Shooshoos clearance sale from $9.95 ~ 5 days only!

Posted by Jenna | Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When it comes to finding shoes for my kids, I want to make sure that I'm doing what's best for their developing little feet, while at the same time keeping them safe and warm. I also like to find shoes that are cute and stylish, as well as affordable. I know, I'm pretty picky, but when it comes to my kids...I want the best! The problem can often be difficult to find all of these things in one shoe...especially on a budget. With three children now, I have lots of little feet to buy for, which means I'm always look for great sales and deals on high quality shoes. Thankfully, there is one going on right now with a company we love!

Shooshoos is having a massive clearance sale for 5 days only! When you buy any regularly priced pair of shooshoos, you will be qualified to get 3 discounted pairs from the clearance section for up to 50% off the regular price! Each regular pair you buy qualifies you to buy another 3 pairs of clearance items at these extremely low prices!

Using the highest quality materials, shooshoos offers a wide range of designs for both boys and girls up to the age of 2 1/2 years. All of their leathers are 100% safe and non toxic, and with so many styles to choose're sure to find something that suits your needs perfectly....especially when prices start at just $9.95!

If you're like me and like to take advantage of great deals on high quality shoes for your little ones, I'd definitely recommend heading over and taking advantage of this amazing Shooshoos sale!

**In exchange for writing this post, I was provided a pair of ShooShoos. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way**

Family Dollar February Home Sale! ~ Review

Posted by Jenna | Wednesday, February 29, 2012

As many of you know, after two years of trying to sell our house...we finally did this past Fall. The timing couldn't have been more perfect, as we were able to buy our dream home just one day after closing on our old house! Over the months we've painted almost every room, and decorated to make this house our own. We still have lots of "projects" we'd like to do, but of course...they all cost money so we're taking it one room at a time. I'm always looking for great deals on home decor, which is why I'm thankful for stores like Family Dollar.

I knew that Family Dollar had a lot to offer, but it wasn't until recently was I aware just how much home decor they have. Usually when I'm looking for a picture to hang, candles or something along those lines...a dollar store isn't the first place that comes to mind when I'm ready to shop. However, Family Dollar has now changed that mindset.

Family Dollar gave me a refresh a room in my house using featured Family Dollar items and then post about it to show you what I accomplished on a budget. I was sent a $25 Gift Card to do this.

When given this challenge, I knew just the room I wanted to "refresh". One of the current rooms in our home that I've been trying to work on re-decorating, is one of our main level bathrooms. The bathroom I'm referring to was adjacent to a hot tub room before we moved in (which we've now made a laundry room) and that's why the walls are wood. It definitely had a plain look to it when we moved in.

I had hung a shower curtain, but other than that, the budget hadn't really allowed me to do much else with all of the other updates and projects we've been doing.

When I went into Family Dollar, I was amazed with how many isles there are just dedicated to home decor. With everything from bathroom rugs and towels to clocks and wall decor...they really do have it all. I wasn't quite sure what to expect as far as quality goes...but having browsed around (and bought several items), I'm very impressed and will definitely be visiting there again!

Our bathroom was in desperate need of something to hang on the wall, as well as towels. As I searched the isles, I found the perfect piece of framed art that I thought would go perfectly with the shower curtain I already had. Again, I was very impressed with the quality. Family and friends who have seen it since can't believe that I got it from Family Dollar. It's very nice! And best of all, it was only $10!!

I also found the perfect color of towels and bought three bath towels and two hand towels that I purchased as well. The low prices were great, and I couldn't have been happier to find a coupon on top of it. On the Family Dollar home decor page, I found a $5 off $25 coupon for use on home items and used that along with my gift card. After everything was said and done, I got the framed art, three bath towels, and two hand towels all for just over $23! Can you believe that?! I was impressed with how much I go at such a low price!

When we got home, I hung the picture which gave the smaller and rather boring bathroom a whole new feel. I was thrilled how well it matched the other things I already had in the bathroom too. I also already had a clock I decided to hang too. The towels have also been great. We've used and washed them several times and I'm very happy with the quality. We are planning to buy more from Family Dollar the next time we're there.

