• Welcome!


    Chiropractor Mama Dr. Dolly and professional photographer Elisa B. share about adventures in intentional and natural parenting while living in Virginia's beautiful Blue Ridge.
  • Popular Reads

  • Shop

  • Categories

    • Alltop. We're kind of a big deal.
  • Stats

    • 354,638 Visitors
  • Advertisements

Tuesday Travels: Step into Spring

Welcome to Tuesday Travels, a weekly series at Traveling with Baby.  This weekly series will also features ideas for local day trips and  travel tips for families with kids-in-tow.  You’ll also find related product reviews and giveaways.  I enjoy hearing about your traveling adventures, too.

————————————————————————————————

Dapper

Snazzy

My incredibly handsome boy looks super sharp in his new Augustin shoes ($40) by See Kai Run.

The first Sunday he jazzed his toes with these ritzy See Kai Run shoes from their Spring ’10 collection, he dashed ahead of us in the parking lot…and, he scuffed his toe.

Isn’t that the nature of new children’s shoes.  They will get a nick or a streak within exactly five minutes of outdoor wear.

Okay, maybe that’s just me and my offspring.  I remember, as a child, wearing bright white shoes with bows on the front.  I pranced around in them and twirled in my spring dress.  Before church was over, I had at least three black scuff marks on them and the glaring eyes of my mother affixed firmly on my forehead.

It just runs in the family.  The tendency to scuff shoes…not the glaring eyes.  Really.

See Kai Run shoes and soles are super flexible and comfortable for small feet.  However, that soft and pliable leather also means they’re a little more susceptible to scrapes and scratches from the regular rough and tumble of little kids.

Honestly, I never noticed the lack of durability in See Kai Run until AFTER I posted a review of the Logan boots last summer.  Two weeks after that post published, I noticed the pretty gray toes of his boots were wearing thin to soft brown leather underneath.

See Kai Run children shoes show wear and tear faster than other toddler shoes on the market that were tested by my son. Must be due to the buttery soft sheepskin leather upper.  They’re soooo comfortable, but the drawback is that they’re a scuff-magnet.

Honestly, I’d rather have my son wear shoes that attract nicks and scuffs that also provide extreme comfort and flexibility and encourage proper gait patterns, than extra heavy shoes that cause him to walk around like he’s wearing buckets on his feet.

See Kai Run’s Augustin are hands-down my son’s favorite pair of shoes in his closet at present–a top pick among 5 brands and styles!

1) The best thing about See Kai Run? Their unparalleled design aesthetic in children’s shoes.  Gorgeous.  Stunning.

2) Second best thing is the comfortable, springy design.

In the future, I’d love to see the shoe designers find a more durable surface (brushed suede, perhaps), that takes the beatings of childhood with more grace than the smooth leather of the present line.  Other than that, don’t change a thing!

See Kai Run’s Ariana in orange

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED

*WIN IT*

I’m sooo excited about spring!  I want to help you put some spring into your toddler’s step.  Traveling with Baby is teaming up with See Kai Run to offer a reader a pair of the fresh shoes (retail value $40) from Smaller or See Kai Run. Yay Spring!  ‘Tis the luck o’ the Irish! Happy Easter!

YOUR TURN: I want to know what See Kai Run or Smaller style and size would you choose for your little one? Also, what do you love about spring?

Extra credit:

FOR A SECOND ENTRY: Blog about this giveaway, then leave a comment with a link to your post.

FOR A THIRD ENTRY: Follow @drdolly and @seekairun and tweet about this giveaway, then leave a second comment telling me that you did with a link to your tweet.

FOR A FOURTH ENTRY: Fan See Kai Run on Facebook for the latest glimpse into new styles and great savings!

FOR A FIFTH ENTRY: Fan Traveling with Baby on Facebook for latest recipes, giveaways, and more.

FOR A SIXTH ENTRY: Subscribe to Traveling with Baby by e-mail (upper right side-bar entry form).

Note: This giveaway closes at 11:59 PM on March 23rd. Winners will be selected via random.org shortly thereafter.

