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NEW! Lets Go to School DVD

September 2nd, 2009

My kids have always been crazy about the Leap Frog DVD’s. We’ve spent many an afternoon together watching and learning about letters and their sounds over the years from cute characters Leap, Lily and Tad. Just before school began for the new year I ran out to our local store and snagged a copy of the brand new “Lets Go to School” movie for them to enjoy.


Initially I thought that Noah might be the only one interested in watching about starting school, however as the jazzy music and cute voices kicked in I found all three of my young boys (ages 8, 7 and 4.5) watching it together and giggling. Leap Frog marks it as appropriate for ages 3-6.


Here’s the premise of this video:

School starts tomorrow, and Tad and Lily are nervous! Join Tad, Lily and their magical firefly Edison as he shows them that the classroom is more nervous than they are! As the twins calm the blocks, globe, clock and more first-class characters, they build skills that help them get ready for school.


Preschool Skills:
– Phonics skills
– Counting
– Animals


Special Features:
– 5 sing-along songs
– Interactive alphabet book
– A sneak peek at Math Adventure to the Moon™


**If you you can get FREE SHIPPING! Use promo code FSNDVD at checkout to receive free shipping on this item. *


Help your little learners get a hop ahead for the new school year with Leap Frog! – Daria

We’re Oohing and aahing over the OOTS! lunchbox

August 6th, 2009

I haven’t purchased a lunchbox for my kids in a really long time. I was tired of en ever-growing collection of lunchboxes in various shades of pink and it seemed a waste to buy a new one every year when last year’s model still in perfect condition. Other than our newer Kids Konserve lunch bag, our current selection of lunchboxes don’t come with any sort of containers for food and snacks, which means we go through quite a few plastic bags, and in a world where we need to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible, it seems there are better alternatives out there. Fortunately I found one…and it’s stylish to boot!

I first discovered OOTS! when I reviewed their bbib back in October of 2006. It’s almost three years later and we’re still using our bbib—it’s one of our favorites because of it’s nearly full-coverage design. (I kind of wish they had a size that would fit my nine-year-old…) Because I’m already an OOTS! fan it was an easy decision (okay, I jumped at the chance) to review their newest product line consisting of super functional yet coolly modern lunchboxes.

We received the Deluxe version of the OOTS! Lunchbox in green, deluxe meaning it includes one large and four small containers. I love that those containers will cut down on our use of plastic bags so we can do our part to keep our carbon footprint in check. I love that the design offers a wide elastic strap that doubles as a placeholder for water bottle—a reusable one, of course! With your children’s health in mind, OOTS!’ lunchboxes uses materials that are food safe and kid-friendly; they’re made from BPA-free and phthalate-free polypropylene and safety tested for lead. Everything is dishwasher safe (hooray!) and even the containers are microwaveable.

When my son first caught hold of his new Lunchbox we had a lot of fun taking out and putting back the containers. Anything that entertains my son gets a thumbs-up in my book! The upright design proved pretty darn stable during playtime, which means it should do a great job keeping food from being tossed around. I hate when things get all mushed in a lunchbox! Here are a couple photos of George all excited about his new OOTS! Lunchbox:


I suggested washing the Lunchbox and its containers before using and George was all over that idea!

The Lunchbox comes in three different color combos: blue, green and orange. They are sold without the containers or as the Deluxe version, which is what we reviewed. (I recommend the Deluxe version; if you purchase the other you’re going to wish you had those containers!) What I love about the OOTS! lunchbox is that it’s kid friendly yet would make the perfect container for adults who enjoy packing their lunch for work or school. No hot pink stripes, polka dots or Barbie faces on these Dutch-designed, stylish-yet-functional lunchboxes!

