Mama Nibbles: July 2011

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Crunchy N Yummy Snacks Review

Recently we had the opportunity to try out a new freeze dried fruit snack that has recently come out on the market from a business called Crunchy N Yummy.  I won these in another blogger's review/giveaway so I was thrilled because I had been reading so many other reviews that made them sound fairly yummy plus the packaging is colorful and inviting.  After eating some of each fruit I could not disagree more...

Eleven Guilty Pleasures You Shouldn't Feel Guilty For

Every day is filled to the brim with activities for my three energized children and as a parent it's nice to kick back and relax once in a blue moon, otherwise one might go crazy.  I'm sure any mom could say the same no matter how many children you have.  Keeping the kids occupied during the summer is a constant responsibility.  I'm sure there are still bits of glitter clinging to kitchen table legs, a few petrified chunks of playdough in a forgotten corner of your home somewhere and a huge pile of sandy towels in the back of the car. 

Kinderville Little Bites Popsicle Molds Review

I was recently gifted a set of Little Bites Popsicle Molds from the wonderful folks at Kinder-ville, thank you!

When we opened the brown shipping box we were greeted by the cutest earmuff wearing strawberry and a little cow wearing a scarf, they are on the front of every popsicle mold box and man are they cute!
We took the molds out right away and I had my children wash the soft silicone molds in the sink with some warm soapy water then set them to dry while we all tried to decide what would end up inside them.  The decision was made easy when I started searching through the refrigerator for fruit and discovered some bottled strawberry yogurt smoothies that were about to pass their sell by date.  We all agreed that strawberry yogurt pops sounded really delicious so with each child holding one popsicle mold in their little hand I slowly poured the yogurt smoothie inside up to the fill line which is clearly outlined on each mold.  It was so easy to pop the cap in to seal the mold but I must admit I was a little bit hesitant to set it upside down like the instructions were telling me because my brain was saying "nooo, it might leak" but they didn't leak, not one drop and I would say I fit around 4 ounces of fluid inside.  I put the molds into my freezer to spend the night, we would see them in the morning because I had decided to let my children have a popsicle with their breakfast!  What a cool mom I am huh? LOL I try!

     Morning came, they ate some cereal and then I pulled out the molds.  The cap came off very easily, no struggles, then I just gave the mold a slight squeeze and they were ready to be enjoyed.  My children asked to sit outside on the picnic table since the warm sunshine was out and it was already 78 degrees out.

I was expecting some kind of spill on their shirts but these performed wonderfully, when they were done chomping and slurping their frozen treats the little bit that melted was easily drinkable from the tube.  No spills made this mama very happy indeed, I have lost one too many cute outfits to popsicles.  When the kids were done I just popped the molds into the dishwasher and they came out perfectly clean and ready to use again and again.
Kinder-ville does sell a small variety of other items for children and mommies that are made from silicone so be sure to look at their website to find all they have to offer.

What's not to love about Kinder-ville Little Bites Popsicle Molds!
These are made from a non-leaching silicone which is so durable and BPA free.  Their tapered design with fluted rim allows drips to drip drop down inside and not down little fingers and arms.  Little Bites molds come in fun, bright and enticing colors and are easily washed in the dishwasher.  The ridges all around each one makes it easy for little hands to grip.  Their size holds the perfect portion for small tummies plus they fit so easily into any drawer because they cannot be broken like the traditional plastic popsicle molds can, they can just squish right into a tight space.

A box of four fun molds will run you right around $17.  Kinder-ville's website charges shipping but on Amazon you can get free super saver shipping if you order over $25 worth of items so personally I'd go there.
These are worth the price, they are high quality and just think about how much money you will save on popsicles!

Website info:
You can find the Kinder-ville website here-->>

The listing on Amazon here-->>

Mama and children give this product five out of five hearts!

*I was not financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

Quick Tip of the Week - Freezing Your Berries

Monday is here and it will be a gorgeous day here in West Michigan.  Right now the temp is 73 but I heard the high will be 85 degrees which sounds wonderful to me!  I am thinking today is going to be a beach day for my family.  This summer we have been to the beach a ton and I owe a lot of thanks to the wonderful beach umbrella we purchased, it just sticks into the sand and gives us all the shade we need to stay cool and with the baby that is key.  What do you bring to the beach to make it more enjoyable?

Now on to the tip of the week!

Each Monday I will be posting a quick tip that I have up my sleeve, something useful that saves time or money.  This week is about freezing your berries.
We either pick them ourselves or buy a ton of berries from the farmer's market so our fridge is never lacking of berries.  Sometimes I buy too much and we cannot finish them all so my easy trick is to freeze them, but not just any old way!

