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Monday, January 28, 2008

Why I loved 2007 … MITK favorite thing of the year

Bloggy Giveaway image hosted on Photobucket



(Find the Bloggy prize below.)

Technically we were only up for part of the year, but in that time I tested quite a few products. I worked with several vendors, customer service and marketing agencies and the one who went above and beyond for me was The Big Pink Cookie Company.

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On the initial order they sent, my dog ate the product. My 100lb black lab jumped on the marble counter and pulled the beautify wrapped box to him by the bow and went to town on a peanut butter cookie. Then he had the oatmeal raisin for dessert.

Two problems there, my dog ate the product I had to review plus my family was without the sweets to which they are so addicted. I don’t like cookies or so I thought.

Adriana Ryan heard of "the plight of the cookies" as I was calling it as I had called to order more at my expense and she replaced them (don’t try this at home she knows the trick now!) and sent one of each out a.s.a.p. including the chocolate chip one and the littlest one in this house was elated. She has chocolate running through her veins.

Can you name many other companies that would have done that? I know I can’t in 2007 reviews.

Mom In The Know will give away one $25.00 gift certificate to The Big Pink Cookie Company.

As a thank you, The Big Pink Cookie Company will give away one cookie with the purchase of two now through 2/4/2007.

Answer this question and email it to momintheknow@gmail.com with Big Pink Cookie in the subject line to be entered in THIS contest.

What color ribbons do The Big Pink Cookie Company use to wrap their cookies? (You just need the colors; you don’t have to match to the cookie)

It must be emailed and received by Midnight Feb 1st MST. Winner will be drawn randomly by a kid in the know.

This is just one of the many giveaways this week so keep watching! Thank you big pink cookie co!

Check back daily at the bottom of this post for a new part to this giveaway!

Tuesday-

Giveaway #2 Pangea Organics Facial Mask

Wednesday-
Giveaway #3 Busy Body Book A Moms best friend is another giveaway! Email momintheknow@gmail.com with BBB in the subject.

Thursday-
Giveaway #4 A little bit of everything surprise package. Take your chances!

Friday-
Foot Petals Stiletto Survival Kit

So that's Big Pink Cookie
Mask
BBB
Surprise
Foot Petals


That's it. I posted Friday a tad early for you, my dedicated readers.

Now you must email momintheknow@gmail.com. You still must follow above rules for cookie entry.


First name drawn will have first pick of prizes, second name second choice and so forth for all prizes until all are awarded.

my webmaster [saved by jen] is also participating in the bloggy giveaway carnival - go check her site out as well.

comments are now closed.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

A time to be Whimzy!

Ornaments aren’t just for a Christmas tree. If you happen to want a special unique gift, click on over to Whimzy Doodles. I was fortunate enough to be able to review and test the Manifestation Gift set so it had a little of everything in it to share with you.

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Manifestation Cards are a unique way to go. Do you need a pick me up, a little change in the way you are thinking, words of wisdom? This is what you need. Pull out a card and give it the attention it deserves. I just pulled out … “Add color, sound, touch, & taste to your dreams.”

Well I hope that is what I’m doing for all of you as I write this review. Carry them with you and hand them out to a friend of someone who you think may need one. Use it when you want to smile or contemplate something more then what’s going on at work, home or in your head at that moment. They could always be a great conversation starter too!

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Hand-Crafted Clay Whirliever Ornament is meant to make your day better by wishing upon it.
Hang this handcrafted piece of art in a location where you will frequently see it. Whenever you do see it, take a moment to allow its beauty and words to resonate within you. As you go about your day, remember to maintain the vision you have for yourself and your future. Then welcome and prepare yourself to embrace the opportunities and moments that will confirm your heart’s desires are indeed manifesting!

Such a unique idea that will warm you all day, and it did. It hangs in the hallway to my bathroom for all my family to see and my daughters take advantage of it while my husband hits his head on it. I’ll be moving it soon.

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It’s a pleasant feeling to know its hanging there if I want to lift my spirits up or just to see something so clamming and pretty.

Now don’t be fooled Whimzy Doodles offers a plethora of items that you should good look at but this is what I was fortunate enough to review and enjoy.

www.whimzydoodles.com

Thank you to Sandy & Tracy for the samples and all their kindness!

