soft Sunshine Puffer Tee and the City of Lights Knot Dress to review from 'Secret Fields' Matilda Jane Collection. These pieces are so beautiful, unique and lovely. The Soft Sunshine Puffer Tee is a pale yellow shirt that features 3/4 length sleeves with puffy ends. The pale yellow is accented with white polka dots. The shirt is beautifully made and looks adorable paired with any of the dresses in the Secret Fields Collection. The City of Lights Knot Dress features floral trim and an absolutely whimsical Parisian print. The print features Notre Dame de Paris, the Eiffel Tower, Parisian homes, a vespa, colorful bunting and more. The
dress has pockets with a colorful button accent and pale yellow dress straps. I love both of these adorable pieces from Matilda Jane. The feminine details, bright colors, top quality and beautiful prints are what puts Matilda Jane in a league of its own. If you are looking for top quality, gorgeous clothing look no further than Matilda Jane.

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Disclosure:
I received these items free of charge for the purpose of my review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.
This review is my opinion and has been written in my own words.

9.11.2014

Review: Back to School with Angie's Popcorn


If you have been a reader of Cherry Blossoms {the blog} for a while you just might recognize the name Angie's Popcorn. You see, Angie's Popcorn is one of our all-time favorite snacks! It is perfect for a snack in the car, after school or at school or at home. 

A bit about Angie's Popcorn    
      Angie and Dan Bastian wanted to start a college fund for their two children, demonstrate the value of hard work, and importantly, create something that the family could do together. Angie was a nurse, Dan was a teacher, and they made popcorn. Boy did they ever. At local events, in their small kitchen and into the wee hours, who knew what was coming next?

    The couple started selling Angie’s Kettle Corn at outdoor events and soon it became a local sensation. One day Dan and Angie decided to give the Vikings players and coaches bags of kettle corn after their summer training camp in Mankato. They liked it. A lot. So much so that Angie’s becomes the official kettle corn of the Minnesota Vikings (who knew?)

         Soon fans wanted to get it in the off-season. Dan and Angie brought the operations inside. In their small kitchen and into the wee hours, it was now a full-time job… that grew into a real business after a few years.   

A select few ingredients are carefully chosen and popped fresh, batch by batch, in Mankato, Minnesota. It’s how Angie’s started, and they intend to keep it that way.

They make 80,000 bags of popcorn daily, deliciously ready for their customers-world wide. 


My Review
   I was sent a few bags of Angie's Popcorn to review and what a treat it was! I was sent  Boom Chicka Pop-Caramel Cheddar Popcorn, Boom Chicka Pop-Salted Caramel Popcorn and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Drizzle to review. All of the popcorn vary greatly in taste but they are all absolutely delicious. The Boom Chicka Pop-Caramel Cheddar sounded really interesting to me. I was a bit hesitant to try it because of the combo but I am so glad I gave it a chance. The sweetness of the caramel and the cheesy saltiness of the cheddar makes it absolutely delicious. The Salted Caramel was the perfect combination of salty and sweet and my children's favorite out of the three bags. In fact, my three year old basically ate the whole bag by himself and kept asking me for more! My favorite had to be the Dark

Chocolate Sea Salt Drizzle. Each piece of popcorn is drizzled in sweet dark chocolate-to DIE for!  I rarely found an unpopped kernel in any of the bags which made me very happy-since I wanted as much of Angie's popcorn as possible! Yum! My daughter asked me to pack her some popcorn for school the next day and I happily obliged. Angie's popcorn is perfect for a day at the beach, the park, or for a snack at school-Angie's popcorn is perfect for just about anytime-anywhere!
Angie's Popcorn is sold in all 50 states in the US. You can find them in regional grocery stores as well as Costco, Super Target, Whole Foods and the SuperValu-owned stores.

Angie's Popcorn is also available in Puerto Rico, Canada, United Kingdom 
and South Korea.

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Disclosure
I was sent these products free of charge.
This has not affected my opinion in any way.
Any opinions expressed are my own.

9.10.2014

Review: Love With Food-Gluten Free!


Those that suffer from allergies to gluten know just how difficult it is to find new snacks and treats that are gluten-free. Love with Food is taking all the hassle out of finding new snacks and sending all of the latest and greatest gluten-free snacks to your doorstep!

