citrus laneIf you’re looking for the perfect gift for a newborn baby, a toddler, or even a five-year-old, then I’m about to swoop in and be your hero. I’m going to suggest Citrus Lane, a company that provides a box of green, natural, and fun goodness every month. These care packages are nothing short of “Wow!” Our box, which was prepared for a 5-year-old boy, contained a box of two darling puzzles from Barefoot Books, an ARTivity Book from Creativity for Kids, a bag of Cheddar Bunnies from Annie’s, a cute little box of adhesive bandages from Ouchies Jr. (decorated a la Eric Carle), and All Natural Hand Sanitizing Wipes fro a company I already love, CleanWell.

After I unpacked all the fun stuff, I noticed a colorful brochure from fabkids, a clothing company that suggests reasonably priced outfits each month, based on your child’s personality. “Get Your First Outfit FREE!” the brochure said. I almost threw it away. Why? I figured I’d have to pay baby and boxsomething first, or promise to buy a bunch of stuff later; you know, a sort of Columbia Records deal (for those of you who are old enough to remember that. I, ahem, am a spring chicken and of course do not recall receiving such old-timey goodness such as Flashdance or Duran Duran records in the mail. Nope, not me. Young one here. What’s a record?)

But I’m the curious sort, so I checked out the site anyway. Lo and behold, we received a free outfit in the mail two days ago, and it’s just darling! Yes, I did end up paying $4.95 for shipping and handling, but no biggie there. And to top it all off, I think I’ll stay a member on that site. It’s very promising.

Here’s the nitty gritty: If you know someone who’s just had a baby, or if you need a really special gift that — to throw in a great cliche — keeps on giving, then I’d definitely send you to Citrus Lane. Whether you opt to do just one to three boxes at only $25 a month (the outfit alone would have made my box a bargain), or sign up for six months to a whole year for just $21 per box, you really can’t beat a gift like this. Plus, gift givers choose specifically for a boy or a girl, ages newborn through five.  I’m pretty much just sitting around waiting for a gift giving opportunity to occur so I can send some Citrus Lane love their way.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

I think we all know by now how important careful toy selection is.  We’ve seen the news reports, the huge toy recalls, the stories about lead in toys.  It’s upsetting, to say the least!  So knowing where to go for safe, Organic Toys is very important.  Who do you trust if you can’t trust the big guys?  I love finding toys from independent sellers, especially moms who are as conscientious about what they sell as I try to be about what I buy.  Carrin of Down to Earth Toys is such a mom, and I’ve gotten to know her through dkMommy Spot over the past couple of years.  I believe she owns a business I can trust, and the toys we’ve tested here have all been top notch.

Lately we’ve been giving a Three Piece Pull Train a go, and like all their items, it’s quality stuff.  Made of hardwood in the U.S.A., it’s a solid, durable beauty that can easily make it to next generations (unlike its plastic counterparts)!  It’s made for kids 18 months and up, and of course any toddler in love with trains will have a ball with this one.  

For the younger set, we have today’s special feature and giveaway item.  This Organic Stacking Toy (pictured above with the cute little boy) is made of beautiful solid maple and walnut.  What makes it organic, you ask?  It’s the natural beeswax and organic jojoba finish, eliminating the fears of “child chews all”.  And of course the tactile experience with warm, solid wood is so much more than what a child would experience with hollow plastic.  Yet another hand-me-down item!  I love the thought of my son’s wooden toys going on to my grandchildren someday!  And what’s even better?  Every time you purchase an Organic Stacker Toy, a tree is planted.  So when your grandchildren are playing with these stackers about 25 years from now, somewhere will be growing the large beautiful tree that was planted when you first purchased the toy for your own child.  Now, that’s pretty cool!

Coupon Code:  For free shipping on orders over $20 at Down To Earth Toys, use code DKmom at checkout!  Good through 04/30/10.

Want to win your own Organic Stacker Toy?  We’re giving one away!

Multiple Options for Multiple Entries:

1.) Just visit Down to Earth Toys and tell me something else you liked or learned there. (***You may enter once a day, but please list a new item you like each time.) Remember, leave an interesting comment. If I cannot contact the winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Blog about, Twitter, Subscribe and/or Become a Fan on FacebookGet an extra entry for each of these activities.  This time just leave a separate comment for each (only one time for each extra activity completed), giving me a link to your blog post, your Twitter name, and/or a note saying you’re an FB Fan and/or subscriber.  SUBSCRIBE HERE!  

(Psst!  My Twitter name is dkMommy.)

Full Rules for Sweepstakes at dkMommy Spot 

Feel free to do all five to gather multiple entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Monday, April 26, 2010, to enter.