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Monday, January 21, 2008

now and forever creations

As I write this, my stomach churns and I contemplate so much. It’s my first totally negative review. Well, is that how I should truly label it? Maybe, I wasn’t satisfied with the products and I just need to be honest here. That’s my mission “honest reviews”.

It was up to me to step outside my box and accept a product that I wouldn’t normally like these, the screen-printed ones at Now and Forever creations. I’m not aware of the quality of other manufacturers and as I have no basis of comparison so please understand that.

I tried a few things: a dog collar, dog tags, a leash, and a custom dog mat.

The collar is for my bulldog; let me say that it’s probably not fair that it’s for my bulldog since she has such a thick neck. It didn’t hold up to her stature and it faded under use. She’s a big girl and I should probably invest in a good, hearty collar for a sturdy dog. That should be a review all in its own, bulldog products.

The dog tags feel off both dogs’ collars right away. All they did was play. I put them on with pliers like I had their rabies tags in all the past.

The leash wasn’t that bad, it was a normal leash, again it faded after some use, and that was a bit frustrating. They had cute monograms and expressions, so I was a little saddened that I wasn’t able to share for a longer period of time or had to explain every time.

The custom dog mat was very cute, at first. It was a fabric that collected dog hair very easily and the “slip resistant” mat broke apart easily was all over my bamboo floor in no time. I was forever picking up little black pieces of plastic like substance hoping my dogs didn’t eat it.

They also sent me jerky samples from http://www.jerkyuniverse.jerkydirect.com. Sadly, it may sound as if I’m jaded but I’m not. The jerky I sampled was either heavily flavored or it wasn’t enough in the sample packages to get a real feel of how it truly tasted. That was more the company that sends to them then the supplier.

This is a MITK first and I hope a last. I do try to see the good and bad in all. I have no pictures of the products sent to me.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Bring Green with You

Today’s world is one of insight and forethought. We drive cars advertised as “environmentally friendly,” running on energy that fails to emit toxic fumes. We look for food at the grocery market that has been raised by environmentally-conscience farmers, feeding their cattle whole grains and avoiding the use of hormones, raising crops that have been fertilized with organic products (if they are fertilized at all). Our clothes are environmentally friendly. Our pets are environmentally friendly (make sure you grab those waste bags as you enter the dog park). Our lives are environmentally friendly.

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With a new set of priorities and a new sense of, well, sensibility, we have to do our part for the world around us and the world that will be here for those that come after us, and as is often the case, the little things can mean so much more than imagine.

With this in mind, Mom In The Know is proud to bring our latest review to all of our friends and fans across the internet. Any time we can step up and support a cause that promotes a cleaner, safer environment, we are giddy to step up to the plate.

Such is the case with the Envirosax. The Envirosax originates from Currumbin Valley in South East Queensland, Australia. The goal is simple yet powerful: Believe in environmental sustainability. The founders of Envirosax, Belinda, and Mark David-Tooze use this motto as a means for life, living with in the Australian rainforest and utilizing solar and photovoltaic technology to produce the energy they need for their home. They recycle their own wastewater, they grow their own organic vegetables and fruit, and they run Envirosax, a company the produces environmentally friendly bags for a multitude of uses.

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Envirosax is made of polyester and hemp designed in Australia and made in China, all working under fair wage and fair labor conditions. All factories are personally inspected several times a year and are directly run by the David-Tooze family. Their product: Three bags used as environmental alternatives to plastic bags.

Few realize just how much damage is caused by the production of the typical plastic bag at the supermarket. Many of the companies that produce these bags do not engage in environmentally sound operations, and the use of petroleum products creates a bag that may have a short life span in our world but will take years to degrade.

Envirosax hopes to put an end to the use of these bags. The company offers two types of bags.

The Graphic Series is available in three different sizes and is easy to store and use. These bags are made of synthetic material that folds to small sizes, thus they are easily stores in a handbag or in the car. They are simple yet fashionable, light yet durable, efficient and effective. They come in several sizes and a multitude of colors and patterns. Ordering direct from Envirosax, the consumer can buy in bundles, or “pouches” as they call them, offering a group of bags in a convenient series.

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Envirosax also offer the Organic Series, bags made of bamboo, linen, and hemp. These bags are elegant in style and unbelievably useful in the store. They are highly durable, easily cleaned, and are an excellent accessory for any environmentally-conscience shopper to use.

