September 01, 2015

Product Review and Contest: Boogalu Baby #contest

As everyone knows by now, I love to support local businesses and local moms who have local businesses. I first met Cassondra and learned about her business, Boogalu Baby, at the Toronto BabyTime Show this spring. Madeline was starting to teethe and in addition to teethers and toys, I was intrigued by Chewable Jewellery, aka Chewlry. 

Long story short, I spent about 20 minutes at her booth and bought two awesome necklaces that were a hit with the baby, and my toddler, who LOVES to play with them, too. 

Boogalu Baby is both mom and baby friendly. The silicone chewlry is BPA, PVC and phthalate-free and doesn't contain lead or heavy medals. The designs are stylish, come in a variety of colours and is affordable.

I love how the products coordinate and complement one another. Opt for a silicone bangle, or a "pearl" necklace for yourself and maybe get your babe a matching pacifier clip or Chewgalus! (the elephant :)) Of course, the chewlry comes in all different colours -- perfect for boys and girls.

Boogalu Baby JUST launched their website (like, yesterday!), so you can buy any of her products online and in select stores in Ontario and Montreal. 

To celebrate, Boogalu Baby has given ONE Simply Suppa reader $50 to spend on ANYTHING on their website. Enter below and good luck!

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August 06, 2015

Product Review: Custom Personalized Pillow

My name is Julia Suppa and I have an addiction to purchasing decorative pillows. Euro, accent pillows, sofa cushions, bejewelled and bedazzled, fuzzy, patterned and plain. And now, personalized.

Admitting is half the battle, right?

Seriously, though, I love personalized anything. And personalized pillows? Ummm, yah.

Little Monkey Designs makes AMAZING personalized pillows. Donny surprised me with a Family Pillow for Mother's Day and I've been hooked ever since. You can select from a few standard designs, colour match to your room or create an entirely custom design. Diane is super easy to deal with and the service is fast and local. Everything is made right here in Ontario.

My latest acquisition? The Personalized Birth Announcement Pillow.

How awesome is this pillow? It has all my baby's birth information, looks amazing in her room and will be a beautiful keepsake for years to come. Donny actually asked me why I didn't get one for Isabelle, too. Tee hee. It's coming....

I opted for a fairly neutral colour pattern, using light greys and peach/coral -- my favourite colours right now.

Girly and pretty, but still dainty and elegant. It also won't go out of style when I move it to her big girl room. These pillows would be an excellent Christmas gift, 1st Birthday gift, Welcome Baby gift.

Honestly, I don't know ANYONE who wouldn't like this personalized pillow.

On another note: it's very difficult to get a 10 month old to stay still to take a photo!

Simply Suppa readers get an awesome deal on them, too. When checking out from the Little Monkey Designs website, be sure to enter promo code SuppaMonkey to get 15% off your entire order. That's on anything you order, not just pillows. 

And I read somewhere there's only 18 Fridays left until, why not get started early!?

My gift to you. You're welcome.

Disclaimer: I am a Little Monkey Designs Brand Ambassador and receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions expressed on my blog remain my own.

August 05, 2015

Sandals of the Season #BOGS

I'm a shoe-aholic. That's no secret. The thing is, when you have two daughters, you suddenly become a shoe-aholic for them, too. It goes without saying we have a LOT of shoes in my house.

Buying kids' shoes is a Catch 22 -- you want to ensure you're getting a good, supportive shoe, but you don't necessarily want to spend a fortune, especially if it's going to last only one season. That said, if you opt for many pairs of really inexpensive shoes, your child may end up with blisters, sore feet, foot damage and even the potential for injury.

Finding a happy medium is a blessing.

Last year, Isabelle was able to test Bogs rainboots and she wore those babies out. We both loved the soft fabric, the rubber sole and the ease of putting them on.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Bogs doesn't just make boots. They also make sandals, shoes and flip flops -- footwear for the entire family.

The Bogs Yukon sandal is that perfect blend of solid footwear without an astronomical price tag. And they get two thumbs up from Mommy and Isabelle.

