So, I know this is late, but I’ve been working on a post series for eco-friendly scrapbooking. ūüôā I will wait patiently while you roll your eyes. ¬†Done? Ok, anyway. ¬†Found some new products for July over at Creative Memories for anyone who is interested:

Any of the digital sets are also available in paper for traditional scrapbooking.  Now, I am partial to CM simply because of their high quality (which I will talk about when I post on green scrapbooking soon!).

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The Mini Social is having some great sales right now. This is a member-only site, but it is free to become a member!

Totsy is offering some organic products as part of their current events. This is also a member-only site, but it is free to become a member!And for every purchase you make through Totsy, they will plant one tree in the name of your child.

Robeez is now offering eco-friendly soft-soled shoes made from organic canvas and recycled leather. Prices starting at $21.95.

The infamous gDiaper has introduced a new line – gStyle! While not a “deal” per se, definitely something new! These are fashionably coordinated tops and bottoms for both boys AND girls. I’m seeing some with ruffled butts! Too cute!

EcoBabyBuys today has the GenY diaper cover 50% off – set of 2 for $15!!! (Valid today, 7/14 only, while supplies last) “GEN-Y diaper covers are virtually leak proof and very easy to use. An inner layer of PUL acts as a waterproof barrier, but is soft and flexible. The waist and legs are fitted with non-wicking stretch binding that gathers the fabric, yet is gentle on little legs and tummies. Poly-resin snap closures allow air circulation, are more difficult for your baby to undo, and won’t snag or wear out with time. Machine wash/ dry with your other diapers… What’s not to love?¬†GEN-Y products are made in the USA.”

Be sure to head over to EcoBabyBuy’s Facebook page and Like them. When they reach 3,000 fans, they’re giving away a Tulip Rumparooz G2 diapers with 6r soakers to 2 Lucky Fans!

BabyHalfOff is having a Warehouse Blowout and say to check back throughout the day as they post more deals! Currently they’re showing: Generation Baby Smart Sac and Reusable Breast Pads 50% off – $15 and $9, respectively. They are now showing The Mommy Cover by Joia 55% off – starting at $22! Aqua Water Bottles by Envirosax 50% off – starting at $12.75! (Valid today, 7/14 only, while supplies last). ¬†I’ll try and peek over there periodically to see what else they’ve added. But be sure to check yourself, and follow their Facebook page!

Kelly’s Closet is having more deals all the time!

EcoMom is having a sale on Jammy Sammy organic snacks with prices starting at $3.00. ¬†Check out the other great sales on that site while you’re there!

Be sure to also check out their Lifetime Ecopass, available for a limited time.  The Ecopass gives great benefits & discounts. Check it out!

Zulily is offering Bobux shoes on sale up to 50% off until 7/19. ¬†This is a member-only site, but it is free to sign up. ¬†These are made from eco-friendly leather and have soft-soles, which pediatricians recommend for the littlest ones’ growing feet.

For Disney fans, the Disney Store is offering FREE personalization store-wide until 11:59pm 7/20 or while supplies last. Use promo code: FREEPZ.

Graveyard Mall has the Maxim EverEarth Activity Walker 43% off ¬†or $42.99!! “Made from all-natural FSC wood and water-based paints.” It is for 18 months and up.

GreenBabyBargains is offering Natural All-Purpose Cleaner by Germs Begone 50% off – $16.25! (Valid today, 7/14 only, while supplies last) “This package includes a¬†3 month supply of Germs Begone” the all-purpose sprayer and a gallon-size refill.

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Hope everyone had an awesome 4th!! ¬†I’m back and have some great deals to pass on.

Baby Half Off has Mrs. Smith’s diaper bags 50% off – making them starting at $32.49! (Valid today, 7/6 only, while supples last) These look cute. “…not only will Mrs. Smith‚Äôs Elite Diaper Bag hold as much (and probably more) essentials than the other bags,¬†¬† but it also will keep it all organized and easy-to-find (and grab!). With mom‚Äôs well-being constantly in mind, Mrs. Smith has thought of every detail….”

