Saturday, November 28, 2009

Choosing The Right Toy

As a parent, I try and research almost every toy that we buy our son. It's really easy to do online. There are tons of places to get reviews and research about toys. You can get the good, the bad, and the ugly. I even read reviews after we've bought a toy, or received one as a gift.

We recently had problems with putting together a toy. My son begged for it at Target, and since he was good, we complied. My husband got so frustrated putting the toy together. He knew that it was going to break within minutes of my son playing with it. So he did the best thing that he could, he super glued it together. I then researched the toy and saw that other people were also frustrated with it. I made sure that I also left a review with our experience with that particular toy.

Just in time for the Holiday Shopping Season, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) has launched two helpful websites for consumers. you with the tips you need to choose the right toys for your family. From toy safety facts to free downloadable play guides and from recall information to discussion boards, this engaging and informative new site is a one-stop resource for caregivers and parents to discover everything about toys and play.

America Loves TOTY 2010 -Showcases the top toys nominated for the 2010 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY), recognized as the "Oscars" of the toy industry. Not only will you discover which toys the industry's experts think are best, but for the first time, kids and parents can indicate their favorite toy picks..and register to win their choice of one or more of 11 prize packages.

Both of these sites have great information. They are perfect to bookmark for future information also. There are even links to check out recalls also.

Disclosure: This information was provided by TeamMom.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Building with K'NEX

I was recently asked by TeamMom to do a review on K'NEX. I was gladly accepted as Angry Toddler loves to build things. This would be something completely new to him also. I mentioned this review to my best friend, Stacey. She told me that she played with K'NEX all the time as a child. She even played with her brother.

We received the 400 piece value tub, which had instructions and ideas for over 20 different models. I also loved that it came in a storage tub, which made it easier to clean up later. Angry Toddler was fascinated and amazed by all the colorful pieces. It was bit overwhelming for Angry Husband. He opened the idea book and let Angry Toddler pick out some things.

Rather than going through multiple photos, you can view my Whrrl story below.

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Loaded with 400 parts, including bricks, for lots of open-ended fun and endless building and play opportunities! Includes instructions and ideas for 20 models or use your imagination to dream up your own creations. The convenient storage tub means there is always a place to put your parts or take the fun with you wherever you go! For ages 7+.

  • Packed with 400 parts, including bricks, rods and connectors, for lots of open-ended building fun

  • Includes ideas/instructions for 20+ models or use your own imagination

  • Handy storage tub means you can take the fun with you and clean-up is easy

  • For ages 7+
    Angry Toddler is only four and a half. He plays with Legos and other similar toys daily. This is rated for age 7+ which was a little advanced for him, but I know that we will play with it again, and again, and oh again. I also love that K'NEX are compatible with Legos.

    K'NEX is also having a video contest, which ends on December 7, 2009. All you have to do is enter a video of your child building with K’NEX for a chance to win $1,000 worth of K’NEX Building sets.

    *Post the video on your own blog and submit the link to
    *Videos must be at least 30 seconds but no longer than 3 minutes and must include one or more of the following: K’NEX 400 PC Tub and/or K’NEX Sesame Street Building Sets

    Click here to read more information about entering this contest

    K'NEX can also be found on Facebook.

    Disclosure: I was provided a 400 piece value tub by TeamMom for a review, free of charge.

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    Waterpik Hand Held Shower Head

    We are in the process of re-decorating Angry Toddler's bathroom. It's been a 2-year process. We've had other priorities. We finally put up a new towel rack last week. You would think that our house is under construction or something, but in reality, we are lazy.

    I was given the opportunity by Waterpik to test out one of their hand held shower heads. I jumped, of course. I received the Waterpik EasySelect 5 Mode Hand Held Shower Head in brushed nickel. It had everything in the packaging to install it. Angry Husband unscrewed our old plain shower head and assembled the new Waterpik one. It came with a handy tool in the packaging to install the shower head. We didn't even have to get a wrench from the garage. I think this would be great for people living in an apartment or someone who does not own a lot of tools, but wants to upgrade their shower head. He was able to install it within 10 minutes.

    Some of the key features for this shower head are:
    • 5 " Round Shower Head
    • Advanced OptiFLOW Technology
    • Easy Clean Nozzles
    • Removable Flow Regulator
    • Limited Lifetime Warranty
    The spray modes are:
    • High/Low Concentrated Center Spray
    • Circular Massage
    • Power Spray / Pulsating Massage
    • Misting
    • Water Saver
    Angry Toddler was asleep when we installed the shower head. He saw it when he was in the bathroom the next morning. He came into our bedroom shrieking, "mama, did you see the cool shower head in my bathroom". We think it will be great for when he wants to take a bath, but needs his hair washed. We can just disconnect the shower head from it's mount and spray down his hair.

    My only con with this shower head it the potential for yanking it too hard and breaking the mount. I think we would have that problem with any hand held shower head in a four year old's bathroom.

    The Waterpik EasySelect 5 Hand Held Shower Head can be found at Home Depot, and retails for $59.99.

    Disclosure: I was provided a shower head by Waterpik to review. I did not make any promises about positive and/or negative reviews.

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    Grow with Me and etnies

    Photo taken by Angry Julie At The Maloof Money Cup, July 2009

    Do you know that skaters make an impact of 17 times their body weight when they hit the ground? That's a little over three times the impact that running makes on your body. I learned this when I visited etnies and Sole Technology Institute (STI) on Tuesday. STI is the World's first and only skateboarding-focused biomechanics research organization that tests and invents new technologies in order to develop the highest performing action sports footwear in the World.

