The Mini Social is having some great sales right now on organic clothing and wooden toys that I definitely wanted to pass on. If you’re like me, you’re thinking of presents for your kids, grandkids, or nieces & nephews!

Melissa & Doug wooden toys – ENDS 11/11 12A PST

With prices starting at $7.99, there is a wide variety offered – wooden trains, farm sets, “paper” dolls – all great toys!

Haba Toys – ENDS 11/11 12A PST

Some wooden, some cloth toys – another great company.

Agoo Leggings – ENDS 11/11 12A PST

These look like they’re 50% off – with all prices at $5/pair. Agoo leggings are made from sustainable bamboo fibers.

Hape Toys – ENDS 11/10 12A PST

More wooden toys starting at around $5-$10. Looks like there are play houses and accessories, wooden animals, BBQ set ($110 – regular price $180) and more.

The Mini Social is a member-only site, but it’s free to sign up.

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Great sales event going on right now over at Totsy on Manhattan Toys. Groovy Girls and accessories starting at $4.30 (great for around 2 or 3 and up!).  LilyDoll and accessories starting at $13.40. And Star Willow Stables horses & accessories starting at $4.40.  These are all GREAT toys and I know from experience while working at 2 different toy stores that these are well-loved and adored by children. You can’t go wrong with these. Both the Groovy Girls and LilyDolls have different outfits and accessories and they are way easier to change for little fingers than other popular dolls. Many of these look like they’re discounted up to 50%, so if you’re looking for the holidays…. now is the time!

Sale ends in approximately 3 days, so head over now! Totsy is a member-only site, but it’s free to sign up.

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Mary Meyer makes such great toys, but I didn’t realize “she” had an Organic line!

Today only over at EcoBaby Buys pick up Mary Meyer’s Bamboo Plush Toys & Organic Taggies for 45% off – only $11!!  “From the Green Mountains of Vermont, Mary Meyer presents Mary Meyer Bamboo Plush Toys & Organic Taggies – healthy, safe, environmentally friendly toys for babies and their parents. Sweet, simple designs. Natural color palette. Soft, embroidered eyes. Mary Meyer’s Bamboo Plush Toys and Organic Taggies are sure to capture the eyes and hearts of your little ones!”

Valid today, 11/3 only, while supplies last.

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I had already been cloth diapering #1 for a year and a half before a friend told me about an actual brick & mortar store about an hour from my home. This friend was due to have a baby in a few months and had been considering cloth diapers. But she wanted to actually hold some in her hands before she made a decision. She had been one of our weekly sitters for #1 and was familiar with what we used, but just wanted to see what else was out there.

So, enter Cutie Poops & Bottoms of Orland Park IL.

First Impressions

My friend and I knew nothing of what to expect when driving to the store.  It is located in a shopping strip mall and using the directions on the website, very easy to find.  From the outside, looks like a children’s specialty shop.

Friendliness & Knowledge of Staff

We were greeted right away and almost immediately began a discussion of baby carriers, because I was wearing #2 (who was only 2 weeks old) in a Moby Wrap.  This was back in April and the store was going to start carrying different carriers and having classes. (See products and services sections below). Although we didn’t realize it right away, we were speaking with the owner, Sherri. And, goodness, did she know her stuff!

Discovered she is the mother of twin boys – 100% cloth diapered from birth!  She gave a short demo of the various CD’ing options for my friend (who was so excited she was able to actually touch the diapers!) And it was nice for me to be able to see in person a lot of the diapers I’d only seen online (Happy Heinys, GroVia, etc.).

Variety of Product

As Sherri finished answering my friend’s questions, I wandered to see what else the store carried.  I was in the market at the time for some wool or fleece covers, plus searching for some diapers that would fit #1 – who was outgrowing everything we had!

The products carried in-store are a great sampling.

  • one-size diapers of all kinds
  • pocket diapers
  • AIO diapers
  • prefolds
  • covers – PUL, a few wool
  • fitted diapers
  • hybrid diapers
  • baby carriers
  • diaper bags, nursery furniture, and more!
  • A lot of WAHM stuff as well.

