Archive for ‘products’

December 17, 2010

>national free shipping day: somersault snacks promotion

>Today, December 17th is National Free Shipping Day. Which means there are over 1700 merchants that will ship your purchases for free, today! Visit their website for more info.

And today, Somersault Snack’s is participating in this awesome event with free shipping and a very special holiday promotion to help stuff your loved ones stockings:

Holiday Snack Pack – enjoy (12) 0.5 oz packages of your favorite Somersault Flavor (Chez Cocoa, S.S. Sea Salt or Santa Fe Salsa) or a variety pack of all three flavors for $5.99. That’s 20% off the regular price.  Click here to shop.

Free Shipping – enjoy free shipping on anything you purchase at Somersault’s (including the Holiday Snack Pack) by entering the coupon code “holidayship” at check out. (Shipping offer valid today, December 17th, only).All orders placed today, December 17th, by 12:00 p.m. PST are guaranteed to arrive by Christmas (but the free shipping applies all day).

Happy Healthy Holiday Snacking!

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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 12, 2010

>the great bottle debate

>I know I’ve written about our adventures in bottles before. But did I ever mention that when I was pregnant with Hadley how paralyzed I was about registering for a bottle? So much so that I didn’t register for any and we dealt with it after she arrived.

We tried a total of two bottles – the Adiri and Born Free. We settled on the Born Free, not that they were used much until she was a year old and then we put sippy lids on them. WE STILL USE THEM! Two years later.

So when we were waiting for Hayden’s arrival, I picked up a pack of Tommee Tippee bottles from Babies R Us to have on hand. The clerk informed me that they were good bottles, especially for breastfed babies. I figured they wouldn’t be used much, they were affordable, so why not? I got two bottles for the price of one Born Free.

Little did we know when she arrived that we would have the feeding trouble that we did and would need to use bottles as frequently as we do. The Tommee Tippee’s leaked. And leaked. And leaked. And were super annoying.

I asked for a recommendation from our lactation consultant and she recommended the Breastflow by First Years. Basically, the Breastflow has two nipple chambers that baby has to suck extra hard to get the milk through both into her mouth. Makes sense, simulates nursing. Hayden did well until we had to feed her formula (long story as to why, since I had oodles of pumped milk in the freezer) and a chunk that didn’t get mixed got lodged in the nipple and she stopped sucking. And refused to suck after that.

So I found one of Hadley’s Born Free nipples and fed her with that. SUCCESS! I picked up a few more to add to our collection. But of course, Hadley was not happy that her baby sister was drinking from her bottles. After all, she was “eating momma’s boobs” too, which was what she used to do (and may I add, LOVED). I had to once again find another solution.

And Avent we went.  These worked well. Comparable in price, perhaps a little cheaper. But it curbed toddler tantrums and the baby was eating. We were set, even though I liked the Born Free’s so much more.

Then one day a couple months a go I was in a pinch. Out with the baby without the bottle, and she was refusing to nurse. So I bought a NUK bottle, washed it in the bathroom and prepared a bottle with the formula I had in my purse. And she really took to it. Plus, the bottle cost around $4 (vs. $10). I grabbed several more!

So here’s where we are now… I really like the NUK because Hayden will chew on it as we embark on teething adventures and can hold the small bottles. I’m about to send the Avents, as I did the Tommee Tippee’s and Breastflows, to the recycle bins because they leak around the rim. And if I could convince myself it was OK to go spend $10 a bottle for Born Free’s to replace all of our bottles, I would. But since we are getting close to sippy cup time, I will not be able to be comfortable with that.

But those original Born Free bottles keep on ticking!

What bottles do you like? Are you a bottle manufacturer and would like us to review your bottle? Comment below or send me an email at minimalmom@gmail.com
_______________________________________

Don’t forget to enter the Sweet Olivia giveaway of $30 to use at SweetOlivia.com

August 22, 2010

>playroom progress

>We have a lovely, finished basement with another bedroom. We went round and round about how to use the space and we ultimately settled on a playroom that could double as a guest room when we need it to be.