The bags are a superior product, but the message and drive behind them is what makes Mom In The Know smile. Like the company states in their business manifesto, “It’s a philosophy, a move in the right direction; it is the evolution of a culture.” This is our world to form for our children, for our children’s children, and for the generations that will follow. Envirosax is one company that shares this vision and puts it to use in our daily lives, encouraging us to take simple steps with improved consequences.

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If you would like a more selfish motivation (and there is nothing wrong with being selfish… at least a little bit!), consider the discounts many stores have started offering consumers who bring their own bags to shop. My local supermarket rebates nearly 8% of your purchase when utilizing bags like the Envirosax. That puts savings in your pocket and savings in the environment as well.

There is no other way to say it. The Envirosax is an excellent product, produced by an excellent company, supported, and advanced by an excellent motivation. We can all do our part to help the world, and Envirosax is happy to help you look and feel good doing it.

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Visit www.envirosax.com today!

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Monday, January 14, 2008

A Little Dash of… Bacon

My family likes to eat.

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I’m willing to bet many of you have noticed the same desires from your families. We eat dinner together each and every day. On the weekends, my husband will often put a special breakfast feast together for us all to enjoy together. During the holidays, we eat especially well, finding the occasion to convene for fantastic meals that include a plethora of delights.

As long as we eat, we are happy.

As a wife and mother of two, the challenge is rarely found in providing meals my family will appreciate (while my loved ones can often be picky, they are not in a hurry to turn down food). The challenge comes in finding ways to do something different that won’t result in wasted food. Serving the same rotation of foods can get rather boring and it is variety that keeps us all happy and will often lead my children, all too set in their ways, to try something new.

The fine folks at J&D’s Down Home Enterprises have just made that job a little less challenging.

A few weeks ago, I was surfing the net for new products and innovations in the food industry and came across a link that, as a leader of a carnivorous clan of gourmets, caught my eye. Without delay I ran my cursor over the words that seemed all too inviting, hit the left button on my mouse, and I was there.

www.baconsalt.com

I was taken to a site that would make most believe the product was the invention of an industry giant. An enticing rotation of pictures all depicting the delicacies any red-blooded American would salivate over stream across the front page, headed by a slogan that could serve as my oldest daughter’s life motto: "Everything should taste like bacon."

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That is the thought behind Justin and Dave’s creation and the driving force for their quest to put Bacon Salt on every table in every kitchen across the country. Their story strikes a chord that could have been written by just about anyone. "We’re just two regular guys who love grilling and football on Sunday afternoons, eating until we can’t get off the couch and of course, the taste of great bacon." These fellows worked in the IT sector for years and found their mutual affection for the pork product we often find next to our pancakes at breakfast was too much to ignore. Justin had envisioned the creation for some time and Dave, along with a fellow co-worker named Kara, drove him to give the idea the attention and dedication it deserved.

The end product is Bacon Salt, a tasty spice that works just as it sounds. Imagine the convenience and ease of salt, but tastefully laced with the flavor of bacon. As the site suggests, the uses are endless and can be matched only by the joy this simple but divine little product could bring to each and every food lover on the planet.

The boys were nice enough send a couple of bottles my way, and my husband wasted no time putting the concoction to the test.

We started with breakfast the first (and possibly most obvious) target: Eggs. My husband takes his over easy while the kids and I enjoy a good poached egg. Eggs laced with a touch of Bacon Salt were a hit, earning rave reviews all the way around the table. Since then, we’ve tried the tasty spice on just about everything.

Salads, sandwiches, soups, toast, vegetables, steaks, potatoes, popcorn, and just about any and everything in between: Bacon Salt is a fine compliment to any snack or meal you could be preparing. I have found new life in a once-forgotten plate of tuna casserole. My husband has grown an almost-neurotic affection for peanut butter-and-Bacon Salt sandwiches. Our kids have started to ask for it at the movie theater with their cinematic snacks (and yes, they do think we are crazy) I was tempted to entice our dog to consume his heartworm medicine with the taste I’m sure he would find irresistible (but I thought wiser). We have all fallen victim to the intriguing flavor of Bacon Salt, and I believe you will do the same.

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Bacon Salt comes in three delicious flavors, including Original Smokey, Peppered, and our favorite, Hickory. The site is easy to manage and all-too useful, including links to their MySpace and Facebook groups where you’ll find a long and helpful list of fans and suggestions for experimentation. Jason and Dave have also included a great page of recipes for your consideration (I might be able to con my husband into eating salmon with the enticing Bacon Salt Baked Salmon recipe). On their “Buy It” page, you’ll find special packages to fill all of your Bacon Salt needs, instructions for ordering online, and a list of retail locations that will help you find Bacon Salt on a shelf near you. They even offer in impressive menu of merchandise, including T-shirts, posters, aprons, and hats.

