Archive for ‘must have monday’

January 17, 2011

>must have monday: csn stores giveaway

>It’s Monday and MLK day, so what a better time to talk about all the awesome things CSN Stores has to offer (and giveaway some $$ to spend there too). They have everything one could need. Do you need a laptop messenger bag? They’ve got a huge selection. Baby gear? Check! Bed linens? Got them too! They are just about a one stop shop. Really, with over 200 CSN Store sites you are bound to find something you need.

So do you want to shop there? How about shopping there on them? Even better right?
The people over at CSN Stores are giving one of my lucky readers $45 to spend on one of there sites. And all you have to do is respond to this post (make sure you provide your email address if you log in through Facebook or Twitter). Easy breezy!
For those of you who really, REALLY want to win, here are a few ways to earn extra entries:
* Follow @MinimalMom on Twitter. I promise to follow you back. Leave a comment on this post with your Twitter handle. If you already follow, lucky you! Just leave a comment with your Twitter handle.
* “Like” Minimal Mom on Facebook. Leave a comment on this post with your Facebook name. If you already “like” me, lucky you! Just leave a comment with your Facebook name.
* Tweet the following: Enter to #win $45 to #CSN Stores from @MinimalMom #giveaway http://www.minimalmom.net. You may do this once daily for an additional daily entry. Leave a comment on this post for each daily entry.
* Facebook the following: Enter to win $45 to CSN Stores from Minimal Mom. http://www.minimalmom.net You may do this once daily for an additional daily entry. Leave a comment on this post for each daily entry.

Contest ends Monday January 24th at 11:59 p.m. Good luck!
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December 27, 2010

>must have monday: prickly play porcupine + giveaway

>Hayden received the Prickly Play Prorcupine by Alex Jr. from her Great Aunt for Christmas and she just loves it!

http://www.Amazon.com

Not only is this cloth toy colorful and inviting to play with, it’s spikes are full of different things, like beans, bells and crinkly paper, but also has a mirror, squeeks and honks. It’s a wonderful toy for sensory play for babies starting at three months. And guess what? At nine months Hayden is still intrigued!

http://www.Amazon.com

As a “Happy New Year” giveaway, I’d like to give a new Prickly Play Porcupine away to one of my lucky readers. All you have to do is comment on this post and tell me you want it (be sure to include your email address). Easy breezy!

For those of you who really, REALLY want this toy, here are a few extra things you can do beyond the main entry:

* Follow @MinimalMom on Twitter and leave a comment with your Twitter handle (I promise to follow you back). If you already follow me, lucky you! All you need to do is leave a comment.

* Like Minimal Mom on Facebook and leave a comment with your Facebook name. If you already like me, lucky you! All you need to do is leave a comment.

* Tweet the following: Enter to win a Prickly Play Porcupine infant toy from @minimalmom. http://www.minimalmom.net You may do this once daily for an additional entry.

* Facebook the following: Enter to win a Prickly Play Porcupine infant toy from @minimalmom. http://www.minimalmom.net You may do this once daily for an additional entry.

Contest ends Monday January 3, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Good luck!

The product I am giving away is from our own personal resources. This review and giveaway product was not provided by Alex Jr. We just like the product!

December 13, 2010

>must have monday: chiquita banana’s (giveaway)

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It’s official! I am a Chiquita Banana Mom!  Just assembling my snow hat top with fruit.