Here's why:

Isabelle: It feels very soft and squishy underneath my toes.

Me: The sandal is stretchy, made of the same comfy neo-tech fabric as the Bogs booties. The footbed is microfiber with a Rebound midsole. It's super cushiony and soft.

Isabelle: I can run in these, Mommy. I can even wear them to the park!

Me: The Yukon has a solid rubber sole -- like a sandal and sneaker all in one. And they can get wet. These are a favourite of mine at the waterpark, splash pad, or playing in the backyard. I don't generally like Isabelle wearing a sandal to daycare, but she has worn these many times.

Isabelle: Let me put them on myself!

Me: I like that there's one fastening strip across the arch of the foot. The sandals fit snugly against Isabelle's skinny ankles and can be adjusted easily. She can also put them on quickly and simply.

Kids have no concept of price, so I can tell you that at $60, these aren't the cheapest sandals on the market, but they are my favourite this season. I like the versatility of the sandal, the comfort and the simplicity. They also come in a variety of different colours for girls and boys alike. 

The Bogs Yukon get our stamp of approval this season, and we hope you can give them a shot, too! To order online or find a local retailer, visit the Bogs website.

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Bogs Yukon sandals to review in order to write this piece. As always, the opinions expressed on my blog remain my own.

July 27, 2015

VarageSale partners with First Book Canada #varagesale

Have you tried VarageSale yet? VarageSale is a free and friendly marketplace app that allows you to sell your secondhand items. There are thousands of items posted on the site, which is divided up by community -- for ease of sale. They recently launched a Richmond Hill community, Brampton, Vaughan and Mississauga.
This week, VarageSale announced a new and wonderful partnership with First Book Canada. Effective immediately, for each of the 60 local VarageSale communities in Ontario that ads 1,500 new members, VarageSale will donate $2,500 to local schools through First Book Canada.
That equals 600 books in each city or 30,000 books across Canada!

If you haven't joined, now's your chance:
1. Visit the VarageSale website or download the FREE iPhone or Android app.
2. Join your nearest VarageSale community in Ontario.
3. Don't forget to spread the word to drive more book donations!  

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July 23, 2015

#FreeYourBaby with Seventh Generation #contest

Natural. Organic. Gluten Free. Healthy. Eco Friendly. Green. Non-Toxic. Toxin Free. 

Everywhere we look, we are inundated with attractive words that entice consumers to be better, be natural, be conscious and healthier. Of course, I want to be an informed shopper, a healthy person and a responsible parent. Who doesn't?

The thing is -- a lot of the time, messaging is warbled, and what you think you're getting isn't always the case. There are lots of hidden ingredients, sometimes chemicals, and misleading statements that can undoubtedly cause shoppers confusion. Try yourself: take a box of anything -- food, packaged food, cleaning product. Do you understand everything on the label? 

As a family (that is, as soon as we became parents to our fur-baby 5 years ago), we have made an effort to buy products that are free of chemicals. We use eco-friendly and chemical-free cleaning products, don't fertilize and try to keep anything within doggy reach, safe. Fast-forward a few years and with two kids, it's now increasingly important to ensure we are removing as many toxins from our home, as possible.

Now, don't get me wrong. We're not perfect. There are lots of products lingering around our home that are filled with gunk. I'm sure of it. And we don't eat organic ALL the time. And I still wear make-up, and use hair sprays and standard toothpastes and deodorant. We're getting there. It takes time to shift your entire lifestyle.

But for now, we focus on the kids and the home. 

I was recently introduced to a company called Seventh Generation. Hmmm, a new eco company, I thought. Wrong. Seventh Generation has been around for 27 years formulating plant-based products -- long before it was trendy.

They make everything from diapers to cleaning products, feminine hygiene products and recycled products. And I got to test a bunch of them.

I'm happy to say that we've been using Seventh Generation for a few weeks now in our home, and they fit right in. The diapers are super soft and have a wonderful elastic waistband. Yah, so they don't have an animated character or a powdery scent, but that's because they are not bleached, have no lotions, dyes or fragrances. Somehow, that's a nice peace of mind. And really, leak protection is the most important factor to me!

