Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Best [and not quite] Products of 2011!

This post has been long overdue, but I thought it is important to let my readers know which of the products we reviewed last year are still going strong and which didn't last as expected. For the most part, we only review products that we feel we will really like, so it is rare we get a bad apple - but it happens! Generally, we at least like the products we've reviewed, and these below are the exceptional ones that we really loved. Things that we would buy again, with our own money. These are actually in the order we reviewed them, from the most recent, to the older ones reviewed at the beginning of 2011.

1. GreenPan: This has revolutionized how I cook! My stainless pans are mostly taking a break, unless I am making a large meal and need the bigger pan (this one isn't very large). I would so buy this again! I'm actually  on the lookout to get one just like this but bigger and with a lid at a local Marshall's because guess what? My mom bought the exact same one I have there. This is one of my top favorites this year
2. Stokke Tripp Trapp: Love, love, love. We always get comments on how nice it is from guests and my toddler pretty much lives in it. I would have bought it myself if it was in our price range.
3. CitiBlocs: So much creative play out of this toy! Baby E can play with this for hours and I'm glad she'll never outgrow it (hey, I like playing with these too!). Not to mention the folks at this company are super nice.

4. Son of Gustav Slippers: Amazing little slippers that are showing no signs of wear after a lot of abuse! Comfortable to wear even though I got them one (or two) sizes up, and she never slips in them, priceless. I may get some in a larger size when she outgrows these.
5. Swoop Toy Bag: Perfectly genius, mess containing, organizing accessory. I never stop marveling at just how much stuff it fits!
6. The Organic Family Cookbook: We use this neat cookbook a lot, sometimes I forget about it, whip it out and wonder to myself why I didn't keep making all the fabulous, easy recipes. We've tried about eight to ten so far and love them all!

7. Merino Kids Sleep Bags: Intentionally got this for review for the coming baby, but ended up getting one for my toddler because the original they sent was an open package with a sleep bag ripped at the shoulder. This saved my toddler this winter! And it actually helped me get my sleep back... It kept her sleeping snuggly warm without me having to pull a blanket over her all night.
8. Mama's Best Bamboo Nursing Bra: Love this nursing bra, I can wear it non-stop, it doesn't even feel like it is there. Absolutely comfortable, amazing fit, and super easy nursing clasps.
9. Obasan Pillows: My favorite pillows of all time. We used to complain about sore necks every morning, doesn't happen anymore. If these ever wear out, which is doubtful, I wouldn't hesitate to buy them.

10. Woombie: I used this on Baby T when he was born, he liked sleeping in it. Then for a few weeks I forgot about it, he would wake up every hour at night, drove me nuts. He outgrew the newborn one fast, now he sleeps in the one I bought for Baby E when she was 3 months old. He sleeps for 3 to 4 hour stretches and nurses in between, we really like it. I'll be buying one a size bigger on Amazon soon.
11. Better Life Cleaning Products: I've reviewed many natural cleaning products in the past, but these are my all time favorites! Pleasant, light scents, super cleaning power. We've already agreed with my husband that these are worth every penny and we will buy them instead of settling for green cleaning products that don't work well. My favorite is the Even the Kitchen Sink, amazing stuff! A little goes a long way, I think that tiny bottle will last us more than a year.
12. Grasshopper Diapers: These diapers really stood out among all because of such a perfect fit and impeccable workmanship. Love that they are made by a mom in Canada as well. Baby T has outgrown these, but they were our favorites!

13. Bambo Nature Eco Disposables: Absolutely love these, better than any other non-toxic disposable I have ever tried (and we've almost tried them all with baby E). Baby T can sleep for 10 hours in these without a leak, ever! They are perfect when we go places because I end up not even having to change a diaper until we get home. They don't have any chemical smells and the insides don't come out. No cartoon characters! After I ran out of the newborn size I bought the size 3.
14. Ecobubs Wool Pocket Diaper:  One of very few diapers I trust for night time aside from the ones above. They are $30 a pop, but worth every penny. Baby T almost outgrew the small ones though!
15. Baby Snickerdoodles Wool Covers: Love this handmade wool diaper cover, Baby T wore it from day 1 and it still fits him at 3 months. Great over prefolds!

