Joovy theBabaSling {Review}

Remember how I told you there would be an upcoming review from Joovy?  Well, well, well.  Now is the time.  First I have to take you back to the beginning of May…  If you follow us at all on Facebook then you will remember that we were vacationing in WDW at that time.  (Yes, we busted Banjo out of school to hit Disney before the crowds got crazy.)  Joovy sent us theBabaSling before we left on our trip.


I’ve always liked to do the whole baby wearing thing, so was ecstatic to take it with us on our pre summer vacation.  Plus, theBabaSling is uber chic looking, so I’d be styling.  But then I got to thinking that I wouldn’t use it all that much, because we were after all taking our Joovy Caboose stroller.  Cache would just sleep in the main seat of the stroller, Ruby would sit/stand on the platform, and Banjo would walk.  That was the plan.  And all went according to plan…


For about half of our first day in the magical world of mouse.

At first all was right in the world.  Baby Cache just road along sleeping, Ruby was more entertained by jumping off of her seat on the “train” and running around before getting back “all aboard”, and Banjo was quite content to walk along with his cousins.  Then EVERYTHING deviated from the plan!

Ruby became a hot mess and didn’t want to ride on the platform any longer.


She wanted to SLEEP.

Need I remind you that this was our very first day in the most magical kingdom on earth?  And Banjo?  Well, he grew tired of walking.  He grew tired very fast.

What happened?  Where did we go wrong?  Well, for starters we should have purchased a Joovy Big Caboose Triple stroller before heading Orlando.  That would have been the solution.  However already being in Florida when we made this discovery… We didn’t have that option.  We will definitely know for next time.  But since I had the handy, dandy BabaSling all was right again in the world!


The hammock style of the sling was perfect for carrying tiny Cache and the  comfort padding… perfect for my bum shoulder.  The shoulder I’ve had surgery on twice and I’m now a candidate for a total shoulder replacement.  What?  I’ve never told you about that before?  Yeah.  Remind me to tell you sometime all about my shoulder problem.  😉

This sling carried Cache all over the parks.

He was able to meet all the characters just like the big kids.


Can you believe that Stitch actually sports a Dandy Giveaway logo???  😉

TheBabaSling comes in sooooo many beautiful and vibrant colors.


As you can see from our vacation photos we have it in Scarlet Red.  I can’t tell you how many compliments I received on it while at WDW.  Too many to count.  One stranger just came up to me to say, “That’s a nice looking sling!”  Why, yes.  Yes it is.  🙂

Since Disney I’ve been using the BabaSling all over the place.  Particularly on the 4th of July at the lake.


It was a long day.  The BabaSling put Cache right to sleep.


It’s my hero.

*This posting and review are sponsored by Joovy, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Tinkerbell Costumes {Review}

All the world’s a stage. At least in Ruby’s world it is.  She loves to dress up and do performances.  The girl dances.  She sings.  Shouts out phrases from her favorites cartoons.  All in front of an audience.  In fact our back patio is often transformed into her own personal stage.  We have a short, decorative wall just beyond our patio.  It separates the patio space from the flower bed.  Ruby climbs up onto that short wall (she learned this from her older brother) and puts on quite the show.  Notice that I keep emphasizing that it’s a short wall.  *wink*    It is.  A very short wall.  No  worries about injuries resulting from the very short wall.  Whew.  Glad I got that out of the way.  *wink* Again.

And here is Ruby performing in Tinkerbell’s Disney debut!

tink4 See what I mean?  The girl even knows when to take a bow.

Definitely thinking we need to start saving for dance lessons now!

Even the back of this Tinkerbell costume is spectacular.


As you can see Ruby also just plays dress up as the little fairy:


Yep, she’s definitely a costume fanatic.

Sometimes costumes for toddlers are difficult to find, but not at Costume Supercenter.  This dandy shop sent our Ruby the Tinkerbell costume and she has been playing dress up in it a lot.  Ruby loves Tinkerbell.  Obviously.

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There are so many different costumes to choose from.  Several Tinkerbells, but also other toddler favorites:  Superheroes, animals, and a variety of cartoon characters.  It’s never too early to start shopping for Halloween, so be sure to take a look at all that Costume Supercenter has to offer.

We sure do love our little Tink.


