Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas gift guide! Plus a great giveaway...more to follow!

With Christmas coming up, you may be searching for ideas. I have a few suggestions of some great toys for a wide range of ages that I would like to share with you. The first one is Elmo Live! I wrote a description on this adorable, soft and fuzzy monster a few months ago (you can read about him here). This Elmo is like no other: He waves his arms, sits and stands, even crosses his legs, all the while telling stories and jokes, singing songs and playing games. Children can activate the magic with a tickle or a squeeze of Elmo’s foot, tummy, back or nose. He is approximately 1 foot tall, so he is pretty tall. I know he is a big hit with Elmo fans everywhere! He is retailing for $60 and will bring hours of fun! What a great interactive toy for our little ones! Elmo Live is a great gift to give to kids ages 18 months and up! Even adults will get a kick out of this little red guy!
Oompa Toys carries a great selection of toys for kids! One of the newest editions to their line is the "green toy" Cheekeyes wooden block sets! Cheekeyes won the prestigious Platinum Award for one of this year’s best preschool toys. Cheekeyes can only be found in the United States at online toy store OompaToys. These wooden toys are handmade in Sri Lanka, from the hands of Dutch designer Rogier van Zijp, with eco-friendly rubberwood. Painted with slight color, with a one-of-a-kind red cheek and painted eye (creating the name Cheekeyes) these sets are in different categories: Arctic, African, Forest, Farm and Dinosaurs. The sets come with 5 animals for $29.99 and you can buy trees and rocks (separately) to go with the animals. Cheekeyes are great for ages 3 and up. You will have the chance to enter to win a set (your choice) of Cheekeyes coming soon!
Playing cards and trading cards are really big right now for the elementary age kids! My son really enjoys the earth-friendly Xeko Mission card game! This is a 2 player card game that he can learn about conservation and the environment while he plays, plus he can be strategic with his moves! Xeko Mission: China is the newest edition of Xeko. This mission includes endangered animals like the Giant Panda, critically-endangered Snow Leopard, and the King Cobra. The Xeko Mission: China starter set comes packaged in a pagoda box decorated with animals from China’s habitats and dragon illustrations that capture the mysteries of ancient Chinese culture. The starter set retails for $24.99. Booster packs of 9 cards are available for $3.99. A new line of eco-friendly plush, the Xeko Pals, also debuted this fall. Each plush is based on the most popular characters from the Xeko eco-adventure game. The plush are made with soy and certified organic cotton “fur” and filled with soy-based stuffing. These new toys feature “mission codes” that allow kids to join the fun at xeko.com, where the Xeko adventure comes to life on the web. The most popular character from Mission: China is the Giant Panda and!retails for $19.99. I think this is a great educational and fun game geared for kids ages 8 and older. Great game to work on math and comprehension! You will also get the chance to win this game and Panda Plush valued at $45.00 total!
One big hit for those toddlers learning to go potty is the new toy from Mattel: Little Mommy Real Loving Baby Gotta Go Doll! This is a great toy to promote developmental and learning activities! The Little Mommy Real Loving Baby Gotta Go Doll includes a complete bathroom area where girls can help their doll learn to go potty and clean up. The Gotta Go Doll goes both “number 1” (and “number 2!”) on her very own small potty, but, unlike real toddlers, there is no mess and no water – just realistic sights and sounds! The doll can flush, knows to wash her hands and loves to do all the things a big girl does when she gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night. The bathroom area features potty, sink, towel and more. Available in Caucasian, African American and a Spanish speaking Hispanic version. Approximate retail price is $39.99 each and is geared toward ages 3 and up!
Everyone is raving about Organic Products these days, and the safety of toys for children. When I was introduced to the new cuddly (and quite adorable) Jooble plush characters, I was greatly impressed! Joobles are from the company Fair Indigo, started by a Mom, Dad and daughter. These adorable animals are made of organic cotton, by artisans in Peru under fair trade conditions. When I gave Madelyn her 11" Mooey Cow Jooble she just kept hugging her and saying, "Oh...Oh..." She is just tickled by the softness. I am so happy that I can rest assured that this plush is totally safe for my daughter to play with. Mooey Cow (as well as the other 8 Joobles) are made with cotton grown without the use of pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, or other chemicals. The dyes are eco-friendly, too!
Retailing for just $29 each, Joobles can be found online at http://www.fairindigo.com/ or at specialty e-tailers like Oompa.com. There will be a giveaway for one of these amazing plush animals...keep reading!
