Check Out The New Switch & Go Dino® – SkySlicer the Allosaurus™

This Switch & Go Dino® post has been brought to you by VTech.  All opinions are mine.

Both the Captain and D love dinosaurs, so I knew they would flip over the new Switch & Go Dino® – SkySlicer the Allosaurus™…and I was right!  When SkySlicer came in the mail, the boys were so excited and after we got him out of the packaging, they played with him for a long time.  (They had to practice their sharing skills for sure!)

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Eco-Friendly Photo Prints with Static Pixels

This eco-friendly photo post has been sponsored and was written by me on behalf of Static Pixels.  All opinions are mine.

I am always on the lookout for new ways to display favorite family photos.  I also am always looking for companies that provide eco-friendly photo prints and gifts.  Static Pixels is a great combination of new and eco-friendly.

Static Pixels is a company based in Canada that is doing all they can to provide high quality photos that are not taking from the environment.  Static Pixels prints on recycled cardboard made from post-consumer and renewable sources, which adds a different look, for sure. 

I wanted to get a picture of the boys for D's room, because the only other picture is from D's babyhood.  This picture was taken while we took the Captain's bithday pictures and our Christmas pictures.  It captures the boys and their silly, mischievous little relationship:

eco friendly

D absolutely loves this picture of him and his brother!  It makes him giggle everytime he sees it.  And the Captain loves that HE is in his little brother's room, making him laugh!

The quality of the print is exceptional.  I was a bit hesitant when I read "printed on cardboard" but Static Pixels uses fade resistant UV ink so it really LOOKS high quality.  They also don't use any glue or toxic chemicals, so I feel good about the boys touching it, too.

The view from the top is an interesting one.  I bet you have never seen a photo like this before:

eco friendly

The DeepSquare prints come in two sizes – 5" or 10" – and come with their own easy to use kickstand and sticker wall mounts:
stand

You can upload your Instagram pictures directly to the site.  Or you can upload any of your pictures to create lasting memories your family and friends will adore.

Static Pixels is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Forest Stewardship Council.  And, all DeepSquare prints are inspected for quality and carefully packaged, making it perfect for gift giving.  I truly appreciate companies like Static Pixels who are making quality products while protecting the environment.

Follow Static Pixels on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to stay up to date on any news and offers.

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Tone It Down, Parents.

Yesterday was Easter.  We don't do the Easter Bunny at our house although I see nothing wrong with him.  I just was a bit obsessed with Santa and the Easter Bunny as a child and would rather my kids not be greedy little boogers like I was.  I have two older brothers that were not as obsessed as I was, so it was all me, not my parents or anything else.  It was all me.  We do still celebrate holidays and our boys get candy and gifts.  After seeing some of the HUGE Easter baskets in stores and online…..I really gotta say….tone it down, parents.

Easter eggs are one thing.  Plastic pieces strewn all over my floor after the hunt is over, candy wrappers, then later, broken plastic eggs on the floor and hurt feet after I have stepped on these awful booby traps.  I was smart yesterday, I helped the boys empty their eggs and then I scooped them all up and put them in a bag for next year.  But I still can guarantee you that I will be finding eggs for the rest of the year, hidden under the TV, in the playroom, and under the refrigerator.

I always had Easter eggs with candy in them.  This was fun.  But now, every kid not only gets a million Easter eggs, but they get elaborate Easter baskets, filled with MORE candy, small trinkets, toys, and even more junk to pick up off of the floor.  Why do parents do this to themselves???  Unless your child is an amazing cleaner-upper, I don't know why anyone would subject themselves with more…for lack of a better term….crap!  My kids get enough crap without ever celebrating a holiday.  They were thrilled with their coin filled eggs that they found in our backyard yesterday.  (They were also thrilled with the chocolate, berries, and cold hard cash that Grandma brought to them for their savings.)  The Captain asked for a chocolate bunny for Easter  so I got the boys a small one and they got to eat it before church.  This was special.  And they were both so surprised and both kept saying "thank you for my chocolate bunny!"   Well, Baby D's was more like "tat too" but I knew what he was saying.

