Umi: shoe shopping for Spring

While we haven’t quite packed up all the winter gear, I am, however, looking ahead to the sunny days by browsing around for the kid’s spring/summer gear. Specifically, we’re on the market for a few new pairs of shoes to last this size and season. Even though I consider myself a shoe snob because I tend to remain loyal to brands that I know and love, I decided to check out a few brands that I’ve eyed at the playground. Right now, I’m smitten with Umi, a brand that I see often at the playground, as well as online. They’re smart looking shoes that look as comfy as they are cute.

umiAt first look, Umi has a distinctive style to it; that’s because the company handcrafts their shoes using European designs for comfort and fit. The company, which focuses solely on children’s shoes, says they craft their shoes from high quality nappa and nubuck leather. Reading further about this company, I was pleased to read that they emphasized that they use only non-toxic materials that are built to last. Sustainability, in my book, is key! Even better on the eco-friendliness front: the company uses recycled materials for packaging, in addition to using environmentally sound practices to manage their waste.

In February, Umi unveiled their spring and summer line which has quite a few shoes that are now on my radar. The girls’ shoes are so adorable as well–I am in love with the sweet style of Lucy. As soon as we have a chance to try Umi shoes out, I’ll be sure to post a review.

Goodies

  • Umi can be found at various brick and mortar retailers, as well as online. You can even find Umi at Diapers.com and hello, they’re having a sale on what looks like some winter styles.
  • Until April 30, Umi is offering 20% off any purchase—a sweet deal to welcome Spring. When you purchase online from their site, just enter SPRING20 at checkout.
  • To receive more information about Umi and to get the latest deals and promos, be sure to check them out on Facebook

UBP’ 09

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

I had a great time at the blog party last year, so I thought I’d join in on the fun, but with my new blog. I haven’t officially launched this blog yet, so I thought the UBP would be a great time to take it for a spin AND offer a great giveaway!

I’m Jen and this is my new blog, the Next Kid Thing.  I blog regularly at my personal blog, Babyrific.net and have been working on this site for quite awhile.  I’m married to a hysterically funny dude who is an all-around awesome guy. I’m a mom to a 1.5 year old, and recently left the rat race to figure things out on my own…to pursue my next big thing, if you will.

As I mentioned in a previous post, this blog follows the latest kid trends with a magazine-type flair. From babies to big kids, from books to apps, from features to reviews, the Next Kid Thing is your go-to source for all things kids and the modern-minded grownups that love them.

Come in, check things out and enter to win some great all natural children’s bath products. Be sure to visit often for more great giveaways, reviews and news, including products from BornFree, Bugaboo and many more.

Review + Giveaway: Nature’s Baby Organics

Bath time in our house is sweet splendor. Any time the bathroom door is opened, the boy frantically signs and asks, “Bah, bah, bah?” For as much as he loves baths, I might love great bath products even more.

I recently had the chance to try out Tangy Tangerine Bubble Bath by Nature’s Baby Organics. Upon pouring the bubble bath into our trusty duck tub, I fell in love. In contrast to the questionable bath products out on the market, Natural Organics is line that was created by a mom who sought a more natural and wholesome alternative to the harsh chemicals. Like most parents, creator Adena Surabian wanted a product that incorporated the best natural ingredients for her babes. Because most of the natural lines that were already on the market didn’t meet her needs, Adena created her own.

“From the essential oils to the cleaning agents, every ingredient would be from nature’s laboratory-safe, pure, and 100 percent derived from nature. Thus, Nature’s Baby was born.”

1301bb-tt-250px-1Lucky Jack, he was born into a family with problematic skin. You name it, one of us is probably afflicted by that skin condition. As a tiny tot, Jack started to show the same signs, which is again, the main reason why I try to use natural products. Nature’s baby Organics fit the bill.

The bubble bath has a sweet, yet subtle citrus smell. Instead of it being overly fruity, it’s refreshing. This bubble bath doesn’t glop out like bubble baths you’re familiar with; it has a liquid consistency, flowing with all kinds of natural goodness. This isn’t the kind of bubble bath that has crazy suds the minute you turn on the water. Jack and I have to get the bubbles going by splashing, but in the end, the bubbles last a long time. The kid can spend hours on end in the tub if he could, but even after a longer bath, Nature’s Baby Organics doesn’t dry his skin out at all. The bubble bath left him feeling clean and without a soapy residue at the end.

As a big proponent of natural products, I love that this bubble bath touts 70% certified organic ingredients and is paraben free, SLS free, 1-4 Dioxane free, synthetic fragrance free, gluten free & vegan.  To check out their list of ingredients go here.

In light of the recent report about carcinogens lingering in those other bath products, Nature’s Baby Organics is a breath of fresh air. I love the fact that it’s a family-run company, and one that incorporates natural and many organic ingredients in their bath products. Because of all of these great qualities and more, Nature’s Baby Organics has become a staple in our home.

Nature’s Baby Organics has generously offered a coupon code as well: when you purchase online, use the code, Mommies to receive a 15% off discount. Even better, Nature’s Baby Organics has kindly offered my readers a great giveaway–choose any of 3 of their products.

Want to win it? Here’s how:

Visit Nature’s Baby Organics and tell me what 3 products you would like to try and why.

For additional entries:

1. Tweet about this giveaway (use the buttons below for easy access)

2. Stumble this post

3. Sign up to receive my updates via email.

Please add a comment for each of your entries. The giveaway ends on April 3 at 12:00 p.m. (fine print:  travel and gift sets are not included in this giveaway.  This giveaway cannot be shipped to P.O Boxes, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or Alaska.)

**This contest is now closed.**

The Doozers: Fraggle Rock spinoff planned

Cue intro:
Dance your cares away
Worry’s for another day
Let the music play
Down at Fraggle Rock

baxterGo ahead, admit it.  If you’re like me, you still have fond memories for those innocent days of watching the Muppets and Fraggle Rock–the days before cell phones, the internet and when playtime meant running around outside all day and night.   When I hear that theme song, it emits a Pavlovian reaction for the “good ol’ days.”

Well, there’s good news for you Muppet-lovers and parents of the preschool set:  The Jim Henson Company is teaming up with Decode Entertainment to produce a Fraggle Rock spinoff with a 3-D animated show based on The Doozers.

Who could forget the industrious little Doozers who wore hard hats as they cheerfully labored alongside the Fraggles, building scaffolds composed of ‘Doozer sticks’ made of ‘radish dust’? Now the Doozers are back to inspire kids to make the world a better place by making smart, eco-friendly choices, and by inventing tools, gadgets, buildings, structures, and other technology that supports the environment’s ecology.

According to various sites, the series is targeted at 4- to 7-year-olds, and is in pre-production with test animations being made.  Episodes are being planned to enter pre-production by the fall of 2009, with release estimated for fall 2010.

Kidscreen reported that instead of Down at Fraggle Rock, the show will focus on a trio of new apprentice Doozers, named Baxter, Puzzlebea and Daze, who take their construction projects above ground and learn through teamwork and cooperation.  The show is said to have a curriculum built around green technology and eco-consciousness.

Muppets, eco-consciousness and reliving childhood memories vicariously through the kid?  The Doozers sounds like a show that would fit perfectly into our family programming rotation.