Review & Giveaway! So Awesome Children’s Wallet & Wallet Cards

Happy Monday! And an awesome Monday it will be.

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We have had this Review & Giveaway in the works for you for a few weeks now, and I am excited to have it online today because I know your children (and you!) will all love it. A friend of mine recently purchased the My Wallet Card Set by So Awesome for her toddler son and raved all about it to me and suggested that it would make a great review for Little Brim Baby. I am so thankful she did, as these products combine education, fun, interaction, and great design — all made in the USA by a Michigan mom of twin boys.

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Marie-Claire Camp is the mom behind the brand, with her twin sons Silas and Owen featured proudly on her cleverly-designed business card (above right). When I received a package in the mail I had to immediately smile at how much fun her sons look to be having and rave how creative it was to feature a business card that integrates in to the Wallet Cards product ring. Too cool.

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My son grabbed the Alphabet Cards away from me so fast and started browsing through them and filling his wallet with his play receipts (dinners out, concert tickets, photographs, shopping list, and more).

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My husband and I have had a fun time asking him about his dinners out, the names of his friends, and interacting with him with each item.

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The My Wallet Card Set is designed to mimic the tempting wallet of adults, with an easy Velcro closure. The sturdy wallet is available in a cool shade of green, and is handmade from the iconic Ohio bag company, Drifter.

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Included with the Wallet are four cards (drivers license, bank card, library card, and children’s museum card), and four play money bills printed on durable Tyvek material. My two-year-old son can’t even ruin these! Bills are in denominations of $1, $5, $10, and $20. Each slot can be easily accessed by little fingers, and everything stays in place when swung around (sad that that becomes a priority in toys, haha). I love it!

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A closer look…

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The Children’s Alphabet Wallet Cards are printed on nontoxic cards and are completely sturdy in the hands of my son. He LOVES looking at these, flipping through them while in his car seat or at a restaurant, and while it is a little confusing for him now since the lowercase letters are the largest, it has been definitely educational in pairing with the uppercase letters that he already knows in the top left corner of each card. He also really enjoys the drawings around each letter. The illustrations are gorgeous, whimsical, and fun to view, drawn by Australian illustrator Marc Martin.

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Both the cards and the wallet have been a big role in our dining out lately. Our son has taken to eating his weight in queso and guacamole, so we are teaching him how to pay his bill after each meal. It’s never too early to start learning about money! He enjoys reaching for his wallet in my bag while we are grocery shopping and he always receives the best reaction from people asking “where did you find such a cute wallet?”

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As if the Wallet Cards and Wallet are not great enough, So Awesome has released an app on the iTunes App Store called “My Wallet by So Awesome.” This app is terribly addictive, even for me! My son can’t get enough of the popping bubbles, and I must admit that I am just as hooked. Playing music and puppets is fun (and not at all hard on the ears like some other toddler apps), and browsing through the number and color cards offer the perfect educational opportunity instead of watching videos. Older toddlers will love the ATM/Bank Savings Machine, which adds up bills as you drag them to deposit. You all must download this app today, you’ll love it!

Make sure to enter our giveaway below and to browse the So Awesome online shop for more products that you and your children will enjoy.

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Bonus! Now through a week after the giveaway is over, you can save 35% off of the My Wallet Set! Just use the code LITTLEBRIM35 at checkout!

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GIVEAWAY!

So Awesome is generously giving away one Super Bundle Set to a Little Brim Baby reader! That is four wallet card sets! Awesome, indeed. Enter at the Rafflecopter Link below; there is one mandatory entry and five bonus entries. This giveaway is open March 10-16, so make sure to enter to win your little one this fantastic product that will be sure to entertain.

ENTER HERE: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! The winner will be announced next Monday, March 17. UPDATE: The winner has been chosen and contacted. Thank you all for entering!

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*** The So Awesome Wallet and Wallet Cards were generously provided to us for review. We were not monetarily compensated and all opinions are our own. ***

Also Blogging…

Things are ramping up here at Little Brim Baby, starting with a great Review & Giveaway tomorrow, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out my most recent posts on BuyModernBaby and Child Mode:

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Lollaland Mealtime Set: Attractive, Fun, & Educational

Orla Kiely’s Vintage-Inspired Clarks Collection is Fabulous

Singapore Style Meets Swedish Designs with Gardner & the Gang

Mamas & Papas Outstanding Kids Collection

New Little Luxuries from Skip Hop

Mimobee’s Simple & Stylish Fashions Let Kids be Kids

Valentine’s Love-Inspired Ideas

Zutano for Aden by aden + anais

LUSH Kids Fresh Bath Products

Review: 7 A.M. ENFANT

Happy Family Play Sets from Hape

Store Spotlight: Lizards & Lollipopz, Marietta, GA

While in the Atlanta area visiting family a couple of weeks ago, we stopped by Lizards & Lollipopz in Marietta to check out their toy selection. Grandma always enjoys spoiling Little Brim to the brim whenever she gets the chance, so she was looking forward to showing us around this cute little shop that she had found. He grabbed a shopping cart immediately upon entering and set out on a mission.