Maybe my kids are just young and I don't know what I'm in for.  Maybe the madness peaks at about 8, and they won't be satisfied with one small chocolate bunny and a little money.  I'm not sure, but I do know that if they got a huge Easter basket, each, after getting coins and chocolate for St. Patrick's Day, after getting a huge box of chocolates and red dyed lollipops for Valentine's Day, after getting a gazillion gifts for Christmas, (which really, they did,) after getting a huge bucket full of Halloween candy, they would never, ever, be satisfied and next year I'd have to outdo this year.  I don't want to be cheap, I don't want to be lazy, I don't want to be compared to other parents, but I have already realized that kids as young as three do remember last year and they will expect the same thing plus more next year.  Plus, there are always pictures.  That's why I'm always AMAZED that parents willingly take so many pictures of their first child's first birthday with the gazillion of gifts that they're sure to get (because it's exciting to spoil your first child on his first birthday, I know!)  Start small, don't take a picture of all the gifts they got, and they'll never have to say "why don't I get as many gifts now as when I was a baby??"

It's not too late to tone it down.  I promise.  And if you really want to spoil your kids, at least go today and buy up all of the unsold Easter candy, toys, or clothes and give it to them a day late (or next year, in the case of toys and clothes) instead of paying ridiculous prices for….well, crap.  ;)  Or buy something a little bigger that is more eco-friendly, educational, nutritious, longer lasting, and/or useful!

I apologize if this post offended you.  I'm not judging, I promise.  I'm just saying that you could totally have it a million times easier and raise a less greedy child, as well, or at least have a shot at a less greedy child.  ;)  I'll honestly tell you that my kids are greedy and have too much junk, but, we're working on that.

Easter

Eco-Friendly Easter Gifts

 

eco-friendly gifts

Since becoming a parent, I've become amazed at all the candy and gifts we parents give our kids at every possible opportunity.  We like to celebrate Valentine's Day, Easter, birthday, Christmas, Halloween, and more, all with candy and stuff our kids don't really need.  Here are some of my suggestions for the best eco-friendly Easter gifts this year!

1.  Rainbow Plush Fabric Alphabet Letters from Crunchy Farm Baby  – $38 – handmade with 100% cotton fabrics – super cute, educational gift for toddlers and preschoolers!  Get the magnetic version for $50.

eco friendly Easter

2.  Bunny Natural Wood Teether from Montana Solar Creation – $10.95 – Handmade with natural, untreated hard wood, and will not splinter.  What a great eco-friendly gift for a teething baby or toddler!

eco-friendly Easter gift

3.  Nature's Magic Egg Dyeing Kit from Wee Can Too – $16 – The dyes are all natural and edible, made with fruit and vegetable powders.  

 

we can too

4. Organic Easter Honey Bunny Soft Doll from Jen Galaxy Designs – $24 – This adorable little bunny is handmade with organic cotton and filled with poly-fill and rice.

 

Jen Galaxy Designs

5.  Travel Chalkboard Mat from Mommy Loves Maddy – $9-$15 – Super cute way to keep the kids entertained in the car!  It rolls up nicely for storage and you can pick out the fabric, too.  Just add chalk and imagination!

 

Mommy Loves Maddy

6.  Eco Kids Natural Plant Dye Molding Dough – $17 – This dough is made with plant, fruit, and vegetable extracts.  It contains no chemicals, artificial dyes, or metals.  

 

Easter

7.  Indie Candy large chocolate bunny – $10 – allergen free, free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

 

easter chocolate

8.  Resurrection Eggs – $11 – Okay, maybe this is a stretch because these plastic eggs aren't really "eco-friendly," but when you compare them to other Easter gifts we give, these Resurrection Eggs are loved and well used by my kids, to teach the story of the true meaning of Easter.  Each egg contains a small "trinket" to teach different parts of the Easter story of Jesus' death and resurrection.

 

gifts

9.  Haba Wooden Eggs in a Carton – $10 – These wooden eggs are perfect for pretend play!

 

eggs

10.  Organic Easter Egg Blend Radishes from Nimble NiteCap Seed Co. from – $2.25 for 100+ seeds – I love these beautiful heirloom, organic radishes that look like little Easter eggs!  Any gardener or child would love to grow these pink, red, purple, and white radishes!

 

seeds

11.  Lastly, if you need a few eco-friendly gifts for yourself, your child's teacher, or a friend, Tropical Traditions carries Organic Fair Trade coffee at only $8.99 a bag.

 

eco friendly

 

 

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Forget Me Nots Giveaway Hop featuring Sibu and Hallmark {closed}

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is coming up quickly, and to celebrate, I bring you the Valentine’s Day Forget Me Nots Giveaway Hop hosted by MamaNYC!  This is a HUGE event with lots of prizes to be won, all worth $25 or more. This event will run until February 14th, which means you will have plenty of time to enter all of our giveaways.

