Zkano Organic Cotton Socks

Socks don’t seem like something you’d get excited over very easily, but I’m very excited about these. Zkano Organic Cotton Socks socks are fabulous. Normally I pretty much take socks for granted and don’t really think very much about them beyond mayve the color, but recently we’ve had some sock issues shall we say, so my attention to the specifics of socks has greatly increased. Not only do we have 4 different sized feet to deal, we have a 3 year old who is so picky about his socks that the wrong pair can bring the day to a screeching halt. As a result, I now notice every little detail- fit, stretch, comfy factor, seams and potential for rubbing or bunching up in little shoes. And since I’m now not the only one putting on everyone’s socks for them, I have begun to look at how easy the are for little hands to put on correctly. Zkano socks are the first socks that have thrilled me in every category. Even better, all 4 of my children love them, even the obsessively picky 3 yr old and that is no small feat.

Zkano socks are super soft and squishy organic cotton. You will notice how great they feel as soon as you touch them and want some of your own (Luckily, they do also make socks for adults and they are just as lovely). These socks are made in a family run mill in Alabama, another plus, from certified organic cotton and are available in 3 styles for children in both white and natural. We tested out all 3 styles and loved each one. The flat seam construction means no rubbed toes or pinches under shoes and the fit is superb. These are thick and super stretchy, so no baggy heels or extra material to bunch up under little shoes. These socks stay put, even the “No-Show” stayed right in place on my 2 year old’s skinny foot as he tested them out all day long, running, jumping and kicking to his heart’s content. These little socks are also very easy to get on & off a little foot, even when asleep, which is great at nap or bedtime. The 4-6 size fit both my 1month old and my 2 year old perfectly, while the larger size was a great fit for both my 3 & 5 year olds. Our favorite part though, might be the L & R stitched into the toes. My 2 year old just loves the letters, but it always helps my 5 & 3 year olds remember which foot is which. I love these socks, so much , we will absolutely be buying more for everyone.

The 3 Zkano styles for Kids are a Crew, a 1/4 Sock and the “No-Show” and all 3 are available in 3 packs for $12.00. These are extremely high quality socks, the very best socks I have seen in a very, very long time. These remind me of socks I wore as a child, but just haven’t been able to find for my children until now. And the price really is great for such amazing socks that will wear so well, last until well beyond when your child outgrows them and give your children happy feet. Not to mention that the organic cotton is safer for you and your children, better for the planet and provides a much safer work environment for growers and everything in the vicinity of the growing fields really. Who would have thought buying such wonderful socks could support so very much?

Zkano offers a top notch sock that you will be so glad you purchased as soon as you touch them. Please visit the Zkano website for more information on the full line of socks for adults and children and to purchase these most perfect socks.

*Zkano provided samples for review.

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The 2011 Maclaren Volo

Maclaren makes some of the very finest strollers in the world. There is a Maclaren to suite every situation and these are strollers that are built to last not just through 1 child, but for generations. The Volo is no exception. If you need a lightweight stroller that will go anywhere with you and still hold a 4 or even 5 year old on occasion, this is the one for you. At just under 9 pounds, this stroller will still hold a 55 pound child, yet is small enough to leave in the trunk, store in the  closet, carry on the bus or subway, throw over your shoulder when needed during a day at the zoo or to easily take on vacation. Suitable from 6 months and up, the Volo offers a full canopy, vey compact, one-handed fold (yes you can easily fold it while holding your child), secure and easily adjustable 5-point harness, aluminum frame, foot brake, nice sized basket and an very handy include raincover. Offered in 4 colors, the Volo retails for $129.00 and can be outfitted with the many handy Maclaren accessories for even more customization.

No need to take my word for how great this little stroller is. Below is a review from a mom who field tested the Volo on vacation.

Mom’s Search for the Perfect Stroller – our guest reviewer, Stephanie Hill, reviews the 2011 Maclaren Volo:

In the less than four years I’ve had two kids and four strollers, does something sound wrong about that ratio to you?! After years of searching for the right stroller we have finally found one that suits us – the Maclaren Volo! But let me back track … when our daughter was born we bought a large travel system. The matching stroller with a car seat, that matched the diaper bag and the pack n play, because of course this is what matters right? Practicality is overrated when you’re a new parent. My husband calls this stroller the “Cadillac,” because it’s large, hard to maneuver and doesn’t fit in tight spaces.

When our daughter was ten months old we found out we were expecting again, so it was time to trade in the “Cadillac” for the “limousine.” We purchased to a Tandem Sit & Stand stroller. Although this stroller served its purpose in that we could bring both kids places and keep them confined to one space, we faced the issue of leaving a wake of destruction in our path. We would bump into people as we tried politely to move around them, we’d pull the clothes off the racks in stores, I can’t even tell you how many times I ran over my own foot trying to back that thing up! Plus neither stroller seemed to ever have enough storage room underneath and squeezing into tight places proved impossible.

I was actually relieved when my daughter outgrew the stroller! Chasing her through the store had to be easier than dealing with either of these strollers. So, when she officially boycotted the stroller for good, we went out and bought an umbrella stroller. We decided that since we already owned two strollers, we could get by with an inexpensive umbrella stroller. Well, that was a joke. I mean, sure it was easier to move, but guess what? Small strollers have NO good features. The hood worked approximately once, the basket down below holds, well, practically nothing, not to mention there was no tray, no cup holder, nothing to brag about. Do I even need to mention that small strollers become very top heavy, so if you put bags and purses on the handles and take your child out, of course it’s all going to topple over! It took me, oh, I don’t know, 100 times to figure this out!

