La La Love You Poster

All I’m saying pretty baby

La la love you don’t mean maybe…

lalaloveyou{Sigh.} The Pixies will always take me back to the simpler, carefree and wilder days of my youth, which is exactly why I adore this homage to one of my favorite bands ever.  Like the song, this poster’s message is short, but oh so sweet and oh so perfect for your little love’s room–or in my case, a future “big boy” room.  It’s simplicity and sweetness, mixed with a bit of nostalgia for way back when.

I first eyed this gem over at Oh Dee Doh and then again over at Coochicoos.  It was pretty serendipitous when I saw a tweet by @petitelephant mentioning her latest giveaway–this exact poster that I’ve been coveting.  (Check out Allison and co. over at Petit Elephant, they have a fantastic blog.)

This La La Love You poster can be found over at SparklePower’s Etsy shop and is also available in various colors!  Oh, and those that heart mixtapes, this one’s for you. La La Love it!

Sweet new treat: Goldfish Grahams

sweetgoldfishPepperidge Farm Goldfish, the go-to snack loved by tots and moms alike, is introducing a sweet new snack, quite literally. The new Goldfish Grahams are made with whole grains and contain no artificial preservatives and are available in three  flavors: Honey, Chocolate and Cinnamon. In addition to the various cheese, whole wheat and pretzel Goldfish flavors, your sweeties will now have Graham Goldfish treats to choose from, too. Decisions, decisions.

Sweet, more treats to fish out of the diaper bag.

Double-Daring Book for Girls

In our very plugged-in world, fun and exploration are often hinged upon technology someway, somehow. With authors Miriam Peskowitz and Andrea J. Buchanan’s latest book, the Double-Daring Book for Girlsdaring, girls can unplug and dare to adventure back to basics once again. The Double-Daring Book for Girls is a follow-up to The Daring Book for Girls, which was dubbed the essential how-to manual for the modern-day girl. The Double-Daring Book for Girls is another creative collection and a more daring guide to everything from learning how to surf to learning to the (long lost) art of the note-folding. The first Daring Book was the girls’ answer to The Dangerous Book for Boys, and is described as the manual for everything from camping out to schoolyard games to great women in history.

As detailed on their blog, the authors say the book features a chapter on courage.

The Courage chapter has lots of quotes to inspire us all. Here’s one from artist and painter Vincent Van Gogh

–>my favorite artist and a sentiment that I’m trying to follow :)
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

Just like the other timeless classics in the series, The Double-Daring Book for Girls is the type of book that would reside on my bookshelf, right next to the greatest sportswriting anthologies. Perfect for a gift for girls of all ages (or yourself!), this series is the kind of book that appeals to the girlyest girl to well, the not-so girly girl. This is totally the kind of book that girls will read and reread as they cross off each lesson.
This latest book in the Daring series is quite the contrast from the messages that others are saying how we’re raising a generation of wimps. This book is all about uplifting this young generation and teaching girls the value of respect, not only for themselves but for others around them. This is positive reinforcement and practical life lessons at its best.

It is in girls who break barriers and girls who help out friends…Daring is about finding your journey and following your dreams—getting off the sidelines and getting in the game, whatever your game may be.

Goodies

Monsters vs. Aliens takes top spot

200px-monsters-vs-aliens-posterDreamWorks Animation’s 3-D animated movie, Monsters vs. Aliens opened in first place taking in $58.2m reports are saying. With a marketing campaign this huge, in an economy this bad, it’s great to hear people went out to see a fun family flick. In case you missed it, Monsters vs. Aliens debuted its 3-D trailer before this year’s Superbowl. Thanks to the beauty of DVR (and not having enough 3-D glasses) we watched that trailer multiple times and enjoyed it!

The consensus so far seems to be that it’s an ok movie that was somewhat funny, and entertaining for both kids and parents. Some reviews are saying the movie was great because of the 3-D technology, others simply said that it was lukewarm at best.

Interesting detail about Monsters vs. Aliens:  this is the first computer animated movie produced in 3-D using InTru3D technology, instead of converting the film into 3-D after it is finished. Some of my favorite actors’ voices are featured in the film: Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Rainn Wilson, Kiefer Sutherland, and Stephen Colbert.

There are various reviews floating around, but the best one I read so far was over at Geekdad:

Monster vs Aliens includes a ton of references to geek culture, 50s monster movies, science fiction and current events. Most of these references were left hanging, either with silence, or a dark and/or awkward situation. I don’t know if the writers failed to develop this well enough, or if parts got cut in production, but the result was an average fun movie that could have been awesome.

Overall Monsters vs Aliens was a funny movie, but it had some strange and often awkward moments. Imprisonment, accidental death and wanton destruction aren’t usually funny. This movie didn’t quite manage to make them so.

Did any of you see the movie? Did anyone see it in 3-D? If you did see it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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.**

Sneak preview of the Next Kid Thing!

My new website is a product of many things, but most importantly driven by the things that I’m passionate about.  Many of you already “know” my story and how none of this was really planned.  In case you don’t remember, here’s a quick reminder:  A former magazine editor turned freelance writer, I sought, more than anything, a work-life balance. In October 2008, after countless interviews amidst the failing economy and troubled field of print journalism, I decided to end THAT chase and start a new one, on my own terms.

As I wrote my goodbyes to various colleagues, one simple reply changed everything. “Wishing you all the best on the Next Big Thing.” From that moment, I knew exactly what my next big thing was; it was this, the Next Kid Thing. With my professional background, coupled with my interests as a new mom, I strive for the Next Kid Thing to be a blog that 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 on in, take a look and be sure to come back often for reviews, news and of course, great giveaways!

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.

Study sheds light on bath products

There’s a new report out that reveals some daunting information that will make you want to think twice about your babe’s bath products. Oh no, what now, right?

whats-going-onThe Campaign for Safe Cosmetics published a report that says several children’s bath products are contaminated with the cancer-causing chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane. This isn’t the first time you’ve probably heard similar information; a study came out in 2008 that focused on organic personal products. However, this new study called, “No More Toxic Tub,” is the first to document the widespread presence of both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane in bath products for children, including baby shampoos, bubble baths and baby lotions. The group says Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are known carcinogens; formaldehyde can also trigger skin rashes in some children. The report said that unlike many other countries, the U.S. government does not limit formaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane, or most other hazardous substances in personal care products.

Just a few of the products tested are:

  • CVS Baby Shampoo (CVS/Pharmacy)
  • Suave Kids 2-in-1 Shampoo – Wild Watermelon (Unilever)
  • American Girl Real Beauty Inside and Out Shower Gel – Apple Blossom (Bath & Body Works)
  • Equate Tearless Baby Wash (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.)
  • Grins & Giggles Milk & Honey Baby Wash (Gerber Products Company)
  • Huggies Naturally Refreshing Cucumber & Green Tea Baby Wash (Kimberly-Clark)
  • Sesame Street Bubble Bath – Orange Mango Tango (The Village Company)

To see all of the products tested and results go here. Per usual, there’s no need to be alarmed, so don’t go and toss out all of your bath products. The big picture here is, it’s all about being smarter consumers and to be aware of what you’re buying and using. I mean, who doesn’t want the best for their kid?

Once again, I’ll take the opportunity to tout the awesomeness of natural products. With this latest report, I thought I’d share some alternatives to the more questionable products that were included in this latest study.

These are my top picks:

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