Looking for a fun, and active game for your pre-teen-adult ages? Guitar Praise (by Digital Praise) is a fun and challenging CD-ROM game that includes a wireless guitar controller. This is the Christian version to the currently popular Guitar Hero. This game is for your Windows/Mac and is fun for the whole family. You can hook your computer up to your TV and enjoy this game on your big screen as well. Guitar Praise has over 50 tracks of songs with a wide variety of music. Some of the artists are: toby mac, Skillet, Petra, David Crowder, Kutless, Newsboys, Jennifer Knapp, Paul Baloche and more! There are onscreen lyrics (so you can sing along, too). You can unlock songs in sets of five as you play. You can also manipulate the guitar to score more points. Do your best to keep up, or the artists will stop the music on you. Keeping track of your high scores is fun, because you can keep the competition going strong, plus you can post your scores online to see where you are ranking. This game is a challenge, but it is a good one trying to master. You strum the guitar to the onscreen cues, press the fret buttons and you move up through 4 levels of difficulty. There are 5 buttons to make the chords. This game can be played with 2 players as long as you have 2 guitars. This game retails for $99.95. For one week only, Digital Praise is offering free shipping~ until December 7th enter FREESHIP as a discount code upon checkout.
I love playing games, and it is a great way for our family to have so much fun! We recently got Pictionary Man, the new game released from Mattel, and it is such a blast! I thought Pictionary was fun, but Pictionary Man brings in a whole new kind of fun! You get to draw on props to have people guess what you are drawing. With a dry erase marker, you can either draw on this man, rectangular prop, or a round prop. Once you draw on the 3 props, you can then act out using them. You can't talk, though! You get your clues from the bottom of the Pictionary Man's foot. There are 5 categories (people: character, celebrity, history; actions; titles: movie, music, TV; role play: occupations and pastimes; and miscellaneous) that the Pictionary man will randomly chose from. Sometimes you get a hint to give to your team mates, but not always. If your team is struggling to get those points, you can catch up in the challenge rounds. Retails for $34.99 and is for ages 14 and up. I think my son, who is 10, could play with...but some of the categories/ideas are a bit challenging. This is a super family game, and I highly suggest it~ especially if you love games! Another great game that I would highly suggest is the Apples to Apples game from Mattel! This game has been around a few years now, but it is still one that deserves to rank high on the top! We play this game a lot at our gatherings, especially Ladies Night Out!
This game is super for 4-10 people! Every round is different! Everyone gets a certain amount of cards dealt to them (depending on how many people are playing). It is a game of comparisons with a wide range of nouns and verbs, adjectives and superlatives. People, places, things and events get categorized with words. The card reader is the ultimate judge, and you never know what they will decide. This game is sure to produce laughter and tears! It is a game where you don't have to think to hard, and you can have a blast! Apples-to-Apples is perfect for any get together with family and friends. Approximate retail price is $24.99 geared for ages 12 and up. (There are also other versions of this game for other ages).Looking for another popular game for pre-teens? High School musical 3 DVD game would be a hit! High School Musical 3 DVD Game combines trivia, video clips, outtakes, songs and dances from both of the popular Disney Channel movies as well as the upcoming "High School Musical 3" theatrical release. Players compete in different categories and test their knowledge of the popular franchise, making the High School Musical 3 DVD Game a definitive performance-based game for all true HSM fans! This game has a DVD that you play along with, but also a game board to help keep score. Players can sing along to the songs, and find the missing lyric, dance the steps to figure out the right dance sequence, and guess which character said what. For ages 8 and up this game retails for $19.99.
Would you like to win one of these great gift ideas? Fair Indigo has offered to sponsor a giveaway for one of their adorable Jooble characters! This contest is open to all readers living in the Continental United States. To enter, you must go to the Fair Indigo site, and click on the tab About Fair Trade to learn what this term really means. Come back and tell me why you should care~ plus what character (by name) you would like to win . Feel free to leave a second choice, because you may not get the one you chose due to these adorable plush are handmade, so it depends on availability. You may come back each day and enter again after you do the first rule, just leave a comment about what other eco-friendly product you like. Click here to see how you can earn extra credits to win, and click here to see guidelines and the official rules. Contest will end on December 10th, at 7:00 PM CST. GOOD LUCK!