*I received a sample pair of shoes from See Kai Run for the purpose of this review.  Read my full disclosure policy.
*UPDATE: Congratulations to the winner, #9 Jessica!
Advertisements

For Kids: Imaginative Rain Gear

Welcome to the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide on Traveling with Baby.  From now until February 14th, you’ll find great Valentine’s gift ideas for the whole family.  You’ll even have the opportunity to win some of the products featured on the Gift Guide–isn’t that lovely?

—————————————————————————————————–

A couple weeks ago, we had too much rain, and my son could have worn his new Kidorables Dinosaur rain boots indoors to keep his toes dry.

We haven’t had much rain since then, but we’ve had GOBS of snow.  If you live in central Virginia, you may have heard the terms Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse used to describe last weekend’s two foot onslaught (on top of all the other snow we’ve already had this record-setting winter).

So, instead of splashing in rain puddles, Calvin’s been wearing his rain boots everywhere, and especially tracking through the snow.  I love the great rubber gripping treads in slushy or packed snow.  He loves the dino teeth and  eyes.  His favorite part?  He can slip them on all by himself.  He proudly stomps around and announces this feat every. time. he puts them on. every. time.

Although 14 degrees is still too cold to head outdoors with a thin rain coat, he’s armed and ready for the rains of spring in his matching dinosaur rain coat. I like the wooden dinosaur hanger that comes with the coat.

Don’t you just love the orange spikes on the shoulders? It gets better.  Check out the pockets.  Look at this little guy on the right side.  Adorable!  There’s more…

See this one on the left?  That’s one cute brontosaurus.

But, they’re not nearly as cute as the little guy wearing the coat.

After an afternoon of sliding through the snow fort and cobbling together a snow baby, Calvin likes to head indoors for a cup of warm lemon-blueberry tea followed by a soak in the tub to warm up his fingers and toes.

After the bath, he roars around our home in his dinosaur towel.

I just wish the photo above had sound…can’t you just hear him roaring?  There’s little pockets in the top claws where he can grab on to create the perfect dino dude.

See what I mean?

And when he’s not pretending to be a dinosaur, then he just walks around in a very big green hat.

The towel arrives rolled up and secured with a pretty white bow. It’s tucked nicely in a reusable plastic bag with a canvas strap so you can keep it dry when you haul it to the pool in the summertime.

If you get a lot of spring rain in your neck of the woods, Kidorables creates fun ways to present your valentine with an imaginative and practical gift.  Besides dinosaurs, they also feature their classic ladybug and frog designs.  Not into dinosaurs?  How about pirates, firefighters, mermaids, or pink cats?

If you’re going to have 6 more weeks of winter, check out the knit scarves, and gloves & mittens available.

WIN IT!

One (1) winner will receive a Kidorable umbrella of choice (retail value $13.50)!

To enter, please visit the Kidorables website, and leave a comment describing your favorite style and item on this post prior to February 14th at 11:59 p.m.  Please follow the contest rules and avoid any generalized comments, or you will be disqualified.

FOR A SECOND ENTRY:Become a Facebook Fan of Kidorables, then leave a comment telling me you did so.

FOR A THIRD ENTRY: Follow @drdolly and @kidorable on Twitter for a coupon code and another opportunity to win a Kidorable umbrella.

FOR A FOURTH ENTRY: Tweet (include @drdolly) about this giveaways or the Valentine’s Day gift guide, then leave a second comment telling me that you did with a link.

FOR A FIFTH ENTRY: Blog about the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide or this giveaway, then leave a comment with a link to your post.

FOR A  SIXTH ENTRY: Enter another contest on the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, and leave a comment telling me which one you entered.

*I received product samples from Kidorables for the purpose of this review.  Read my full disclosure policy.
Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly
*UPDATE* Congratulations to #21, CherylW!

For Kids: Pre-Made Valentines

Welcome to the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide on Traveling with Baby.  From now until February 14th, you’ll find great Valentine’s gift ideas for the whole family.  You’ll even have the opportunity to win some of the products featured on the Gift Guide–isn’t that lovely?

_______________________________________________________________

Do you remember those fun perforated valentines that children exchanged in elementary school?  I remember being very particular about what was printed on each card before determining which classmate ended up with it.  After all, I did NOT want to misconstrue any feelings beyond platonic friendship to the boys in my class.