*This posting and review are sponsored by, but all opinions are strictly my own.


Little Tikes Garden Chairs {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Can you tell that we like to read?


Yes, we like to read lots.

All winter long and into the early spring we were shut ins around here.  So all of our reading took place indoors.  We didn’t even venture out to the library.  No siree.  Why is that?  First, it was super cold outside.  Second, it was super cold outside.  Third, it was super cold outside.  Okay you get the idea.  It was super cold outside.  Then… Don’t even get me started on the amount of snow that was dumped on us.  Loads and loads.  All winter long.  I thought that it would never end.  We even got a snow storm when I was postpartum in the hospital with Cache.  Oops. I think I must have left that out of Cache’s birth story.   Yes, I know that I forgot to put that part in.  Basically a HUGE snow storm decided to come rolling in the day after he was born and we weren’t sure if we were ever going to get to leave the hospital.  For some reason when it snows in St. Louis the ENTIRE city shuts down.  Does that happen in other cities?  Anyway, back to our love of books… Now that the weather is simply glorious outside (not too hot and not too humid yet) we can take our reading outdoors.

My friends over at Little Tikes sent Banjo and Ruby these adorable garden chairs.


The chairs are the perfect size for their little tushies and are now their favorite reading spots in the backyard.


I LOVE that my sweet littles LOVE books.

Now… for the giveaway!!!

The winner of this giveaway is going to

receive TWO garden chairs from Little Tikes

in the colors red and orange!

(Enter on the Rafflecopter below.)


*This giveaway is open to US entries only.
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Monday, June 23rd and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway are sponsored by Little Tikes, but all opinions are strictly my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Djubi {Review}

Remember how I posted about those scary bunnies?  How I publicly aired my fears of creepy clowns and the Easter Bunny?  No?  You don’t remember?  I mean seriously.  How could you forget???  I’m still having nightmares about it.  This year the “bunny” brought Banjo the Original Djubi Game. (Thank you, Djubi for sending us this dandy toy for the boy’s Easter basket.) catch6   If you are looking for a fun backyard game then here it is.  This is it.   Good thing I’m posting this just in time for summer, eh? original-djubi-game

Banjo and Ruby both love it.

Here they are showing their Boompa how it’s done:

catch5 catch This is at my parents house.  Don’t they have the coolest setup with that lake behind their house?!  My kids love spending time out there. Djubi is perfect for teaching kids of all ages how to aim and catch.  Adults like it, too! catch2 catch3 The Djubi ball has a band on it that when hooked on the handle and pulled back will then soar through the air for the other player to catch.  Such a unique concept and fun for all ages!

Go HERE for the stores where you can find Djubi!

*This posting and review are sponsored by Djubi, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Fash’Ems {Review}

My girl, Ruby loves her some My Little Pony.  When she talks about them it’s, “My Pony” this and “My Pony” that.  She ALWAYS leaves out the mention of “Little”.  The girl knows what she wants and she knows what’s hers.    I must admit that I cried real tears of nostalgia when I realized that the My Little Pony of today is so very different that the My Little Pony of my past.  I’m talking the My Little Pony of the 80’s.  What happened to those ponies???  It’s a good thing that my girl is in love with these ponies, because it takes away the pains of a childhood lost.  I’ll admit that the look is growing on me…  Probably because Ruby thinks they are sooooo very dandy!

How can I not begin to feel this way when they make her so happy?


She received an entire fleet of Fash’Ems for this review and she was definitely not disappointed.


What are Fash’Ems, you ask?  Well, for starters they are squishy.  They aren’t going to break or get scratched up the way a lot of other toys do.  And… They stretch!

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The ponies come in these adorable little capsules in hot pink.  We had an absolute fun time playing hide and seek with them in the backyard!

In addition to My Little Pony there are these characters:

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Doesn’t Hello Kitty look adorable?

Some of the sets even come with crowns and other accessories to dress the characters!

Fun times for my little Ruby!

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This review was sponsored by Tech4Kids, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Gemmilou’s Wooden Dolls {Review}

Dandies, I’m going to let you in on one of my favorite hobbies lately: painting up peg people!  I stumbled across this darling Etsy shop, called gemmielou, and kind of went crazy ordering and painting peg dolls!

iusb_760x100.5996777First, I ordered a small family set to paint up my family:

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Then I bought a bundle of little girls to make for my nieces:


Then I painted up a little family for my brother-in-law’s family.  PS–you can order a wood family about this size for only $2.25!!