*** Giveaway! OOTS! is giving away one Lunchbox Deluxe, winner’s choice! Please visit the OOTS! website and leave a comment telling us what other product you love. Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: August 13, 2009 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

** For a second entry tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.

** For a third entry blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL to your blog post.

* PROMOTION! OOTS! is offering Daily Dish readers 30% off their dishes and bbibs! Simply use coupon code “oots30” (without the quotes) when checking out. Offer expires September 30, 2009.

  • Congratulations to Eloise C., the winner of the OOTS! giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

Plan for a successful school career

August 4th, 2009

I can’t get enough of momAgenda. I’ve reviewed a few of their items and I continue to sing the company’s praises. Their momAgenda planners are a lifesaver (my leopard-print one is sprawled open in front of me as I type) as is the Kitchen Folio (I can see it sitting next to my bread machine chock full of coupons, schedules and important info). So how could I resist a review of one of their newest products, the School Years organizer?

I’m not one to keep a lot of my children’s school work. Call me unsentimental or opposed to extra file cabinets, whatever the reason I’m big on keeping only the most important things from each school year. But even with the smaller collection I have it is still a bit disorganized, with pictures here, report cards there and masterpieces thrown into the mix. momAgenda’s School Years is a simple (yay, simple!) way to keep track of all the important info from each year of your child’s education, from Pre-K through 12th grade.

I received the School Years planner in aqua, the perfect color for George. Because he’s not yet in his Pre-K years I have yet to start filling it out, but I did browse through it and was amazed at how concise yet complete the information is. You have a separate 7” by 9” folder for each year of school, which holds a report card, class picture and even a writing sample or art sample. Similar to a baby book you have space to write interesting and pertinent info like age, height, weight and the all-important info like friends, activities and sports. I love that everything for every year is in one place—and it’s not a file cabinet or plastic crate. In typical momAgenda style, the School Years folder is designed to last all 13 years and then some. That means it will still be in perfect condition when you need to pull it out and show your son’s fiance his gap-toothed first-grade picture.

While you’re picking up a School Years organizer for each of your children, check out momAgenda’s other products, including their desk pads and family planners. Don’t wait until January 1st, 2010 to get organized when there’s no better time than now!—Emily

*** Giveaway! momAgenda is giving away one School Years folder, winner’s choice! Please visit the momAgenda site and leave a comment telling us what other momAgenda product(s) you love. Leave a comment with a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: August 11, 2009 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

* For second entry tweet about this giveaway and leave a separate comment with the tweet’s URL.

* For a third entry blog about this giveaway and leave a separate comment with a link to your blog post.

  • Congratulations to lise, the winner of the momAgenda giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

Kids Konserve: Free of waste, full of style

April 15th, 2009

Kids KonserveBy now you may have already seen the fabulous Waste-Free Lunch Kit from Kids Konserve. I’ve seen it reviewed on a handful of my favorite sites and yet I can’t get enough of this lunch kit that helps kids “choose to reuse!” And with Earth Day less than a week away, I felt this was a timely review for our Daily Dish readers.

Did you know:

  • The average child generates 67 pounds of lunchtime trash per year?

  • 38 billion plastic water bottles end up in landfills each year and take 700 years before they start to decompose?

  • Trash is often mistaken for food and eaten by ocean life?

  • 1.5 million barrels of oil are used in making plastic baggies and plastic bottles each year?

Those are some pretty sobering statistics, but one company is doing something about it—and helping kids do their part to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Kids KonserveI received the Kids Konserve Waste-Free Lunch Kit in the super cute butterfly print. Before my girls even knew what it was they were fighting over who would use it first. I have never seen them so excited to take their lunch to school—heck, they were taking it even when it was chicken drummies on the hot-lunch menu! The kit includes a food cozy (a sort of thin, foldable plastic sandwich holder), two stainless steel round food containers, a stainless steel water bottle and cloth napkin inside a recycled cotton sack. The combination of the stainless steel and fun green and white print make for a pretty darn stylish lunch kit and a much preferable option to the old Barbie standby!

