Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Slow Cookin'

If any of you are on facebook you might have heard about a page that has gone viral regarding crock pot cooking.  Sparked an idea...can we find a crock pot made in the USA?  We have searched and searched and searched. We called many of the well-known brands and found out that while some of them years ago were made in America they are now made in China.  Then we called many lesser-known brands and most of them were made in China too! Seemed most electric cookware is made in China these days.  Hmmmmm...

And then we came across another issue while we were searching to find a crock pot made in America.  LEAD!!!  Many current ceramic glazed crock pots still contain lead.  While those levels may be within the FDA regulations, lead can still be present.  So when you cook with these items you are releasing small traces of lead into your meal...yuck! Many of the old ones definitely have lead and may not be in the current FDA regulations.  If you already have a crock pot, we would suggest you call the manufacturing company and ask if your model contains lead.  

Now, here is the great news!!!  We found a crock pot that is not only MADE IN THE USA but also LEAD-FREE!!!  The company is called 360 Cookware and they manufacture all of their products in West Bend, WI.  They take pride in not only manufacturing all of their products in America but also they hold themselves to the highest of safety standards.

2.3 Quart Gourmet Cooker

4 Quart Gourmet Cooker

To shop 360 Cookware Products online, click here.  They are more expensive than many other brands of crock pots, however you will be supporting American jobs and keeping your family safe!
Cook on! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ready For School?

Even though it is 114 degrees in Phoenix today (insert exasperated sigh here), summer has ended.   After a fabulous summer of pool time, lake time, play time and all around fun time, it is now time for us to get back into "school mode."  Over the summer we tried to keep the kids up to date on school skills and to do so we used School Zone workbooks.  They have workbooks that focus on skills from pre-k to grade 6.

Here is the one my pre-k child is working on.

The kids loved doing them and as a mom and a former teacher, I was really impressed with the way the workbook (pre-k) is orgnized compared to a lot of the others on the market.  It covers numerous skills from generic fine motor skills (mazes, tracing, connecting the dots) to understanding language (similar, different, bigger, smaller, etc.)  to letter, number and color recognition.  From what I have seen, I would assume the other grade levels are organized well too!

I bought my workbooks at Target, but they retail at many locations (Walmart, Walgreens, etc.)
Or you can shop online: click here.

Note: Just as an FYI, there are a few School Zone products that are not made in the USA including all of the write & reuse workbooks, all of the think and blink flash cards and the animal alphabet pop-up flash cards.

Happy Back to School Everyone!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Color changes everything

One thing we've learned over the years is that a new hue in a room can change the entire feel of a room (and make it feel brand new) for a low cost.  We both have recently decorated nurseries for new babies and there's nothing as fun as picking the prefect color and  beginning with a fresh coat of paint!  It was easy to decide what paint to use: Benjamin Moore.  

Benjamin Moore paints are made in the USA and are top quality.  They are easy to find, just head over to your local Ace Hardware.  Or to find another local store that carries Benjamin Moore paints, click here

Their website is really helpful with an enormous color gallery and a new app they have to color match.  You take a picture on your iphone or android of any color you find in nature.  Then the app will let you know what Benjamin Moore paint color is closest to your color.
Talk about cool! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Green Toys

For my son's second birthday he received this truck from some friends.  

This truck is now 3 years old, has taken a beating, and yet still looks new.  Talk about a well made toy!  This is how I came to know Green Toys.  Since then I have been a huge fan!  They use recycled milk jugs as the main ingredient for their toys and all their plastic is BPA free. They truly are a "green" company and completely American made.  To read how their toys are made click here.

My kids love to play 'restaurant' and Green Toys makes the best kitchen toys.  All of the toys are dishwasher safe, making my job as Chief Germ Destroyer much easier.  Check out some of the kitchen toys.

If you want to shop Green Toys online click here. To find Green Toys at your local store click here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Perfect Chair

There's nothing like the perfect, comfy outdoor chair to lounge in and enjoy a good book...or to snuggle up in with your little ones and just watch the time go by.  Well, an interior decorator friend of ours turned us on to these awesome Adirondack chairs made in the USA.  They are made by Manchester Wood and come in an adult size and a kids size (not to mention a fun array of colors).   All of Manchester Wood's furniture is made in the USA in upstate New York from eco-friendly here to read more about their story.  