If you like bacon (or if your husband, or kids, or boyfriend, or girlfriend, or father, or uncle… you get the idea), try Bacon Salt today. You’ll be happy you did!

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Boon Market

When I find a company that prides itself on making “innovations for modern parents,” I don’t have a choice. I have to be there!

My husband and I live in a modest house with two little girls, one 7-years-old and the other is 6. For those who know, the message is clear. For those who do not, I suggest the following…

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Go rent two capuchin monkeys. Take them home and immediately feed them a box of Butterfinger candy bars. Now put them in a house providing three large boxes, including one box filled with toys, another box filled with books, and the final box filled with poop. Now, leave and do not return for three hours.

This is what life is like each and every day for parents struggling to maintain order. Like the monkeys, the children are absolutely adorable and worthy of only the best care and love we can give. However, turn your back for a minute and provide the right stimuli and it’s hard to tell just how devastating the damage can be. The drive to keep a clean, organized, and fashionable home is all but lost.

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Fortunately, other parents are out there know our pain and are working to help us find a happy and healthy solution.

Enter Boon, a wonderfully enthusiastic company “driven by a strong desire to create contemporary products that help simplify parents’ lives while retaining their personal style.” President and CEO Ryan Fernandez, a former sales executive with the Intel Corporation and a father of four, founded the company (and, like me, he has been blessed with a clan void of Y-chromosomes). Ryan holds an illustrious MBA from Pepperdine University with emphasis in marketing and management and has turned his life towards entrepreneurship by creating Boon Inc., a company that designs and creates products to help our children organize their lives while giving them a sense of fun and fashion in the process.

Mom In The Know came in contact with Ryan based on our mutual desire to help the parents of the world, and to help us understand what he and Boon Inc. are doing, he sent along one of his best products.

The Oval Animal Bag is a brilliant idea, which came to life under the watchful eye of Boon and could prove to be a heaven-sent gift for many a parent in need of clarity. As stated by Boon, “The Animal Bag is a fun and practical solution for rounding up all of those soft critters and putting them to work.”

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The Animal Bag is akin to the old-school bean bags that our folks used to call furniture, except this is comfortable, fashionable, and more importantly, useful. Sized at 30” x 26” x 19”, the Animal Bag is a sizeable plush bag covered with zippered access points. The bag itself is made from a high quality, soft fabric that can be purchased in either green or pink colors while the access areas are made of transparent-yet-durable mesh. Your children will find TONS of room inside that is to be filled with the multitude of stuffed animals and dolls your family has collected over the years.

Fill the bag with your stuffed animals and now your kids have a cushy seat that looks great while it’s hiding all of those toys and destroying the clutter that has become the frustration of your daily life. It is an excellent idea and Boon has pulled it off with flying colors.

My youngest put the bag to the test. Her father has come to detest the chore of changing sheets, for our daughter wants ALL of her stuffed animals to reside on her bed. She couldn’t wait to get her furry little friends settled into their new home when the bag arrived and she saw how easy, fun, and PINK (she is a girl!) it would be.

Now my daughter has a great new toy, she has a passion for being organized, she has a seat that follows her around the house… and my husband can change the sheets (and I don’t have to listen to him mumbling obscenities while he’s doing it).

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I have come to love the Oval Animal Bag from Boon Inc. and my hubby is convinced this company can do more to make his life (and our lives… but don’t tell him that!) easier and more sophisticated. The bag is triumph and Mom In The Know is more than happy to give it a huge thumb’s up!

Visit www.booninc.com

You will find everything you need and more on their site, and they site couldn’t be friendlier. The products, the information, the company’s background, the locations to buy… it is all there and easy to use. To make things better, Boon will contribute 10% of your purchase to children’s charities.

If you want to clear that disaster in your kid’s room and find every imaginable fringe benefit in the process, get with Boon and find the products you’ll need to get on the right track today.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

How busy can your body be

I love testing and reviewing agendas as I'm always on the hunt for the perfect one. Every mom will have a preference I’m sure but The Busy Body Book rocked my world. What can I say to make my day easier makes everything in my families’ life easier, just ask them!