The people over at Chiquita Banana contacted me about becoming a Chiquita Banana mom and it was a no brainer. Chiquita Banana’s are an every shopping trip purchase for us. Hadley loves to eat them out of the peal. We mush them up for Hayden. Blend them in smoothies. Take them along for snacks. Or add as a side dish  to a meal (usually a peanut butter sandwich).
You may already know this, but bananas have natural sugar that helps give you that boost of energy in the morning (two can actually fuel you through a 90 minute workout), they have more digestible complex  carbohydrates than any other fruit (which is easier to digest than protein), naturally full of potassium, manganese, vitamins A, B6, C, E and K, and high in fiber. They are, basically, perfect! Especially for breakfast, a snack or pre-workout boost. PLUS, it’s an easy food to mash up for baby (especially on the go).
The people over at Chiquita sent over a Chiquita Banana Mom kit that includes a cute book about the benefits of bananas (including information on how to use bananas through their different ripening stages), recipe cards with recipes using bananas (I can’t wait to use theses -went to the store yesterday), Chiquita Banana storage bags, a coupon for FREE Chiquita Bananas, three baby bibs, baby/toddler feeding set that includes a bowl (with lid), sippy cup, fork and spoon (we can always use more of those!) and a eco-friendly shopping bag.
And guess what? They want to give away five of these awesome official Chiquita Banana kits to five of my readers! Here’s what you need to do:
Main Entry: Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about bananas. Can as simple as “yummy”. Be sure to leave your email address so you can be contacted if your name is drawn. Easy banana breazy.
For those of you who really, REALLY want to win, here are a few other things you can do beyond the main entry (you must do the main entry):
* Follow @MinimalMom on Twitter (I promise to follow back). Leave one comment with your Twitter handle. If you already follow, lucky you, all you need to do is leave the comment.
* Like Minimal Mom on Facebook. Leave one comment with the name you use on Facebook. If you already like me on Facebook, lucky you, all you need to do is leave the comment.
* Tweet the following: I want to be a Chiquita Banana Mom. You can be too! http://www.minimalmom.net @minimalmom #babyfood #moms You may do this once daily for an additional entry.
* Facebook the following: I want to be a Chiquita Banana Mom, you can be too! Visit http://www.minimalmom.net. You may do this once daily for an additional entry.
Contest ends Monday December 20th, 11:59 p.m. Good luck!

Disclaimer: This giveaway is hosted by Chiquita Banana’s. I am not compensated for the post, the opinions I write are my own.


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November 1, 2010

>must have monday: csn stores giveaway

>Have you guys checked out CSN Stores? They are a family of over 200 online stores carrying everything from bedroom linens to kitchen bar stools to baby gear. They have an incredible amount of items and wonderful prices. 


And now with Halloween behind us, and holiday shopping upon us, the nice people over at CSN Stores are giving one of my readers $45 to spend in their online stores! Of course, if you don’t want to use it for holiday gifts you certainly don’t have to… 

Here’s what you have to do: Just comment on my post (be sure to include your email address) and tell me that you want it. Easy peasy, right?!

For those of you who really, REALLY want to win the $45, here are some extra things you can do:

Visit CSN Stores and tell me what you would spend $45 on. Be sure to include a link. You may do this once daily for additional entries, but every link must be different.

Follow @MinimalMom on Twitter. If you already follow, lucky you! All you have to do is comment on this post with you Twitter handle.

Like Minimal Mom on Facebook. If you already like, lucky you! All you have to do is comment on this post with your Facebook name.

* Tweet the following about this giveaway: Enter to #win $45 to CSN Stores from @MinimalMom #giveaway http://tinyurl.com/26reacu  You may do this once daily for an additional entry. Be sure to comment with your Twitter handle.

* Facebook the following about this giveaway: Enter to win $45 to CSN Stores from Minimal Mom! http://tinyurl.com/26reacu  You may do this once daily for an additional entry. 

Contest ends November 8th at 11:59 p.m. Good luck!
October 25, 2010

>’tis the season

>That’s right… Halloween is next weekend, which means we start to go almost full force into the Christmas season. Many start their holiday shopping. Get Christmas photos taken. Have holiday cards designed. The season is most certainly upon us… 


I was never a Christmas cards shopper. Until I had children. It seems like it’s the right time to send out pictures to friends and family whom don’t get to see quarterly photos because, well, I am just that lazy (or as I like to believe, busy – I have two under two!). So I take a little time to find just the right holiday photo cards that best represents our family.


Shutterfly has an AMAZING amount of holiday cards, there is sure to be something to fit your needs, whatever holiday you celebrate. And they are SUPER AFFORDABLE! (Big hurray sounding out over here). Check out some of my favorites:


I love the Snow Flurries Cocoa holiday card. I love the brown tones and the three panels for photos, wonderful when you have two kids to feature and a family. I also love that it’s a “HAPPY HOLIDAY’S” card versus a “MERRY CHRISTMAS” card. While we are not religious, we do celebrate Christmas, but like to wish those in our network who do not celebrate Christmas a happy holiday. It’s just something we strive for.