I don’t know if other first-graders went through such meticulous pains with choosing who received their valentines when scribbling names onto the red and white paper with a sharpened #2 pencil.

If you’re not into the sappy love language for classmates that you’re bound to find in every big box store pack of premade valentines, you could 1) make your own from scratch, or 2) order your own from Next Day Flyers.  Friendly wishes, more heartfelt greetings, or just cute puppy pictures are all available for you to choose.  You can order 100 of them on 1/4 page flyers for $17.95 with FREE personalization.  I’m kinda smitten over the punch-out cards.

These cards would be so much fun for a Valentine’s Day party as invites or greetings.  If you don’t have 100 classmates…then share an order with friends or save them for next year.

If you like sending valentines to family members, then check out the 4×6 postcards printed with high gloss UV or satin matte finish on ultra thick card stock.  Next Day Flyers also makes custom door hangers and greeting cards–something I think I’ll use for Christmas 2010.

Next Day Flyers is an eight year-old California-based company that creates custom printing for customers nationwide.  Since they’re based online, they’re available 24/7…how convenient!

WIN IT

One (1) winner will receive $50 worth of free printing credits on Next Day Flyers.

To enter, please visit Next Day Flyers, then leave a comment here on what you’d use your printing credits toward prior to February 14th at 11:59 p.m.  Please follow the contest rules and avoid any generalized comments, or you will be disqualified.

FOR A SECOND ENTRY: Blog about the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide or this giveaway, then leave a comment with a link to your post.

FOR A THIRD ENTRY: Tweet (include @drdolly) about this giveaways or the Valentine’s Day gift guide, then leave a second comment telling me that you did with a link.

FOR A FOURTH ENTRY: Enter another contest on the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, and leave a comment telling me which one you entered.

Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly
*I received compensation for this post.  Read my full disclosure policy.
*UPDATE* Congrats to #4 Carlita!

For the Whole Family: BPA-Free Bottles

Welcome to the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide on Traveling with Baby.  From now until February 14th, you’ll find great Valentine’s gift ideas for the whole family.  You’ll even have the opportunity to win some of the products featured on the Gift Guide–isn’t that lovely?

——————————————————————————————————

Our year-round favorites for BPA-free water on-the-go are the stainless bottles from Camelbak.  These 12 oz. cuties are available in 6 styles for little hands.  The spill-proof design is easy on moms.  Yet, cleaning is a snap when the bite valve, and straw separate and can be used in the dishwasher.  The taste-free stainless means you can add a wedge of lemon to the water, and you won’t be sucking down metallic-tasting water three hours later.  That’s design genius for you! 

My son is in LOVE with the pirate design.  It is HIS cup…favorite by far.  My husband likes the insulated stainless (available in 0.50L) that keeps his cool water cool even after a full day of working outdoors.  I like the stainless bottle in the 0.75 L capacity–great for a busy day at the office.  The stainless better bottle is available in 5 styles.

Here’s a few other giveaways on the web that are just perfect for Valentine’s Day:

*I received product samples of Camelbak for the purpose of this review.  Read my full disclosure policy.
Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

For the Kid at Heart: Organic and Natural Candy

Welcome to the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide on Traveling with Baby.  From now until February 14th, you’ll find great Valentine’s gift ideas for the whole family.  You’ll even have the opportunity to win some of the products featured on the Gift Guide–isn’t that lovely?

——————————————————————————————————

We don’t eat a lot of candy in our home.  In fact, my son has had zero candy to date, except for the time he got into the dark chocolate pieces that we keep for patients at the office (I found four wrappers and a chocolate covered smile on my 2-year-old).   I’d like to point out that when he asks for treats, he requests things like raisins, bananas, apples, and oranges.

Our son has no idea what a lollipop, gummy bear, or anything else of the candy variety is or tastes like.  We realize that he’ll have the rest of his life to experience those things, but at his developmental foundation, we prefer to keep him healthy and happy with other options.

Now, I realize that there are families who offer some restrictions in sugar or candy intake, and there are other still who want to indulge their children with an occasional sweet…but they would love an alternative that didn’t include brain melting chemicals like Aspertame or Splenda.