    One of my the life lessons my mom taught me is to never buy cheap shoes, cause you will regret it later. Angry Toddler has always worn good quality shoes in his four and a half years on this planet. We've had several pairs of skateboard shoes. I will say several, because it's more than ten. Yes, more than TEN. Angry Toddler has the most random growth spurts. His feet can grow several inches with a 2-3 month time span. He went from a size 10 in early Spring to almost a 12.5 right now. We tend to buy shoes ahead, because we can never guess when these growth spurts will occur. Seriously, sometimes it's happened overnight.
    While at etnies, we learned about their "Grow With Me" Fit System. The "Grow With Me" system is for the new walker, with sizes up to a Toddler 10. The “Grow with Me” fit system will be incorporated into two toddler models: the Toddler Callicut and Toddler Fader of etnies Kids footwear.

    The first part of the system addresses getting the proper fit; the shoes are constructed on an extra wide last to accommodate the unique shape of children’s feet as they are learning to walk. They feature a molded EVA footbed that helps fill the heel cup and grab and hold tiny heels inside the shoe. All of this is set on top of a super pliable TPR outsole that allows the flexibility needed for children’s feet as they are learning to take their first steps.

    As the child’s foot grows and the shoe becomes snugger, consumers can then take advantage of the etnies “Grow with Me” fit system. “Grow with Me” differentiates the etnies Kids toddler collection from other children’s shoes in the length of time the shoe can be worn. The shoes now include an additional 1.5mm EVA insert that can be removed when the shoe becomes too snug on the child’s foot, creating more room and increasing the time a child can wear the shoes. While regular children’s shoes must be thrown out once they’re outgrown, “Grow with Me” can be adjusted to extend the life of the shoe, allowing kids to sport their favorite looks even longer, and reducing the financial strain that parents face when raising a growing child.

    We listened to Sole Technology's Assistant Lab Manager, Scotty Cox, tell us about the testing that went into their shoes, with special interest to children, and their unique growth patterns. It was amazing how much thought, effort, and testing that they put into their products. And of course, they look pretty cool too.

    I wish that we would have known about the "Grow With Me" line last year. It would have helped us with Angry Toddler's random growth spurts. Scotty was asked by one of the attendees, why this line only goes up to a size 10. He said that when you are between 4-5 years old, your feet start growing into their "adult size". Children's feet are changing shape after size 10. As a toddler, children's feet a usually round and wide. They start slimming down and get somewhat narrower after this age. This makes complete sense to me. A year ago, we could only buy Angry Toddler shoes in a size wide. This is the main reason that we started buying skateboard shoes, they are made wider. Angry Toddler loves his skateboard shoes, and all things skateboarding.

    etnies wants to share a little love with my readers too!!

    Go to and you can get :
    $10 off for every $40 spent along with FREE Shipping!
    Just type in the code "ETNIES FAMILY" and you'll get the discount. The promo will run from Nov.17 to Dec. 4th, 2009.

    Disclosure: I was invited to an event at etnies and Sole Technology's Headquarters. They are local and in Orange County, CA. I received an awesome reception from their employees, and founder. We ate some great food, and were provided with a gift card and the opportunity to shop in their employee store. I have a slight obsession with skateboarding, you need to read my blog, to understand that. The first photograph was taken by me, at an event this summer, The Maloof Money Cup. I was not influenced by any of this and I hope that my review reads true to my personality and the usual Angry Julie, you expect.

    Saturday, November 14, 2009

    Disney on Ice Worlds of Fantasy

    Disney on Ice is coming to the Greater LA Area!

    Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy: Rev up for non-stop fun with four of your favorite Disney stories at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy. Thrill to high-speed stunts as Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of Disney/Pixar's CARS race across the ice. Dive into The Little Mermaid's enchanting undersea kingdom and experience the 'Circle of Life' with The Lion King. Then enter into the magical world of Pixie Hollow with Tinker Bell and all her fairy friends as they make their world premiere on ice! From wheels to waves, Pride Lands to pixie dust, your family's favorite Disney moments come to life at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy with dazzling skating, special effects and beloved characters certain to create a lifetime of memories. Special Bonus! Disney Princess

    Pre-Show: Arrive up to one hour early to tour our dazzling display of gorgeous gowns. Complimentary to all ticket holders.

    Did you know that you can get a Family 4-Pack of tickets for $44? For Monday-Friday matinee shows, if you use the code MOM on Ticketmaster, you can buy 4 tickets for $44. Additional tickets are only $11 for those days, and you also receive $4 off if you purchase tickets for the weekend with this code.

    Los Angeles
    December 17: 7:30pm
    December 18: 11:00am, 7:30pm
    December 19: 12:00pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm
    December 20: 12:00pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm


    December 22: 7:30pm
    December 23: 1:00pm, 7:30pm
    December 24: 1:00pm, 4:30pm
    December 25: 4:30pm
    December 26: 12:00pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm
    December 27: 12:00pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm

    December 30: 7:30pm
    December 31: 1:00pm, 4:30pm
    January 1: 3:30pm, 7:30pm
    January 2: 12:00pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm
    January 3: 11:00am, 3:00pm

    Long Beach
    January 6: 7:30pm
    January 7: 7:30pm
    January 8: 11:00am, 7:30pm
    January 9: 12:00pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm
    January 10: 12:00pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm

    This information was provided by MomCentral and the Feld Family Activator Program.

    Sunday, November 1, 2009

    bubsie designs

    Kim from bubsie designs is giving away a Free Custom Holiday Card Design on her website! Kim is awesome and does beautiful work. I used her talent for a baby shower invitation and invites for Angry Toddler's 4th Birthday.

    Deadline to enter is November 7, 2009 at 11:59PM PST.
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