Late last year we decided we were going to take our kids on a real family vacation to Disney World in February. As excited as we were, we also faced the challenge of which stroller would be best to bring, the Cadillac, the limo, or the useless one? As you can imagine we weren’t excited about ANY of these options. Luckily, we were approached by Maclaren offering us a 2011 Maclaren Volo stroller to test out on our vacation! Of course THAT was an offer we couldn’t resist!

I know a lot of people who own Maclarens, and all of them are so pleased with their strollers. For some reason we had never tried one, but we learned very quickly that was a mistake! When we are traveling with two toddlers, two carseats, four suitcases and two carry-ons, having a stroller that we could use for both the kids and transporting some of our baggage was FANTASTIC!! The Volo has a nice size seat which makes it comfortable for either my 2 or 3 year old. The hood is very large, so in sunny Florida, we didn’t have to worry about too much sun exposure, and on those days when it rained, it offered nice protection for our little ones. The basket underneath was the perfect size for the bag we brought to the parks every day, and since it’s sturdy, when we put a few things on the handles, it didn’t go straight to the ground.

Although it’s a very basic stroller, I really enjoyed the many features of the Maclaren Volo. There is no recline with this model, but each of my children were able to fall asleep and stay asleep comfortably. When the kids weren’t using the stroller, we were able to put small suitcases or bags in the seat so we had less to drag around with us. It is easy to maneuver and fits nicely through tight spaces, and someone even remarked to me that it is really quiet, which I hadn’t considered, but they were right. The Maclaren Volo has a one hand fold so it opens and shuts quickly and easily, and is really light which is great when you are running to hop on the tram or the monorail. It also has a shoulder strap which makes it easy to carry, and leaves mom’s hands free for the kids. The other thing that I LOVED was that when the stroller is shut and locked it takes up very little trunk space. I certainly can’t say THAT for either of our first 2 strollers. The only thing I wish it had is a tray for snacks/drinks for the munchkins, but it has so many positive features, this is something I can overlook. Maclaren gave us one of the new 2011 colors – called Deep Water. It’s the perfect shade for either a boy or a girl!

But if you don’t believe me, maybe the testimonial of a little Maclaren Volo user herself will convince you.  I asked my daughter what she thought of it, and she answered simply, with a huge smile and a nod “I love it.”

Please visit the Maclaren site for more information and to see the full line of Maclaren strollers

Disclosure: Maclaren provided Stephanie with a Volo for the review, which she was allowed to keep.

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Livie & Luca

Now that I have a girl I’m just starting to look more closely at girl specific items after many years with 3 boys. I’m not a girlie, girl myself, but my daughter is, so I’ve been looking for stylish, pretty items that will please us both. She’s only 16 months old, but she already knows what she likes. I have to say that my favorite new find for her would have to be her Livie & Luca shoes. Whenever I’ve seen them in the past I’ve always thought how cute they are, so when given the chance to try out a pair for my daughter, I was thrilled. As soon as I had a pair in my hands I was even more impressed than I expected to be.

The entire Live & Luca line is so incredibly cute, you will have a very hard time choosing  a single pair. You will in fact want all of them, as I did. I only wish I’d tried them sooner on my boys. Not only gorgeous, adorable, incredibly sweet and very, very stylish, these are amazing shoes for little feet. They are as soft, comfy and flexible as they are  adorable.  Each pair of beautifully produced Live & Luca shoes is handmade with non-toxic glues and eco & people-friendly practices (Livie & Luca will even recycle them for you by donating them to Art for Humanity). The soles are very light and so very flexible, you will wish they came in your size too. The designs are perfect for little girls, stylish, modern and whimsical. There is a design to suit the girliest girl to those that like something a bit more understated, from sandals to rough and tumble play shoes, you will find what you need for your little girl with Live & Luca. Not just for girls, there are several several styles for boys (see the Ferris Coaster, below) and unisex styles (see the Brussels options) that all of your little ones can be happy in Livie & Luca.

Sizes run from 4-13, so you can start your little one in these amazing shoes and keep right on going with them through preschool or maybe a bit later. We have the Peacock Fuschia Mary Jane (shown at top) and they are even cuter in person than the picture. My daughter immediately wanted them on her feet and pets them happily every time she wears them. The color combination is quite striking and funky, which pleases me, and yet do pretty that she is thrilled. Put her in her Livie & Lucas and a princess dress or tutu and she could not be happier. I also love that they fit her so well, are made so beautifully with such responsible practices and still are so light and flexible that I know she’s going to be comfortable. I really could not be happier. I will only be sad when she is finally too big to wear Livie & Lucas, but luckily we still have a few years and at least 2 boys also within the Live & Luca size range. Yeah! Try a pair for you child and I expect that you will be as happy as we are. Please visit the Livie & Luca site for more information about all of their amazing work to give back and protect the planet while producing their amazing line of shoes and to see the full Spring line. But be warned, it is not possible to just pick one pair to love.

*Livie & Luca provided a sample for review

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