EcoBabyBuys has Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Remedy & Tear-Free Shampoo¬†Set 50% off – making it $14.99. (Valid today, 7/6 only, while supplies last) ¬†The deal also includes a $5 coupon for Grandma El’s store. ¬†Grandma El’s diaper rash is highly recommended by cloth diaper retailers and one I’ve had my eye on for a while. “Used with each and every diaper change it will help to protect, prevent, and heal diaper rash.” The Tear-Free Shampoo is made with all natural ingredients. “The neutral pH of this exceptional formula prevents irritation and eye tearing.¬† It is Pediatrician recommended, baby friendly, and helps prevent cradle cap.¬† Grandma El‚Äôs¬ģ shampoo contains no harsh soaps or alcohols. It is enriched with natural chamomile and aloe vera to bring skin soothing, hair softening, and scalp healing nutritive properties to the formulation. Leaves your baby‚Äôs hair soft, shiny, and smelling fresh and

clean, naturally!” I’m thinking I’m taking advantage of this deal!

ToysRUs is having FREE shipping on all orders over $49. This includes¬†anything bought on both ToysRUs website AND BabiesRUs website. Just select Standard Shipping at checkout. Stock up on Earth’s Best, gDiapers, Seventh Generation and more! Get Cash Back with Shop At Home (3%) and Ebates (1-2%).

The Disney Store has some of their pajama sets 50% off – making them $7.99 each! Also, get $5 shipping today on all orders over $89, by using the promo code: SHIPTODAY. Also, over at the Disney Store outlet, check out some great deals starting at $2.99! ¬†Found this Mickey Mouse toddler costume for $12.99! She’s so cute!! Get Cash Back with Shop At Home (5%) and Ebates (7%).

For all you pregnant Moms out there, Motherhood Maternity is having a 40% off sale on their swimwear. Online only. Get Cash Back with ShopAtHome (5%) and Ebates (5%).

The Natural Baby Co. has their Wonder Wraps one-size diaper covers on sale for $10.47. These will fit a baby from about 10lbs through potty-learning! Check out the other great products on their site.

BabySteals is offering Bebe Au Lait’s Organic Linen Hooter Hiders 50% off – $19.99! (Valid today,7/6 only, while supplies last) “A cool, breathable nursing cover perfect to add to your collection or the perfect shower gift, Simple by Bebe au Lait Organic Hooter Hiders are the ultimate nursing covers for eco-chic mothers. Solid attractive colors in hand-selected organic materials create a breathable linen cover that will keep you and your baby comfortable during the warm summer months.” $5 Flat Rate Shipping.

One Step Ahead is having a Summer Sale with select items up to 60% off! ¬†Items are starting at $4.95. One Step Ahead is “committed to bringing you what parents want: high quality products…ingenious parenting solutions…outstanding service…and the toughest guarantees in the industry.” ¬†And they often have products you can’t find anywhere else. You can also register and sign up for a birthday club; you’ll get a special promo code to use during the month of your kids’ birthdays. Get FREE shipping on orders over $85. Use code: SHIP85 at checkout. ¬†Get Cash Back with ShopAtHome (5%) and Ebates (3%).

GreenBabyBargains has the¬†ScooterBees Eco-Friendly Kid Shoes 58% off – $16!! (Valid today, 7/6 only, while supplies last) ¬†“ScooterBees‚Äô patent-pending design allows the shoes to adjust to the little feet‚Äôs different thicknesses and widths. For the first time, you can see how the foot fits inside the shoes, and rest assure that your little ones have the best-fitting shoes on.¬†They believe in making shoes that are meaningful to the children. … ScooterBees are made of recycled fibers dervied from both post-industrial and post-consumer sources, including PET soda and water bottles…”

bTrendie has Funkoos organic baby apparel on sale 40% off – looks to be starting at around $18.99. Valid today, 7/6 only, while supplies last. Funkoos is America’s rapidly growing line of affordable, stylish Organic clothing for babies and children. The line is made from the finest 100 percent certified organic cotton, and manufactured in factories certified as per the internationally-recognized Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS).”