I picked up a futon at Ikea with a slip cover that is easily washed or inexpensively replaced, if needed. After all, I have a grubby two year old and one that will be grubby as soon as she is able. But it’s cute, was very affordable and works nicely as a couch or a full size bed (we are putting a mattress pad and topper to make it even more comfy for guests).

The side table, for now, is a little table and chairs set we picked up for Hadley at Babies R Us. She tends to tote the thing around the basement, turning it upside down, stacking the chairs oddly. I put a lamp on it in hopes she will leave it in place, but I suspect that will not be the case. My next run to Ikea I think I will pick up a white side table as we have a very cute white cube shelf we have yet to assemble for the other side of the room.

The metal letters were a bit of a splurge at the Minnetonka General Store. I love them and thought they were a cute touch for a room we are trying to encourage learning and creativity. I considered putting them in our living room, but the playroom just seems the right home for them.

Before we moved into the home, I bought a toy caddy from Target that has removable storage bins. The unit has been annoying as Hadley tends to empty them on the floor, then make a pathway with the upside down bins to walk across. I have tempered this behavior some by putting the bin in the closet, as well as her two toy baby strollers and toy pack and play. She brings them out when she wants them, and they go back in (at least we try) when she is done.

Like I mentioned above, we purchased a cute Ikea cube shelf that we will lay on it’s side to house the many children’s books we have accumulated. They are all over the house and even a few boxes have yet to be unpacked. I can’t wait to get this together.

What do you think? What do you think the room needs?

April 23, 2010

>bottle maham

>

I remember when I was pregnant and preparing my registry for my upcoming baby shower I was completely overwhelmed. There are so many gadgets and do-dads that a mom’s head can spin. But I remember the one thing that just about made my head spin off my neck was selecting bottles.
There are bottles that prevent gas. Bottles that for colic. Glass bottles. BPA free plastic bottles (which they all are, now). Bottles that fed the baby without your assistance. So many choices… What was a mom-to-be to do?
I planned (and did) to nurse, but thought I should be prepared in the event that didn’t happen – immediately or ever. So I registered. I thought I wanted glass bottles, but I got the opinions on those. And I was in some agreement. Since plastics had all become BPA free, it made sense to venture down that road for when we get to the point that the baby could hold their own bottle. Finally, I settled on the basic, BPA free Evenflo bottle that didn’t have any bells and whistles. At least big bucks weren’t spent should it not be used OR it be the wrong bottle all together.
Then Hadley arrived. And while we did the nursing juggle the first couple of weeks, she was able to nurse. But these bottles… The no frills bottles fed her so much quicker that she preferred them over my boob, making nursing a bit of a challenge. But could you blame her? She’s a hungry growing baby, who would want to work for food?
Off to Babies R Us I went… Again. In search of something else. Something that made her work for her food until we could make it work together. There I stood. With all my baby gear that I thought I had to have on me… Baby in the car seat, popped in the shopping cart. The hated diaper bag with enough diapers and wipes for a week, plus two changes of clothes (It was a ridiculous amount of stuff and I learned to minimize in the coming weeks). This nice woman with an older newborn saw that my new mommy head was about to spin again and offere
d her two cents. “Try the Born Free.” Of course, they were the priciest of the bunch at $10 per bottle. But I grabbed the $50 starter pack and off to the counter I went to shell the cash out.
The same day, my mother arrived to help with Hadley. We went to Day One baby center, which was up the street from our house. It’s one of those one stop shops… The sell clothes, strollers, toys, baby wearing gear, books. They offer lactation consulting,
baby care classes, and new mom groups. It’s an awesome place (and pri
cey, too). There, my mother purchased a bottle that looked like a boob. Literally. It looked like a big ole boob. And that sucker was pricey, too. Like $14 or so.
So we went home with our wares and took them for a test drive. The boob leaked. Like my boobs were leaking, only worse. Which was a pisser considering it was so expensive. That boob found it’s way into the trash can that evening. But the Born Free seemed to slow my ravenous child down.
We still use those Born Free bottles with sippy lids. They are the only cups that Hadley will drink milk from. She will use regular cups for juice and water, but milk must be in the Born Free’s and nothing else can go into them.
With Hayden… Well, nursing is a different struggle. The lactation consultant recommended that we use First Years Breastflow bottles. These bottles are $5 or so a bottle ($12 for a three pack) and are awesome for a baby you are trying to teach to nurse. Maybe more awesome than the Born Free’s. Basically, there are two nipple chambers that the baby has to suck the milk through, replicating what it is to nurse. The feeds take some time because the babies have to work, but considering I am trying to get her onto the boob I feel like she isn’t getting used to a quick flow.
When moms-to-be ask my opinion on bottles I recommend the following… Wait till the baby is here! Figure out if they will nurse. If they are gassy. Don’t spend a lot of money on bottles until you are sure you know the kind of eater your child is. And don’t let the process make you lose your head… Your baby will eat, whether its from your boob, or a Born Free, or Breastflow, or Dr. Browns, or Evenflo. It will all work out.
April 20, 2010