And her website has a TON of stuff, also! More than what is in the store. Although, in-store has some different products also, including local WAHM products.

Although my friend didn’t buy anything that day (but DID set up a baby shower registry), I walked out of there with a KiwiPie one-size fitted diaper to try with #1, an AhGoo Baby Plush changing pad, a Happy Heiny trainer, and a tub of Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm.

Since then, I continue to receive Cutie Poops & Bottoms e-newsletter and follow the shop on Facebook.  The store inventory is CONSTANTLY changing.  She now has a ton of natural toys (including Sophie the Giraffe and Global Green Pals!), the baby carriers we discussed (including the Ergo Carrier!), and super unique diapers like these tie-dyed ones.  And she’s currently looking into more wool covers (and they sound like they should be a great price).  So, I’ve learned to never stop watching her inventory. 🙂

Services Offered

  • Cloth Diaper Trials – These are great programs if you’re not sure you want to actually go with cloth, but want to try it out. Pay a deposit, get a sampling shipped to you, use the diapers for a set amount of time, mail back the diapers and get a refund (minus a set up fee). If you like it, purchase the ones you want. Easy as pie.
  • Fluff of the Month Club – Ok, this is really for us CD addicts out there. 🙂 Buy a membership (varying lengths offered) and every month you get a new diaper shipped to you!
  • Diaper Packages & Starter Kits – everything bundled together!
  • Gently Used Program – buy and sell your used diapers. Great way to save money (and earn money!) when you’re starting out!
  • Gift Registry – having a baby? Register for gear, diaper, and accessories!
  • Classes – Oh, my goodness, the number and variety of classes Sherri offers are amazing.  Just a few:
    • Baby Boot Camp (for new parents)
    • Baby Wearing 101
    • BabyCare Express (for new parents)
    • BLAST Babysitter Class
    • Breastfeeding for Dummies
    • Diapering 101
    • Infant CPR
    • Infant Massage
    • Lamaze
    • Natural Birth Classes (the Bradley Method)
    • Pediatric First Aid
    • Pre-Natal Yoga
    • Financial Planning for Parents
    • Special Events – she recently had a Buy, Sell, Swap event. I was so bummed I couldn’t make it!

Customer Service

In general, the customer service Sherri offers is outstanding. She knows her products, her vendors, and she knows what works and what doesn’t. If she for some reason doesn’t know an answer, she will find out for you.

My friend had a slight issue with some of her registry items shipping from the warehouse, but Sherri was good at explaining what was going on.  My friend did have to ask for an update once, but seemed overall satisfied.

I have not had to make any returns or had any issues with products, so I cannot speak on that point. However, I have had many conversations with Sherri, both by email and on Facebook, and she is always prompt and courteous.

Website

The website is very clear, with minimal items on the homepage (great! I hate the clutter on some sites!). Products are divided into sections For Baby, For Mama, Baby Gear, Cloth Diapers, For the Nursery, as well as a photo gallery.  The class listing is posted, with information on how to register.

There are also a couple of helpful articles: FAQs, Diaper 101 and Why Choose Cloth that are really helpful.

Everything can be purchased online and shipped to your home, which means the store is accessible to anyone! Not just those in the Orland Park area. Which I love, because I don’t get down there often. But this is great, too, for all of you no where near Chicago. You can participate in any of the sales, promos, clubs, trial programs, right through the website. Obviously, the special events and classes are for local residents who can come by the brick&mortar store.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I really like Cutie Poops & Bottoms. Because I try to support local businesses first, CP&B is one of the first I check when I’m looking for new items. I like that I’m dealing with a business that is giving back to the community with education classes and support, instead of just an online store. Although it is not the only store in my area, it is one of the few with an actual storefront that I can send people to.

So, if you’re ever in the Orland Park area, stop by and tell Sherri you found out about them on Green & Frugal Mama!

