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UPS guy Orlando arrives at our Newburgh headquarters bearing gifts every day–books, dvds, toys, baby slings, home decor, and more. Last night I took home an Ocean Wonders Jumperoo  from Fisher-Price. It qualifies as Mack’s second review assignment. (The first was the Spa Baby Eco Tub. It’s not much more than an oversized plastic bucket, but unlike his regular reclining baby tub, it did bring a big smile to his face. One tip–beware water displacement. When baby decides to sit, he can end up under water!)

Drool-worthy configuration of plastic and metal
Assembly was easy enough, and required no tools until the batteries were installed. All baby products with batteries have the compartment screwed shut, in case some of you didn’t know. The Jumperoo was a big hit, with my partner reporting high drool levels and much focussed attention on the various doodads.

Plastic Footprint
Although I love seeing him happy, I do get discouraged about so much plastic and metal being used for just a short time–once baby is 25 pounds or can climb out or touch the ground, he’s no longer eligible. At the rate Mack is going, he could be out of this thing in a month. Coincidentally, I came across an interesting site yesterday, Swap Mommas, that proposes to help with this problem. I know there is also the free section of craigslist but does anyone know of a similar local exchange just for baby stuff?

What a neat idea! We received BenDomino from Blue Orange Games for the holidays this year. It is played like a regular dominoes game but the pieces are bent into a kind of kidney shape. They also have colors on them instead of the traditional black and white. The game actually is more challenging to play this way because you can’t turn the end pieces on a double like in a regular game. My 10 year old son beat his father the first three games they played. This is now a popular game in my house and I very much recommmend this game. You can visit their website at www.blueorangegames.com.

We received a new type of milk in the office yesterday. Being a person who does not deal well with dairy, I decided to give it a try. I was very pleasantly surprised. I opened the Vanilla flavored and it was quite good. It has a distinct flavor of almond with some nice creamy, vanilla taste added in. Best of all, there is no aftertaste like soy milk. My son and I actually drank a cup (unheard of for me to do) and I had no ill effects that I would normally experience with dairy. This product is also gluten-free for those folks with a gluten allergy. We also gave the chocolate flavor a whirl and it was just as tasty. They have an original flavor also. You can buy this online at the Blue Diamond website for $28.95 for a case of 12. That really is just about what you would pay for a quart of milk these days. All in all, I say 2 thumbs up to the Blue Diamond folks for their yummy Almond Breeze® milk.

mybagandmebookAfter getting My Bag and Me in the office, I decided to take it for a test drive. I took it home and gave the book to my son. We read the book and then went shopping. No time like the present, you know. It is a great way to teach kids about saving the planet from ourselves. We had a good time picking out our groceries and then packing them into the bag at checkout. The bag is sturdy enough to hold some pretty heavy stuff so you don’t have to worry about breakage. So, I say to make every day Earth Day and get yourself a reusable bag or 2 of your own and help reduce waste for all of us.

Layout 1We got some yummy products in the office last week. They are Aunt Trudy’s fillo pocket sandwiches from The Fillo Factory. Flaky, a little crunchy, the ingredients inside fresh, these are worth the price. I tried the Spinach & Feta and the Broccoli & Cheddar. My daughter gave the Cheese & Tomato Pizza a try and reported it to be very flavorful and fresh. I definitely recommend this product to anyone looking to eat healthier. They are fast and delicious, my kind of food. Check out their website, http://www.fillofactory.com, which lists ingredients and nutritional information for all of the products. There are 11 other terrific sounding combinations. I will buy these the next time I am out. You can buy them locally at Wegman’s, Shoprite and Stop & Shop, prices range from  $2.64 each or buy 12 or more at $2.00 each.

Knudsen_Sensible_SipperSensible Sippers by R. W. Knudsen Family is a great little juice box for the kids. It is certified organic in accordance with the USDA’s National Organic Program and contains no added sugar, artificial flavors or preservatives. They are 50% juice and 50% water and come in unbreakable 4.23 oz. juice boxes. Available flavors Fruit Punch, Banana, Apple & Mixed Berry. We had some of everything and my kids drank them as fast as I could get them into the house. Oddly enough, several of my co-workers did not care for the taste. Must be a kid thing even without all that sugar. They even have a printable coupon available on the website http://www.knudsenjuices.com/. I say go ahead and try them. Less sugar is always good and my kids loved them.

