Archive for the ‘
Shopping & Gear ’ Category
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
Who doesn’t love Little Critter? We read the books all the time (see my son Joe with our favorite, about going into the city with Mom, down below) and I was thrilled to talk with the author and illustrator, Mercer Mayer, also shown, on the eve of his launch of the Little Critter app for iOS, Android, Nook and Kindle devices.
Q: First, what is Little Critter?
Mercer Mayer: “He technically is identifiable, but I don’t tell anybody what it is.”
Q: Is he based on you as a child? Or your own children?
MM: “Everything you do as an author is from that well of your own childhood. I got some advice many years ago from a publisher to ‘Just start with your childhood and lie like hell.’ Little Critter is full of things that happened to me as a child and then I exaggerate when I imagine what a kid might go through.”
Q: You have kids of your own, right?
MM: “Three boys and a girl, and now grandkids. They just added to the whole pastiche. I would love to find a way to get this into a book: When my eldest boy was 9 years old, he would never go to bed. I would throw him up in the top bunk and he’d scream that he was hungry, or had to go to the bathroom. Then one night he said he was sick. I didn’t believe him…and then he threw up all over me.”
MM: “I write about situations that kids get into that can be overwhelming. But now my books are getting an extra kick in the pants with the apps! There are more possibilities with them.”
Q: The apps sound like they’d be good for Spring break and Summer travel.
MM: “The games are simple for 3- to 7-year-olds. There’s animation and the story pops out. So there’s reading, and it’s educational, but also games, such as a hidden alphabet and color-by-number. The GamePak includes DigiStix, which are interactive stickers that a kid can move around. I know some apps are just for reading, but these two create a whole little world of adventure, and it’s a lot of fun.”
Q: Are you still writing new books?
MM: “Yes, I’m working on Just a Kite now and finished up Just a Little Love. I write about three a year. I’m still doing it. I guess I don’t know how to stop!”
You can get The Trip-Little Critter Reading Adventure for $3.99 at all the usual channels (iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Barnes & Noble). And for the first 30 days of the launch, you can buy the additional The Trip-Little Critter GamePak for $2.99 (after that it goes up to $3.99). The GamePack is the one that includes more than 175 cool DigiStix digital stickers.
Want the chance to win both the apps and also a signed giclee print from Mercer Mayer? It’s this collage of Little Critter and his baby brother with their toys, and would look great in a kid’s room! It’s officially worth is $75 but I think it’s fairly priceless. Leave a comment below, up to one a day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, March 27th. After that we’ll pick one person at random to win both the print and a code for the apps, worth about $83 all together.
You can click here to read our official rules. Goody luck!
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
On the heels of last year’s cool build-a-wagon program, Radio Flyer announced a build-a-trike program this month. You can make their classic red trike as simple or as tricked-out as you want, adding on extras such as a stereo for your MP3 player ($20), a canopy ($10), a personalized nameplate ($10), and more.
Chose from a red or pink base. The starting price of the trike ($75) includes a parent-steering handle, which you can use with your baby 9 months or older until he can peddle on his own. If you’re customizing for a baby or young toddler, I’d recommend adding the seatbelt ($10) and wrap-around tray ($15). Then the trike becomes your supercool stroller substitute! If you go crazy and choose all the add-ons, you can spend as much as $215.
The folks at Radio Flyer are a fun bunch; watch them on YouTube doing the Harlem Shake at their headquarters to get a sense of their spirit! We’re happy to announce that they’ll give one winner a voucher to customize a trike of their own; all you have to do to be eligible to win is to leave a comment below between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, March 20th. You can leave up to one comment a day and we’ll randomly pick the winner. Here’s where you can read all the official rules. Goody luck!
Monday, March 11th, 2013
Got a great way to carry your baby…or an ideal bag that hauls all of her stuff? Vote here for your favorite baby carrier and diaper-bag brand. Then leave a comment below to explain why you love your pick! You can also enter to win a $250 gift card. Don’t see a brand you love? Head straight to the comments and write it in!
Thursday, March 7th, 2013
There are plenty of products you don’t really “get” until you have a baby, and I’d put a baby carrier right up there. They look cute and all when you’re filling out your registry, but the first time you want to take an outing without having your hands tied to a stroller is when the lightbulb goes off and you realize how indispensable a good baby carrier can be.
Here are just a few ways I used my BabyBjörn: To get through airports, to take walks in the woods, to shop in crowds when I didn’t want to be shoving people accidentally with stroller wheels, to attend outdoor festivals and fairs, and to get my older child to preschool while carting along my infant. My BabyBjörn became like a secret weapon to get me out of the house. And my husband could wear it, too, so we could share the load (literally!). In the picture below I’m holding my son while my daughter meets Cinderella!