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They have a massive selection of Melissa and Doug products, including their large dollhouse, dolls, puzzles, games, and more. Janod, Lego, Motorworks by Manhattan Toy (including the parking garage), Alex Toys crafts, books, little trinkets and treasures for all ages, and a beautiful assortment of Jellycat stuffies. I’m kind of in love with the Lonely Lion myself.

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After wandering around and placing five vehicles in the tiny cart, he wheeled it right up to the cashier, placed them all on the counter, and said, “Take it home.” Apparently, all those grocery store trips we have been taking are making an impression…

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The Janod Western Story Box set is too cute.

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The Janod Story Express train sets are definitely going on our wish-list for future train purchases! They have Circus, Farm, and Western themes.

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The Magic Bubble Bear is unique because the bubble loop appears when you squeeze the bear, automatically filling it with the right amount of liquid. Easy and mess-free for little ones! We took this purchase to Marietta Square across the street and had fun blowing bubbles and playing on the replica train engine known as The General. There were so many unique toys at Lizards and Lollipopz that I have to recommend it to anyone living in or visiting the region. I also found my new favorite brand there, but you’ll have to wait to find out what it is as I am going to post it on BuyModernBaby soon!

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Also worth a mention is the Australian Bakery Cafe located right across Marietta Square. They feature famous Aussie meat pies, curry pies, fresh baked breads, coffee, and general grocery items. The food, as well as the prices, are outstanding!

Cue the Tears: You Made Me a Mother

Boba produced this special video that has me so warm and fuzzy, I want to have eight more babies. I managed to hold it together until…”until you let go.” (hold me).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go hold my son in a front carry and not let him out until Prom. __________________________________________

*** Disclosure: I’m a Boba Ambassador. I participate in Boba events and online conversations, and receive thank you gifts for my participation, but all opinions and experiences expressed are my own. ***

Review & Giveaway! Mother Load Organizational Bags

Happy Monday, and Happy November!

I am trying to get back into the swing of blogging frequently now that some of my fog is lifting (a post about that soon), but first, we have a fun review and giveaway for you featuring the organizationally clever Mother Load baby changing bags!

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Mother Load bags were invented by Zara Merbaum when she felt that her life quickly erupted into organizational chaos after the birth of her son, Noah. Zara had been using large Ziploc bags in order to easily find diapers, wipes, creams, toys, pacifiers, and bottles inside her already compartmentalized diaper bag, but the bags all looked similar and became dirty easily. She decided to invent an easier and more efficient way of staying organized by putting her textile and fashion background to work. Five bags make up the Mother Load collection, each color-coded with an embroidered icon to represent a different use: Diapers, Snacks, Clean Clothes, Dirty Clothes, and Toys. You can read more of their story here.

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The vivid colors are backed by an amazing flexible-stretchy, mesh material, with the exception of the dirty clothes bag — because no one wants that one to leak! The bags are made from a machine-washable, water-resistant nylon, and are the perfect alternative to using Ziplocs and creating more waste.

I was sent The Mother Load collection for my thoughts and use, and recently had an excellent chance to try them all out during a week-long, 18-hour-long-distance road trip. All of these thoughts are mine and I am excited that Mother Load is offering a giveaway to a reader who can use their “functional alternative to childcare chaos!”

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As I laid everything out for taking this road trip, the first half solo driving with just myself and my 22-month-old toddler son, I quickly saw how easily it was to organize everything within each bag. Since I was packing a suitcase, I didn’t have a need to use the Clean and Dirty Clothes bags for that specific purpose, but instead packed one with health and first-aid supplies and the other with snacks for my son.

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As you can see here, each bag held a lot of items. The blue diaper changing wristlet bag was perfect for running in and out of restaurants and rest stops along the 18-hour drive. The bag includes a changing mat of its own (shown in the matching blue), which would be great for a smaller infant and cleaner space, but since my son is older and I anticipated using larger, possibly dirtier public spaces, I swapped it out for my larger changing mat from a Nest diaper bag. It still fit in the bag perfectly, along with travel wipes and at least seven size 4 Pampers diapers, and two size 5 Huggies Overnights. Impressive!

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With driving to my hometown in northern Illinois, and anticipating being outside in the fall all week, I packed more than I had if we had stayed locally in Florida, including bug spray, allergy tablets, and medicines for my husband and I since he joined us later in the week and we always seem to get sick when we venture to drier climates during the colder months. Our bodies have become used to moisture living in humid Virginia and Florida it seems. I am happy to say that this bag held a lot of “what-if-needed” items, but we luckily didn’t need to use anything from it. The orange Clean Clothes bag held road trip snacks for my son, and the green Toys bag held just that — toys I could carry into a restaurant for entertainment or pass back to him one at a time in the car to keep him happy during the drive. This bag was a HUGE lifesaver and space saver for me!