You see, Love with Food is a food subscription box, which has three different subscription boxes:
  • The Regular: $10.00 a month for the Tasting Box
  • The Deluxe: $19.95 a month 
  • The Gluten free box: $25.00 a month.
The Gluten Free box is brand new as of last month. The products in the gluten-free box are free of artificial colorings, flavors, transfats and high fructose corn syrup. If you would like to try the Gluten Free Box for 50% off please enter the code: BLGGLUTENFREE at checkout.  

I received the August Gluten-Free Love with Food Box to review. The theme of this month's Gluten-Free box was 'Fun at the County Fair.' The box contained;

Dang Coconut Chips: I absolutely loved these coconut chips. They are gluten-free, vegan and non-gmo. My husband got one of the bags and I got the other. I am excited to be doing a Dang Coconut Chips review later this month to solely focus on them and just how great
they really are. 

BumbleBar – Apple Crisp JunoBar: This crispy quinoa bar was absolutely delicious. I kept on feeling like I was eating a dessert-that's how good it was. I ate it on the way to the gym and I definitely will be purchasing more soon

180 Snacks – Nutty Rice Bites with Blueberries: My husband stole my whole bag of these but he told me they were really delicious and filling. They are made with puffed rice, blueberries, roasted nuts and pumpkin seeds.

Ginny Minis Butter Crisp Love Cookies: Non-Gmo and Organic crisp butter cookies. I have previously reviewed Ginny's cookies and they are really yummy. These butter cookies melt in your mouth and have the perfect bit of crunch. 

Lundberg Family Farms – Redwood Smoky BBQ Multigrain Chips: I wasn't sure I would like these chips as I normally don't like chip substitutes. These are made from quinoa, brown rice and spices. Sadly, these weren't my favorite of the box. The texture was a bit strange.

Boulder Granola: Gluten free oats with seeds and nuts-what more could you ask for. This granola went great over my honey vanilla yogurt and gave my day a hearty start.

Jules Gluten Free – Cookie Mix: I haven't tried this cookie mix yet but they have really great reviews. Many people can't tell they are Gluten-Free and that is amazing! You can add whatever add-in's you want into the mix and it makes up to 60 cookies! I can't wait to try them! 

Terra Sweets & Beets: I have had Terra Chips before and I am a HUGE fan. These chips are made from beets and sweet potatoes and are the perfect combination on sweet and salty. They are definitely some of my favorite gluten-free chips!

YUMEARTH Lollipops: Organic and gluten-free lollipops! My daughter and son absolutely adored these little treats and told me that they were 'really yummy!'

So, if you are looking for the latest and greatest gluten-free snacks to be delivered every month to your doorstep check out Love with Food's Gluten-Free box.

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Disclosure:
I received these items free of charge for the purpose of my review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.
This review is my opinion and has been written in my own words.

9.09.2014

Review: Erbaviva


   When I heard about Erbaviva through a friend I just had to try some of their products out to see if they were really worth all the hype. Erbaviva makes Pure Organic Skincare that contains no harmful chemicals. I for one am sick and tired of all the chemicals that are put in everything-food, skincare, hair products...you name it. So I set off to find out just what is so wonderful about Erbaviva....

About Erbaviva
Erbaviva was born to bring the world a luxurious collection of the purest organic skincare products available.

With a passion for pure ingredients and their own children as inspiration, Robin Brown and Anna Cirronis created Erbaviva, a beautiful line of authentically organic skincare products for baby, mothers-to-be and everyone else. The exclusive, handmade collection is Certified USDA Organic and Demeter Biodynamic.

In the defining spirit of voyagers, Robin and Anna were among the very first to seek out and source the highest quality organic ingredients possible for their original organic baby skincare line in 1996. Desiring the healthiest, safest and most natural products for their newborn, the couple developed distinctively pure products, consciously crafted with ultimately nourishing living herbs and botanicals and free from harsh detergents, chemical fragrances and other unhealthy additives. Erbaviva was born.

All of Erbaviva’s products are compassionately made by hand at the company’s own renewable energy powered facility in Southern California. A Certified B Corporation, Erbaviva consistently implements and supports sustainable and environmentally responsible principles with every practice and partnership as possible.


My Review

   I was sent Buzz Spray, Sunscreen, Lemon Sage Deodorant, Travel Size of Jasmine Grapefruit Deodorant and a Bath and Body Travel Kit from Erbaviva to review. 