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The grid format is so accessible and I like the doodle pad on the side. For me … it’s a saving grace. I always think of things on a whim that need to be noted here and there and for me it’s my book of notes. I just need to recall where I wrote it.

Having two daughters a husband and myself, we each have a column where I write our daily duties. Our tasks and where we will be. I know that at 12:30 one of them should be in lunch on a Tuesday afternoon.

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Want to know some other features?

Monthly Planners
One planner to record birthdays & anniversaries! Another to note next year's appointments & future events. Who can’t use that? I know anyone can. Just move it month to month to year.

Months-at-a-glance
An overview to help plan ahead for the holidays, vacations, or special events. That helps me so much just to see where they will be and when we have free on particular days. A large block all at once makes it easy for my spouse all at once to X out days.

Key contact pages
2 pages for your emergency contact information, doctors, coaches, babysitters. Also great for family you call a lot, repair men, poison control, friends, emergency personnel, or someone who has access to your house in the event of an emergency may need it.

Removable shopping lists
Perforated pages for creating handy grocery or gift lists, I like to tear away and go. They fit in most purses and you can make notes as you go along. Also a great way to give out your number or important info when you need to.

Two Pockets
Inside front & back covers provide a deep pocket to hold important papers, receipts, coupons one of my favorite features! Good for important meetings, taxes, Doctors appointments, school meetings. Bank meetings, you name it!

Bookmark … one of my favorite features so I can never lose my page and they don’t get all dog-eared.
Easily flip to what you want - anytime anywhere! Don’t fold over those pages anymore and dog ear another book!

Notes
A full page each week for notes, to do's, lists, or alerts. Plenty of notes pages in back of BBB too to record and keep important records. And in this day and age … are records enough? I can never have enough of them if seems. Emails, paper, the spoken word!

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I utilized all of the above and have to say that my favorite times were when we pulled together and planned as a family. It was a nice time that we had together and meant a lot to us. Little things, they say, little things.

I reviewed The Busy Body Book for Maya’s Mom and momintheknow.blogspot.com.

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

I walked a mile and then some. Foot Petals are the answer to stilettos and all feet that need love. I love heels and I’m sure it’s because I’m 5’3 when I stand up straight and smile big. I was lucky enough to test out the Stiletto Survival Kit and Travel Slippers. Now let’s talk about if they were worth the test.

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As I have the Travel Slippers on, you decide there. I’ve always preferred the fluffy soft slippers until now. These glide right on and feel so smooth. Both elegant and comfortable, these slippers are embedded with their signature Killer Kushionz in the foot bed! Detailed with a black ribbon bow, a detail that I like and feel that it adds that certain something. Comes with their signature black satin travel pouch! Just slip in the slippers to stow away.

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Then my favorite thing to test was something I wasn’t even aware you could pick up at your local department store. The Stiletto Survival Kit was made for people like me who hate flat shoes and any woman who wears them out, to work, or on the go. This is what it says … a survival kit. Included in the kits, directly from Foot Petals: "Keep your feet perfectly cushioned all day with Tip Toes, Heavenly Heelz, Strappy Strips, and Killer Kushionz - the best designer cushions in town!"

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And of course, a must have for all shoes Sole Stopperz will help you strut safely in real life or on the runway and help preserve the soles of your new shoes!

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Finally, you can organize, protect, and store your stilettos and cushions in style with their signature shoe bag, Petal Pouch! Large enough to fit a pair of shoes for the girl on the go!

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My experience with Foot Pedals was like walking on air on all sides. I loved the stilettos and the slippers. I didn’t think stilettos could be that comfortable and I was proven wrong. Now I don’t have to wear my tennis shoes to give my toes a break, no excuses! I can always wear my heels and enjoy it.

Thank you Foot Pedals!

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For more information and to view all of their products, please visit http://www.footpetals.com/cgi-bin/footpetals/index.html

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wake up with ellen

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Mom in the Know
Location: Golden, CO, USA
Who am I?

Well, aside from a mom and a wife, I'm a person who wants the best for all of us. I have two daughters, two dogs, and a husband – all of whom I wanted to be at home for – so I put my talents to use, looking out for my family. Shopping (well, kinda you send me the products!). Surfing the Internet. Meeting new people. Recommending products to friends, after I fall in love with them. And figuring out how to make products better.

Enjoy.

If you want to submit a product for review, just contact me.
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