111 comments:

My name is Diana. said...

Mel the Monkey and Buzzy Bug are my favorites. They are all adorable! I love that they are working toward making Fair Trade mainstream and had no idea that there were so few companies that have a fair trade agreement!

sito50 said...

I wouldn't say no to any of these cute little animals. I like the Jiffy Giraffe's colors and Bella Bunny's ears. Fair trade means we are not giving our children toys made by people laboring in horrible working conditions, not getting paid enough to buy enough food for their families. I don't want to clothe my child in something made by someone who can't afford to clothe their own families.

sito50 said...

I subscribe.

mverno said...

jiffy giraffe it effects all of it one way or another

Christina said...

We should care about Fair Trades because minimum wage has not kept up with inflation, and it has become a joke. My favorite is Calley the Cat!

Christina said...

I subscribed to your feed!

Joyful Noise said...

We should care because everyone should be paid fairly...

I love Icy the Penguin!!!

Staci said...

We should care about fair trade because it affects everyone, not just those producing the products, through the changes in the economy. Plus, we should want others to be able to afford things for their families, food, clothes, shelter, etc. More people should be concerned about social justice instead of paying as little as possible.

I'd love Jiffy the Giraffe, but Pip the Dog is cute too!
princess3sah(at)cs(dot)com

Staci said...

I subscribe.
princess3sah(at)cs(dot)com

Staci said...

Button is up too.
princess3sah(at)cs(dot)com

Aisling said...

All the Joobles are darling; my favorites are Buzzy Bug and Mooey Cow and Icy the Penguin and Bella the Bunny and I'd be thrilled to win any one of them.

It's just wrong for us to insist on paying the lowest prices for our goods when it means other people live/work in sweatshop conditions or work many hours a week for a wage that won't even allow them to feed their family. Fair trade is just that - fair.

lisagee said...

Fair trade has living wages which everyone deserves. The penguin and matching sweater are nice.

Jenn said...

I like that they pay fair pay and not such low pay so their workers struggle to get by.

I love Mel the monkey and Jiffy the giraffe, since my son was born he tends to get cute monkey things and giraffe stuff so both would fit in with most of his blankets and things!

Jenn said...

I'm a subscriber!

Jenn said...

I have your button on my blog!

artmarcia said...

All are adorable, but the colors and patterns of Buzzy Bug are my favorite. If Fair Trade practices were followed around the world, there would be less of a discrepancy between the obscenely rich and desperately poor.

Stephanie said...

fair trade means fair pay for workers (and regulations for worker abuse like underage workers). like pip the dog -- adorable!
tvollowitz at aol dot com

Karen said...

Love Mel the Monkey :)

ktgonyea at gmail.com

justicecw said...

Fair trade is something that everyone should strive for...people who work hard should make a liveable wage! I love the Mel the Monkey doll! Thanks for the chance, justicecw@hotmail.com

justicecw said...

subscriber
justicecw@hotmail.com

Melanie said...

Jiffy Giraffe and Calley Cat are super cute. either one would be great!

we should care about fair trade because it should be a basic human right for everyone to have safe and clean working conditions and fair wages.

melanieinaz2003@yahoo.com

Sandy said...

love the puppy and the chimp-
noone should work for pennies and in horrible sweatshops just for the greed of someone else- they deserve to be paid fairly

Sandy said...

subscriber mrs.mommyyatgmaildotcom

Jenn S. said...

Mooey cow is too cute! Everyone should be able to sustain themselves. It benefits everyone, not just those in third world nations.

jenny said...

wow i think thay all are so cute and any one of them would do my little one just fine and well if i win can i pick it out then? thanks

Shannon said...

I feel that fair trade is important but buying American is even more important. Part of the reason unemployment is so high is so many companies are going overseas to increase the profits. I do like Icy the Penguin.