After seeing the great selection of home decor at Family Dollar, and appreciating the quality of the items I purchased...we'll definitely be shopping there again. I can now continue to decorate rooms in my house with less money and stress. Family Dollar offers everyday low prices on all kinds of home decor items including framed art, lamps, blinds, bathroom accessories, and kitchenware...all with prices sure to fit within any budget., so there is no need to wait for a sale to stock up on essentials. I was able to create a great look in our bathroom for less, and for that I am grateful. If you're looking to refresh a room in your home, I would recommend checking out Family Dollar.

You can connect with Family Dollar on Twitter and Facebook.

**I was provided with a Family Dollar $25 Gift Card to take part in this challenge. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.**

For those who read here often, you know that I am not a fan of winter! Along with this time of year not only comes bitter cold temps and lots of snow and ice, but also runny noses, coughs, and fevers. It's a cycle that seems continuous, as one family member passes it to the next and so on. That's why I am always on the lookout for products that will help make cold and flu season easier for our family and was happy when introduced to two new high tech health products from Safety 1st.
For the past 25 years Safety 1st has been bringing parents high quality, innovative products they can trust. With everything from car seats and strollers to high chairs, play yards, monitors and's no wonder they are a name parents continue to turn to time and time again. I know I do!

Over the years we've owned several Safety 1st products and I'm always impressed with the quality and thought that goes into creating each one. They are dedicated to keeping children safe as well as providing busy parents with products that make life easier...which is evident when it comes to two of their new health items.

Did you know that according to the CDC, each year up to 20% of people come down with the flu, with activity peaking in February?! That's why, although they can't cure the flu, Safety 1st now has two great products that can help make life a little easier when the family is not feeling well.

We were sent the Safety 1st VersaScan TALKING Thermometer and Safety 1st Sound Moments Audio Monitor to review.

When the products arrived I couldn't wait to check them out!

Just looking at the Sound Moments Audio Monitor 2 Receiver Set, I was already drawn to the sleek and simple design. And of course, couldn't wait to see all this product had to offer.


Baby Unit
  • Digital clock
  • Tap-on/off nightlight
  • Pager button
Parent Unit
  • Quick mute button
  • Sound lights
  • 4 channels to minimize interference
  • Power & low battery indicators
  • Audio jack for listening with earphones
  • Belt clip & carry loop
  • Volume control
  • 49 MHz frequency
  • 600+ foot range
A couple of months ago, Kaden had a terrible cold and cough. In fact, he was so miserable that he hardly slept at night. I found myself checking on him throughout nap and nighttime, just making sure he was ok and comfortable. I definitely think the Sound Moments Audio Monitor from Safety 1st would have made life a little easier at that time.

One of my favorite thing about these monitors is that there are four channels to minimize interference. I can't tell you how many monitors we've used in the past that have had terrible interference. Thankfully, we have had no problem with these from Safety 1st at all! The sound is crisp and clear.

Anytime my kids are sleeping, it's important to me that I'm able to monitor them day and night, but especially when they're not feeling well. That's why I appreciate the fact that the Sound Moments Audio MOnitor has a 600+ foot range! That means, using the handy belt clip or carry loop on the parent monitor, I'm able to easily keep the monitor with me where ever I'm at in the house and monitor them no matter what I'm doing. I love it!

I also like that there are two receivers. We are able to keep one in our bedroom all the time for night time, and have the other to carry around and use when we're somewhere else in the house. It has come in very handy. Thankfully, this is possible, as all three units have ac adapters to give the option of plugging it in and/or using batteries. There's even a low battery indicator.

The Parent Units also feature volume-sensitive sound lights. I absolutely love having these lights, as they alert me to even the slightest of noise. Of course, there are those times when a quick mute button comes in handy and the Parent Units have that as well!

And then there's the Baby Unit which has some pretty neat features as well! First is the pager, which caught my eye right away. I'm known for carrying around a monitor, setting it down when I get busy doing laundry, the dishes, etc. and then forgetting where I left it! Now, thanks to this simple pager button I am easily reminded where I set it down!

