Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Little Orso Book Shelf

Today's bookshelf item is not a book...

It is the Skip Hop Bookends!!!

We just got these for my son's bookshelf, and we are so in love with them.  The picture does not do them justice at all!!  We got a set of the monkey bookends, and I expected them to be cute little figurines.  When they arrived they were much larger than expected, and made of a leather like fabric.  (the ears are made of a corduroy).  They are so durable and cute!!  My son actually wanted to carry them around with him, however they are a little heavy since they are weighted. 

They have made such a difference on his bookshelf.  I could just sit and stare at his bookshelf all day long:)  They bookends also come in dog and owl shape (both are really cute).  I am actually thinking of getting a set of owls for my cookbook shelf!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Our New Look!!!

To celebrate our new look we are having a giveaway!! 

We are raffling off one of our favorite Melissa and Doug items.  We will randomly pick one of our followers. 

To enter you must "like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and follow us on our blog (just click join under "followers" on the right).  Our winner will be picked this Sunday 2/5/12.

Good luck to everyone, and thanks for following Little Orso!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

**Mommy Deals**

Disney- Take 25% off of "Cars" items, with code MCQUEEN

Yoyo.com- up to 30% off of Melissa and Doug, no code needed (this weekend only)

Gap- 30% off, with code GAPFUN (ends today)

Kohls- 20% off of everything, with code EXCLUSIVE20

Snapfish- Free shipping and 30% off, with code BOOKHUGS
My Bambino.com- $5 off of all orders with code VALENTINE5

Personal Creations-20% off of orders over $49, with code PERSONAL20

Victorias Secret- $15 off or orders of $100+, with code SPRING12

Things You Can Not Live Without For Your Preschooler...Day 5

These placemats are so cool!!  

They come in different themes like the alphabet, animals, maps, trucks, etc...You can write on the mats with the straight edge crayons, and then wipe it off easily!!  The mats are a great thing to take out to dinner with the kids, but they are also great for meals at home.  We used to have map mats (not these) when I was younger, and we would have competitions about the capitals of the states.  I would have loved being able to write on them!!  My son is too young to understand the lessons on the mats, but he still likes to scribble on them. (they fit on most high chair trays).  The crayons are great too.  There is a thing on the side of them, that allows you to let more "crayon" out.  They work like a mechanical pencil, so they are always sharp.

I usually buy each thing separately, but I noticed that Amazon has an amazing package deal for the mats and the crayons!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Things You Can Not Live Without For Your Preschooler...Day 4

An item that most moms mentioned as a favorite, was a digital camera.  
So I asked people if they were giving their kids real ones, and most mentioned this one...The Fisher Price Tough Kid Digital Camera.

It is a real working digital camera, that can hold over 2000+ pictures.  You can download the pictures to your computer, and then kids can edit the pictures and add fun additions like stamps and frames.  The camera is built a little tougher than regular ones.  It can withstand being dropped, and can just be thrown into a bag.  The camera is made with extra grips on it, to make holding the camera easier for little hands.  Besides the extra cushioning and grips, this camera works just like a "real one".  Considering everything that it does, it is amazing that it sells for about $40.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Things You Can Not Live Without For Your Preschooler...Day 3

Every preschooler needs a cool lunchbox!!  

I remember I had a Dukes of Hazards one:)  Back then the picture on your thermos and lunchbox established whether yours was cool or not.  Nowadays it all depends on what it can do.  I like the idea of mixing design with function, which is why I love the Skip Hop Zoo Lunchies!!

My son actually already has one of these.  We take his drink and snack to gym in it.  They are so cute, just look at the banana zipper!!  There are 11 styles to choose from.  We had a really hard time deciding which one to go with.  They are insulated, so they keep lunch safe (just throw a cold pack in with their lunch).  They also are so easy to clean.  There is an inside mesh pocket for small items, forks, spoons etc..   Another great feature is the clip on the outside, which allows you to snap the bag on to your backpack (or in my case the diaper bag).  