Dumaurier said...

Everyone deserves to be paid fairly! I really love Pip the Dog

Qtpies7 said...

Everyone should be able to earn enough to live and eat off of.

I would love the adorable Icy Penguin or Mel the Monkey. They are both too cute, and I love the matching sweaters!

idahomom said...

I like Met the Monkey. I think that Americans are very sheltered and that we ignore a lot of what is going on here and in the world.

justicecw said...

I love the boiled wool clogs! justicecw@hotmail.com

Tracey said...

we should all care because everyone deserves to be paid fairly. Also Im so tired of hearing about companies working children. That has got to stop. my favorites are pip the dog and mel the monkey

sito50 said...

Wandered around Fair Indigo a bit and came across Baby Recycled Fleece Monkey Mittens. They are so cute! And they have suggestions for a complete little outfit. How sweet.

justicecw said...

I like the retro collection of reusable shopping bags! thanks, justicecw@hotmail.com

Stacey said...

I love Jiffy the Giraffe and Mooey the Cow.

Thanks!
srdeans at gmail dot com

justicecw said...

I love the organic cotton giraffe baby hat and mittens set! justicecw@hotmail.com

Staci said...

The Easy pant over at Fair Indigo look wonderful too. Love that they are made from organic cotton.

princess3sah(at)cs(dot)com

justicecw said...

The men's bilfold wallet looks really nice! justicecw@hotmail.com

Bettina said...

I care because I believe that the people that work hard to make products should get paid the right amount to take care of themselves and their family.

I really like Icy The Penguin!

bewell75 at gmail dot com

Bettina said...

I follow you on Twitter!

bewell75 at gmail dot com

judybrittle said...

My favorite is Buzzy Bug and also really like Icy Penguin. How cute! I truly care about Fair Trade getting fair pay for work done to get out of poverty. Thank you!

judybrittle said...

I'm a subscriber.

jenny said...

wow realy love them all and well i love to win one for my little one but well its so heard to pick the one i like since thay all are so sweet and well if i win can i pick it then? thanks please enter me in

Keyomi said...

i would love a fair bear

Keyomi said...

icy the penguin wud be my next choice

I am also subscribed to you and have a button on my blog!

Keyomi said...

i should have posted a different comment for having a button on my blog.so here it is!

Nad said...

Fair trade is important because everyone deserves to receive fair wages for their work.

I love Icy the Penguin!
Thanks!

treflea4 at gmail dot com

Nad said...

I'm a suscriber. Thanks!

treflea4 at gmail dot com

pipasmom said...

Right now, there are not enough companies practicing fair trade . . .I like Buzzy Bee!
anastacer at verizon dot net

pipasmom said...

I am a subscriber

Heather said...

I like Bella the Bunny, Fair trade pays fair wages and that is what is needed in this economy

justicecw said...

Love the Alpaca long scarf! thanks, justicecw@hotmail.com

*Heather* said...

We should all care about Fair Trade so it's fair trade for everyone and for the environment! I would be nice if more companies were on board as well, making it more mainstream. I would love to win the Icy Penguin or the Mooey cow. But I would love any of those for my girls! hermashaw@gmail.com

April T. said...

I think fair trade is really just common sense. Having travelled extensively in Mexico and Latin America, I especially have a heart for fair trade, as I have had a chance to visit co ops in San Cristobal de las casas, mex and lago de atitlan in guatemala (we're actually planning a trip to Peru in March). It makes me so happy that fair trade is catching on. Thank you so much for introducing me to this wonderful company. Not to mention that these jooples are just wonderful. My favorite is Jiffy Giraffe, followed closely by Mooey cow.
thelittlethingsblog@yahoo.com

Megret said...

I had no idea that American Apparel was the only other "sweatshop free" apparel maker in the US. Really sobering!

I think we'd pick Icy the Penguin if we won. Thanks!
Megret
musesofmegret (at) gmail (dot) com

Mama Zen said...

Fair trade is paying a fair wage, rather than minimum wage. We should all care because exploitation of workers affects all of us.

I like Pip the Dog!

Ferguson Family said...

I love the fact that they donate 5% of its profit to the foundation to support educational projects and programs!!