 

You can buy it locally at these stores.

  1. Nature’s Pantry
    142 Rte 17K
    Newburgh, NY 12550
    (845) 567-3355
  2. The Rose Garden
    19 W. Main Street
    Middletown, NY 10940
    (845) 342-4007
  3. Born Of Earth
    1 South Broadway End
    Nyack, NY 10960
    (845) 353-3311
  4. Earth Goods Natural Foods
    71 Main Street
    New Paltz, NY 12561
    (845) 255-5858
  5. Mrs. Green’s Natural Market
    Lake Plaza
    Mahopac, NY 10541
    (845) 628-0533
  6. The Branch Health Food Center
    Grand Union Plaza / Rte 44
    Pleasant Valley, NY 12569
    (845) 635-2986
  7. High Falls Food Co-Op
    1098 State Rt 213
    High Falls, NY 12440
    (845) 687-7262

onegirlby Leslie Cortes

Suave sent us some wonderful products a while ago and they sent along a box of cookies from a place called One Girl Cookie. The cookies were called Whoopie Pies and rightly so. They are a fabulous soft pumpkin cookie with a delicious cream cheese filling. They are so good, we ate them all right away. I will definitely be placing my order, especially for the holidays. If you love cookies, you will love these. The company is based in Brooklyn but you can order these yummy cookies at http://www.onegirlcookies.com/.

They sell a gift box of a dozen for $27. Be sure to check them out as they sell other great stuff too. They also have a shop at 68 Dean St., Brooklyn, NY and are open 7 days a week. Or call them at 212.675.4996.

Fruitabu Organic Smooshed Fruitfruitabu

Fruitabü was generous enough to send us some of their USDA Organic fruit snacks. We received some fruit twirls which most moms are familiar with. We also got something called a Fruit Sploosher. The twirls are very tasty and all three boxes I got are gone. We went through grape, strawberry and apple. My son liked the apple the best. I was partial to the strawberry. They are a little tart but full of flavor. The sweetness comes just from the fruit itself and the juices that it is made from. Each twirl contains 1 serving of fruit. The Splooshers were a different story in my house. My daughter and youngest son did not appreciate the texture and refused to eat any more. My older son however, ate all of the strawberry Splooshers and wanted to know if we had any more. I tried the grape myself as it was sitting in the drawer looking very alone. It definitely has a texture that one will love or hate. It is very sweet and very grape-y for lack of a better word. I recommend the roll-ups hands down. Even the packaging is recycled. These folks are looking out for our kids and the planet at the same time. Splooshers are great for little kids who love the idea of squeezing things as it comes out like an ice pop from the store.

These can be found at major retailers around the region. They sell for right around $3.50 -$4.00. They are great for lunch boxes and any time you need a sweet but don’t want all the artificial stuff.

Nature’s Peak

Reviewed by Mary. Z.

As the Organic Guinea Pig, I have pontificated on the evils of convenience foods, so I am happy to bring to you news of a product that can make your life easier without causing fits of conscience as you and your children eat it.

Fresh fruit smoothies – I love them.  I have one for breakfast every morning.  If I use a banana, it’s easy.  Just peel and break off chunks.  But what about when I want some variety?  Then there’s chopping, coring, maybe even peeling to deal with.  Do I really want to be handling a sharp knife while I’m trying to get the morning off to a flying start?

Enter Nature’s Peak, with my hero:  a 16 oz bag of top-quality fruit frozen at the peak of ripeness.  I just take it out of the freezer the night before and dump it in the blender in the morning.  I highly recommend the Sun-Ripened Trio, A Chorus of Strawberries, Mangos, Peaches.  Add a fresh banana to it, wow!

Yum.  Easy. Guilt-free.  I bet you can come up with some great ideas of your own for how to use them.  We’re expecting up to 9 varieties to become available soon. Available in a 16-ounce resealable pouch for only $3.49.

Beginning in August, recipes and more interesting information on this lovely product will be available at www.naturespeakfrozen.com

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