And THEN I just couldn’t stop :).  I neeeeeded a Nativity set!  Gemmilou has all sorts of wooden doll shapes and sizes, and she is more than happy to make custom listings so that you can only order the people you need.

woodShe made up a custom order of just the pieces I needed to make up a Nativity scene.  Everything always arrives in the most darling brown paper, tied up in strings, and the wood is solid, smooth, and ready to paint.  This is what I started with:


The wood is perfect for painting, and most things only need one coat of basic acrylic paint found in any craft store.  These dolls are SO affordable!  We’re talking $2.25 for a family, $1.75 for a set of four little girls, or even 30 dolls for $9.00!  Think about how fun these would be for REUNIONS!


This took a couple nights with some holiday TV in the background, and I think it turned out just how I envisioned!


Did you know there are other Etsy sellers who sell a painted nativity for $225?!?!  Isn’t that ridiculous?!  You could make this yourself for less than $10!


I hope these pictures inspire you to order your own peg people and make up a family, a nativity, or even a bunch of characters for your kids to play with!  The sky is the limit with these dolls, and they’re just so dang fun to paint up!


Checkout all the darling dolls from gemmilou and get started!

Online Store

Merry Christmas!

*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation. 

Hello Dolly!


Another adventure that our family went on while in the Smoky Mountains was to a truly unique theme park… Dollywood!  As you walk through the gates you are transported to the days of Country Fairs and the laid back life in the Smokies.  We just happened to be there on the opening day of the National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration.  It was the perfect day to be there!  Dolly Parton was somewhere in the park, but unfortunately we didn’t cross paths.  However, we got to see singer Louise Mandrell!  She was there to receive the James D. Vaughan Impact Award from the Southern Gospel Music Association.  The Association actually has a Hall of Fame and Museum at Dollywood.  In fact before we realized the significance of the day we were surprised that a red carpet greeted us at the entrance.  For a second there I thought the folks at Dollywood were pulling out all the stops to make sure our family (with their “mommy blogger” tickets) had an amazing day.  😉

We did have an amazing day, though!  There’s so much to do at Dollywood.  From the family friendly atmosphere… To the country stores…  To the shows…



To the rides…

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Hanging out with their cousin!

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There’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy at Dollywood!






While we were there everything was decorated for the fall season and it was gorgeous!  I can’t even imagine what it looks like all decorated for Christmas.  Maybe Santa will send us there in December.  😉


Thank you for showing us a really great time, Dollywood!

This review was sponsored by Dollywood, but all opinions are strictly my own. 

What’s to do in the Smoky Mountains?


Remember that little ‘ole government shut down that took place… Oh, back in October?  Well, we were actually on vacation when that whole thing went down.  Yep.  On Day #2 of our vacation to be exact.  Our vacation to…  Wait for it… The Smoky Mountains NATIONAL Park.  Day #1 we went into the park just fine.  Day #2 we were greeted by this:


Talk about throwing a wrench in someone’s plans.

Fortunately for us there are tons of other fun things to do in the Smoky Mountains area besides the park!  Prior to making the trip to Tennessee we were invited to attend the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show.  So even if the park had been open we were still going to attend the show.  Dinner.  Great show.  How can you pass that up?  Well, it ended up being such an amazing show!  Lots of laughs and delicious food to help us get over not being able to go back into the park.  🙂   Plus, it’s fun for the entire family!

Even the grounds of the theater are fun:




Our Banjo being a mummy.

Now back to the show and the food…




Everything is served family style and it’s what you would expect out of a real Southern feast:

  • Feudin’ Fried Chick’n
  • Open Pit Pulled -to-Pieces Pork Barbeque
  • Southern Style Creamy Soup
  • Smashed Mashed Taters
  • Buttery Corn on the Cob
  • Keep It Comin’ Cornbread
  • No Tellin’ What’s In It Coleslaw
  • Granny’s Famous Specialty Dessert



We couldn’t even eat it all!  You are given plenty of time to eat before the show starts.  That way you can really focus on the entertainment.