I cover cookie sheets with tinfoil, shiny side up, and then spread my washed and thoroughly air dried berries on it then off it goes into the freezer for an overnight stay.  In the morning I just pull the sheet out, let it sit for like 1 minute and then give the tinfoil a shake and pour my fruits right into a freezer bag or container of choice.  The reason for spreading them out is so that they do not turn into a solid, mushy lump.  This method makes it easy to pull a few out and throw right onto my yogurt in the morning or give to the kids as a snack when it is hot out.  I freeze as many fresh local berries as I can get my hands on, we love to eat them all year long.

Mama-Nibbles Back to School Gift Card Giveaway!

Yes School is coming, summer is flying by so fast and before we know it school will be in session.  I have already knocked out most of the items on my kids' school lists, there are so many great deals out there on supplies and I am thankful we have not had to break the bank.
I thought it would be fun to do my very first giveaway with some awesome prizes from a couple of my most favorite places for kids clothing.  All you have to do is follow the form below to enter, it is fairly easy and if I can do it anyone can!  Please read my Giveaway Rules for additional information. Mandatory entry: You must "like" my Facebook fan page in order to enter this contest, the rest of the entries are optional.
I will be hosting more giveaways in the near future from some amazing sponsors so please stay tuned!

This giveaway will end on 7/31 at 11:59 p.m.   The winners will be chosen via, I will email the winners directly and they will have 48 hours to respond.  If the chosen winners do not respond within 48 hours then I reserve the right to randomly select a new winner in their place.
*No compensation was received for this post. This giveaway is not sponsored, administered or acknowledged by Gymboree or Old Navy.

Mini Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Blueberry Icing

This is another recipe incorporating those yummy blueberries we have in season here in Michigan.  I think that nothing compliments a blueberry more than lemon so I decided to use a boxed lemon cake mix, simple and easy.  I mixed my cake batter according to the directions on the box except I added some lemon zest from one lemon plus 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt and then I put my mini cupcake papers into my pans.  I put about 1 tablespoon into each little cup and baked on 350 for 8 minutes and then I let them cool completely in the pan on a rack.  My mix made about 48 minis but I'm sure results will vary depending on mix brand.

How to make the icing:
4 oz softened cream cheese
1 cup fresh blueberries, microwave for 1-2 minutes in a bowl so juices come out a bit
1 (8 oz) container of premade vanilla frosting

Toss all of this all in the mixer and mix on high for about 1-2 minutes until the blueberries are crushed really well and completely incorporated. If it is a bit thick feel free to add a few drops of milk.  Now take your cooled cupcakes and swirl the tops right into the icing and set on a rack so the icing can firm up a bit.  I had some pretty white nonpareils so I sprinkled those on top to add a bit of flair but you could also just take a fresh blueberry and put it on the top.  There was a bit of extra icing so I put it into a bag and threw it in the freezer for another time.  Store these in a sealed container inside the refrigerator.

Did you know?
I know the best place for delicious blueberries is right here at home. Most of the fresh blueberries consumed in the U.S. are grown in Michigan and New Jersey.  I found a website to find out where you can purchase frozen berries in your area-->>

For easy reference, the list from many sources of reported blueberry benefits includes:
  • improved vision
  • clearing arteries
  • more antioxidants for disease protection
  • strengthening blood vessels
  • enhanced memory
  • stopping urinary tract infections
  • reversing age-related physical and mental declines
  • promoting weight control.


Alex Toys "my giant busy box" Review

ALEX's mission is to provide children with quality creative products that foster personal expression and build self-esteem. The best children's activities provide lots of fun and they open a child's mind to new skills, new ideas and new worlds. ~Nurit & Rick Amdur (Founders)

I could not have put it better myself.  This wonderful box will spark any child's creativity.  It was a very chilly rainy summer day for us and there would be no playing outside so I pulled out our "My Giant Big Busy Box" from Alex Toys.  Included in this box is everything you need for some crafty and imaginative fun.  The kids decided we should each make an animal so we dumped out everything we needed, I grabbed some old glitter I had in the junk drawer and we got started.  There is a galore of stickers, cutouts, papers, and pom-poms to glue onto your creature.  Everything you need is included in this kit, no need to buy a thing.  Every one of the 16 projects is individually packaged which makes it very easy to decide what you want to make without making a large mess.   They purposefully have not included many instructions or finished product photos inside the box so that there is nothing to compare what you are making to, it makes you use your imagination that much more.  We had a really fun time and it kept the kids busy for almost 2 hours.  We cannot wait for the next rainy day to pull this out and make another project together.

This kit goes for $35.95 on the Alex website

What age is this kit appropriate for?
Ages 2 and up

What are some of the things included inside?
  • 16 great projects in one giant box of fun!
  • Make dough animals, collage a farm and sticker art.
  • Create paper bag puppets and tissue art pictures.
  • Includes 2 plastic frames, 4 animal punch outs, 10 colors of dough, 2 peel and stick tissue art pictures, tons of tissue paper, glue, easy instructions.
  • Comes in a 12” x 12” x 4” box with a woven handle.