Buzz Spray
   I have used the Buzz Spray on all the members of my family this summer and it has kept away the mosquitos and other pesky bugs. Northern Virginia is basically a swamp so mosquitos are a'plenty during the spring and summer months. Thankfully Buzz Spray has kept us all covered and itch-free! 

Erbaviva Sunscreen
   Even though summer is winding down, you still need to wear sunscreen. Sunscreen should be worn daily to protect everyone from the harmful rays of the sun. I love Erbaviva Sunscreen because smells amazing and doesn't contain ANY harmful chemicals. I love that it doesn't leave behind any residue or a funny smell. It is water resistant for up to 80 minutes. My kids wore this sunscreen the past few weeks and it works wonderfully. My children HATE putting on sunscreen since their skin is VERY sensitive and breaks out easily. They also don't like how greasy sunscreen can be. Erbaviva Sunscreen is super light and not greasy at all. They told me this is their favorite sunscreen and to never by any others again. I think we will stick with Erbaviva Sunscreen as well. 

Lemon Sage/Jasmine Grapefruit Deodorant
    This deodorant works, believe me! The Lemon Sage Deodorant mists on easily and has a rather strong patchouli smell. So strong in fact, my husband told me I smelled like a hippie. I have to agree with him-the smell is rather pungent. I much preferred the Jasmine Grapefruit scent which was light and less noticeable. I am not a smelly person but the few times in the past I have used natural deodorants by the end of the day I am pretty smelly. I now know why Erbaviva's deodorants are so popular-they keep you smelling good all day long. I have worn the deodorant to the gym, out shopping and to run errands and I have never noticed a body odor smell at all. While I personally wouldn't purchase the Lemon Sage (because of the fragrance) I will definitely be purchasing more of the Jasmine Grapefruit deodorant to use. 

Bath and Body Travel Kit
The Bath and Body Travel Kit contains a Travel Size Relax Bath Salts, Awaken Spray, Embrace Body Lotion and Breathe Body Wash packed in a lovely handmade canvas traveling case. Perfect for the on-the-go traveler this little kit has everything you need to relax and keep your skin nourished.  


So are Erbaviva products really worth 'oohing and ahhing over?' 
Yes, they are. 
Try them for yourself and I am sure you will agree!
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9.08.2014

Post: Share Awesome



    Just like any occupation, being a blogger has its good bits and bad bits. I have to draw the line at what things I share with the audience I have. There are parts of my life that are public and parts that are private and that is how it should be with social media as well. The internet is such a wonderful platform for inspiration, learning and sharing awesome moments but it can also be dangerous if not used correctly.

  In our home we constantly share our goals, feelings, highs and lows with each other. Having people to share these moments with is important. My children are growing up where the latest and greatest technology is at their fingertips-they can share photos, message friends, shop and play games. My husband and I have recently sat down our seven year old
daughter to teach her how to approach using the computer. We have told her that the internet can be a wonderful tool when used correctly-you can shop, play games and connect with friends and family. Sadly, their is a downside to being so connected. We instructed her that certain things are only shared within the walls of our own home and that the things we choose to post online are not private. My husband and I feel that creating an open dialogue with our daughter will make her feel that she can come to us when she has questions about using social media.

  My husband and I have decided that we be purchasing a program that takes access away from sites that we don't want our children to use. We know that this will help control much of what our children can access and gives us more peace of mind. That being said the most important thing is taking the time to sit down and explain to each of our children what is acceptable use for the internet and what is not. This is why the National PTA has partnered with LifeLock to 'Share Awesome' ways families can create an open conversation about safe decisions when using the internet. Teaching your children about safe internet use doesn't have to be a chore or an awkward conversation. The #ShareAwesome campaign seeks to build an understanding among parents and students that no matter the device, the app or the networking site – the skills we need to be safe and positive online are similar to what you need offline.


Enter the contest to #ShareAwesome!
With YOUR help we can choose to use digital media and tools for GOOD! 

Enter the National PTA and LifeLock #ShareAwesome contest by sharing a smart and safe decision, uplifting accomplishment, or positive action for the good of others using the hashtag #ShareAwesome on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. 

Students who enter a photo between September 15 – November 30, 2014 will be eligible to win fantastic prizes, including tablets and a $2,500 scholarship!

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					I was selected for this opportunity as a member of  Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


				

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