16. Natureshop Merino Baby Clothing: The moment I saw the products in Natureshop's inventory, I was smitten. I love wool (not just because it is dirt repellent), it is so practical with kids. Baby E loves this little outfit, she wears the leggings with anything, she would wear them 24/7 if I let her.
17. Green Beaver Junior Skincare: Love this product line. After trying the shampoo on my own hair I liked it so much I use it too! Baby E doesn't like washing hair, but I let her smell the pleasant scent of  this shampoo and she tells me to go right ahead.
18. Hot Milk Lingerie: I'm nursing Baby T right this very moment and wearing this nursing bra, it washes so well, looks like new still, it is very feminine, closures are easy to open and close, and the fit is perfect.

19. MamaDoc Bellyup: The Bellyup was my favorite during the last three months of pregnancy, the best support I've tried and it worked great under clothing.
20. Dreamgenii Pregnancy Pillow: This saved my sleep! Not that I could really sleep well with the middle-of-the-night wakings and insomnia. But without this pillow I probably wouldn't sleep at all in the last trimester.
21. Queen Bee Organic Belly Support: This was fabulous light belly support through the summer. It is breathable, so it didn't make me sweat like crazy and it was perfect during the second trimester. It even fit in the third trimester, the gentle compression was good enough to wear all day.

22. Goodbye Detergent Spaghetti Scrub: I used to hate hand washing dishes, but this thing honestly has changed everything! It makes dish washing so easy, I'll never ever go back to a sponge. Worth every penny too since it doesn't deteriorate or harbor germs like a sponge does. I'm still on my first one, since April of last year! It looks pretty much the same as it did on day one. I feel bad for those who still wash dishes with a sponge and have no clue there is a better way.
23. Green Cotton Velvet Jacket: We have gotten so much wear out of this! It still fits Baby E, she has worn it for a year already, through all seasons. Simply perfect.
24. Puddlegear: Though we haven't worn this much yet because my toddler is just growing into it, we already love it the few times we wore it. I get comments on the quality from everyone, including the biggest critic - my husband.

25. The Well-Adjusted Child Book: This is an absolute must read for any parent genuinely interested in their child's education. Though it is a homeschooling book, you'll find a wealth of information that will serve you well even if you choose public school!
26. Alden's Ice Cream: We loved Alden's so much that we don't buy any other ice cream anymore. We make special trips to Whole Foods just for ice cream, since I don't know of any other place that sells it. We've bough at least 10 (okay, 20) more tubs of this since I've reviewed it. My husband is an avid ice cream consumer, especially after midnight when he comes home from work!
27. G2V Stainless Bottles: After trying a few brands of stainless bottles, this one came out a winner. It is easiest to wash, doesn't get moldy, and very convenient to drink out of. Even my toddler loves her smaller bottle.

5 Not So Great Products

Bendon Motherlove Nursing Bra (technically from 2010): I really wanted to love this bra, and I did at the time I reviewed it. But after several washings (in a lingerie washing bag mind you), the straps started to get stretched out and twisted. Now I only wear it when my other bras happen to be in the wash. I still love how it looks and if I was crafty enough I could fix the bra strap length with needle and thread. 
Real Nappies: I loved the prefolds for a newborn, they worked so well! Contained all the poopy messes. The Real Nappies covers left really bad red marks on my baby though (just short of bleeding), I couldn't use them again after the first time. I kept using the prefolds with other covers though and that worked well. 
Nose Frida: Really loved the concept and it did work great at first, but after washing it in hot water I think the tube shrunk or something, it falls out of the attachment. It did fit snugly at first, I remember that. So if I wasn't supposed to wash it with hot water, how else would I get the snot out?
Binsi Birth Apparel: I did wear Binsi for the birth! It was super comfortable. But since it was winter, I changed into the skirt when we were there, wore it for about 15 minutes before getting in the birth tub. I wore the bra top all through labor/delivery, but had a different bra for nursing, not only because obviously it was wet after being in the water, but because the bra straps - though they open for nursing - are not attached in any way to the front, so they fall back and you have to fish for them behind you. So I didn't get much use out of it.
Wupzey Bib: We loved this for the first three months or so, then the bib backing started to peel. I never put it in the washing machine, only hand washed it, in six months it pretty much fell apart and I had to throw it out. I found the peeled backing everywhere and didn't want my toddler to eat it accidentally. We still love and use the table cover though!

Do you have any of these that you also love? Perhaps something you won in a giveaway?


  1. I don't have any of these products, but that nursing bra looks super comfy. I need a new one so perhaps I'll give this brand a try!

    1. You'll love it, I can't get enough of wearing mine!

  2. #3 looks really neat. I have never seen that before but I think my son would really enjoy it.

  3. Im tempted to try ice cream you reviewed, we have that kind in our local store =)


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