They also have Bobux soft-soled leather shoes 40% off – starting at $16.99!

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BabySteals has Baby Banz UPF 50+ Swimwear 50% off – $15.99-$20.99! (Valid today, 7/1 only, while supplies last) ¬†“Protect that soft gush of skin you love so much from the harsh sun with Baby Banz 50+ UPF Swimwear! Designed in Australia for one of the world’s toughest UV environments, all Baby Banz swimwear is clinically tested with a rating of 50+, which means that 98% of UVR rays are blocked by the clothing. Not only is it the safest around, but it is also the most stylish. Whether at the pool or the beach, your children will look cool and stay safe from the sun with their Baby Banz swimwear.”

BabyHalfOff has Smart-Sax Smarter Reusable Grocery Bag 50% off – $9.25! ¬†I may need to get one, these look awesome! Valid today, 7/1 only, while supplies last. “Smart Sax found a really innovative design for groceries!¬† You open it up, clip it to the inside of your cart, and load your groceries!¬†These bags have sturdy plastic clips to clip onto your cart and strong handles for carrying. Made of sturdy polyester, carries 25-30 pounds. Comes in khaki with Bird and tree pattern.”

EcoBabyBuys has Nursing Necklaces 45% off – $14.30. ¬†Valid today, 7/1 only, while supplies last. As the mother of a child who needs your ear to play with to go to sleep, this would have been something to consider! “These nursing necklaces are designed to give your baby something to safely explore and play with while nursing, resulting in a more relaxing time for both mother and baby.”

Motherhood Maternity is having a 50% off sale (select items only) Get Cash Back: ShopAtHome – 10%. Ebates – 5%

DisneyStore is offering FREE shipping through Monday, 7/5. Use promo code FREESHIP. They’re also still having their Twice Upon a Year sale, with deals up to 50% off. ūüôā Get Cash Back: ShopAtHome – 5%. Ebates – 5%.

GreenBabyBargains has Stain-friendly bibs by Pukies 62-66% off = $12! ¬†These look cute. ūüôā Valid today, 7/1 only, while supplies last. ¬†“Pukies is designed to disguise the mess kids create and to hide the fact that kids wear what they eat! Made from soy and organic cotton, both sustainable fabrics. Pukies’ Soy Genius‚ĄĘ fabric – a special blend of soy fiber and organic cotton ‚Äď which makes Pukies incredibly soft and comfortable, durable, antimicrobial, and provides high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor). So, with Pukies you can spend less time worrying about mess and more time enjoying your kids!”

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I’ve been wanting to write this post ever since we returned from DisneyWorld last November. ¬†#1 was 13 months old during our trip and we’ll be returning in 2012 with a 3.5 and 1.5 year old. I did a lot of research online and using the best of the best, here are MY tips for taking a toddler to DisneyWorld (these would probably work for a smaller child also!).

In no particular order:

Bring Snacks

The great thing about DisneyWorld (and probably Disneyland, though I haven’t been there) is that you can bring your own snacks and drinks into the parks. ¬†We followed this rule sans kids also. ¬†A water bottle you can refill at drinking fountains, plus a few packs of drink mix to shake in – great for adults! But for kids?

I packed a vitamin/medicine box; one of those that has different compartments for different days, or times of day, etc. ¬†Into each compartment I put a different, non-melting, snack. ¬†Then, when we were in line for something and #1 asked for something to eat – Shazam! Instant snack. ūüôā Just enough to get her by until we were out of the ride and could grab something to eat.

We also packed a very small cooler with a couple of bottles filled with milk for her. And when they were gone, we purchased milk.  It was 2%, but it got her by until we were back at the room (where we had a fridge with whole milk, etc.)

Bring a Stroller, Carrier or Harness (or all three!)

I am not a huge fan of strollers at Disney, just because you can’t take them into any line, so you are ALWAYS parking them and leaving them somewhere. But we did bring one just in case. ¬†Here are my recommendations:

  • Magic Kingdom – Carrier
  • Animal Kingdom – Carrier
  • EPCOT – Stroller
  • MGM Studios – Skip it with toddlers

For a carrier, we had two: a backpack carrier and a wrap carrier.

