Welcome back to another Favorite Finds feature! It’s been a while since we’ve highlighted a list of products and services that have been suggested to us by friends and readers. This list has been growing in my files, and I’m excited to share these 10 items with you today. You can visit previous Favorite Finds postshere and here and here, plus our entire category of Favorite Finds here. And if you ever stumble across something that you think is brilliant and must be shared with other TMoM readers, please email me and I’ll do my best to include in a future Favorite Finds post!
A few of the products and services below make for great holiday gifts too. Enjoy!
For the Holidays
1. Pre-Lit and Decorated Holiday Trees
The folks at Cloverdale Ace Hardware andNorth Greensboro Ace Hardware have a special treat for all of us who crave a simple solutions during the holiday season. If you’re one who wants to fast-forward the Christmas tree purchase and decorating process – and skip right to a beautiful pre-decorated tree – then head to one of these local Ace Hardware stores. For discounted prices, you can choose one of four festive trees that come pre-lit and adorned with beautiful ornaments, balls, strands and other garnishes. Available now are the “Purple Magic Tree for all Seasons”, the “Funky Lime Green Tree for all Seasons”, the “Sugar Plum Pink Tree”, and the “Traditional Victorian Tree” (pictured right). Price includes delivery and set up. How cool is that? Your kids – and visitors – will love the fun colors and funky décor.
2. Chucked Wood
If you are searching for a unique gift that will be treasured for generations, you should check out Chucked Wood, a local Triad business. Owner/designer Cory Phillips, creates lasting, one-of-a-kind, custom-designed furniture pieces by recycling used wood pallets. He has created everything from accent pieces for the home and garden, to dining room tables, to a loft bed. He even created a bench installation for the lobby and SciQuarium at the Greensboro Science Center!
Inspired to make the “bright times even brighter” during a difficult period in his life, Cory taught himself the basics of wood working using only reclaimed materials. He also learned the finer points of furniture building from his favorite uncle, and built a bed for his 3-year old son. Word got out and he found himself building side projects for neighbors, and then Chucked Wood was born. Cory currently focuses on tailored-to-order furniture. No two pieces are alike! And you can see examples of his work on his Etsy page here.
For the Kids
3. Bob and Larry’s ABC’s – A VeggieTales Book App
A representative from the children’s book publishing company, Storypanda, recently contacted TMoM to let us know they’re publishing five classic VeggieTales books digitally, first on the iPad and then on Android. Bob and Larry’s ABC’s is the first in the Veggiecational series to be published digitally, and your child can soon collect all five Veggiecational digital books to learn numbers shapes, colors and time.
On this app (which is designed for use on an Ipad), the favorite VeggieTales characters guide your child through the alphabet while Larry the Cucumber narrates the adventure. Kids and parents can play this app together while your child can change the letters to different fonts and type in their own words and sentences. Afterwards, parents can share their child’s creation through email, Facebook and Twitter with friends and family. Although my kids are a little old for this app, they got a huge kick out of it. You can download it from Itunes for just $2.99!
4. Custom Stuffed Toys
How many times have you wanted to make your child’s adorable drawing come to life? Now you can thanks to Lofty Littles! A friend shared this link on her Facebook page, and I thought it was ingenious! There are a million examples on its web site (including pictures to the left) of how this company uses colorful, plush materials to make a child’s imagination a reality on its web site. It appears the prices depend on the complexity of the animal, but we all know such a gift is priceless. This could make a fantastic holiday gift!
5. Period Starter Kits
Speaking of ingenious, here is another product that makes me wonder what why it hasn’t been around for years! For all of us with daughters, this is something we all need to know about. Hello Flo created Period Starter kits to help your daughter prepare for her first cycle, and for every cycle after that! Each packet contains 100% organic cotton pads, tips and conversation starters, an adorable canvas pouch, aFeby, and extra gifts and goodies to ease the transition. And even if you don’t have a daughter, you need to watch its Camp Gyno video ad on the main page of its web site that has now one viral – it’s too cute!
For the Dads
6. How to be a Dad
A loyal dad who follows TMoM shared this site with us, and we thought it was too cute not to pass along. Written by two dads for dads, this site shares stories, experiments and experiences that are hilarious, cute and sometimes even practical. The site describe itself this way: “is a not so much a ‘how-to’, but a ‘how-not-to’ entertainment website for parents… or anyone who’s ever had parents really.” Some of the site’s more popular blogs include, “Potty Failing…A True Story”, and “Why Won’t My Wife Have Sex with Me” and “Childbirth Terms Can Make You Want to Puke”, plus many more! Log on, bookmark this site and share it with the favorite dad in your life!
For the Moms
On a more serious note, we also found a site that helps moms with parenting advice too! Mommybites offers free on-line parenting classes each month on topics ranging from potty training to bullying to sleep and financial tips! What’s great about Mommybites is that you can join in these classes without leaving your home. You can participate alone, with friends, with your playgroup, with grandparents, or with your husband/partner. There is no limit to how many people can join you!
The web site (and its Facebook page) also offers up-to-date part-time work opportunities for moms, as well as casting calls, and special deals. Their classes fill up quickly, but if you “like” their Facebook page, you can receive word on their online offerings the same day they open them for registration.
8. Milkies Milk Saver
You might remember from this post about how I was never a breast-feeding pro, but oh had I wished I had this product for the few months I did attempt nursing! A friend of mine (who has an infant at home) swears by this Milkies Milk Saverproduct, and I admit it’s pretty brilliant.
I don’t know about you, but I always remember feeling frustrated over all the precious breast milk I wasted. Now, there is a way to discreetly collect milk from your non-nursing side that your baby can safely use for his next feeding. You can use these milk savers while pumping too. These savers are so much smarter – and much less messy – than typical nursing pads. And they’re made with FDA approved materials.
9. Stitch Fix
For those of you who can’t find the time to shop for yourself (or loathe the mall like me), I stumbled across a service that’s the perfect solution! Stitch Fix is a personal online styling service. All you have to do is log on and complete a short profile about your style, size and budget, and it will send you a package of about five hand-picked items and accessories (most likely things you’ll like and from brands you know) for you to try on at home and decide if you want to purchase. Each shipment includes ideas and suggestions on how to wear the items, and you can pair the items with clothes you already have in your closet! You pay a $20 fee up-front, and then that fee is applied as credit towards anything you decide to keep. They also sell gift cards!
10. Two (actually three!) Bags from 31
Chances are good you have a friend who reps 31 Bags – or you’ve been to a 31 Bags party. These bags are hugely popular, and there are two items in particular that Rachel and I both love.
Rachel likes the cosmetic bag kit, which is actually two bags in one for just $35! It’s perfect for holding products at home or on the road. Shampoo fits perfectly (without the fear of spilling), and the bags are lined and can stand up on their own!
And I love the suite skirt purse! Remember the purses we had when we were young that let us switch the fabric to match our mood? This is the same concept. Instead of having to hunt down several different practical purses in all different seasonal colors, I found this purse for just $60 and purchased several “skirts” (which can be monogrammed) to change it up all year-long!
What do you think of this list? Have you tried any of these products and services? If so, share your experiences with us!