>gadget love

>Greetings from my new iPad!

I don’t know when it happened, but I became a sucker for gadgets, especially Apple gadgets. I’ve been a Mac user most of my professional career and have probably owned a good handful of their products.

I made the mistake of test driving an iPad at Best Buy on Sunday. It was all I could talk about, which was probably a nice reprieve for Jonathan from my normal convo of boobs and milk and latching. Obviously, I was in love with this thing! And he fed my new obsession by purchasing me one as a surprise yesterday.

Things I like about the iPad:
– I love that it syncs with my Mac Mini desktop, keeping data updated on both machines. Since Hayden’s arrival, I have been using my old Mac laptop, that is beyond glitchy, doesn’t stay online well, and doesn’t sync with my desktop. But its handy for laying in bed with nursing babies.
– Who wouldn’t love it’s sleek, pretty design!
– There are lots of cool, free (or low cost) apps.
– It supports iWork, even though I will likely stick to my desktop for projects that require iWork.
– Its portable… In my purse!

Things that could be better:
– I wish there was a camera for still photos and to iChat. I bet future models will have this feature.
– the keyboard is a little cumbersome, but I will get used to it. I just don’t know how they can make it better. At least they offer an external keyboard.
– The cost of some apps and books.
– A USB port might be handy, but then again its meant to be an addition to your computer, not just your computer.

All in all, a really neato burrito gadget!

April 11, 2010

>double strollers and mini vans

>
I learned something about myself when Hadley was tiny…  That I really am a “less is more” kind of gal.  Despite my love of purses, I never really carried a diaper bag.  Strollers were cool, but unless we were on a long walk, a trip to the mall or other major outing, I didn’t use one.  I preferred the sling, and I think Hadley did too.

Naturally, when we learned of Hayden, I really didn’t think upgrading our beautiful stroller to a double was necessary.  I would put Hayden in a sling and push Hadley in the stroller. Sounds like a good plan, right?  Until  you realize, on that extended trip to the mall, that you have no place to put your slinged baby.  What if you needed to pee?  What would you do?  (Well, I do know how to conquer that with a sling, but it’s a legitimate concern)
So I set forth to find a second hand double stroller on Craigslist.  Double strollers are like mini vans to me…  A little too “mommy” for me.  Not that I am a young hipster by any means, but they just aren’t me.  And being the minimal person that I am, it is just way too much equipment for me.  Needless to say I was being quite particular with this purchase.
I looked at a used double stroller that was so incredibly long that you almost needed a back up alarm like on big trucks.  While it was a nice, clean, used stroller for $100, I could see it would annoy me so much that I would never use it.
I looked at a new high end stroller that was about the size of a single stroller and has a lower sling for a second child… Very cool, but it would always have two pieces (which on our single stroller was the case and somewhat annoying – especially at the airport) and what happens
 when the kid who has to sit in the lower seat wants to see out. Not to mention, once you got all the appropriate pieces purchased, the system was upwards of $1000.
I settled on a new stroller system that is all one piece… The City Mini Jogger. It’s a double wide, but fits through standard sized door ways.  The seats operate separately and can sit straight up, or lie all the way flat, which is an excellent feature for a baby/toddler