Kids Konserve uses food-grade stainless steel, the cleanest non-leaching and safest material in which you can place your food. And the reusable containers mean you’ll cut back on the use of plastic baggies, plastic water bottles, paper napkins, juice boxes…I could go on and on. That also means cutting back on the $$$ associated with all that uncool, landfill-filling stuff. I found my girls actually packed themselves healthier lunches when using the Waste-Free Lunch Kit. Go figure! And feel free to use the lunch kit items together or separetely. Those round containers are the perfect size for on-the-go snacks for little ones.

Kids KonserveYou have to check out Kids Konserve’s new Party Pak. This awesome waste-free kit is great for classrooms, picnics and birthday parties and includes (25 each): plates, tumblers, forks, knives and spoons in three cotton drawstring bags. I love the idea of not buying Costco-size packages of paper plates and plastic silverware!

Help your kids (and you) “choose to reuse” by incorporating the Waste-Free Lunch Kit from Kids Konserve into your daily school or daycare lunch routine. See? It’s not that hard to make a difference!—Emily

** Giveaway Kids Konserve is giving away one Kids Konserve lunch kit! To enter please read the story about Rose and the “Garbage Patch” and share your voice for change. All comments will be entered to win. The drawing will take place on Earth Day, April 22, 2009.

* Promotion! Kids Konserve is offering Daily Dish readers 10% off their purchase! Simply enter the code “boutique” when checking out from KidsKonserve.com. Offer expires May 31, 2009.

More priceless treasures from Scholastic & Shout! Factory

November 2nd, 2008

I’ve reviewed a handful of DVDs from Scholastic’s Storybook Treasures collection and apparently they liked the reviews enough to keep sending us more. Mind you, I’m not complaining and neither are my kids, but who knew there were so many treasures in their collection! Today I’m giving you the lowdown on four titles, all of which the family has thoroughly reviewed (at least two or three times).

Scholastic Storybook TreasureWhere the Wild Things Are…and 5 More Stories by Maurice Sendak: This is one of my favorite children’s books, and it was a favorite long before Jeremiah at Z Recommends pointed out the deeper level at which you could enjoy it (scroll down to the fifth paragraph). This DVD features the title story plus five other Sendak treasures, including Into the Night Kitchen, which fascinated me the first time I read it. (See Jeremiah’s review of that story as well…wish I had read between the lines!). My kids loved this DVD, especially George who has yet to read Where the Wild Things Are. Guess I better add that to the library list! The disc also features a getting-to-know Maurice Sendak blurb and Spanish and French versions of Where the Wild Things Are.

Make Way for Ducklings…and More Delightful Duck Stories: I have to admit, I didn’t get a chance to watch this DVD in its entirety though I did catch the first story and loved it! Make Way for Ducklings is a best-selling children’s book and it was the first time I had seen it. How did I miss this classic?

Harry the Dirty Dog…and More Playful Puppy Stories: This was one of my kids’ favorite DVDs out of the group. It was slipped into the DVD player quite a few times, especially by my son. Perhaps it’s because Harry loves to be muddy and Dot the fire dog is such a hero, whatever the reason, he loved it!

Scholastic Storybook TreasureNight Before Christmas…and More Classic Holiday Tales: I don’t generally do anything Christmas (besides a little shopping) before the day after Thanksgiving, but when this DVD arrived, my kids couldn’t wait to watch it, so I gave in (pretty easily). And I’m so glad I did, because not only did it feature the original holiday classic but also taught my children a little bit about Hanukkah (In the Month of Kisley), Kwanzaa (Seven Candles for Kwanzaa) and a Hispanic Christmas dinner (Too Many Tamales). A little culture at Christmas time is a really good thing!

