Monday, February 26, 2007

CleanWell - Germs begone!

When ParentBloggers contacted me about reviewing this product, I was skeptical. Alcohol-free hand sanitizer - bah! What good was this going to be?

Then I checked out their website. I was intrigued. This product was inspired by a child with an immune system disorder. If you're familiar with the story of my family, you know that Monkey Man was tested early on in life due to multiple illnesses to see if he had such a disorder. Luckily for us, he didn't. He is within the "normal" range, but seriously - he is ROCK BOTTOM.

Having a kid like this makes me the hand-sanitizing and hand-washing queen of the universe. But this comes with concerns for me personally, too - like how do you keep the "good" bacteria too if you're killing it all off with alcohol and other stuff? Well, that's where CleanWell comes in with Ingenium. Ingenium is a blend of essential oils from plants that kills 99.9% of germs. The theory behind this is that some germs have become immune to the other anti-bacterial products due to overuse - so you use the natural ingredients in Ingenium, and they use nature as the weapon. Smart stuff!

So I signed on right away. I knew we'd be a good test family, not just because of Monkey Man's issues, but also because we were preparing to head to the Germiest Place on Earth - Disney World. What better place to test it than there?

CleanWell sent me the 1-ounce spray bottle as well as a batch of their fabulous wipes. Immediately I fell in love with the bottle - it's smooth, sleek, and has a hinged cap. For someone whose purse is like the Burmuda Triangle, this is a huge thing. I loved it! And I really loved not having a leaky bottle in my purse.

But enough about that - how does it work? I found that the most that you need is two good sprays. I tried some on my friend using three sprays and she felt like it was a little tacky-feeling on her hands afterwards. But the main thing is the smell - what a clean, awesome smell it has. The main note in the fragrance is thyme, but everyone that I sprayed with it had a different idea - some thought it had a little bit of lime scent to it, others thought maybe some lemon. But the general consensus was that they loved the smell - it's fresh, clean, and doesn't have a heavy floral scent. The guys in our group even liked it, and that says something!

The wipes are fabulous - they come in individually sealed packets and what I liked was that they didn't drip the cleaner all over when I opened them. The wipes were moist enough to get the job done without having cleaner dripping everywhere. I loved that part, and used them to wipe down grungy looking handles on the amusement park rides. I wish I'd had more!

The coolest part was the reactions of people that saw me using the CleanWell hand sanitizer. People wanted to know all about it. They wrote the name down. They took pictures of the bottle. It was like a little celebrity right here in Orlando!

Our group gives CleanWell an enthusiastic thumbs up! And to check it out, visit the CleanWell website and learn more about this very cool product.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Me, myself, and I

Check out my interview for Parentbloggers - all about me, me, me!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

It’s been a while that I haven’t been watching a children’s program that didn’t involve Megazords or some kind of ninja bunny rabbits, so when I was offered the chance to review the new DVD athleticBaby: Soccer! I jumped at the chance.

athleticBaby: Soccer! is the latest addition to the family of athleticBaby DVD’s. Created by a fitness-minded mother of three children, the series is designed to inspire kids to get out there and get active. I figured it would be perfect for a kid like Monkey Man, who is obsessed with all things sports.

I hate to admit it, but the video was totally not what I expected. I thought it would be more instructional and give ideas of how to work with your child to learn some soccer fundamentals. Well, that’s not what you get. But what you do get is a video full of movement, color, and some great music. The only real “instructional” part is a segment where the song talks about how you can’t use your hands in soccer – and it’s done in a really cute manner.

I loved that kids of all ages from toddlers to teenagers were featured – and it was an excellent mix of boys and girls throughout the video. The kids are shown playing independently as well as in groups, with lots of happy smiles and groupings that seemed to encourage teamwork.

The music, created by Eddie Coker, far surpasses the typical insipid “kiddie music”. Monkey Man gave the music two enthusiastic thumbs up and was bopping around the family room each time we watched the video. Even my husband Joey, who normally would rather put cottonballs in his ears than listen to one more kiddie song, thought that the music was exceptionally good.

After we watched it, we discussed what we liked and didn’t like about the video. Monkey Man really liked the music and said he liked watching the kids play soccer, with his favorite part being a segment where they have a dog dressed up in clothes that plays with soccer balls. What he didn’t like were the attempts to review colors and numbers – “It’s too much like Circle Time, and I don’t like Circle Time.” So obviously that part is not a big hit with the 5-year old crowd that doesn’t like Circle Time.

Joey and I both enjoyed the music, but agreed that the video was probably better suited for two- or three-year-olds rather than a five-year-old like Monkey Man. He enjoyed it a lot, but was more impressed by the music than inspired to get out one of his ten zillion soccer balls and play around with it. I think toddlers would definitely have a great response to this video and get swept up in the movement and music in the manner intended by the creator.

Overall, I give this a thumbs-up for the toddler crowd…older kids will like it, but I don’t think they will appreciate it like the younger kids could. The video is well-produced, the music is great, and the concept is very smart.

Check it out! athleticBaby products are available at their website, on Amazon, and at select retailers nationwide.

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