I love either Fair Bear or Mel the Monkey! Actually I'd take any of them!!

oona said...

Calley the Cat and Buzzy the Bug are my favorite creatures. It is so important to vote with your dollars and support paying living wages to workers in developing countries. (This means shopping somewhere other than Walmart!)

Thanks for the giveaway!
foxsquirrelrabbit at gmail dot com

ecky said...

we need to care about the back story of the products we buy. besides thinking about its impact on the environment we need to think of its impact on the people involved in the production.
i love mel monkey or buzzy the bug

elkesten at yahoo dot com

pipasmom said...

Another product I like - the Fair Indigo recycled fleece throw
anastacer (at) verizon (dot) net

cdrury said...

cdrury@gmail.com
Calley the Cat
my daughter in law has a degree in sustainable development so we have been on the fore front of Fair Trade for a very long time - I wont buy jeans for Walmart (you have to see the BBC documentary and you wont either) it is so hard as there is so much we dont know about but when I so I boycot - it is a little I can do top help others I dont know - My son went to Thailand after the Tsunami and spent three years serving the victims of that disaster so we are very conscious of those who have less then us!

justicecw said...

Love the Martina slide shoes for women! justicecw@hotmail.com

Kristinia - Loving Heart Mommy said...

Icy the Penguin and Buzzy the Bug are soo cute!

I believe all companies should follow Fair Indigo's policies! Fair wages are really only "fair"!
I'm all about supporting companies who do so too! This economy needs it!

kristinia at lovingheartmommy dot com

Kristinia - Loving Heart Mommy said...

We are subscribers!

Kristinia - Loving Heart Mommy said...

And we have your button up!

Sonya said...

Hi,
I found:
Quite simply, we pay fair wages to the good people who make our clothes and accessories instead of the minimum wages that dominate the clothing market today.

I think that is great.

Gracie would like Callie the cat.

rosannepm said...

I like Buzzy Bug
rosans4@comcast.net

rosannepm said...

About fair trade I like that it leaves out all the pesticides, chemical and is safe to wear. I also like the Giraffe hat/mitten set.

Gina said...

We should care because we have to take care of our home (Earth) because our home takes care of us! But it seems like fair trade is catching on because in 2004 fair trade coffee accounted for 2% of total coffee sales in the US and was growing at an average annual rate of 75%.

I like Mel and Icy.

reg8w@aol.com

April T. said...

I'm in the process of switching all my cleaning products over the eco versions, and I've found so many great options out there.

thelittlethingsblog@yahoo.com

Centsible Mommy said...

pip the dog is my favorite!

Fair Trade is imprtrant becaus eit means workers who sometimes work in deplorable conditions are getting paid fairly.

Jeff and Mandee said...

I like Mel the Monkey and Pip the Dog. These are too cute and it is wonderful that the people making these are treated fairly and get paid well. We should all get paid a living wage!

mandee220(at)aol(dot)com

Jeff and Mandee said...

I am a subscriber :)

Tuesday Girl said...

We should all care because: because minimum wage has not kept up with inflation, and we know how hard it is even with inflation!

I would love a mooey for my little baby!

tuesdayef (at) aol dot com

justicecw said...

Love the handknit sweater bag! justicecw@hotmail.com

Dree said...

I care because as a human I want others to be treated fairly. This is a great movement that is helping them become empowered.

I like Pip the Dog.

collyn23 said...

i care because minimum wage cant pay for a family or even a single person we need minumum wage higher and i think it is great places think about that

we love the Mel the Monkey

collyn23 said...

i am a subscriber

pipasmom said...

I also like the Fair Indigo recycled fleece throw.
anastacer at verizon dot net

Beverley said...

I want world wide Fair Trade because I abhor all forms of child abuse! Mooey Cow is my favorite.

Purplemommi said...

We should care because people deserve to be paid fairly for the work they do! I love Mooey the Cow!

sito50 said...

Oh! Kids Fair Trade Soccer Ball! I might have to get one of these for my little soccer player.

- Marybeth I. said...

Fiar Trade - paying workers fair wages rather than minimum ones

I love Icy the Penguin

justicecw said...

Love the Woman's velvet jacket. thanks, justicecw@hotmail.com

Andreah said...