If you are in the market for a lunchbox, check these out!!  These also have cute matching backpacks!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Things You Can Not Live Without For Your Preschooler...Day 2

So day 2's item, was supposedly a huge holiday hit amongst the preschool age kids!!

It is the Leapfrog Explorer.  

It is a hand held tablet filled with tons of fun learning items. It is like a preschoolers Ipad.  Size wise it looks like Playstation PSP.  You customize your child's Explorer, by picking apps that work on items they need to work on.  These apps are games, e books, videos etc... The apps not only teach school related skills, but they also teach life skills:)  Besides being a great learning tool, I have heard that it is a lot of fun (some parents admit to playing with it when their kids go to sleep;) )

After some research on these, I recommend buying them directly from Leapfrog as the Starter Bundle.  It is on sale right now for $79.99, and comes with a $20 giftcard for their app center.

You can't go wrong with the Leapfrog Explorer!!  If you still need some additional persuasion, maybe hearing that it is won the 2011Toy Award will help:)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Things You Can Not Live Without For Your Preschooler...Day 1

This week is so fun for me.  I get to be a blogger, and a reader (in some senses).  I do not have a preschool age child, and it has been a while since I have taken care of one, so I have been getting help from some of my mom friends and readers.  My son will probably not need these items for a few years, but it feels great to know I can refer back to my blog as a shopping guide:)

The first item that was recommended (by a lot of moms), was the Nilo Multi Activity Table.  What an amazing item!!  

I have done a lot of research on them, and can see why they are a favorite!!  The tables are made to the perfect height, for your child to to sit and play comfortably.  They have raised borders, to help keep all of the pieces on the table.  Unlike the other tables out there, this table lets you switch activities (from Legos,  to Duplo, trains etc...)  Between that and the fact they are made from real wood, these tables seem like a great investment.  They seem to grow with your child, and they are nice looking so you won't mind seeing them for a while:)

I can't wait to get one of these...I may have to "cheat" a bit and get one next Christmas (my son will be almost 2)!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

**Mommy Deals**

Disney- they are having their "toybox sale" up to 60% off, no code needed.  Free shipping on orders $75+, with code SHIPTODAY

YoYo.com- 20% off of orders $75+, with code YOYOSAVE20

Old Navy- 25% off of all orders, with code SURPRISE25
Grandinroad- 15% off of home decor items, with code XXW37318

Banana Republic-  30% off order, with code BRUPDATE

My Bambino.com- 10% off of all orders, with code VALENTINE10

Victorias Secret- Free shipping on orders $25+, with code 25FREESHIP 

Snapfish- Buy 1 calendar and get 2 free, with code SUPERCAL


Things You Can Not Live Without For Your 1 Year Old....Day 5

The last thing every 1 year old (and older needs), is their own table and chairs.  They need a place to eat lunch, color, play Play Doh, etc...

Here is a cute one from Tot Tutors:

If you want something a little different, then you can get one like this one that I featured back in November 2011. (I plan on getting this one for my son's birthday)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Things You Can Not Live Without For Your 1 Year Old....Day 4

There was a unanimous response from every one year old mom about a favorite type of toy....A Push Toy!!

Next I asked friends and stores, what push toy do you like the best??  

Anyone who has been reading my blog up until now, knows how much I love Melissa and Doug products.  This one is definitely going on my list to buy for my son for his birthday.

Everyone says that is one of the most sturdy push toys that they have come across.  It is made of hardwood, and painted with non-toxic paint. The wheels have a non-skid finish on them, which makes it "hardwood floor safe" and more sturdy for your child. When your child pushes it the alligators' mouths open and close.  There are also bug beads that spin around!!

This one is definitely a winner!!  There are just so many cute details on it, and it is moderately priced.  (typically sells around $35)

And here is a Mommy Deal if you decide to buy it...get 15% off with code NSAVE15 (this only works if you buy it from the actual Melissa and Doug site)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Little Orso News!!

We have made things easier!!