A better option are organic, fruit-juice sweetened candies by Surf Sweets–this unique company created six different varieties of gummy candies and jelly beans, made from all-natural ingredients.  Depending on the type of candy, organic levels vary from 80% to 90%.  Great features of Surf Sweets include the following:

  • 100% Vitamin C per serving
  • NO synthetic flavors and artificial colors
  • NO trans fats
  • NO GMOs
  • NO corn syrup
  • NO gluten

My husband and I tried the gummy bears, gummy swirls {my favorite}, and jelly beans.  We haven’t tried every product, but it seems the candies tend to include the same flavors: cherry, strawberry, orange, and sometimes lemon.

I like that they pack Vitamin C and calcium into every serving…can’t say that about everything else on the candy aisle.  The textures for the gummy bears and jelly beans are spot on with their corn syrupy competitors.  The gummy swirls are fruit juice sugar-dusted gummy drops–swirled with orange and white, pink and white, or red and white for orange, strawberry, and cherry, respectively.

Sorry I don’t have photos of the gummy swirls or the gummy bears–we kinda blew through those during two different evenings of Netflix and snowy weather.  But, check out these jewel-toned jelly beans…so pretty!

Not only does Surf Sweets make some delicious and healthier candy options, but this company is working with non-profits to make this world a better place in their Helping Hearts program.

Surf Sweets will donate $1.00 to one of two great causes for every new fan that joins them on Facebook during the month of February! They’ve selected a charity, The Ocean Project, to receive a total donation of up to $1,000.  This Valentine’s Day, help out a great charity and enjoy some sweetness.

You can find Surf Sweets at some health food retailers including Whole Foods Market.  Surf Sweets are also available at Amazon.com, and they retail $1.75 for a 2.75 oz. bag.

WIN IT!

Two (2) winners will receive a sample pack of every Surf Sweets product (retail value $12.25)!

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post prior to February 14th at 11:59 p.m.  Please follow the contest rules and avoid any generalized comments, or you will be disqualified.

FOR A SECOND ENTRY: Blog about the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide or this giveaway, then leave a comment with a link to your post.

FOR A THIRD ENTRY: Tweet (include @drdolly) about this giveaways or the Valentine’s Day gift guide, then leave a second comment telling me that you did with a link.

FOR A FOURTH ENTRY: Enter another contest on the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, and leave a comment telling me which one you entered.

*I received product samples of Surf Sweets for the purpose of this review.  Read my full disclosure policy.
Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly
*UPDATE* Congratulations to #3 Henria O, and #13 Laureen!

For Her: Flowers for Her Hair

Welcome to the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide on Traveling with Baby.  From now until February 14th, you’ll find great Valentine’s gift ideas for the whole family.  You’ll even have the opportunity to win some of the products featured on the Gift Guide–isn’t that lovely?

————————————————————————————————–

We don’t yet have a daughter, but the cute hair accessories from Florida-based company Lady Bugs n’ Butterflies certainly makes me wish that I had a little princess whose hair I could brush and braid.

Look at these adorable clips they sent me!  My nieces are going to look so stinkin’ cute with these pretty clips in their hair.

You can pick any style you like (from crocheted fruit and critters to delicate flowers from gauzy ribbon), and then customize the accessory based on the girl’s age or hair type.

They have a Big Girl pony O (the type of ponytail holders that I use in my hair), toddler pony O, a 1 3/4″ alligator clips, a 1 1/2″ toddler snappy clip, a 1 1/4″ infant snappy clip, and a 2″ french barrette.  Most styles are available in different colors–so you can design one for that princess dress for a special occasion.

I love this one.  It’s the Christine Diane in aqua, also available in 8 other colors.

And, here’s the back in an alligator pinch clip.  The ribbon conceals all the visible parts of the metallic clip.

It’s soooo cute and petite.  Perfect for a little lady, or a big lady who likes dainty little hair accessories.  I can see these becoming all the rage among the 20-something crowd.

This is the lovely Florence Eileen in white, among 5 other color options.  This dainty dragonfly clip has hand sewn beads on the eyes, tail, and sequined wings (also covered in sheer gauzy fabric).  As delicate as it looks, the stitching is strong, and it looks like it would hold up to the most fidgety little girl.