Here at Life With Captain Fussybuckets, you can win a great prize package featuring Sibu and Hallmark!

forget me nots hop

Enter to win a box of Sibu Seven Omega 7 chocolates, "Until We Hug Again" bear and greeting cards from Hallmark.  Enter to win in the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck and Happy Valentine's Day!

Giveaway has ended and Michelle O. is the winner!

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Sweet Valentine’s Day Gifts from Hallmark

When looking for great gifts for any occasion, Hallmark is always the leader for unique, special, sentimental, and/or fun products.  Valentine's Day gifts and cards are no exception!  The Hallmark card selection is full of anything and everything you could possibly want.  They always have cute character cards, as well, that my boys particularly love:

greeting cards

We were sent this "Until We Hug Again" bear to review and I wasn't sure what we should record on it.  It came pre-recorded with a sweet message from a grandmother to a grandchild.  The bear is, as the name suggests, meant to give to someone who you are away from so they can hear your voice "until we hug again."  You simply record a message, give it to the recipient, and they can hug the bear at any time and hear your special message.  Well, my husband's grandfather, whom we all loved, died at the end of January and it became clear who this bear was meant to be for!  I asked the Captain if he knew anyone who might like this bear, someone that might be sad and he immediately said "Sweet Grandma" (which is what he has called his great grandmother since he was two years old and thought we said "sweet" instead of "great" grandmother.)  So, we recorded a message (there is room to record a 30 second message) and presented it to Sweet Grandma the next time we saw her.  She absolutely loved it and the boys were thrilled to be able to give it to her.  

I LOVE this idea and know that so many people would love and cherish something so sweet and personalized for Valentine's Day, or for no reason at all!  The bear is just adorable!

record voice

I was worried that because it was so easy to record a greeting, that one of the boys would record over it, but there is a spot in the battery compartment to temporarily "lock" it so you can keep the message for as long as you like.  You can even change the message every time you see your special someone!

batteries

The "Until We Meet Again" bear sells for $29.95 on the Hallmark website or can be purchased at Hallmark Gold Crown Stores around the country.

Check out all of the great products Hallmark has to offer at the website and stay up to date on news and deals on Twitter and Facebook!

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Knock Knock! Who’s there? Organization and Wit!

stuff

I love when companies add a bit of humor and wit to their products.  It just makes things more fun and less serious.  Knock Knock is all about fun and you'll find that evident as you look through the products on their website.  They offer cool stuff from gifts, books, notepads, journals, all with a witty twist to it.  

We have a running shopping list at all times in our house.  Usually I just find whatever paper is lying around to scribble items down that we need to buy at the store, but then I get there and half of the time I can't read what I've written.  And that's even more so if hubby wrote something down!  Knock Knock makes these awesomely handy "All Out Of" pads with a magnet on the back so you'll always know that the shopping list is on the fridge, and all you have to do is check off what you need.  Of course, not everything is on the pad, so they leave room for writing things in, but it's all categorized for an orderly shopping list.  I have gone to the store twice with my All Out Of list and it makes it so much easier and more organized which means less chaos!  And that's always a plus since I usually bring chaos in the form of a 4 and 2 year old boy with me to the store.  

knock knock

Another great organizational product from Knock Knock is the "Pack This!" pad.  I actually got this for the hubby because, as a youth minister, he travels more than I do.  He has a packing list that he has saved on his computer and each trip, he consults the list.  The Pack This! pad is a checklist that has everything you might need to pack when you're traveling.  It also has a place to write what the weather will be like when you're at your destination so you can keep in mind what kind of clothes to pack.  It's especially helpful when you need to pack in a hurry so you can make sure not to forget any essentials.  While I haven't had to use the Pack This! pad yet, we have a trip coming up in February and I know it will be helpful as I pack for the boys and myself.  

packing list

So, there you have your organization, what about the humor?  Well, as any parent knows, parenting is humorous.  Knock Knock has proven this with their Parenting Flash Cards.  They have taken common parenting words and phrases and made it easy for parents to get to know the parenting lingo with a definition and funny picture.  These are two of my favorites:

knock knock

knock knock

The Parenting Flash Cards would make a great baby shower gift, or even a fun game to play at a baby shower.  

There are many more fun, unique items at Knock Knock so go check them out!  Keep up with Knock Knock on Twitter and Facebook, and make sure to enter to win the "Pack This!" pad, "All Out Of" pad, and Parenting Flash Cards in the Rafflecopter form below.  Giveaway will end on February 12, 2013.  Good luck!