On the front of the Baby Unit, there's also a digital clock (something I wish more baby monitors had!), as well as a Tap-on/off nightlight. The nightlight is another of my favorite features, as its soft glow makes it easy to check on a sleeping child without disturbing them.

We've really enjoyed using the Sound Moments Audio Monitor from Safety 1st. I love that we haven't had to worry about poor reception and the many features which make it easy to check on the kids without disturbing them.

Of course, other than having a monitor to make sure you're able to keep a close ear on your kids (especially when they're not feeling well), having a good quality thermometer on hand is also very important. That's why I was looking forward to checking out the Safety 1st VersaScan TALKING Thermometer.

  • Reads Ear, Food and Bath temps
  • Silent or talking mode: your choice
  • Quick, 1 second reading
  • Fever Light™ Button illuminates red for fever
  • 30 memory recall gives both temperature and time
  • Temperature chart included on product for easy reference
  • Includes 2 "AAA" replaceable alkaline batteries
One thing that stood out to me right away, was that this thermometer can read the temperature of people, as well as other things like food and bath water...all of which is done in just 1 second!

My absolute favorite feature of this thermometer is that it has a quick, 1 second reading. If your kids are like mine, they do NOT like having their temperature taken when they're not feeling well. With the squirming around while we wait for a reading on the other thermometer we used to use, I was always concerned the reading was not even accurate. Thanks to the 1 second reading on the Safety 1st VersaScan TALKING Thermometer though, I don't have to worry about that at all. I have a reading in no time at all, and best of all...the kids don't seem to mind it one bit.

There are many other features I really appreciate about this thermometer as being that it seems to be very accurate. When it comes to having a sick child (or even adult), it's important that the reading is accurate.

Using the thermometer couldn't be easier either! Setting it up took no time at all, and the 2 AAA batteries it requires were already included. YAY! Once I had it ready to use, I put it on Ear Mode (there will be an Ear Mode symbol on the display) and positioned the thermometer probe in Kaelyn's ear canal. Then, with a press of a button, you get your reading in one second!

Once the reading has been taken, it appears on the display, along with a voice read-out that tells you the number. If there is no fever present, the Fever Light ring will illuminate green while a smiley icon appears on the display screen. If your child has an elevated temperature of 99.6 or above, the Fever Light ring will illuminate red and a sad face appears on the screen.

For times when you don't want the talking mode on, there is a silent mode as well. I also appreciate the 30 memory recall which gives both the temperature and time. This is especially useful when one of the kids is sick and we're taking their temperature often!

We have been very impressed with the ProGrade Health VersaScan Talking Thermometer from Safety 1st. It makes taking our kids' temps fast and easier than ever! I appreciate the many features it offers to make the times our family is not feeling well so much easier.

I would definitely recommend both of these products from Safety 1st for any family with children.

Buy It: You can purchase the Sound Moments Audio Monitor for $39.99 and the VersaScan TALKING Thermometer for $39.99.

Win It: One very lucky reader is going to win their choice of either the Sound Moments Audio Monitor OR the ProGrade Health VersaScan Talking Thermometer from Safety 1st!

Mandatory Entry - Visit Safety 1st and tell me another of their products you'd love to have.

Extra Entries: (Only valid after the mandatory entry has been completed. Leave 1 comment for each extra entry)

1. 1 extra entry - Like Safety 1st on Facebook

2. 1 extra entry - Follow Safety 1st on Twitter

3 extra entries- Blog about this giveaway (linking to this post and Safety 1st) and leave THREE comments with the URL to that post.

4. 1 extra entry- Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (You can tweet once a day for one extra entry every day)! You can copy and paste:

#WIN a Talking Thermometer or Audio Monitor from Safety 1st! Ends 3/14

5. 3 extra entries- Post my blog button or blog URL to your blog and leave a comment with the URL to your blog. (If it already is, leave me a comment letting me know)

2 extra entries- subscribe to A Mom's Balancing Act via e-mail (found along the side column) and leave TWO comments letting me know.