The Florence Eileen is featured in the 1 and 1/4 inch infant snappy clip.  Although the white ribbon covers up the metal, I think the delicate detail of the dragonfly would have shown up better  if they’d simply covered the clip in a clear or opaque white silicone to prevent slipping in the hair.  Even so, I really love this design!

If you know of any brides who are wedding planning, Lady Bugs n’ Butterflies has some great options for little flower girls.

Hair clips are $7 with the headbands ranging up to $16.  They have styles ranging from a spotted cow to pink ballerina slippers and a goldfish.

YOUR TURN: What would be your ideal accessory for a little girls’ hair?

WIN IT!

One (1) winner will receive a hair  accessory of choice from Lady Bugs n’ Butterflies (retail value $16).

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post prior to February 14th at 11:59 p.m.  Please follow the contest rules and avoid any generalized comments, or you will be disqualified.

Extra Credit

FOR A SECOND ENTRY: Blog about the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide or this giveaway, then leave a comment with a link to your post.

FOR A THIRD ENTRY: Tweet (include @drdolly) about this giveaways or the Valentine’s Day gift guide, then leave a second comment telling me that you did with a link.

FOR A FOURTH ENTRY: Enter another contest on the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, and leave a comment telling me which one you entered.

*I received product samples for the purpose of this review.  Read my full disclosure policy.
Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

P.S. This was the first time I tried snapping photos of products with a drop cloth and our family’s new Nikon D60 SLR.  I had a BLAST!

*UPDATE* Congrats to #15 Sky!

For the Whole Family: Green Batteries

Welcome to the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide on Traveling with Baby.  From now until February 14th, you’ll find great Valentine’s gift ideas for the whole family.  You’ll even have the opportunity to win some of the products featured on the Gift Guide–isn’t that lovely?

————————————————————————————————–

Did your family end up with holiday gifts that require batteries?  Thankfully, we did not, but during my son’s first year, he received multiple gifts that sucked down batteries faster than we could keep up!  Not only was I concerned with proper disposal of the batteries, but I was also concerned about the environmental footprint they’d leave behind.

I’ve tried rechargeable batteries in the past, but they just don’t last as long nor pack the same power punch as traditional batteries.  So, when I heard about Fuji’s new Enviromax batteries that are branded as environmentally friendly, I thought they were worth a try.

Compared to conventional batteries, they work just as well and last just as long.  I asked about the composition to understand just how environmentally-friendly these batteries are.  I learned from Fuji that they’re comprised of “iron, nickel, zinc, electrolyte-manganese dioxide, bronze and paper. Unlike most batteries, they do not contain lithium.”

Features:

  • mercury-free
  • cadmium-free
  • PVC-free

My step-dad has worked with battery recycling for close to 24 years.  I asked him what he thought about these new environmentally-friendly batteries from Fuji, and this is what he said,

Iron-nickel batteries are a very old technology (over 100 years).  Nothing ground breaking here, but maybe there will be a new appreciation for them given the relative environmental friendliness of the materials in them.  The batteries are relatively heavy, expensive to make, and have poor charge retention.

I love that Fuji is taking the lead on green batteries, even if it is re-marketing old technology, and I hope other manufacturers will follow suit.  Meanwhile, if your holiday gifts are running low on battery juice, the Enviromax batteries by Fuji are a great way to re-charge while being kind to the earth.  When a 2-pack of Cs or 4-pack of AA’s run $5.99 they’re comparable to conventional batteries in cost as well as power, at least in my experience.

WIN IT!

One (1) winner will receive a 2-pack of Fuji Enviromax batteries in size C (retail value $5.99) and 4-pack in size AA (retail value $5.99).

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post prior to February 14th at 11:59 p.m.  Please follow the contest rules and avoid any generalized comments, or you will be disqualified.

Extra Credit

FOR A SECOND ENTRY: Blog about the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide or this giveaway, then leave a comment with a link to your post.

FOR A THIRD ENTRY: Tweet (include @drdolly) about this giveaways or the Valentine’s Day gift guide, then leave a second comment telling me that you did with a link.

FOR A FOURTH ENTRY: Enter another contest on the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, and leave a comment telling me which one you entered.

*I received a product samples of Fuji Enviromax AA and C batteries for the purpose of this review.  Read my full disclosure policy.
Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly
*UPDATE* Congrats to #19 LauraB!