Now all you have to do to follow us, is click on the buttons to your right.  We are on Facebook  & Twitter, and you can become one of our official followers by just clicking the button to the right.

Stay tuned for new additions to Little Orso coming soon!! ...and a new updated look:)

Thank you for all of your support and messages!!  We hope you like our site.  If you ever need anything, or just want to privately contact me feel free to at buckley@littleorso.com.  Also please let me know if there is anything you would like me to review or cover!!

Little Orso- Buckley

Things You Can Not Live Without For Your 1 Year Old....Day 2 & 3

Due to Monday being a holiday, I am going to cover two days of items today!!!

The first favorite item for today, are Jumbo Basic Cardboard Blocks.  These were recommended by a handful of moms, and three dads that actually wrote in:)  Everyone loves the size and durability of these blocks.  Parents claim that they have survived multiple children, and lots of rough play. The younger kids like to just stack the blocks, some even like to just carry one around with them.  As they get older, they start using them to build forts and castles.  The only complaint I kept hearing, was how time consuming they are to initially assemble.  However it sounds like the cons of owning them out way that.  

We had these blocks growing up, and I remember spending hours playing with them.  I plan on buying these for my son.  I love buying him the "traditional toys", that have been around since our childhood.  I love toys that encourage kids to use their imagination and move around.  These blocks do both:)

The second item for today, we actually already have and love too.

It is the Nuby 2 Handle Straw Cup.  The moms I spoke with, all said that a durable sippy cup is a must!!  We had heard good things about this cup, and bought it a few months ago.  It is durable...my son launches it across the room daily.  It is dishwasher safe (top rack).  I am a big "straw cup" fan.  My son seems to enjoy drinking from a straw, and I feel that they spill a lot less.  The only complaint that I heard, when asking people about the Nuby cup, was the durability of the straw.  We have not seen any issues at my house (and I have a teething baby using it).  However at $4.99, they are not too expensive to replace.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Things You Can Not Live Without For Your 1 Year Old....Day 1

For the older child recommendations, I had moms help me out by suggesting what they can not live without.  This product was recommended by almost every single mom I spoke to.  (Even though my son is not one yet, I actually can recommend it too...since we have one)

The product for day 1 is the Britax carseat.  

The two most popular seats from Britax, are the Marathon....

and the Boulevard....

Their seats have won a bunch of safety awards, including the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety award.  

I personally went with the Boulevard, because I liked the extra head support.  We are so happy with our choice.  The seat is very sturdy, and the fabric is so much softer than the other seats we looked at.  Besides being safe, it actually looks comfortable.  It is easy to install, and easy to clean.

If you click on the names of the seats above, it will take you right to the specifications for the seats.  They even have a feature where you can compare the two seats, and decide which one will work better for you.

Also if you do decide to buy a Britax seat (or you already have one)...check out my earlier post about carseat covers. They post includes covers that fit these seats.

Friday, January 13, 2012

...1st Year, Day 5

Bear with me I am writing this from the dentist office, so it may not be very coherent;)

Many stores will give you lists of what you need to buy for the first year with your baby.  These lists make sure that you have the necessities (and an over abundance of blankets in my opinion).  I wanted this series to cover what you really need to make it through the day:) 

The last on my list for year 1 is the Little Playzone with Lights and Sound Play Yard. This is a recent edition in our house.  It took us a while to find a solution that kept our son safe, but in a fun way.  Our house is baby proofed and has gates up, but when they first start moving you need to keep them more confined.  We looked at plain gates, but thought it would be fun to have one that was bright and had activities built in.  We have named our play yard "The Bear Fort".  The walls have bear cutouts (perfect for us) on them, and the back wall of the yard has a bunch of activities for our son to do.  There is a phone (he still likes my cellphone better), spinners, a window that open and closes, a mirror (one of his favorites), and the light up buttons that each play a different song.  There is a gate that locks, or you can lift them over the wall.  I can't recommend this yard enough.  I can now go to the bathroom, without worrying about where my son has gone.  He really likes hanging out in it, and it has helped him tremendously with his standing and walking.  The walls are sturdy enough for him to hold on to, and low enough for him to pull up on.  It is a bit of an investment, but it is so worth it:)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

**Mommy Deals**

Snapfish- Buy one photobook, get two for free.  Use code JANBOOKS (good through 1/21)

The Stationary Studio- Buy one get one free, only on specially marked items.  No code needed.