I care about Fair Trade because I think all working people deserve to make enough money to support themselves and their family.

I like Icy the Penguin.

Andreah said...

I added your button to my blog.
mylifesahoot.blogspot.com

sito50 said...

I see they have bags recycled from saris, very pretty. And reasonably priced.

pipasmom said...

I also like the recycled fleece throw.
anastacer at verizon dot net

Just Like Mom's said...

I truly care about Fair Trade getting fair pay for work done to get out of poverty!!

My choices are
1- Icy the Penguin
2- Mel the Monkey

:) Thank you for the wonderful giveaway! :)

justicecw said...

I really like the sterling ball bracelet. thanks, justicecw@hotmail.com

Danielle said...

We should care that others are treated fairly and paid fairly in their jobs!
1. Jiffy Giraffe
2. Mel Monkey!
dansan826 at yahoo.com

April T. said...

I also love the recycled throws....but what I reallly want is a Jooble!

thelittlethingsblog[at]yahoo.com

Jaye said...

Fair Trade benefits everyone involved- from the producer to the consumer. It may end up costing a little more in the beginning, but when you're making more and living in a better world with less poverty it's worth it!

Oh, and I love Jiffy the Giraffe!

jebuell(at)gmail.com

Leah said...

Fair Trade is giving farmers and workers a true living wage in exchange for their work, which can then sustain them and also create opportunities for social and economic development. It eradicates and ends sweatshops and the sweatshop mentality allowing every farmer and worker to be treated with respect and honor which then makes for a happier, saner and more peaceful world.

I soooo love all these precious Joobies, especially Pip the Pup! : ))) Beautiful! : ))

Thanks so much for this amazing give~away! : )))

leahita[at]gmail[dot]com

Leah said...

You'll love that I'm a subscriber to your AMAZING BLOG via GOOGLE READER.

leahita[at]gmail[dot]com

arvard said...

I think the Buzzy Bug is cute.

Luck Happens said...

I love Bella the Bunny, and I care about fair trade because a lot of the products being imported into the United States are manufactured by employees not being fairly compensated by their hard work. Every human being deserves to be paid a fair wage for a fair day's work. Thanks for this great giveaway!

kellifrobinson2 AT gmail DOT com

Luck Happens said...

I promoted your giveaway at Luck Happens: http://www.luck-happens.com/december-10.html. :)

klp1965 said...

Quite simply, we pay fair wages to the good people who make our clothes and accessories instead of the minimum wages that dominate the clothing market today and i think it benefits everyone.i love the jiffy the giraffe jooble :)

Jomama on a Llama said...

Mel the monkey is adorable, and Jiffy the giraffe is, too.

kujoko {at} att [dot] net

Helen said...

Fair Trade is very important because it pays actual living wages as opposed to the minimum that people cooperations want to pay so that they can make more of a profit.

Buzzy Bug is my favorite with Icy the Penguin being second.

kristin said...

Buzy Bee is my favorite, I am sure my daughter would think the same thing.
Fair Trade=Fair wages.
I always buy fair Trade coffee.

lilyk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lilyk said...

You should care about free trade because fair trade means that producers are paid fair prices for the products they produce. I love Icy the Penguin!

pipasmom said...

I also really like the recycled fleece throw
anastacer at verizon dot net

justicecw said...

I like the lilac lily brooch. thanks, justicecw@hotmail.com

blueviolet said...

Purchasing fair trade products is something I can do as an individual to keep and strengthen the momentum toward eliminating sweatshop type work environments.
doot65{at}comcast[dot]net
I love Jiffy Giraffe!

Xenia said...

We should care because we'd be heartless not to! Why shouldn't people be paid fairly for their work?

My favorite is Mel the Monkey.

Thanks!
xpsundell(at)gmail(dot)com

masonsgranny59 said...

I heart Calley Cat and believe in decent wages for all.

ZESTYWONDERLAND said...

I'd go Ape if I won the Monkey! HEE HEE HEE!
Give this gal a Bannana for being good this year!

lace said...

Fair trade is all about paying fair wages to the people who make the products.

I'd love Bella the Bunny.

Gianna said...

I love Icy the Penguin :)