Back to School Must Have: Lovable Labels

For most kids, school has been underway for a few weeks now.  While most families have already satisfied their schooLovable Labels Bear_withTAG_8 (120x120)l supplies shopping list, there will always be those lingering must haves.  Since our family vacation coincided with Labor Day and a lot of my energy was exerted into preparing for the trip leading up to my cousin’s wedding, I didn’t have a chance to do a Back to School Shopping Guide.  And so this week, I will be featuring my Back to School Must Haves.

IMG_0459Moms and dads with kids in school and daycare know how pertinent it is to label every single item.  My kid has lost entire outfits at daycare because I failed to label them!  Well, thanks to Lovable Labels, we can set our Sharpies down since they’ve made labeling a breeze.

Lovable Labels kindly sent our family the Back to School Pack to review, and I’ve been on a labeling frenzy ever since.  Even though my kid isn’t in school yet, as a family who is constantly on the go, The Back to School Pack is ideal for all of our labeling purposes.  We received the black labels with a fun little dinosaur graphic that I adore.  I labeled our playground toys with the slimline labels since we go to the park every day, and those toys can be exchanged with numerous little hands.  The labels are durable, distinctive and pretty darn cute!
Read More

Jenny McCarthy unveils Too Good

Jenny McCarthy is no stranger to vocalizing important topics, specifically ones that pertain to parenting. In line with her (and many parents’) belief to build and maintain a better environment for children, McCarthy will be launching a line of affordable, non-toxic infant & juvenile products. After reading on Twtitter that McCarthy was spotted at this week’s ABC Kids Expo in Vegas, it makes so much more sense. McCarthy, who has partnered with PEM, officially unveiled the line, Too Good, at the expo.

McCarthy’s line of kiddie products will include bedding, bath textiles, room decor, newborn gift sets, cleaning products, gluten-free food and beverages, and other categories.

A recent article in Brandweek best described McCarthy’s efforts as a mom:

Jenny became an advocate for a holistic approach to child development after her son Evan was diagnosed with autism in 2005. She has been vocal about such causes as staggering immunizations, adhering to a gluten-free diet and eliminating chemicals in everyday products, such as lead paint in toys or BPA plastic in baby bottles.

McCarthy’s Too Good line is set for launch at mid-tier retailers next spring or summer.

I know many moms have read Jenny’s best selling books on motherhood, so I’m anxious to see these products for myself! I applaud Jenny for using her celebrity status as a platform to create a less toxic environment for all of our kids—and for making it affordable. Be on the look out for Too Good by Jenny.

organicKidz SS bottles wins JPMA award

At the ABC Kids Expo, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) announced the winners of the 2009 Innovation Awards Competition which features several new products. Among the winners, organicKidz Stainless Steel Baby Bottles, was introduced earlier this year and has been garnering a lot of buzz ever since—and all for good reason.

OK-6OK2-38 mdifiedOK-43

organicKidz Stainless Steel Baby Bottles are touted as being one of the safest baby bottles because they won’t break like glass, are BPA, PVC, Phthalate Free and the only naturally bacteria resistant baby bottles.  The first stainless steel baby bottles, organicKidsz bottles come in 4, 7 and 9 oz. sizes and retail for $19.99 to $23.99.  The bottles are available online and come in a spectrum of colors.

I think these bottles look so sharp.  Aside from the super cool stripes and polka dots, I love the sustainability of the stainless steel.  Even better, I’d love to see the nipples interchange with sippy cup nozzles.  We’ve been using stainless steel thermoses for years; stainless steel bottles are one of those products that just make sense!  Though I’ve yet to check them out in person, I’d love to see these for myself.

ERGObaby introduces Heart2Heart at ABC

infant_insertAt this week’s ABC Kid’s Show in Vegas, several companies are introducing various new products and innovations, with Ergobaby being one of them! Ergobaby, a favorite among many baby carrying moms and dads, has unveiled its new Infant Insert Heart2Heart.

The Infant Insert Heart2Heart features cushioning at the back and bottom to support the natural curvature of a baby’s developing spine. According to the company, they have researched the available expert opinions and analyses regarding baby carrying and physical development of the newborn baby. Based on this research ERGObaby has designed the ERGObaby Infant Insert Heart2Heart to position the newborn baby in a way that experts agree is conducive to its proper development.  The Heart2Heart is suggested for use for newborns 4 to 6 months.

The inserts are made of 100% cotton and come in caramel and green.  They retail for $25 and $38 for the 100% organic cotton inserts.