Click Here for Giveaways & Coupon Codes

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When you need a cool organic toy that’s as cuddly as it is cute, Down to Earth has the goods! This sweet organic cotton penguin is the perfect snuggly fit for any child’s awaiting arms.  My son has his own organic penguin, and the look on his face when it arrived was priceless.  It made this mama grin from ear to ear!  I feel really good about handing him toys made of organic cotton.  You see, I’m an outgasser.  I know, that sounds like some scary medical condition – but in actuality, it just means that when something new comes into our home, if it smells bad, it goes outside until it calms down.  Many products we all purchase on a day-to-day basis contain things like formaldehyde.  Cloth items are often processed with sprays or chemicals to make them look “fresh” for consumers.  But when you purchase an organic cotton item, it arrives smelling like – well, like cotton!  Clean, good fabric.

So when my son got his darling little penguin, there was no wonders about what it was made of.  Down to Earth Toys is not only one of dkMommy Spot’s sponsors – it’s someone I trust to supply us with good clean, healthy toys made in USA.  (Not everyone gets to advertise here – they have to be eco-friendly and quality driven.) This little penguin is certainly no exception.  He’s all dressed up and waiting to come home; and let’s face it – since penguins are sort of egg shaped, he squeaks through the Easter theme, doesn’t he?  Just look at that darling tye-died hat.  I’d say it’s very Easter-eggish.  And he’s organic.  What better way is there for a penguin to be?  Simply perfect for hugging!

I remember when my son was a newborn.  He may have been a big baby, but place him next to his stuffed animal menagerie, and he all but disappeared in what looked like a forest of giant bears and lions.  It seemed like it would be forever before he was able to cuddle with those big fluffy animals.  I wish I would have had a Blanket Friend back then.  These cuddly little bunnies make sense for newborns because they’re made from 100% organic Egyptian cotton cloth with sweet bunny faces.  There are knots in the ends of the blankets so teething babies can chew, and since the dye used on the fabric is also natural and nonmetal, parents don’t have to worry about what’s being gnawed on.  It’s also machine washable, and the fabric is thick so it looks like it would hold up well.

One thing I noticed after receiving my Blanket Friend from For Your Bug-A-Boo is the pleasant smell of fresh cotton.  Not something I’m used to seeing in a fabric toy.  The other thing I noticed was my son’s fascination with the bunny.  He’s two (already!) and much bigger than those previously mentioned stuffed animals, but he immediately picked up the bunny and hugged and stroked it.

For Your Bug-A-Boo, an online store featuring a large selection of natural and non-toxic baby and toddler products, is offering one sage colored Blanket Friend for one of you! For Your Bug-A-Boo offers natural toys, organic clothing, diapering, bedding, and just about anything else you can think of for natural parenting.  It’s a great stop if you have a little one on the way, or if you’re shopping for a baby shower.  Everything I found on the site looked safe and chemical free, which we all know I love!

Coupon Code: If you’d like to just break into shopping mode, For Your Bug-A-Boo is offering dkMommy Spot readers a 10% discount through July 31st, 2008.  Just shop online and enter the coupon code DKMOMMY10.

3 Ways to Enter:

1.) Leave a comment telling me what interests you the most at For Your Bug-A-Boo. You can name a product, mention a feature of the website, or tell me something about their business in general that appeals to you.

2.) Subscribers are automatically entered into this and all future giveaways. Just click here: Subscribe to dkMommy Spot by Email (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you don’t receive it, check your junk mail.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.

Do all three, and you’ve got three entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Friday, May 23, 2008, to enter.

Feel like doing a little shopping for your poopsie? Wild Dill is offering a $35 gift certificate for their online store to one lucky reader! Wild Dill features organic baby and toddler clothing, wooden toys, soft toys and dolls, and even organic bedding. I’m really enjoying hanging out on this site. If you’re looking for some adorable bedding patterns (organic cotton, of course), they’ve got a fun and unique selection. As for toys, they have some items I’ve not seen before, and the stuffed animals are darling! I’m in love with one barefoot mouse. (You gotta see him!) Everything on the site is organic, fair trade, and natural, and most of it is made in the U.S. and Europe. All the items are plainly listed as to where they were made, which is something I always look for before I buy anything these days.

Wild Dill is owned and operated by Jennifer, “Wife and Mother of Wild Men” (just like me!) Her son Dylan inspired the start of this online store; Dylan loves all things wild and natural, so that’s what you’ll find while shopping Wild Dill.

3 Ways to Enter:

1.) Leave a comment telling me what you like at Wild Dill. It can be a specific toy, a brand they carry, or a feature of the site. (And you can love the aforementioned mouse, but please mention something different.)

2.) Subscribers are automatically entered into this and all future giveaways. Just click on the green “Subscribe to dkMommy Spot by Email” button on the upper corner of the right hand column. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you don’t receive it, check your junk mail.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post.

Do all three, and you’ve got three entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Tuesday, May 13, 2008, to enter.