Note that it can be tricky to try and use any carrier with a brand-new newborn. They do better in an infant car seat snapped into a stroller frame when they’re teeny-tiny. I’d say that for us, the golden age for the BabyBjörn was about 3 months to 9 months, though I used mine (especially with my second child) right past the first birthday.
That’s why I’m excited that BabyBjörn is giving away a carrier to 3 people who leave a comment at this post. Each one is worth $80! You can comment up to once a day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Here’s where you can read the official rules. Goody luck!
Monday, March 4th, 2013
The centerpiece of every nursery is the crib. Do you have one that you love? What about a brand of cute crib sheets? Vote for your favorites, then leave a comment below. In your comment you can tell us which exact crib (including color!) and sheet (including pattern!) wins your approval. We’ll pick one random commenter to win the newest version of the Bumbo seat, worth $40. Here are the rules for winning the Bumbo seat. (Note that you can only leave one comment per day to be eligible, between now and the end of March). Don’t forget to also register to win our $250 gift card. Thanks, designing Mama!
Monday, February 25th, 2013
A seat that rocks can calm a newborn. One filled with toys can give him a great place to play. They’re sanity-savers! Tell us what brand of soothing seat works for you, and what play seat is your baby’s favorite. After you vote, leave a comment below and tell us what you’re able to get done while Sweetie is in his or her seat! You also have the chance to win a $250 gift card. PS if you don’t see a brand you love, feel free to write it in when you leave a comment. Goody luck!
Thursday, February 14th, 2013
Happy Valentine’s Day! This seems like a natural day to launch a giveaway of Bravado’s pretty bras. You need to buy new lingerie when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, and you may as well buy something 1) that looks nice and 2) is so comfortable that you might wear it 24 hours in a row.
The “looks nice” bit is especially important because, as the name “Bravado” implies, you reveal more bra than ever when you’re a nursing mom. Even if you’re not nursing in public (though I certainly was, with the help of my Bravado bra, a nursing shirt, and a strategically placed blanket) you’re going to be nursing at home, possibly with visiting in-laws milling about, and letting it all hang out (so to speak).
And the “comfy” part goes without saying, because a new-Mama’s chest expands and contracts with milk during the day. You need something soft and stretchy and supportive with no constricting underwires.
By the way: If you’re looking for breastfeeding information and help, Bravado has an amazing breastfeeding resource section on their Web site, loaded with tips for preggos, advice for Dads, and help for common nursing challenges. Looking for more? Our own Web site offers breastfeeding videos and a ton of helpful tips; check out our Parents.com nursing section.
And now for the giveaway! Bravado will send two winners one of their new Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bras, as shown. Each bra is worth $49 and they’ll send it in your size if you win. Leave a comment here, up to one a day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, February 20th. We’ll randomly pick a winner. Here are our official rules. Goody luck!
Thursday, February 7th, 2013
If you ask me, diaper bags are more durable and therefore more fabulous than a regular purse. Or weekend bag. I have a Ju-Ju-Be bag that goes with us on car trip, beach trips, and most frequently, camping trips. I love its huge size, the fact that it’s wipeable inside and out (they treat it with Teflon!), and that it’s stuffed with a zillion pockets, so I can try to make sense of all of my kids’ stuff (and my own).
When I read the online description of Ju-Ju-Be’s Be Prepared bag and saw that the opening line is “Are you an overpacker?”, I had to laugh. When I go away and pack my Ju-Ju-Be, it’s got snacks, clothes, toys, electronics, raincoats, my wallet, sunscreen and a whole lot else. No one would ever do a “show us what’s in your bag!” magazine article on me, because the contents of my bag wouldn’t even fit on a page.
I am happy to announce that Ju-Ju-Be is letting us give away a brand-new Be Prepared bag, a $180 value. There it is below, getting its photo snapped in our office! Want to know more about the bag? There’s a cute Ju-Ju-Be video that explains all the features, from the memory-foam shoulder strap to the special pocket for your sunglasses. All you have to do to be entered to win is leave a comment at this post. Maybe tell me if you’re using a diaper bag, or just turned a regular purse into your diaper bag…I’m always curious what other moms are doing. You have between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, February 13th to comment, up to one comment a day. Then we’ll randomly chose a winner. Here are the complete rules.
And while I have you…please also vote for your favorite stroller and car seat! There are great prizes there as well. Goody luck!