In addition to the Infant Insert Heart2Heart, six new carriers are being introduced at the ABC Kids Show in Las Vegas, as well as several new accessories.

Battle Force 5 set to debut

This afternoon, together with some other NYC-area bloggers and their kids, Jack and I were invited to participate in a Playdate to check out a screening of Battle Force 5 and some toys by Mattel! Battle Force 5 might sound familiar because I blogged about it not too long ago.

I’m looking forward to checking out the toys today, and I’ll be sure to share every detail when we get back! In the meantime, check out the trailer for the Battle Force 5 show which debuts this Saturday, August 29 on the Cartoon Network.

Ahead of the curve: Stride Rite SRT

It’s the end of August, and with many kids going back to school, families are taking advantage of the end of the summer and back to school sales. Undoubtedly, many parents are shoe shopping with bargains in mind. My favorite stops for name brand, yet inexpensive shoes are the outlets, Marshalls and DSW. Over on Babyrific, I blogged about how the kid absolutely adores his new shoes so much that he’s taken a liking to tap dancing. Said shoes are a pair Nickelodeon Slimers from Stride Rite that I picked up from Marshalls for less than half their original price from last season.

logo_01To be honest, we went through at least 4-5 pairs of sandals this summer because of my choice to go cheap and convenient.  The kid often fell while he was running, slipped on the shaky bridge at the park and we even had to buy shoe glue to revive a short-lived pair.  Last summer, we bought ONE pair of sandals.  Not surprisingly, I bought them from the Stride Rite outlet.

Bargains are always my priority, but I’m a still a big believer in paying a little more for quality shoes, while maximizing our dollars, which is why our kiddie sneakers of choice are usually Stride Rite. The kid’s very first pair of sneakers were Stride Rite; instead of buying many pairs of sneakers while he was learning to walk, his Stride Rites lasted him until he outgrew them.  (Isn’t that how it should be?) Those first shoes while learning to walk are so important. The quality, durability and comfort of other kid shoes pales in comparison.

According to some research compiled by SR, consider this:

  • Shoes that do not fit properly in childhood can contribute to poor foot development, which can lead to bone, back and muscle problems later in life.
  • When learning to walk, babies flex their feet 25,000 times a day. Their toes need a full range of motion and the mid foot needs support to prevent over flexion.
  • From ages 1 – 10, a child’s foot grows around 6 inches, nearly 1.5 times the size they were at birth. This is why children need new shoes every 2 – 3 months until about age 3, then every 6 months after that

It’s no WONDER, at almost 2 years old, the kid has almost as much shoes as his shoe-loving mama!


Leave it up to Stride Rite, they seem to always be ahead of the curve. This time, Stride Rite has launched Sensory Response Technology.  According to the company, this new technology for children’s footwear was:

developed in conjunction with the Leon Root, M.D. Motion Analysis Laboratory at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, improves the way a child learns to walk via a sensory feedback system, an ultra-flexible design that allows for more freedom of movement, and a unique construction that reduces the number of stumbles and falls.

srt profile

If only these shoes were out last year when the kid was learning how to walk!  As loyal Stride Rite customers, shoes with the SRT technology definitely sound like shoes that our family would invest in.  Since I unfortunately had to miss this press event, I’ve yet to see the different styles in person, or test them out myself.  But, if we do have a chance to get our hands on a pair, I’ll be sure to share a full review!  In the meantime, check out one of Stride Rite’s promo pieces on SRT’s features and benefits.


How about you guys?  What brands/kinds of shoes, if any, do you swear by?  I’d love to hear ’em!

Read More

Listen up: Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack

Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic, “Where the Wild Things” continues to create buzz. This time, there’s been some rumblings of the highly anticipated movie’s soundtrack. wild

Specifically, what caught MY attention is the fact that the Karen O, the frontlady of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, is just one of the many rockstars that will be featured on the soundtrack. According to Rolling Stone, the soundtrack will also feature:

Karen O’s YYYs bandmates Brian Chase and Nick Zinner along with Tristan Bechet (Services), Bradford Cox (Deerhunter), Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age, The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs), Aaron Hemphill (Liars), Greg Kurstin (The Bird and the Bee), Jack Lawrence (The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs, The Greenhornes), Oscar Michel (Gris Gris), Imaad Wasif (New Folk Implosion, Alaska). An untrained children’s choir contributes to the songs and soundscapes.

The soundtrack will be released on September 29th and first single “All Is Love” will come out August 25th digitally.