Lands End- 30% off of basics, with code BREEZY, and pin 1200

Jcrew- 30% off of sale items, with code WINTER

Macys- 15% off of kids items (even sale items) with code SUPER

Cookies By Design- 10% off, with code EMAIL1

Leapfrog- 15% off and free shipping on books and games, with code SOLSTICE

My Bambino.com- 15% off of all orders, with code val15 (ends 1/13-HURRY)

Disney- Take an additional 30% off sale items, with code SALE30

Snapfish- 500 prints for a penny each, with code JANPRINTS

Loft- 40% off, with code SAVENOW

Saks- Free Shipping on orders $150+, with code SFAJAN

JC Penney- Free shipping on orders $69+, with code SHIP69

Kohls- 15% off of everything, with code GLISTEN15

Old Navy- 15% off of any purchase or 25% off purchases 100+, with code ONSAVEBIG

...1st Year, Day 3 &4

Today I am going to do a double post, because yesterday I did not make it on:(  I had to have some dental work done that kept me away for the day.  I have to go back tomorrow for the second half of my dental work, so I will probably post the Mommy Deals (I have some good ones for the long weekend) tonight.  I will try to post my 5th item tomorrow afternoon.  Thanks for hanging with me:)

Item number 3 is one of my son's favorite toys...Leapfrog's Scout!!  My mother in law gave it to him when he was first born.  At that point all he could do was stare at it and hug him.  Nowadays he carries him everywhere, and is able to start the songs on his own. Scout is our family's favorite!!!  He has 30 songs to choose from, and you can hook him up to your computer and personalize them.  You enter your child's name, favorite food, favorite color etc...and then they incorporate the information into the songs.  There is nothing better than seeing your child's eyes light up when they hear their favorite stuffed animal say their name:)  One paw plays songs, one plays lullabies, and the other plays interactive games.  He (they make a "girl version" named Violet, however I would have liked Scout as a child)  is definitely one of the best toys on the market, and very affordable at $25.

Pick 4 is an item that I would not have been able to live without, from months 3-7.  It is the Baby Einstein Around the World Play Gym.  I swear my son spent most of his day on this mat.  He learned how to roll over on it, and did his tummy time on it.  We only put it away when he started crawling and lost interest in laying on it.  However it comes with so many interactive toys (they are removable), so we kept all of those out to put on his stroller and carseat...

In the center of the mat is a light up sun which plays music.  It is actually enjoyable to listen to.  You can set it to play non-stop, or only when your child moves.  As I said above, it comes with a bunch of interactive toys, rattles, mirrors, stuffed animals etc...  They are all done in bright colors, and have great reusable hooks that attach them to the mat.  These hooks are great quality, and you can use them again on your carseat, highchair, or stroller.  The mat itself is beautiful, it is covered with different land forms and the animals that live in each area.  It is easy to clean and easy to fold up.  These retail for about $80- $100, which is a big investment toy wise...however this is so much more than a toy. I can't recommend this enough!!  They come in a few other designs, but I read that babies see red the best at first, which is why we went with this design.  It has a lot of red on it.  I wasn't sure if I believed all of those theories about what babies could and couldn't see, until my son reached for the red panda first. This was his favorite item on the mat for the first month.  It was as if the others did not exist:) 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

...1st Year, Day 2

The next 1st year essential is a wardrobe basic.  They are sweat/lounge pants from the Gap and Old Navy (same company, so they are pretty similar).  My son has lived in these since the day that he was born.  They are so easy.  They can take naps in them comfortably (I always feel really bad when my son falls asleep in jeans...he looks so uncomfortable), and when they start crawling they don't complicate things for them.