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For those of you who are ToysRUs/BabiesRUs Rewards members (and if you’re not, go sign up right now! It’s free!), you probably already got these coupons by email or by mail.  And they weren’t the same, so be careful.

In the home mailer – offers valid through 10/28/10 – were some good, very useful, coupons. Unless stated otherwise, these could be used on any of their organic products, or sustainable furniture, etc. These are valid ONLY for RewardsRUs members and require that you a) have the coupon in hand and b) have your membership card or phone number ready.

  • Save 20% on all walkers, entertainers & activity jumpers (excludes doorway jumpers)
  • 20% off any ONE nursery furniture items (includes mattresses and special orders)
  • 15% off all monitors
  • 20% off all Evenflo car seats
  • 20% off all strollers & travel systems (excludes Aprica, Baby Jogger, BOBgear, Britax strollers, Bugaboo, Cybex, Maclaren, Mamas & Papas, and Peg Perego). Odd- well then it’s not “all”, is it?
  • $10 off your ENTIRE clothing or shoe purchase of $50 or more. Excludes clearance.
  • Buy 2, save 10%. Buy 3+, save 15% all coordinating bedding accessories. Excludes Little Boutique.
  • B1G1 50% off All Gerber soft bath items.
  • 15% off all crib bedding sets.
  • $3/2 powder formulas 22.2oz or larger.  Similac, Earth’s Best, Enfamil, Gerber Good STart, and BabiesRUs brand  pictured.

The following coupons were included in an email PDF. Unless stated otherwise, these could be used on any of their organic products, or sustainable furniture, etc. These are valid ONLY for RewardsRUs members and require that you a) have the coupon in hand and b) have your membership card or phone number ready.

  • $10 off your ENTIRE clothing or shoe purchase of $50 or more. Excludes clearance. (exp 10/31)
  • $5 off any Melissa & Doug purchase of $30 or more. (exp 10/31)
  • 25% off all Annie’s homegrown snacks (exp 10/31)
  • plus more

Sales that do NOT require a RewardsRUs membership:

  • All Gerber organic purées 12pks are $8.99. In-store only.
  • FREE Vicks thermometer WYB Vicks Germ-Free humidifier. In-store only.
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Have a baby to buy for? The RiNGLEY Natural Teething Toy can be had for $9.99 – 50% off TODAY ONLY over at Green Baby Bargains.

From the best-selling RiNGLEY comes the RiNGLEY Ball and Heart! The same natural, untreated Canadian maple ring, but now with a soft, jingly ball or heart attached. Covered in undyed certified organic cotton terry cloth, with a detachable velcro strap so your wee one can roll the ball off the ring or take the heart off, and to make it easy to toss in the washing machine! Use as a teether or a toy. Made free from dye and without harmful chemicals. RiNGLEY provides babies and toddlers with two safe and efficient textures that enable children to satisfy their teething needs naturally.’

Valid today, 10/14 only, while supplies last.

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Today only over at EcoBabyBuys you can pick up a set of 5 Anamalz for $17.50 – 50% off.

What are Anamalz, you ask?

Made from organic maple and natural fibers with attention to design, anamalz engage a spirit of adventure and fun in kids and adults alike! Make these animal play figures their own animal homes with blocks, manipulate their adorable legs, and enliven your work or play space.”

“Each piece is hand painted and assembled in factories that are of highest standards and meet international factory regulations.”

“Anamalz uses water based paint and their fabric is azo dye and formaldehyde free.”

“Where possible, anamalz uses recycled paper for all tags and packaging: all anamalz accessories are made from recycled plastic.”

There are 4 different sets to choose from:

Farm anamalz: includes Cow, Horse, Goat, Black Ram & Sheep
Wild anamalz: includes Tiger, Gorilla, Bear, Bull & Zebra
Exotic anamalz: includes Camel, Crocodile, Kangaroo, Hippo & Rhino
Mixed anamalz: includes Pig, Donkey, Elephant, Lion & Panda

Valid today, 10/14 only, while supplies last.

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