The dish soap is nice, too. The first thing I did when I opened it up was smell it. No scent. Obviously. The soap is concentrated and gives nice suds when cleaning up after dinner. It's also biodegradable. (The dish soap is available in a few different natural scents, too)

My favourite product in the bunch has got to be the baby wipes. These wipes are STRONG. They are made primarily of wood pump, and they have a nice weight to them, perfect for big diaper messes, removing make-up or general clean-up. They are made in the US and not tested on animals. The disinfecting wipes (in the canister) are also great. They also have a nice thickness to them, are safe to use around the kids and dog and are multi-surface friendly.

Seventh Generation products are available at and at various supermarkets.

Simply Suppa has an outstanding giveaway. How would you like to test out Seventh Generation products for yourself? Who wouldn't!?

To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter below.

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July 17, 2015

Joe's Bracelets for Goodpasture

Sometimes you "meet" people online who capture a bit of your heart. 

I've never met Gina Mazzaferro in person, although more than 2 decades ago I did take a dance class with her daughter (what a crazy, small world). Gina wrote to me on Facebook to help share her story about her son Joe, who died at the age of 33, my age, due to a rare disease called Goodpasture Syndrome.

Goodpasture (GPS, or Goodpasture disease or syndrome) is an auto-immune disease that attacks the lungs and kidneys. The precise cause is unknown, and diagnosis is often difficult as it is extremely rare. Joe passed away within weeks of his diagnosis.  

Gina has made it her mission to raise awareness and funds for research of this disease. I can appreciate this. When Isabelle was born prematurely and I nearly died from HELLP syndrome, I, too, became an advocate. You share your knowledge so others are aware. 
Gina has turned to her creativity as an outlet for awareness, and she sells handmade, custom bracelets to raise money and awareness, in Joe's memory and honour. The bracelets can be seen on her website or can be ordered by contacting Gina directly, here

Gina will also be showcasing her bracelets at the Woodbridge Vendor Fair, at the Veneto Centre, on July 26.

To make a donation in Joe's name, visit the St. Michael's Hospital Foundation

July 08, 2015

Product Review: Slackers Slide & Surf #review #contest

Every so often I get the opportunity to test a product that excites other people in my family. Isabelle is usually the beneficiary of most of my product reviews, but this time, my husband was all in to try a water toy that brought him back to his youth.

This is the Slackers Slide & Surf. 

I should preface this review by saying that 33 year-old men should NOT be using this outdoor toy (it's recommended for kids 5-12); he also weighs more than the restrictions on the box. But for the sake of nostalgia, he decided to be the guinea pig. 

The Slide & Surf definitely got his approval. And hey, if you can impress an adult with a kids' toy, there's no doubt in my mind the targeted consumer would be over-the-moon happy.

The Slide & Surf is a 20-foot vinyl strip, complete with a padded launch pad, bumpers with water holes and an area at the end where water pools and creates a splash. Setup for this one was very easy -- inflate the padded areas, secure the slide to the ground and attach the hose to create the fountain effect.

It's best to use the Slide & Surf on a large piece of soft grass, free of any rocks or uneven ground. You want enough room to run before your start your slide, and equal space at the end to prevent injury.

True to its name, you can also surf aboard the slick surface (using the Slackers Skimboard, sold separately). Our favourite feature of the Slide & Surf has got to be the misting side walls, which ensure the slide stays wet and extra slippery. When I was a kid, I recall this challenge, and our solution was to run the sprinkler simultaneously! This is a convenient improvement.

At the end of the day, the Slide & Surf delivered what it promised: endless fun and ease of use. It's also great to see a modern adaptation of a toy we enjoyed for years as kids.

The Slide & Surf is available at Mastermind Toys.

Simply Suppa is giving readers an opportunity to win a $50 gift card to Mastermind Toys. To enter, complete the Rafflecopter below.

Good luck!

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