The backpack carrier my husband wore and she was very high up then (he’s 6’3″) and could see everything. This was especially nice for maneuvering through crowds or waiting in lines (wore the pack in the lines!), or watching the parades. ¬†When we went on a ride, he wore her through the line, then just before we got on pulled it off, and put the pack down on the seat – giving her her own built-in, raised seat. This worked really well for Small World, Pirates, any of the boat rides. ¬†#1 even sleeps in this carrier, so as we were headed into the Hall of Presidents, she nodded off. We just slipped the carrier off as we got to our seat, set it down between our legs and she napped while we enjoyed the show.

The wrap was nice for when she wanted to be held. She was nearing 25lbs, so gets very heavy after a while and the wrap takes some of that weight off. ¬†Every day, especially the day we took the stroller, I threw this in, just in case. ¬†A sling would work just as well, if you’re used to that.

Also, unless you are morally opposed to this, if you have a child who is walking, be sure to pack a harness or “kid leash”. #1 did want to walk from time to time and would NOT hold our hands. ¬†With the harness, we could keep her close by and she still felt like she had some freedom.

Easy Rides First

Because we had never taken #1 on any type of ride, we decided that It’s a Small World would be the best option to do first. This deviated from our normal “Disney routine”, but we wanted to be sure she would have a good 1st experience on a ride. ¬†And we were right. She LOVED it – the music the colors, etc. ¬†A lot of people do Dumbo first, but we weren’t sure about the up and down factor. And other boat rides, like Pirates, were much darker. ¬†Small World was a perfect first stop. Another option might be the Train.

Glow Sticks Are Your Friend

When we did take her on a dark ride, she would get a little frightened, whimper and cling to me or DH.  I packed a bunch of cheap glow sticks just for this purpose. I would snap one out, snap it and hand it to her. She clung to it like a life raft! Her own little lamp.  As long as she had this, she was perfectly content in Pirates, El Rio del Tiempo, Snow White, Pooh, etc.

Gauge Naptimes to Your Advantage

We usually do not stay on property, so our time in the park is precious. If you do stay at a Disney resort, you may be able to go back to your hotel for naptime a bit easier than we could. For us, the trip to the park, then from the parking lot to eh park was easily 1 hour one-way. ¬†We didn’t want to waste an hour getting back to the hotel to only have #1 wake up and be ready to go. ¬†So, we started timing naps for the longer, quieter attractions. ¬†Here were some good places for her to nap and for us to still have a good time.

  • Carousel of Progress
  • Hall of Presidents
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority
  • The American Adventure (Epcot)
  • Tiki Room (yes, she actually slept through the whole show!)

A lot of these don’t have long lines and sometimes you can talk a cast member into letting you “go around again” or see another showing, so they can nap longer.

Also, if you have a carrier or stroller, sometimes they can nap there just as easily. ¬†Then you’ll want to take advantage of the Child Swap (see below) or find a quiet spot (some great ones just as you cross into Frontierland on your right).

Use Child Swap

Child Swap is something that was created so adults could continue to ride the rides when they have a child who isn’t old enough/tall enough to ride on it with them, or who is afraid of the ride.

Child Swap is available on any ride that has a height restriction, and even some that don’t. ¬†A complete list is available here.

How it works is, as you approach the attraction, you tell the cast member that you want to do a child swap. ¬†They give you a special fast pass. The rest of your party boards the ride or gets in line and away they go. When they get done, you get to go through the FP line w/ your child swap pass. ūüôā

Bring Baby Leg/Arm Warmers

Sometimes, the backpack, or whatever you are using, gets pretty full with all the stuff you want to pack for the day. ¬†This is where I found a way to reduce bulk. ¬†USUALLY, you do not need a jacket in DisneyWorld (raingear not included), unless it’s evening. ¬†For #1 I packed a pair of leg warmers/arm warmers and when it got a little chilly, I put those on her arms and she was good to go!