Where can you find this kit and more from Alex Toys?
Alex Toys website-->> Go to the Alex site and check out all the wonderful products they have to offer, there are hundreds of items to keep those kids busy.

Mama and Kids give this five out of five hearts!

*I was not financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

Skoy Earth Friendly Cloth Review

This is the answer to all your paper towel woes, no more throwing away money.  Skoy is an Earth friendly, all natural and biodegradable multi-use cloth.  One Skoy cloth could potentially take the place of 15 rolls of paper towels! 
These are amazingly simple with no plastic overwrap to take off, they just come as they are.  There were four colors in my package which makes excellent sense to me because then I can keep track of which one I am using where in my home.  I decided to try the blue one in my bathroom tonight.  As soon as I put this 7"x7" square under the water it was ready to go, the Skoy drank the water in fast (on their website it says these absorb 15x their weight in liquid) and there was no weird scent from it like a sponge has.  The texture was like a sponge and microfiber cloth combined.  The cloth was also non-abrasive so I bet it would work well to wash some pots and pans or easily scratched items.  I got right to work on my bathroom sink with a very small amount of liquid dishsoap (I prefer it to clean my bathroom sink).  I was able to squeak into very tight spaces in between the faucet handles, my sponge never worked there and paper towels just ripped up.  I was so excited at how much crud I actually was able to scrub off of my sink with this amazing cloth.  The textured sides make it easy to just wipe, no elbow grease was needed at all!  I'm thinking of getting some to give to teachers at my kids' school, I bet they would be great for cleaning up all those crazy kid messes they encounter. 

 Getting the Skoy wet so I can wipe that faucet clean of all those sticky kid prints!
 Scrubbing that grime away and getting into cracks I could not easily wash before!
My sink is gleaming! Thanks Skoy, mama likes! 

How was Skoy created?
Skoy was created by two moms, their vision was simple...create a cloth that would be more useful than the average sponge or papertowel while helping to save our environment.

How long does a Skoy cloth last?
A cloth could last anywhere from 3-6 months with normal use, like wiping the counter off a couple times a day or washing the highchair and kitchen table.  Some people have been known to use one cloth for up to one whole year!  Once it has been a few months you can "down-grade" it to be used for wiping lawn chairs and things in the garage.

ETA 8/22/11:
I have been using my Skoy cloth nonstop now since this review was written and it is still amazing!  It has a few stains but it still working like new.  I just rinse it out really well with some soapy water at the end of the day and hang it to dry.  I pop it into the microwave for 1 minute every few days and we are good to go.

How should you care for your Skoy cloth to make it last the longest?
When you are done using it for the day just rinse it really well to be sure nothing is left on it then set it somewhere to dry.  The great thing about Skoy is that they dry very fast thus keeping bacteria from growing like your ordinary sponge.  After a couple weeks of use you can just "renew" it in the dishwasher or wash it with your laundry on the gentle cycle.  If you feel the need to sanitize it just pop this baby wet into the microwave for a minute or two then wait a minute to pull it out.
Want to buy Skoy? Skoy comes in a wide variety of fun colors, there is even a larger 10"x12" size! Prices are right around $7 for a pack of four.
Check out Skoy here -->>

You can raise funds for your school with Skoy!
Skoy also does fundraising and your school gets to keep 40%! Check out their fundraising program here. Skoy has a very special 6 pack designed just for fundraising-->>

Mama gives this item five out of five hearts!

Special thanks to SKOY for mailing me this wonderful product to review.
*I was not financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

"Baby's Day" by Karen Katz -Book Review

This book is just adorable, Karen Katz certainly is a favorite children's book author in this house.  Karen has written over fifty amazing books and every one of them is interesting and eye catching.  Playing with this soft, squishy and very colorful cloth book brought on shrieks of laughter from our 10 month old son Keller. Every single time I read it he giggles uncontrollably as I move the cloth baby from page to page.  It's fun to play along as the baby in the book wakes up, eats breakfast, plays hide-and-seek, swings high in the air, takes a bath, reads a book, and goes night-night.  Keller found it easy to manipulate the baby himself on each page but mostly he wanted to  chew on it a little and watch me read it LOL.  I really like fabric books because they can last the longest which is great for our Earth, just toss in the wash and it's good as new again plus the pages cannot be eaten like a board book's can.  We have found this book to be very stimulating for our son and I think it could be perfect for any age group up onwards through 7 years old. This is the perfect cloth baby book in my opinion.

This book goes for $3 to $11 here -->>
You can also find this book and more by Karen here -->> from $3 to $14

Go to to read all about Karen and her wonderful books.

And here is a little video clip of me reading Baby's Day to Keller, enjoy!

Baby and I give this book five out of five hearts!

*I was not financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*
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