The Holiday Windows card is to die for. Maybe because they picked the most beautiful picture to display in it and my heart is partial because I have two little girls. But I love the simplicity and the option to display a photo of my girls together.

I also am in love with the What a Year card. I love that it allows for three photos and a quick snippit of text to share with folks the highlights of your year. What a wonderful way to share, without having to send an extra piece of paper or write a note on the back.
Do you want 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly? Click here to go to Shutterfly for information on how you can get 50 free cards this holiday season, and make sure to select Clever 1000 as the referral source.

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.
October 18, 2010

>must have monday: simplisse breast pump review & giveaway

>Let’s talk boobs! In the sense of breast feeding, that is. 


I’ve been nursing (with a five month break) since summer of 2008 when Hadley arrived. And it can be frustrating in the beginning. Even with baby number two. Learning how to nurse your baby. Your baby is learning how to nurse. Your nipples get cracked and bloody. And some of us lucky folks get mastitis, which is just the best thing ever!

And during this frustrating time (and for many of us for several months after) we have to pump our breasts. Which may just be up on the top of the list with mastitis. Not only is it time consuming when you have just delivered a slimy blob of joy who cries every two hours to eat, but wont latch onto your breast. but it can be rather painful on tender nipples that aren’t yet broken in. The hard nipple cups pinch and the suction feels like it’s going to pull your stomach out of your nipples.

So when I heard from Simplisse about their “comfortable” breast pumps, I had to give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised. Developed by a team of lactation consultants and mom’s, Simplisse’s patented “Super Soft Baby Face Flexible Breast Cups” conform to mom’s breast and are designed to mimic how baby would nurse, minimizing pinching and tugging.

They mailed me their manual breast pump companion to give a go. I’ve never used one, but there are occasions I wish I had one to just make myself more “comfortable” in between feeds or while weaning. I decided to try the pump while Hadley was playing in the tub. And while it was certainly a longer process (and more laborious) just because it’s a manual pump, it was incredibly comfortable. Honestly, I thought it was too comfortable to be true and it wasn’t going to work, but a couple minutes into the pumping, my milk came and, believe it or not, MY NIPPLES DIDN’T HURT! I wish this product was available when I was getting ready for Hadley’s arrival because I would have jumped on their double electric pump (maybe I will)!

Here’s the super cool part (listen up lactating mom’s and mom’s to be):

The nice people over at Simplisse are giving three (3) of my readers a manual breast pump companion! Did you read that, 3 PEOPLE WILL WIN A BREAST PUMP! 

Plus, 25 people who enter will be selected at random to receive a Simplisse Sample Pack that includes a selection of their line of breast milk storage bags, disposable breast pads and a sample size nipple cream.


Here’s what you have to do to enter: 

Visit Simplisse’s website and comment with a link to another product you would like from their breast feeding collection. Easy, right?

For those of you who really, REALLY want a breast pump, here are some more things you can do for additional entries:

* Follow @MinimalMom on Twitter for one additional entry. If you already follow, lucky you! All you have to do is comment here. Be sure to leave a comment with your Twitter handle (and I’ll be sure to follow you back).

* Like Minimal Mom on Facebook for one additional entry. If you already like, lucky you! All you have to do is comment here. Be sure to leave a comment with your Facebook name.

* Tweet the following: Win a Simplisse breast pump & sample pack @MinimalMom. #bfcafe #breastfeeding #giveaway http://tinyurl.com/29f6kjz You may do this once daily for an additional entry. Be sure to leave your Twitter handle in the comments section.


* Share the following on Facebook: Win a Simplisse breast pump from Minimal Mom! There will be 3 winners, and 25 will receive a Simplisse sample pack. http://tinyurl.com/29f6kjz You may do this once daily for an additional entry. Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments section.


Contest ends Monday October 25th, 11:59 p.m. CST. Good luck!


*Disclaimer: Simplisse provided a manual breast pump companion for me to try and provide an honest review, as well as breast pumps and sample packs for the giveaway. The opinions I provided are my own and I was not compensated for them.
October 11, 2010

>must have monday: sweet olivia giveaway

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Do you have a girly girl? Suddenly, we do. Hadley is into hair ribbons, clippies, dresses and tutus. She LOVES princesses and love, love LOVES ballerinas (which she calls “allerinas”). We have some dress up clothes that we let her play around in, and I let her have her Halloween costume two months early to play in. Hadley is delighted with everything girly!