Bekah K. is the lucky winner!!

knock knock

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Welcoming Winter Giveaway Hop featuring Maranda Lee Hot Mama Handbags {over}

The Welcoming Winter Giveaway Hop, hosted by BloggerPR, is here! Although winter won’t start until December, BloggerPR wanted to celebrate the cold weather early! Each blogger participating in this event is giving away a prize valued at $20 or more, so you are going to find lots of amazing giveaways! This event will run from November 6th t through 14th, which gives you plenty of time to hop down the linky list below. Good Luck & Happy Winter!

Life With Captain Fussybuckets has teamed up with Maranda Lee to offer one reader their very own Gray Damask medium EMMA bag, like the one shown below.  The winner will get to customize the inner fabric of their bag.  Check out the full review of this bag, plus grab a coupon code in my review post!

medium Emma bag

Maranda Lee

Enter to win this fabulous bag in the Rafflecopter form below!  Good luck!

Giveaway is over and Ang A. is the lucky winner!

Small Concept

Small Concept is an online children's store.  It is the brainchild of Julie Campbell, the owner and founder of this great little online boutique!  Julie founded Small Concept after she made the decision to leave her salaried job to do something she absolutely loved and was passionate about.  The mission of Julie and Small Concept is "to provide quality products and deliver only the best in customer service."  Small Concept has great products from brands like Tea Collection, Appaman, Deux Par Deux, Magnificent Baby, Wonderboy, and more.  And they offer everything from maternity clothes, to cloth diapers, to toys, gear, decor, and of course, clothes for babies and kids!

Being the mom of two small boys, I'm always on the lookout for cute, stylish clothes for them to wear.  When I was given the opportunity to review an item from Small Concept, I knew I had to check out the boys' section!  They have SO MANY options to choose from!  I finally decided on the Wonderboy Big Dot shirt for Captain Fussybuckets to review:

 

The Captain is big into dressing up and wearing clothes like Daddy wears, so this was a great shirt for him!  He has worn it to church the past two Sundays and asks to wear it often.  It's comfy, cool, and just a nice shirt!  I like how the buttons are sewn on in a different arrangement and he likes that there's a "cool flag" on the pocket.  :)

If you're looking for high quality clothes for kids, I can say that you should check out Small Concept.  You will definitely find the perfect outfit for your little one, and also find much more while you're there!  Make sure, also, to follow Small Concept on Twitter and Facebook, too!

Small Concept is giving one Life With Captain Fussybuckets reader a $50 gift card to spend on whatever it is that you need!  Just enter in the Rafflecopter form below!  Giveaway ends at 11:01 PM, central time on July 30th, 2012!  Good luck!

Giveaway has ended and Tabaitha is the lucky winner!

Shop Hallmark for Father’s Day

Everyone knows that Hallmark makes the most adorable and biggest variety of cards for any occasion.  But before you just get a Hallmark card for Dad this Father's Day, consider the many other great gifts you can get at Hallmark for Dad!  We were sent a couple of GREAT gifts that Dad can enjoy with the kids!  First, check out Watson the raccoon and his book, "The Case of The Sneaky Stealer."  Watson is an interactive story buddy who makes reading more fun when he comes to life with certain sentences from the book!  Both Dad and his little reading buddies will love this book!

The Captain loves Watson and his book.  We've read it quite a few times and he's caught on to the certain phrases that make Watson talk!  

Watson has a few books to collect, and also a few friends such as Nugget the puppy, Christopher the bear, Abigail the bunny, Cooper, and Bigsby, too!

We also were excited to receive the recordable storybook – "Curious You On Your Way!" featuring Curious George.  The recordable storybook allows someone to record themselves reading the book, which is then playable later for reading enjoyment, even when that person is away!  Daddy recorded himself reading the storybook and the boys really got a kick out of it!

 

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Hallmark has the biggest variety of perfect cards for any occasion.  We were sent three different cards for Father's Day and they're all great!  We even got one for Grandpa!

 

 

This was the Captain and Baby D's favorite card:

 

Hallmark wants to give one Life With Captain Fussybuckets reader everything you see above!  That's three cards, Watson and "Watson and the Case of The Sneaky Stealer" book, and the "Curious You On Your Way!" recordable storybook!  Just enter in the Rafflecopter form below!  Giveaway ends at 11:01 PM on June 25, 2012!  Good luck!

Giveaway has ended and Jennifer R. is the lucky winner!