7. 2 extra entries- 'Like' A Mom's Balancing Act on Facebook

8. 2 extra entries- Follow my blog publicly on Google Friend Connect

9. Enter any of my other
current running giveaways and leave me a comment on which one(s)....ONE entry for EACH giveaway you enter!!

Leave one comment for each entry you complete. Be sure to leave your email address with your comments or make sure it's visible in your profile so that I have a way to contact you if you win!

This giveaway will end March 14th and is open to the US Only!

**The products for this review and giveaway were provided for free by Safety 1st. All opinions found here are my own and were not influenced in any way. The opinions of others may differ from my own.**

Joovy Big Caboose Stand-On Triple Stroller ~ Review

Posted by Jenna | Sunday, February 26, 2012

With three children 4 years old and younger, a simple walk outside, trip to the mall, etc. takes a bit more time and planning ahead now. With Caysen in an infant carrier, and Kaelyn and Kaden who get worn out walking too husband and I have found that a stroller is an absolute must most places we go. The problem is, we did not have a stroller that accommodated all three kids. This meant we either had to let Kaelyn walk (which is not ideal when there's a lot of walking involved or we're in a crowded place) or bring a double stroller AND single stroller with us when we were out and about. Thankfully, we have now found a solution thanks to Joovy!

A U.S. based company that manufactures premium family gear, Joovy's goal is to create high quality, useful, practical, attractive and fun products that make life easier for busy parents. Between their large selection of products such as strollers, highchairs, playards and toys, as well as their commitment to service and making sure customers come's no wonder parents turn to Joovy for their family gear needs.

I was introduced to Joovy this past Summer, and was very impressed with their great line of products. As I recently browsed their collection online, I came across a stroller that stood out to me as perfect for our growing family. I couldn't have been happier to learn we were going to have the opportunity to review the Joovy Big Caboose Stand-On Triple Stroller.

  • Front Seats with 2-Position Recline (accommodates children from 6 months to 40 lbs)
  • Deluxe rip stop nylon fabric
  • Front wheel locks
  • Rear wheel locks
  • Large storage basket
  • Removable Trays and Car Seat Adapters
  • Two removable canopies
  • Adjustable padded rear seat allows standing child to take a rest (has a 3-point harness)
  • Patented rear platform allows child that is at least 2-1/2 years old to stand
  • Folded Dimensions 14"H x 21.5"W x 63"L
  • Full Dimensions 44.25"H x 21.5"W x 55"L
  • Stroller Weight 37 lbs.
  • Front/Middle Seats Min Age 6 months+ (each seat max Weight 40 lbs)
  • Front/Middle Seats Min Age Birth+ using car seat adapter
  • Rear Seat Max Weight 45 lbs and 44" Max Height
With summer nearing, I know that I will be taking the kids out on walks a lot more by myself. With young children, the most ideal way to do this is with a triple stroller, which is why I couldn't wait to check out the Big Caboose Stand-On Triple stroller when it arrived.
Upon pulling it out of the box, I found there was little assembly required. As a busy parent with very little free time, this is much appreciated! In less than 10 minutes I had the wheels and trays in place and ready to use.
Once it was put together, I was able to check it out more thoroughly. I was immediately impressed with the quality. It's extremely durable and well-made. It also has a more narrow, sleek design than I had expected which is great!
Of course, one of the first things I look for when it comes to any gear we use with our kids is safety. I was happy to see that Joovy had safety in mind when creating the Big Caboose. I love the harness belt in the front two seats, as well as the 3 point harness belt on the rear seat. This helps to give me peace of mind that my kids are safe and secure when riding in the stroller.

I also noticed the LARGE storage basket right away as well! It's huge! We always have jackets, diaper bags, and other things along with having such a nice storage basket to keep it all is much appreciated!
Kaelyn and Kaden have both ridden in the front two seats and have mentioned how comfortable they are.

They accommodate children from 6 months to 40 lbs, so we'll definitely be able to use this stroller for a very long time. I appreciate the fact that both seats have a 2-Position Recline as well. There are times when we're out and Kaden wants to take a little nap or rest. It's nice when we can recline his seat for him to comfortably do that. Unlike some strollers, it couldn't be easier either. To place the seat in the upright position, you simply push the bar on the rear of the seat toward the front of the stroller and rotate the seatback towards the front of the stroller until the bar is locked into it's lowest position.