So you can imagine how quick I pushed the reply button when I received an email from Jennifer at Sweet Olivia! She makes the cutest handmade uber girly things for little girls, toddlers and babies. Check these out:

OH MY GOODNESS! Right? I fell off my chair when she shared some of this wonderfulness with us. And when she told me she wanted to share some of it with one lucky reader. Yes, that’s right, Jennifer is giving one of my readers $30 to spend on the Sweet Olivia website. 


Here’s what you have to do: Just comment on this post and tell me you want it! Easy breezy!

Of course, there are other ways to increase your chances of winning (be sure to leave a separate comment for each as the comment is your entry):

* Like Sweet Olivia AND Minimal Mom on Facebook (you must like both to receive this entry). Leave one comment on this post and include your Facebook name.

* Visit the Sweet Olivia website and leave one comment with a link to a product you would like to purchase.

* Follow Minimal Mom on Twitter (I’ll follow you back). Leave one comment with your Twitter handle.

* Tweet the following about this giveaway: Enter to #win $30 of your choice of tutus & hair bows for your little girl from SweetOlivia at @minimalmom http://tinyurl.com/2bxehja You may do this once daily for an additional entry. Leave one comment for each tweet with your Twitter handle.


* Promote the giveaway on your Facebook network with the following: Enter to win $30 of your choice of tutus, hair accessories and more for your little girl from Sweet Olivia. Visit http://tinyurl.com/2bxehja to enter. You may do this once daily for an additional entry. Leave one comment for each daily status update.


Contest ends Monday October 18th at 11:59 p.m. CST. Good luck!


Disclaimer: Sweet Olivia provided Minimal Mom with product to review and giveaway. The opinions I provided are my own.

October 4, 2010

>must have monday: club kid drop in childcare

>As many of my readers know, we recently moved to Minnesota with our two little girls. Far away from family. No support. So one of our first tasks was to find a baby sitter, which we found a wonderful one whom we lean on every so often to help us with both the girls. Which is super AWESOME!

The other thing we (or I) wanted was to find a preschool for Hadley. She has really loved going to the daycare at our gyms, so why not put some structure to it, right? The biggest challenge we are having is that most of the preschools that will take a child less than 30 months old are part of churches. And no offenses meant to religions or God or anything like that, the church part is simply not our thing. So we don’t think it’s right to send our children to a school run by a church. (I’m not looking for a debate here… I respect the church thing, I am spiritual, please do not judge with your comments. I do not judge those who enjoy church).

The preschool we are really interested in is run through the city school district, which is top notch. One of the main reasons we bought a house here. BUT, she needs to be 30 months (which she will be in January). So, we must wait, with fingers crossed that we can get her started in the Winter.

In the mean time, we discovered a local drop-in childcare center called Club Kid. It was totally by accident that we found it. We were looking for a specific store in the same shopping center and came upon it. Jonathan and I took turns taking a tour inside and immediately fell in love!

Not only were the staff super sweet, warm and welcoming, they had all sorts of great activities for kids. Slides. Play houses, Dolls. Crafts. Movies. They even have an area for the little kids. Tiny little potties for potty training (and yes, they will help encourage that). They will feed your kiddo. AND THEY CHANGE DIAPERS!

We were sold. And Hadley was, too. She asks to “play with kids” everyday, so there are times we drop her off for an hour or two just to do that.

Now you are probably thinking “sounds expensive.” Nope. $8 hour, $8.50 for kids under 30 months (they take kids starting at 16 months all the way to 10 years).  And they have great rates for those with more than one child. PLUS, if you forget diapers, they will use one of theirs for a small fee. And you can have them cook up a hot meal for your kid for a small fee too. It’s so easy!

But the biggest thing I can stress is the level of comfort I have in these women to make sure my child is safe. I feel good every time I drop her off. I know she has lots to do, kids to play with, nice people to comfort her when she is upset and yummy chicken nuggets to eat (she never ate them before she had them at Club Kid).

So, in a sense, I treat Club Kid like a preschool. I know there are some major differences, but the fact that she likes going somewhere without me is awesome. The confidence they are helping me instill in her is priceless. Not to mention it is so much easier to go grocery shopping without her in tow.