The first version of the pants is from Old Navy. They retail for about $8, and come in a about 5 or 6 colors (they change seasonally) 

The other version of the pants comes from the Gap, and retails for about $13.  They come in about 4 basic colors.

In my opinion you just need a few pairs of these, and some basic colored onesies and tees.  These become your child's staples.  Then you can leisurely buy fun fashion items for them.

Keep an eye on both websites, because these pants are often included in their stock up and save deals.  I will let you all know when they are on sale again.  Make sure that you "like us" on our Facebook page, to get daily updates about things like this:)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Things You Can Not Live Without... 1st year Day 1

Today starts my feature on things that you can not live without.  I will be covering all areas from gear to play.  This week we will take a look at babies from birth to one year.  I will be getting some help from fellow moms along the way.  

Feel free to share what items you can not live without.  One comment will be selected (randomly) at the end of the feature, and they will win a special treat!!

Today's item, is one that my husband and I both wish we had bought sooner...The Fisher Price My Little Snugabunny Cradle and Swing.

 We didn't buy this until our son was 1 month old.  We wish that we had bought it day 1!!  For the first four weeks we took turns holding our son, including at night for him to sleep.  He didn't like being put down anywhere!  We finally decided we needed to try some new things.  We bought this swing, and everything changed.  From the second we put him down, until the minute we packed it up, my son loved being in it.  

I only have two complaints about it.  The first is it is extremely big.  I think the legs have to be that wide for support, but if you live in a small space you may have trouble fitting it in your house.  My second issue with it, is a common complaint I have with Fisher Price items...the music doesn't stay on long enough.  I had to constantly run over and restart the music.  I had no problem doing that, but sometimes the delay woke him up.  

Other than that, I can not recommend this swing enough.  The seat is soft and a comfortable cradle shape.  I felt safe with him in it, until he started to roll over (that is when we packed it up..I didn't trust the straps against his strength).  The music and sound choices are nice, not overly electric sounding.  The one bird sound actually made me fall asleep:)  The decor on the swing is really cute.  We had the bunny swing, so our seat was shaped like a bunny, it came with a bunny teething toy, and had a bird and leaf mobile.  They have a few other decor options.  I have seen most of them, and they are just as cute!!  My favorite option on the swing, was that you could change the direction that it swings (either side to side or front to back). I used the side to side option when he was younger, or when I wanted him to sleep.  The front to back movement was great when he was older, and sat in the swing to be entertained.  Another huge plus, is that you can run the swing on batteries, or plug it in. 

This is why I can not recommend this swing enough.  If you are pregnant or have a newborn, run out and get this swing.  You will be thanking me later:)

Friday, January 6, 2012

**Mommy Deals**

Leapfrog- 15% off of books and games, with code SOLSTICE (through 1/31)

Loft- 60% off sale items, with code SALE

Express- Free shipping on orders $100+, no code needed (through 1/ 8)

Macys- Free shipping on orders $99+, no code needed

Ralph Lauren- 30% off of sale items, no code needed

Lands End- All basics 30% off, and free shipping with code SNOWMAN and pin 7110

JC Penney- Free shipping on orders $69+, with code SHIP69; or additional 15% off sale items and shipping to store with code GOOD15

Kohls- Mega Sale going on 1/6-1/8.  Free shipping on orders $75+. No code needed.

RSH catalog- 20% off home office items.  No code needed.

Melissa and Doug- 20% off of all food toys, with code NFOOD20; or 15% off your order with code NSAVE15; or free shipping on orders $50+ with code FREESHIPFIFTY

Mybambino.com- $5 off of your order with code WINTER5

Old Navy- 15% off your order, with code ONEXTRA15

Gap- 15% off your order today 1/6 only!!  With code GAP2010

Victoria Secret- Free shipping on orders $100+, with code VS100.  Or free tote with swim purchase of $125+, with code SMIM125.