The story of the Hatfields and McCoys is told in a way that I had never heard before.  So that kept it interesting!  In terms of entertainment there’s music, dancing, “fighting”, romance, and a great story line.  It all comes together for a feuding good time!

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Will we go back to this Pigeon Forge, Tennessee show next time we are in the Smoky Mountains?  Most definitely!  The kids loved it and it was definitely one of the best shows around.  Stay tuned for my thoughts on another great show…  The Smoky Mountain Opry!  🙂


This review was sponsored by the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud, but all opinions are strictly my own. 

Gatlinburg Falls Resort


Isn’t the fall simply breathtaking?  All the changing of the season going on…  When the leaves take on various hues of splendor.  If you live where there’s no change in season then I’m very sorry for you.  🙂  Because you are missing quite the sight!  It’s one of my most favorite times of the year and here in the midwest we get to enjoy the change in season.  So if you are missing out then get yourself very fast to a climate that changes or just visit one once in a while during the fall months.  😉

My family and I (all 9 of us– my little family, my parents, my brother and his family) spent the first week of October in the Smoky Mountains.  Now that is a sight to be seen.  Remember that Audi and I have been to the mountains of Tennessee before, but it was August.  Definitely pre-season to the change.  The leaves were just starting to change there the first week of October, but we’ve been told that we missed the really gorgeous peak which is happening right now.  I’m sure it’s always a beautiful part of the country, though!

For our stay we were welcomed by the Gatlinburg Falls Resort.  Our accommodations were spectacular and made the trip that much more enjoyable.  Especially since the National Park closed the day after we arrived due to the Federal Government Shut Down.  Nice, huh?  The park is open now, though!  Without the wonderful cabin we would have been quite sad, but it brightened our vacation immensely.  We stayed in the Treehouse cabin:


And was it ever decked out!

It had its very own theater room:


Hot tub:


And game room that we had trouble prying the kids away from!


Plus, all the essentials:

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Washer and dryer, sleeper sofas, 3 bedroom, 3 full baths, and two half baths.

Each bedroom had a king sized bed, its own bathroom and fireplace:


My favorite parts of the cabin came on the outside…

Great porch views:


A cul-de-sac and tree house for the kids to play in:

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Can you tell that we had such a dandy time???  If you are looking for a Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg cabin then look no further than Gatlinburg Falls Resort.

We cannot wait to go back!


This review was sponsored by Gatlinburg Falls Resort, but all opinions are strictly my own. 

Nauvoo Log Cabins


Special rate for Dandy readers!

Mention you heard about Nauvoo Log Cabins on Dandy Giveaway and save $20.00 off of your stay now through Feb!


A few months ago we had family from Utah come to visit us in St. Louis.  We had a grand time showing them around our fine city…  However, the most favorite part of the visit was spending the day up in Nauvoo, Illinois.  Sure it was quite the drive and down more than a few country roads to get to, but it’s definitely worth the trip!  There’s so much history in Nauvoo and it’s fun for all ages:




Plus, there are authentic Nauvoo log cabins that you can stay in.

We actually stayed in the cutest little cabin east of the Mississippi!



The Danielson cabin has everything you need for your nights stay:  A refrigerator, microwave, bathroom with shower, desk, and 2 bunk beds.


Each cabin comes with it’s own unique story and you can read about the families that used to reside in them.  The Danielson cabin actually used to be in Wyoming, but was moved to Nauvoo and reconstructed by the owner’s of Nauvoo Log Cabins.  So the community of cabins itself has a rich history just like the city of Nauvoo!

Our visiting family stayed in the Beebe cabin, because it had more room for their size of 7 people:


The Beebe comes with a fully equipped kitchen, 1 1/2 baths, and sleeps 9.

It even has a really cool loft!


At Nauvoo Log Cabins there are so many great cabins (in all sizes) to choose from.  Here are just a few:



There’s even a fantastic LDS church history museum right on site:


You won’t find better lodging in Nauvoo if you try, so book your stay at Nauvoo Log Cabins today.

Special rate for Dandy readers!

Mention you heard about Nauvoo Log Cabins on Dandy Giveaway and save $20.00 off of your stay now through February 2014!

** This posting and review were sponsored by Nauvoo Log Cabins, but all opinions are strictly my own.