Shout! FactoryTo wrap up this review, we also had a chance to watch a new DVD from Shout! Factory, Jane and the Dragon: A Dragon’s Tale. The DVD is a compilation of the first five episodes from the TV show, and if you haven’t seen Jane and the Dragon, then you’re missing out, especially if you have little girls. In this kingdom, girls are raised to be ladies-in-waiting, but not Jane. This 12-year-old rescues the prince from a ferocious dragon (he’s really not that ferocious) and is granted permission by the king to train as a knight’s apprentice. Her new friend, Dragon, is the perfect sidekick. I love his humor! The series showcases some pretty awesome 3D animation and every story so far has had a nice moral to it. It’s one of the few Saturday cartoons worth watching.

Quality children’s programming is hard to find on TV; the same goes for movies. Consider gifting your children one or two Scholastic Storybook Treasures or a Shout! Factory DVD this holiday season. Remember Where the Wild Things Are—classic stories stand the test of time. —Emily

Cap Trappers keep caps–and your sanity–in place

August 3rd, 2008

Cap TrapperThe container we use to store our markers often reminds me of the laundry basket on top of my dryer. Where one holds a collection of single socks missing their mates, the other holds a collection of dried-out markers in desperate need of their caps. Though my kids may enjoy the challenge of finding the handful of markers that still work, I don’t enjoy throwing away the handfuls that don’t. If your markers are suffering from MCS (missing cap syndrome) then you’re going to love The Cap Trapper from Savvy May Creations.


Cap TrapperDesigned by a mom with a teaching background The Cap Trapper is a simple yet ingenious way to keep your caps together and organized. Caps don’t go AWOL and markers don’t dry out. The flexible material allows The Cap Trapper to fit any cap size from super skinny Color Wonder markers to those chunky, perfect-for-toddler, washable (or so they claim) markers. The minute we received our Cap Trappers I had them out of the package and attached to the few working markers we had left. My kids thought they were pretty cool and I loved knowing I wouldn’t need to stock up on markers from the back-to-school bins. Though they take up a little more room in the bucket, you actually don’t need as much room since you can eliminate half your markers. (When only one out of five green pens actually work you can really downsize.)


The Cap Trapper isn’t just for home and school. Savvy May Creations also has a line of professional Cap Trappers perfect for dry erase and flip-chart markers. You can keep your dry erase markers in one place so you’ll know just where to find them when called upon to present at that last-minute meeting. No need to steal markers from the conference room down the hall because you’ll have your own, full, moist set!


With back-to-school shopping here you’ll want to add a few sets of Cap Trappers to the list; be sure to throw in one or two extra for yourself. Even if you’re not a crafter or teacher you’ll find they come in handy for organizing those pens and markers you have hidden on the top shelf (right next to your favorite pair of “good” scissors). You can purchase Cap Trappers from or from Little Angel Baby boutique.—Emily


** Giveaway! Savvy May Creations is giving away one two-pack of their fabulous Cap Trappers! Please leave a comment with a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: August 11, 2008 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!


** Congratulations to Suzie G., the winner of the Cap Trapper giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

Show #98 – Surprise Feature on ModGreetings

July 31st, 2008

We’re inching our way to show #100 and we would love your help! Please send us a quick email with your fave BC moment, show topic, advice or feature and we’ll include it in our upcoming 100th episode!

In this episode Daria talks about Summertime fun with family, Back to School Launches. ** Our Surprise highlight on ultra talented designer Patty Young about her new project ModGreetings.

We also cover Amy Butler’s NEW Eco Green Gift wrap & Tableware. Daria talks about our upcoming website redesign and asks for your input too (email your suggestions to daria@boutiquecafe.com). Podsafe music by Lee Coulter “I Would Love”.

Boutique Café is a proud member of the MommyCast & Friends Family Channel, powered by Podango.

**GIVEAWAY: This just in! Patty Young from ModGreetings is offering a 10 pack of variety cards to one of our lucky listeners. Leave a message in the shownotes to enter and we’ll draw a winner on Aug.8th.

