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Entries in toys (11)


Gift Idea: Citrus Lane

If you want the giving season to continue year round, you might want to check out a service called Citrus Lane. This is a monthly care package of baby stuff that I've grown to love! 

When the press person for Citrus Lane first contacted MommyBeta, I thought, "That's just what I need. A monthly delivery of more baby junk." I reluctantly agreed to recieve a box and when it arrived, I couldn't believe how delighted I was. It was like having another little baby shower in my own living room of things that I actually wanted! 

The box I recieved had a Skip Hop bee lunch bag, some Plum Organic Mish Mash with a coupon for more, a pee remover spray called DP that I had never heard of, an InnoBaby food storage container, and a book called Andy Warhol's Colors Board Book

These are things I may not have purchased myself but I have put them all to good use. I carry my daughter's baby food in the bee bag, my son ate the puree, I pack his snacks in the InnoBaby, the DP has come in handy for ocassional accidents, and my daughter absolutely loves the Andy Warhol book. It is her favorite toy. She grabs her little fingers at the colorful pages, it's so cute. 

The sum of the contents of your monthly Citrus Lane book is over $50 even though you only pay around $20-25 per month. You can choose to recieve boxes appropriate for children ages 0-12 months or 12-24 months. My son is 28 months though and he sure enjoyed ours! 

I like this company. They seem to promote sustainable, organic products that are meant to help you be a more organized and prepared mommy. So consider this as a gift to your little one or parent of a little one. Who doesn't like monthly care packages after all? 

Find out more at


App Review: Wood Puzzle


I recently became aware of some fun wood puzzle apps from a company called Tropisounds. They are SO cute and Little Mo LOVES them! They keep his attention far longer than any other app I've reviewed in recent months. 

If your children are fans of puzzles, especially the wooden Melissa & Doug shape puzzles, they will like these apps. They have the same look and sound of wooden block puzzles but they are virtual. 

My son's favorite is called Wood Puzzle First Years for iPad. It is also available for iPhone. Both costs $1.99. He likes to put the shapes together and call out the name or color of the shape as he places it. Some of it can be a little complicated for him because some puzzles require you to put objects inside of another object and he doesn't quite get that yet. But that makes it fun for him and I to do together. 

You can also change the language to Spanish if you would like so that your child can learn shapes, colors, and other words in another language. 

Other fun apps from this developer that we have tried include: 





Toy Storage Solutions


Where am I going to put all of these new toys?! After the glow of Christmas morning’s joyful gift binge had waned, practicality set in. Nic had acquired a whole new set of favorite things, and now I had to figure out what to do with them.

When we initially baby proofed, my husband and I were proud of the way we had made things safe, but also kept things relatively stylish. Since then, our living room has become more and more overrun with toys. We needed a new toy storage solution.

So, I started Pinning. But nothing was quite right. I decided that we needed a tall bookcase with toy storage on the bottom and room for a lamp on the top (our living room is woefully lacking in overhead lighting). My husband loves an Internet search challenge, so I gave him my parameters and set him loose. After a handful of Craigslist misses, he found gold with a clearance bookcase at CostPlus. He even located the perfect bins after I struck out at HomeGoods, Target and Marshalls. Behold, our new toy storage center.

We even had room to unpack some of our books that have been collecting dust in the garage!

Some close ups on the bins:

I'm in love with the pretty peacockness of these bins!I'm very interested to see how Nic responds to his toys being so precisely categorized. He's a pretty orderly little guy, so I think he'll like it.

A wide shot of the rooom:

Look at all of that floor space! Heaven!

While I was taking photos of the new set up, I figured I'd snap some of the toy storage around the rest of the house. Nic has the run of the house except for the kitchen, bathroom and our bedroom, so he has play spaces in each of room.

His "play kitchen." Ok, so it's not actually a kitchen, but we keep all of his kitchen stuff here, and he pretends there is an oven and the whole shebang.I like bookshelves as toy storage!Had to include this amazing train. It will get a blog post all to itself!Nic's bedroom:

So much storage.

Container Store metal baskets.Another bookcase!I'm really happy with how this all looks, but with Nic's 2nd birthday just around the corner (did I just really say that!?), I know there will be another deluge of fun. Hopefully, my new storage is flexible enough to accommodate more playthings.

What are your favorite ways to keep toys out from underfoot?


Homemade Stocking Stuffers


I'm no Nathalee, but I did a little homemade Christmas project myself this year. I made play dough to put in Baby Mo's stocking stuffers. Look at these!  

This wasn't a very hard or time consuming project but I do not really enjoy crafts very much so I was proud of myself. I used this recipe with some gel-based food coloring and packed my concoctions in glass jars I found at Target.

I know store-bought Play-Doh is supposed to be non-toxic - and it probably is - but I still like the idea of homemade gifts that we can all enjoy. I just hope the dough isn't hard as a rock in a few days! 

My husband gave me a little talking-to recently about over buying for Baby Mo. Sound familiar? I had to clamp down on buying toys to put under our tree no matter HOW good of a deal they were or intellectually stimulating the toys may be. But home made play dough for the stockings? Now how could he object to that?  

What are the homemade goodies that you put for your little one under the tree or hanging in a stocking this holiday season? 


MommyBeta Podcast This Week: Taking Credit For Satan's Gift

Click here to download or listen to this week's MommyBeta podcast! Its all holiday talk this week! We discuss teaching our toddler's Christmas words like Satan and Satin and Santa. We also discuss the Elf On The Shelf and creative ways to play the game, and whether or not to take credit for Santa's big-ticket toys. And don't miss our gadget gift guide