To recline the seat, simply pull the bar on the rear of the seat toward the rear of the stroller and rotate seat back down until this bar is in the lowest position. It's very simple to do with just one hand and takes just seconds. I love it!
Another benefit of the front seats is that they have two large removable canopies. They will be perfect for the summer months when we want to shade the kids from the sun some. For the times when we're indoors and don't need the canopies, I appreciate the fact that they can easily be removed.
I was happy to see that each seat also has a tray. There are times when the kids like to have a drink or a snack, and these trays will work perfectly for that.
And, although there's not a place for parents to put a drink on the handle of the stroller...I was thankful to see that Joovy does sell a Caboose Parent Organizer as an accessory which will hold 2 cups, and also has pockets for things like a cell phone, keys, etc.
When it comes to strollers, another must for us is that it must be compatible with our infant car seat. At 3 months old, Caysen is still in his infant car seat when we're out, and having a stroller to set him in makes it easier than carrier the infant seat everywhere. I'm so thankful that the Big Caboose Stand-On Triple Stroller has a car seat carrier support that works with our carrier (as well as anumber of other infant car seats as well - the full list can be found on their site!).

In fact, it has TWO (one for EACH of the front seating locations!!). This makes this stroller a perfect option for a family who has twin babies as well. To use the stroller with an infant seat carrier, the front tray can be removed, and the car seat adapter clicks into place. It's very sturdy and locks in easily. We then install the infant carrier inside the Car Seat Carrier Support frame and use the carrier restraining straps to secure it.
Having a place for Kaden in one of the seats, and Caysen in the other has been great!! Caysen seems pretty happy about it too... :)

Of course, we also have Kaelyn...which is why I was drawn to The Big Caboose in the first place. It's a triple stroller that accommodates three young children. It's actually perfect for our kids' ages because there's a spot for the two who are younger and need to have a seat, while at the same time, has a place for our four year old who likes to sit and stand some.

The padded rear seat allows Kaelyn to take a rest when she needs to. As I mentioned, there's a 3-point harness that helps keep her safe and secure while sitting. When she's ready to stand, the seat is adjustable and is easy to push back out of the way. She then can stand on the patented rear platform and enjoy being able to ride while stretching and standing at the same time.
Rear seat pushed back for room to stand
Rear seat pulled forward to sit
Patented rear platform to stand

This stroller really offers plenty of space for each of the kids, and to my surprise is actually very easy to push and maneuver as well. Once you get used to pushing a longer stroller (with the weight of three kids) it's pretty easy to get around. I'm excited to take the kids out this summer and knowing that even when my husband is at work I'll be able to easily push all three kids without having to worry about one walking, is great. It will be a workout, but I'm really looking forward to it!

The Big Caboose has everything we've been needing now that we have three children. The quality is fantastic, and having the ability to push all three kids at once is fantastic! Of course, since it is a triple stroller, it is quite large. As I said, we have found that it's easy to push, but it is still big. Afterall, it is called The BIG Caboose for a reason! Thankfully we have a large truck and a large SUV, so we are able to take it with us easily.
However, for someone with a smaller vehicle, it would be difficult as I don't think it would fit with folded dimensions of 14"H x 21.5"W x 63"L.
Speaking of folding, this stroller has been very easy to fold and unfold. To do so, we simply placed the canopies in their closed position and pushed them forward, then unlatch both safety latches on the lower sides, and pull upward on the trigger mechanisms on both sides of the stroller. We then push forward on the stroller using the handle bar and the stroller folds all the way down. The stroller then secures by engaging the locking latch on the right side of the stroller to keep it folded.

For anyone with a larger vehicle and three young children though, this is definitely a stroller I'd recommend. We've really enjoy using it and know that it will be one that we use for years to come!

You can connect with Joovy on Twitter and Facebook

Buy It: The Joovy Caboose Stand-On Triple Stroller retails for $379.99.
*The product for this review was provided by Joovy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way*

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