**Please note: currently our hosting server is having an issue and will not play directly in your browser. It will instead download to your desktop when you click to play the file. Sorry for any inconvenience, they are working on the issue. However, you can head over to iTunes, subscribe and watch it there with no troubles. :) Click here to subscribe in iTunes

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Back to School Continues….

July 7th, 2008

TFK It may feel like they just got out of class and into summer, but in the world of custom boutique creations NOW is the time to start shopping for Back to School! For your child’s first day back in class we recommend dressing them in something unique and handmade by talented artisans and designers (many of those we feature on Boutique Cafe are WAHMs). Each outfit is truly a labor of love, and leaves your child looking and feeling extra special!

To search a full range of hundreds Back to School offerings, simply click here and stroll through the beautiful listings >>

*This gorgeous creation for BTS is available from seller boutique-jolie-b on eBay for the Anthology Inc. launch. Custom sized 24months – 7 and features 3 pieces full of detail and funk. We’re in love!

If your group is listing Back To School right now, please shoot us an email and let us know. We’d love to feature your launch on Boutique Cafe’s Finds!

Show #96 – Back To School Shopping

June 27th, 2008

Back to School Shopping, Giveaways GaloreWe’re taking a break from Quilt Market this week and getting back to our podcasting roots! Don’t worry more vidcast interviews from Market are on the way, including Joel Dewberry next week! (don’t miss it)

In this weeks show, Daria talks about Back to School shopping. Yes you heard us, it’s time to order your custom boutique outfits for fall. Click on our banner in the sidebar to shop hundreds of BTS listings. Other show topics include Boutique News: Lil Peas BTS group launch, ClickinMoms.com, Threaded Pear Studio – GIVEAWAY ends today!, MommyCast mentions us and Daria talks about the family channel. Song by Geoff Smith “Ones and 0s” – congrats Geoff on your new album!

**Boutique Cafe is brought to you by Aveeno Baby from Johnson & Johnson. Thanks Aveeno! Please click on our Aveeno banner to show your support.

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Back to School Already?! They Just Got Out!

June 27th, 2008

TFK Well that may be true, but in the world of custom boutique creations NOW is the time to start shopping for Back to School! For your child’s first day back in class we recommend dressing them in something unique and handmade by talented artisans and designers (many of those we feature on Boutique Cafe are WAHMs). Each outfit is truly a labor of love, and leaves your child looking and feeling extra special!

To search a full range of hundreds Back to School offerings, simply click here and stroll through the beautiful listings >>

The gorgeous BTS outfit pictured here is designed by MyaBella*Designs, from the Lil Peas BTS group launch going on right now! Search their group listings on eBay using search term “lil peas BTS. You won’t believe what you find…gorgeous stuff!

If your group is listing Back To School right now, please shoot us an email and let us know. We’d love to feature your launch on Boutique Cafe’s Finds!

Show #68 – Lip SMACKERS Challenge, and Organization

August 7th, 2007

FFF Amelia drops in with her new FFFFashion Forward Friday Challenge this week – it’s “Lip SMACKERS”. Blog about your fave lip color and show us your kisser, be sure to comment here in our shownotes and link back to your post.

Maja-cizeNeed some help with Back to School? Maja is back with step #1 in her series for getting our kids ready for back to school, and our homes in tip top shape. Join in her Challenge and give “Martha” a run for her money. :)

Megan also shares the Boutique News this week including:
Children of the World Launch, Jaynes Launch, Maker Faire Austin, virtual Back to School backpack, - $5.00 rebate – code: Boutiquecafe from Sophie & Spice, Sherees Alchemy – win $25 gift certificate, My Turtle Baby – 15% discount – code: Boutiquecafe, You Can Make This – help raise money for Children’s Miracle Network .

*Participate in our Fashion Forward Friday this week and be entered to win a FREE Month long Banner Ad on Boutique Cafe in our Market! Amelia will draw the winner from all those who join in and announce in her next segment on BC.


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