Now where is this place, you are probably wondering. Club Kid has two locations in the Twin Cities Metro (sorry to those of you out of state, I’m sure there is something like it near you): Minnetonka and a brand new center in Edina. Click here for addresses and phone numbers. And they have great hours, open everyday of the week, and in the evenings Monday through Saturday (which makes a date night possible for most – not us – we have a six month old, too).

Mom’s and Dad’s in the Twin Cities, be sure to check out Club Kid and tell them Minimal Mom sent you! You won’t regret it!

Last day to enter to win a Pea Wee Baby Swaddle Buddy Suit. All who enter will receive a 20% discount code in addition to being entered to win. Click here to enter the giveaway.
September 27, 2010

>must have monday: swaddle buddy suit giveaway

>

Hadley (my, now, two year-old) hated the swaddle. With her freakish Popeye strength, she managed to break out of every tightly wound burrito baby swaddle you could put on her. Perhaps it was because I couldn’t get on her quite as tightly as the nurses could, but even when they did it, she busted out. She loathed them. And has never been a good sleeper. NEVER!

So when Hayden joined us, I vowed to encourage good sleep, any way I could. Including swaddling. And with some coaching from the hospital nurses, I was able to wrap her up in a bullet proof swaddle, which proved to be beneficial for her (and us!).

Now, at six months (yesterday), we still on occasion wrap her in a swaddle. Only on the nights where she seems fidgety from her nerve endings firing on all cylinders. And it still helps. However, she doesn’t like her legs covered…

So when I connected with Tamara at Pea Wee Baby and learned of her swaddle collection, I was thrilled to see their Swaddle Buddy Suit. Basically, it’s a swaddle system made of soft cotton fabric and velcro fasteners that wraps around the upper body and torso, snuggling baby’s flailing arms and giving them that cozy sense of being in the womb.

I was sold! I have a baby who does well with the swaddle, but doesn’t like her legs covered. PERFECT!

Tamara was gracious enough to make us an adorable owl print Swaddle Buddy Suit to try out. And as you can tell by the theme of my blog design I HEART OWLS and am forcing them on my child (she’ll have an opinion of her own to the like of Dora or Princesses, so I take advantage of this time while I can).

The package arrived within a few days and I was excited to wrap Hayden up in it. I got it on her, she fell fast asleep and I realized that I put it on her backwards. But she slept great! The other night she was having a fidgety night, so I seized the opportunity and put it on her the RIGHT way and she slept wonderfully again! Not to mention, she looked so cute wrapped up in the owls.

NOW ON TO THE FUN STUFF!

Tamara is giving away to one of my lucky readers a Swaddle Buddy Suit to use on your little one (or give as a gift to a new mom). All you have to do to enter is comment on this post telling me you want it. Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win PLUS Tamara will email all that enter the contest a 20% off discount code. Cool, huh? (But you have to enter and leave your email address to get the discount code… And to be entered to win.)

For those of you who really, REALLY want to win, here are some other opportunities beyond the main entry. Feel free to do one or all! Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry.

* Follow Pea Wee Baby and Minimal Mom on Twitter. Leave your Twitter handle in the comment. I’ll follow you back!
* Like Pea Wee Baby and Minimal Mom on Facebook. Leave your Facebook name in comment.
* Visit Pea Wee Baby’s website and leave a link to one of their other swaddle products and tell me what you like about it.
* Tweet the following: Help #baby #sleep with @PeaWeeBaby Swaddle Buddy Suit from @MinimalMom http://www.minimalmom.net. You may do this once daily for an additional daily entry. Leave your Twitter handle in your comment.
* Vote for Minimal Mom on Top Baby Blogs. It just takes two clicks and you may do this once daily for an additional daily entry.
* Grab my button and place on your blog. The code is in the right sidebar. Receive three additional entries (leave three separate comments).

Contest ends Monday October 4th at 11:59 p.m. CST. Good luck!

Disclaimer: The opinions I provided are my own. Pea Wee Baby provided the product to me for review and for the giveaway.

September 20, 2010

>must have monday: we’re headed to the zoo

>So I won’t be doing a formal post today. But I do want to remind you  that I’m giving away $45 to CSN Stores. Contest ends on Thursday. Click here for the contest!

Good Luck!