Lunch on the go!!!

The Skip Hop Bento Mealtime Kit, has become one of our new staples.  We only got it two weeks ago, but I can honestly say that we can't live without it now!!  I wish we had bought it sooner!!

We have an insulated tote that we bring formula and teething toys in, however it did not help much with meals on the go.  This kit is the best!!  The kit comes with so much!!  First off you get a rectangular shaped insulated tote. It keeps the food upright, and cold.  You also get six wonderful food containers.  They are like "mini tupperwear containers" for baby food. (the containers are BPA free and dishwasher safe)  The seal really well, so no food can spill out or go bad.  They also can be connected together, which makes meal time on the go so much easier. (and more fun...a train of food).  The kit also includes a reusable icepack. The kit is easy to wash, and has a strap to carry it with. You can also stick a sippy cup through the strap!  I love this kit so much!!  For anyone that eats meals on the go, or likes to go on picnics...I highly recommend this!!!  It is also very affordable at $24, the containers alone are worth that price!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Cool Are These?!?!!

Looking for an alternative to wallpaper, or plain wall decals for your kid's bedroom??

Check out these Chalkboard decals!!  They come in a few different shapes, and are easy to apply and remove.  Kids can personalize their animals in this set. Now your kids can draw on the wall in a way that won't give you anxiety!!

I am thinking of buying the apple one for my pantry. They are a great option for anyone that wants a chalkboard wall, but rents their home.

They also make dry erase versions...

Sign up for their (Wallcandy Arts) newsletter to get 10% off your order!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Accessorize Me!!!

If you are looking for cute, yet sophisticated accessories (not everything needs to have baby dinos and trucks on it;) ), head over to Urban Baby Runway!!  I have been searching for belts and hats, and found way more than that.  

They also have great clothes and shoes!!...and stylish maternity clothes!!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cool New Site!!

The geniuses at Diapers.com recently added a new site, it is called YoYo.com.  It is an online toystore, and it carries a lot of my favorites.

Like the Kettler tricycle...

I used to work at a toystore, and these flew off the shelves.  They are so well made, and the bar attachment is great for first time riders (and Mommy and Daddy's back).

They also carry the cute 3Sprout storage containers, that I featured on December 22, 2011.

One of the best features on this site is the "Toy Finder".  Enter your child's (or the child you need to buy a gift for) age, your budget, and their gender and it will suggest some options.  You can also select "yoyo picks", and they will give you some of their favorites:)  So fun!!  Just like their sister sites, they offer free 2 day shipping with orders over $49+.  

To help you get shopping, I have a special Little Orso Deal- Enter code BUCK8496 and get 20% off of your first order.  They will also make a donation to one of their featured charities with each purchase made with this code.  This is a win win situation...a discount and a donation:)  Get shopping People!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Something close to my heart ♥

Today I am going to share one of my favorite things, and one of my favorite crafts.

My husband and I got this made when we got married.  They are architectural photos that spell out our last name.  We love this, and get tons of compliments on it.

When we had our son, we wanted to do something similar for his room.  This time we made it.  We also decided to use actual letters we found, instead of architectural items. The first thing we did, was spend a day taking pictures of signs around us.  We tried to only use signs of places that we go to frequently.  We wanted the letters to have some meaning behind them.  We got them developed, and went through them picking out our favorites.

We also took pictures of the whole sign.  This way we could make a book of the places, to give to our son.  It gives him a memento, and helps him identify where the letters came from (when he gets older).

Here is our final project!!  Hope you love it as much as we do.

We are hoping this is something that can grow with our son.  The project was so fun to do, and looks great in his room.  It also was very inexpensive.  Our original (that we bought) cost a couple of hundred dollars.  This cost us about $25 to make.  We got the pictures developed by Snapfish during a deal, and  we bought the frame on sale from Aaron Brothers. It was actually the wrong color, but we spray painted it.

Enjoy making yours!!  If you make one, please share it on our Facebook page.  Also feel free to message us if you need any help.
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