Take Advantage of the Disney PhotoPass

Disney offers a little credit-card type thing called a PhotoPass. You can have your picture taken all over the parks in front of icons, with characters, and more and they’re stored on the card. You can then purchase individual prints (expensive) or a CD with all the images. ¬†We opted for the CD option and planned to use the heck out of the photopass during our trip, since it was #1’s first trip. ¬†We ended up with some great pictures that we wouldn’t have had normally. And some unique ones with her holding a digital Tinkerbell, etc.

Use the Baby Care Center

Lastly, and most importantly, take advantage of the Baby Care Centers in each park. These are an absolute lifesaver!  The first two days in the park, we changed #1 in the public restrooms.  Let me talk about those first.

In the public restrooms, they have ONE changing station. ONE.  Now, think about how many babies and children in diapers there are in the parks at any given time.  ONE changing station per restroom. So, you will wait in line to use it.

And this is not your normal station you usually find in a public restroom. It is a HARD, COLD, metal, ceramic or stone slab. There is no cushion, no cover, nothing.  And no amount of changing you pad you throw in your bag makes it more comfortable.  #1 did not like to lay on it at all.   So, changing her was not a fun experience.

Second, she was eating table food for the most part, but the idea of having to cart baby food and then something to warm it and try to feed a child either in a stroller, high chair (no tray) or in DH’s arm was not a fun idea. When we ate at a restaurant, we usually ordered 1 or 2 things from the Sides menu (not the Kids menu). ¬†These were usually small enough, and just enough, for her and good for our budget.

Now, let me introduce you to the Baby Care Centers.

There is one Center per park and these are clearly marked on the park maps. ¬†Now, just having the one is a bit of an inconvenience. But I took advantage of them every time we were nearby. ¬†The Center consists of a Nursing room (separate from the rest of the center, closed doors, dim lighting with rockers), a Lounge, a Restroom, a small Kitchen, and a Changing Room. ¬†Since #1 was on table food, we didn’t use the kitchen much, but I did check it out. It had a microwave, a bottle warmer, a sink and countertop. As well as a few items to purchase (diapers, juice, sippy cups, etc.) in case you had forgotten (or lost!) something. ¬†The lounge had some high chairs (with trays), small table and chairs, “big people” chairs, and a TV with Disney cartoons on. ¬†The Changing Room had 6 changing tables. And these were full crib-size changing tables with a foam-like mattress covered with a piece of paper (like you’d find at the doctor’s office). After each change, there was a Care Center attendant who would change the papers and sanitize the table. ¬†The bathroom was small, but was labeled a “family” or “dual-gender” bathroom and was a great place if you had one who was potty-learning.

You want to know the best part? All of you going in the summer will love this: the place is fully air-conditioned.

A place to relax, get away & decompress, cool down, change and feed a child in peace? Sign me up!  I will never again visit the parks (if I have a child in diapers) without using the Care Center to my full advantage.

—————

Was there anything you think I may have missed? Leave a comment.

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Looks like the Disney Store is having their semi-annual 50% off sale.   The discount applies to over 400 items.  If you order through the website, you can also qualify for FREE shipping when you buy a Toy Story item and use the promo code: TOYSTORY.

And Tink’s¬†Treasure this week is $15 Toy Story Talking Action figures. ¬†Tink’s offers are only available for a limited time, so if you want this GO NOW!

While you’re there, be sure to check out the Outlet Store where Cars playsets are starting at $9.99 and clothing starting at $1.99-$3.99

And if you want to earn CashBack, be sure to use one of the Shopping Portals in the right column of this page.  Ebates gives you 5% and ShopAtHome give 5%.

Just discovered the online Disney Outlet Store and I am in love! They have toys starting at $2.99, clothes starting at $4.99, Christmas decorations starting around $5. It’s AWESOME!¬† I have decided to keep an eye on this one for future Christmas presents, AND for items to pack for our next trip.

Access the Disney Store via ShopAtHome.com or Ebates.com and get 5% cash back!

Not familiar with ShopAtHome or Ebates? Check out my post here.