Where the Wild Things is gearing up to not only be a movie to be seen, but also to be heard! In case you haven’t seen the trailer, be sure to check it out!

I just love that one of my favorite books ever is being made into a movie by one of my favorite directors and writers! I seriously can’t wait for this one!

Spotted: Chalk Cloth Placemat

At an event yesterday, I spotted a display with some super cool eating and entertaining ideas for kids. One of them, the Flower Power Chalk Cloth Placemat from Chicks & Chickadees, I thought, would be perfect for families that are always on the go like us.
The placemat, which is chalk cloth oilcloth on one side and laminated cotton on the other side, can be easily folded and rolled to shove into a diaper bag or stroller. In addition to using at home or in restaurants, I think this would be perfect to have onhand for the bus, trains and in a few weeks for us, the airplane. The Chalk Cloth Placemat is a fun, reusable alternative to coloring books/crayons and the plastic and throw away placemats for kids.
The 12 X 17 in. Chalk Cloth placemat from Chicks & Chickadees is the same size as a standard placemat and comes in designs for kids of all ages. My only complaint though: I’d love to see more gender-neutral designs!

Hula Star Swimwear

With school shopping on so many to do lists, it’s inevitable that summer is winding down. But for our family, our summer vacation is right around the corner. Lucky us, we’ve been able to take advantage of summer clearance sales to not only stock up for next year, but also for a few new duds for our trip to Hawaii. And of course, I’m always searching for NKT goodies, too!


Read More

Bugging Out at the Bronx Zoo

With illness always lingering, especially in a time where the H1N1 virus often makes headlines than not, Kleenex and The Motherhood partnered together to spread the word about the Battle of the Bug campaign. Last Friday, together with a group of NYC/NJ-area bloggers, I was invited to participate and learn more about the Battle of the Bug campaign.

It’s Wellness Wednesday over here on NKT, what perfect timing to share more about Kleenex’s Battle the Bug campaign.


The Battle the Bug tour has been making its rounds and spreading the word on how to combat and avoid sickness. The tour made its way to the Bronx Zoo where we whacked bugs, got “sneezed on” and even had photo opps with the big blue bug and reinforced that ongoing battle of keeping our kids healthy.

Battle the Bug bugKleenex truckBattle the Bug tentIMG_3285

As families begin to fulfill their school shopping lists, it’s no doubt that boxes of tissues and hand sanitizer will find their way into many shopping carts. But in addition to the usual supplies, Kleenex tapped Jean Grabeel, to arm families with helpful tips and tactics on staying healthy all year.

Did you know

Grabeel, the Executive Committee member of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), has been the Coordinator for Health Services for the Springfield Missouri Public Schools. Grabeel, who has been a healthcare professional for close to 30 years, highlighted a few techniques on how to Battle the Bug:

  1. Help kids understand the importance of washing hands

    • -washing in between fingers is just as important too!
  2. Teach kids the importance of covering their nose and mouths when sneezing

    • -use tissues (Kleenex’s anti-viral tissues are said to kill 99.9% of cold and flu viruses
    • -use the interior of their arm to cover nose/mouth and not their hands
  3. If kids have signs or symptoms of illness, STAY HOME

    • -signs include temperature over 100 degrees
    • -vomiting
    • -diarrhea
    • -kids should stay home until sickness and the symptoms subside.

When you sneeze, over 100,000 droplets go into the air at once at 200 mph and can reach up to 3 ft.
Knowing those details, why wouldn’t you cover your nose and mouth? Yuck!


Grabeel noted that if kids don’t cover their noses and mouth when sneezing, it obviously increases the the possibility of spreading those nasty bugs, especially because of kids’ lack of social distancing. In your face, all the time.

The moms in attendance all asked a variety of questions, but Kimberly’s question regarding the safety of hand sanitizers caught my attention, particularly because I try to avoid alcohol-based sanitizers. Grabeel suggested that the these hand sanitizers are safe, and that even the CDC recommends using them. Though I”ll continue to use our natural sanitizers, I’ll keep in mind that the other stuff should be just fine too.

And finally, perhaps one most helpful suggestions that Grabeel offered was for parents to help keep their kids healthy is to be in communication with school health professionals. Grabeel said that school nurses and other health professionals are the best advocate for keeping our kids healthy.


There won’t be a pop quiz later, but keeping the kidlets healthy is enough motivation to enforce the importance of battling the bug. Don’t forget: wash your hands, cover your mouths and if you’re sick, stay home!

Kleenex truck

Full disclosure: Though not affiliated with Kleenex, I was compensated for this event.