Our favorite Made in USA toys/vendors

In no particular order:

Roys Toys Building Logs—Lincoln Logs that are actually made in the US! I got them from Pure Play Kids but have even seen them at Wal-Mart (although I know many of you boycott them, just saying, they’re pretty widely available).

The Puzzle People—we own 5 of their puzzles & other than books, they’re some of our most used & cherished items by far! They take a looooong time to get your order to you, so seriously order NOW for this Holiday season, you won’t be disappointed! https://www.facebook.com/397517646930548/photos/a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548/718713404810969/?type=3&theater

Smiling Tree Toys—We own a lot of their items & cherish them all. I feel they’re quite affordable, and they are exactly the small Mom/Pop type business I had in mind to support when launching this page. They are also a vendor for the upcoming Nov Buying Club. We have: the regular & deluxe building block sets, smiling moon balancer, camera, memory tiles, lacing/tracing puzzle, penguin bowling game, shape sorter, ornaments, I’m giving my niece the xylophone for her upcoming B-day, I’m sure I’m forgetting some items. Everything is amazing quality & they are a favorite of mine for sure! https://www.facebook.com/397517646930548/photos/a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548/636647163017594/?type=3&theater

Pure Play Kids—Absolutely love Pure Play as well! We have numerous things from them, and I love their shop by age function which helps narrow things down. I even have a 15% off coupon for them, good the remainder of the year! https://www.facebook.com/397517646930548/photos/a.568349859847325.144572.397517646930548/1015990168416623/?type=3&theater

Maple Landmark Town Train Set—just absolutely love this, it’s much, much cheaper on Amazon then directly through them unfortunately. https://www.facebook.com/397517646930548/photos/a.430947503587562.117422.397517646930548/848011088547866/?type=3&theater

Elves & Angels- dollhouse & adding castle this Christmas. Dolls from Wildflower Innocence. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.868582543157387.1073741838.397517646930548&type=3

Wooden kitchen—One of our most used items as well, my Son LOVES his kitchen. Ours is on loan from a local family, if I was in the market for one I’d get it from Elves & Angels. I’ve accessorized it with this & that: unused fondue pots, stainless steel & wooden items I’ve picked up at garage sales, and we have a few things from Green Toys for it: the sandwich & pizza shop and the pot & pan set. Wooden eggs from Pure Play. https://www.facebook.com/397517646930548/photos/a.430947503587562.117422.397517646930548/586659754683002/?type=1&theater

Beka art easel—my Mom has purchased this for my Son for Christmas this year, I CAN’T WAIT to get it! We love art supplies from Wee Can Too, Eco-Kids (available from the Buying Club), and Filana crayons.

Books—I pick up books whenever I see them at garage sales & thrift stores. ENDLESS entertainment for very cheap. I very, very rarely buy new books. Hard to find made in US, but I couldn’t leave them off this list!

 

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Stuffington Bear Factory Review

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Review of Stuffington Bear Factory, located in Arizona. Several months ago someone asked about made in the USA stuffed animals. I didn’t know of any great companies off the top of my head so reposted the question and am SO thrilled that someone commented: “check out Stuffington Bear Factory”. What a gem! They have been making teddy bears & stuffed animals in the USA since 1959. The cotton is US grown, the bear are handmade from start to finish! From their website: “Every animal wearing the Stuffington Bear Factory brand is made in our USA manufacturing facility in Phoenix, Arizona. We also use American-made materials in the production of our animals, whenever possible. It’s a fact we’re proud of because it’s a big deal to our economy and our country.”

They offer a very nice selection of teddies, stuffed animals, dia de los muertos dolls, even dog toys.  Here’s the description of the polar bear they so generously sent my family: “This snowy-soft organic polar bear is made with 100% organic velour fleece material and 100% organic cotton stuffing. Standing at 12′, it’s the perfect size to cuddle and love, and fits into most clothing.” The bear came with an adoption certificate which is a fun idea for older kids that older kids.  And yes, they also offer organic & non-organic teddy & stuffed animal clothing, the sundresses are just adorable, you have to check them out for yourself!

You do have a choice of options when choosing an organic bear: 100% Polyester fill, 100% recycled Polyester Fiberfill, or 100% certified organic cotton (+$15).  I know some will browse the website and feel the prices are expensive. But please keep in mind all that goes into making one of these adorable stuffed animals. The prices are a TRUE reflection of what it costs to make something like this by hand, in the US, with US grown materials. I, and I know many of you, are willing to pay to show our support for this great company. They’ve been in business a long time, so it makes me happy to know that many do value what they have to offer! T

Again, I’m so thrilled to have learned about this company and that they were so kind as to send my family one of their precious handmade , organic items. They do have a FB page but the most recent post is from 2010, so I guess don’t go over & ‘like’ that. But DO go check out their website & as Holiday shopping is upon us (in many families), please consider adding a stuffed animal of teddy from Stuffington Bear Factory to your family!