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It is ridiculous the amount of items the Toys bag fit. The Snacks bag held (mostly) healthy road trip snacks for myself in case our son fell asleep in the car and I could keep making good time by driving through a meal time.

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I dumped out the Toys bag when we returned home and took a photo of the random items that it had collected along the trip. A stop to Target was made with picking up a few of their $3.99 brand trucks for surprise toys along the drive, random snacks for us both, a few blabla finger puppets, restaurant crayons and paper, trains, vehicles, and items from my dad’s house all easily fit inside.

These bags were a lifesaver all week. With traveling between my parents’ homes, friends’ homes, local outings, restaurants, and the actual drive itself, these brightly colored bags made it incredibly easy to refill each one when needed, grab only the bag(s) needed for that day/outing, and stay keep my giant diaper bag organized and clean. TO be honest, when I was first sent the bags, I thought that I wouldn’t find a use for them since my diaper bag has many pockets for these uses, but I was surprised and excited to find myself even more organized and having one less thing to think about when on-the-go. I’m still using the Toys and Snacks daily now and more for weekend trips.

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Let’s face it, when you’re on a long road trip and your front seat is full of loose projectiles like this (gulp, shamelessly admitting this photo) returning from a trip with a LOT more than you arrived with (thanks to awesome Grandma’s gifting groceries and presents, cleaning out parents’ homes, etc.), being able to just grab the blue changing bag or orange bag for snacks when we stop to stretch your legs and re-fuel yourself and the vehicle, makes everything MUCH EASIER. It helped me maintain my sanity and put a stop to digging through my diaper bag like I had constantly found myself doing on previous vacations and trips.

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GIVEAWAY!

Mother Load is generously giving one Little Brim Baby reader THE Mother Load collection (all FIVE bags, a $75 value!). This giveaway will be open from today, Monday, November 4, through midnight EST Friday, November 8, 2013. I will use Random.org over the weekend to choose and contact a winner.

In order to enter this giveaway, simply LIKE Mother Load on Facebook and leave comment here on this blog post stating that you did so. Only one comment needed to enter! Good luck!

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This giveaway has ended and the 8th comment (Lindsey D.) winner has been contacted! Thank you all for being Little Brim Baby readers!

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If you can’t wait until next week to get your completely organize your chaos, you can purchase The Mother Load collection of bags here, or each bag individually to fit your specific clutter needs. Mini Load Sets are available to purchase several bags for several needs. They’re worth it!

Top 5 Board Books for Infants

These are my picks for the Top 5 Board Books that our son loved. Any of them would be perfect for gift giving this holiday season, to boys or girls. Enjoy!

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I’ll See You in the Morning, by Mike Jolley.This is my all-time favorite book for children (and adults). It is a peaceful, loving, reassuring bedtime story filled with whimsical drawings, beautiful verse, and calming rhyme. An excerpt: “Don’t be afraid of darkness, don’t be afraid my sweet. The night is just a blanket, that helps the Earth to sleep.” This was one of the first books that I purchased when pregnant, and I started reading this to our son every night when he was five weeks old. I love it.

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Romeo & Juliet, by Jennifer Adams. A BabyLit book. Our son has loved this book since we first started reading it. It is a counting primer, 1-10, with each page telling a different part of the classic love story. The last page is “10 Kisses” and I have always made a big deal about chasing him around to give him the 10 Kisses, so he loves to open the book to that page over and over again. All BabyLit books are popular in our house, but this one is our son’s favorite.

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I Love You More, by Laura Duketa. Our son loves this book because it is split in the middle into two stories. The front view is why the mom loves the son more, and if you flip the book over, the same story can be started from the back cover, but with the son explaining why he loves the mom more. The middle drawing finishes with both mom and son loving each other more than the whole world. He loves the animals and objects mentioned, and loves to flip the book over and read it again and again and again.

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Moomin’s Little Book of Numbers, by Tove Jansson. My sister gifted our son this book since she had noticed it while traveling in Finland. Moomin is a popular Finnish children’s fairy-tale-ish character, going on adventures with his family and friends in the forest and beach. There is a ton of merchandise accompanying the stories and even a theme park built celebrating this beloved character. This book is a counting book with simple drawings, but enough to point and discuss with your infant.

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Baby Einstein First Words. This book can keep our son entertained forever. There are so many pages and pictures to view, great for reading together or exploring solo. We started going through this book daily when he was young, limiting the pages to relevant developmental milestones (food when he started eating, home when he started exploring) just to keep it a bit less overwhelming. As he has grown to almost two, he still has a few that he doesn’t know yet, but he still loves reading and exploring the pages.

What are your family’s favorite board books?

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