 situation.  A car seat adaptor is available, but I am not one to lug a car seat anywhere out of a car, so we just lay the seat back and we put in an infant cozy to help keep Hayden in place.  This stroller basically folds in half for storage.  It’s still double wide, but folds up pretty flat so it really doesn’t take up any more room than a standard stroller.  While it’s a bit heavy – it is designed to hold 150 lbs or so of kid – it steers beautifully. Since we received the stroller, we have been looking for reasons to take it out.  I’ve been on a few walks through town, been to Target (much easier than trying to wrestle a shopping cart) and the mall, all with great success.  Also, Hadley thinks it’s pretty cool!  I would recommend this stroller to parents with two kiddos who are looking for a simple solution.
Now… I don’t know if I will ever be convinced that a mini van is a good idea for me.  
But I guess I should never say never.
November 5, 2009

>dora!

>
After some thought and in an effort to coax my little one into sleeping in her bed all night long, I broke down and bought her Dora the Explorer sheets to put on her twin sized blow up mattress. What a hit! She sat on it for a half an hour pointing out each and every Dora, saying “DORA!”

We put her in her crib with the Dora pillow and she slept sound for a few hours. She woke up and cried and cried and cried to the point that I gave in because it was clear she was not going back to sleep. I picked her up and she shouted “DORA!” I followed her direction and grabbed her pillow and brought her into our room where her Dora covered twin blow up mattress is. We laid there for a bit before she asked her Daddy for some milk. She snuggled in the covers and enjoyed her milk and watched the evening news with me. Eventually she asked to get into the bed with me and off to sleep she went.
She woke this morning at 5:30 a.m. (damned time change) shouting “DORA!” Tossed her pillow onto the floor and climbed onto her Dora mattress before she decided that she was ready to get up. We are now dragging this Dora pillow around the house.
Even though we didn’t achieve the outcome I hoped for last night, I am delighted about the $20 purchase because she is so excited about it. Oh well. Parents for hundreds of years slept with their kiddos, right? Perhaps the world was a better place then for that reason. Who knows… In the mean time, my kid is happy.
October 18, 2009

>g (I’M ANNOYED) diapers

>So I made the investment to go back to G Diapers for the sake of my kiddos now rashing “who-hah” since we stopped nursing. They are cotton, non-bleached and lets her skin breathe. Makes sense that it’s a good investment, right?

G Diapers are down right impossible to locate in a store, so I ordered them off of Diapers.com (very cool site, if you aren’t familiar) and they ended up being cheaper than what I would have paid in the store. But I have four packs of them and I am considering discontinuing use, yet again.
Hadley seems to be in between sizes. The mediums should be the right size, but they seem like they are snug to avoid the velcro from sitting on her skin. The larges are too big, but we can fasten them so the velcro doesn’t irritate. BUT, they leak. This is the third time this week and they weren’t on a horrible amount of time. At least it’s just pee and her poop is pretty solid these days, but it’s annoying! G Diapers are not cheap!
So we are going to go on a rotation between the traditional diaper and the G Diaper. Maybe that way her skin can breathe, we’ll feel better about what we dispose of 50% of the time and we’ll cycle through the investment I made through Diapers.com.
SO FRUSTRATING!
October 15, 2009

>new boots

>
Big purchase from Target, but will be well worth the buy when we are in Boston in December. Ugg like boots and she is insisting on wearing them. LOVE!