Website: http://www.stuffingtonbear.com/

Organic cotton nursing necklaces & teether

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Organic Cotton Nursing/teething necklace & teether, handmade in WA by page co-admin Jolene. Jolene came up with these great designs for teething and/or babes easily distracted when nursing. Having something hanging down to focus attention on & grasp while nursing can help keep an older babe centered. My Baby Girl is now 15 months & is a tweaker (Mamas of older nurslings have probably experienced this, my Son did it too). So, having this hanging down while she’s nursing & literally putting it in her hand for her helps keep her hand that is exploring occupied. Also, she hates getting put in her car seat, so I always grab this when headed out the door then either dangle it in front of her while loading her up in the car, or take it off entirely to give her to play with. I’ve received many compliments on it while wearing it out! I love it, it’s something different than the other nursing necklaces I have which are gemstones, and I feel very good about it being organic! Jolene pre-washes the fabric in Eco-Nuts & recommends hand washing, but tossing them in your washer on a gentle cycle seems like it would be OK

One Mama on our page bought one of these as part of the 1st offering for the August Buying Club, for her ~8 year old daughter who has autism & likes to mouth things. That Mama has since written us to let us know how much her daughter is enjoying it & that even the daughter’s therapist has commented on & written in his notes how great it was working for this girl. The length she requested it at is the exact length of these adult necklaces Jolene is making, but on the 8 year old it hangs down quite a bit farther, thus she is able to play with & mouth it while she’s wearing it!

The fabric is GOTS certified organic cotton, made in India. Jolene definitely did her research & organic cotton made in the USA is very tough to find, and also extremely expensive. We discussed what would be better: non-organic but made in USA, or organic made abroad & I think most of you would agree that organic is preferable, especially for a product specifically designed to be mouthed & chewed on by a child. She will continue to search for a made in the USA option. The beads are unfinished (raw) wood & made in the USA. Necklaces like the one pictured will be $17 & she’s still finalizing the price she will offer the smaller teething rings and the other style of necklace at (will have a wooden ring in the center for additional grasping/mouthing). So, stay tuned as I’ll be finalizing ALL details of the upcoming November Buying Club very soon, and adding what Jolene has to offer to the already great line-up!

Thanks for sending me these Jolene!!
Here is her FB page for these necklaces & other offerings: https://www.facebook.com/hnsboutique?fref=ts See More

Accepting help from a stranger

Try it sometime, it’s really not that bad. You’ll probably be glad you did, as I was this morning….

After months of saving, researching, acclimating, my Husband was finally ready to install our bamboo flooring. I decided it’d be best to leave the house for 24 hours to let him tackle it without the kiddos & I in the house, and to not have to listen to the banging & staple gun going off. So, I packed up the kids & headed 1/2 hour away to a local hotel with a great indoor waterpark perfectly suited to my kids ages (1 & 3 1/2). I knew it’d be a bit rough with both of them running in separate directions, keeping them both happy in the same area, common concerns with 2 kids. But I’m used to juggling them, and armloads of stuff at the same time. It went OK, we had some rough times when Baby Girl wanted to do this & Big Brother wanted to do that.

This morning it was time to go check out the continental breakfast. They had a pretty deluxe version, make your own waffles, pancakes, scrambled eggs even! I walked in to a room full of childless adults with my 2 kids in tow & got lots of looks. I went & grabbed the only open table & went to get a high chair & booster seat for the kids. And an elderly lady approached & said “please, let me help you”. “No, I got it, thanks” I said with a smile, and accomplished the task at hand of arranging seating for us. With that done, it was on to getting some food. My Son wanted a waffle, which we had to wait to make as someone else was making one at the time. So I got a banana for Sissy, put her in the high chair & proceeded to pursue the waffle-making. Well, Sissy didn’t want to be in her chair eating her banana, she wanted to be checking out all the fun making the waffle, so she started to fuss. The same elderly lady approached me again “I’m done eating, my Husband is reading the paper, I miss my Grandkids terribly, I would love to help you while you get your family’s breakfast in order”. And I gave in. She walked around the room with my Little Lady while I made some scrambled eggs & a waffle, got some oatmeal for Baby Girl & got us all situated & we ate. She did not leave my sight, and all were happy in the end.

I just wanted to share this as we all really can use some help sometimes. Yes, I’m used to doing things on my own & CAN do it, but I have nothing to prove, and nothing to lose by accepting a hand from a kind, caring stranger who is offering. I know I’ll be offering help to a Mama who is trying to juggle too much sometime in my future, when my kiddos are grown & I’m sitting by myself reading a newspaper, I hope that Mama will accept my offer 🙂

And the floor, OH MY, it is sooooo beautiful. We got home today as he was nailing the very last board into place, and it is just gorgeous! I’m so proud of him for being able to do this for us, and so proud of the hard work & effort we both put forth to save up the money for it! After much research we went with Cali Bamboo, for anyone interested!