 View their outdoor chair collection the meantime here's a sneak peak of some of our favorite colors:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cinda B

One of our small joys is having a chance to shop "sans" kiddos.  While on our summer vacation together, we had the chance to do just that and we discovered Cinda B!  Her handbags and totes are a new love of ours.  The prints are adorable and fresh!  All of her bags are water-resistant, stain-resistant and best of all machine washable.  Everything that carries the Cinda B name is Made in the USA.  It was important to Cinda that she not only create beautiful handbags, but also create American Jobs.  Way to go Cinda!!!!  Click here to read her story.

I bought the cutest little zip up pouch that I use for some makeup to throw in my larger purse.

Happy- Sweetleaf Navy

I love my new pouch so much that I am going out to buy the City Satchel!  It is the perfect size for a woman on the go who needs a purse big enough to hold a few extra things (like a calendar, diapers) but doesn't feel like you are lugging around a suitcase.

Here it is in Bella Fiore Cocoa

Here are a few more bags we covet:

Beach Bag- Casablanca Sky Blue
Overnighter- Empire Sand

To shop the Cinda B collection online click here.  Or to find your local boutique that carries Cinda B, click here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's Slinky, It's Slinky

The simplest of toys has lasted through the ages and is still a best seller.  Who doesn't love a Slinky! We can still sing the silly Slinky song...
It's Slinky, It's Slinky
for fun its the best of the toys
It's Slinky, It's Slinky
the favorite of girls and boys

We loved them as children and now our children love them.  Whether you have kids or need to tuck away a good gift idea for your favorite child, don't forget about this oldie but goodie!  Fabulously enough they are made in the USA (with the exception of their new Light Up Slinky and Slinky Dog Products)    Click here to find these slinky products online or you might find them at your local toy store.

Friday, August 19, 2011

tees for everyone...and we're not talking golf

Finding the perfect white t-shirt can be as satisfying as finding the right jeans.  We love a fabulous white tee for the summer that is not only stylish but also really comfortable.   For years, we have loved our Three Dots tees.  In our minds, they have perfected the essential tee in most every color for every woman!  Over the years their collection has also expanded to include adorable dresses, leggings, skirts, men's tees, etc.  

Little did we know, until recently, Three Dots manufactures all of their clothing right here in America....Yeah!   Check out their latest blog post about their commitment to celebrating the USA and American production. If you want to shop Three Dots collection at your nearest boutique click here.  If you would like to find them online click here.  
These are a few of our favorite essential, everyday tees.

essential play girl scoop neck 3/4 sleeve- $44

essential v-neck short sleeve tee- $44

essential british neck 3/4 sleeve tee- $44

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A New Balance

Whether we're running after our kids or trying to lose post-baby weight, a good pair of athletic shoes is a must!  One of our favorites is New Balance's 993.  They are simple, not too flashy and by far one of the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn...the cushioning and support is awesome.  

And, one of the best parts is New Balance still manufactures a portion of their shoes in the USA.  Not all of New Balance's shoes are Made in The USA, but they have made a commitment to American Workers (you can read their statement here) and according to their website they employ 1,300 workers in New England who manufacture approximately 7 million pairs of shoes each year.   Click here to find which New Balance shoes are produced in the USA (the 993's are!)

Here is the pair I own:
They also come in pink, which is a cute option:
Get out there and get moving!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wooden Wonders

We have both bought wooden toys for our babies...they are durable and the kids have always loved them.  A friend told us about Maple Landmark Toys that are made in Vermont.  We haven't tried them out yet, but they make a ton of different toys (from blocks to teethers to rocking horses).  My son adores trucks, cars, planes and trains of any kind and Maple Landmark makes some great ones that we're going to try!   Click here to find a store near you who sells Maple Landmark Toys.   Or click here to purchase online.  Here are a few of our favorite wooden vehicles and planes (keep in mind as they mention on their website that the toys below have small parts and the company lists they are not appropriate for children under 3):

Semi Truck, Racing

Made By Me Truck (love this!)

Classic Bi-plane

Classic School Bus

Enjoy these toys made for you in the Red, White and Blue!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Nailpolish is Paradise...

We love getting pedicures!  Escaping to the local mani/pedi salon is always a SO appreciated hour of peace and quiet.  Plus, who doesn't like to have pretty toes!  I always bring my own color with me to the salon, because there is nothing more disappointing than being there and not being able to find a color you like.  I happened to be shopping at a local boutique this spring and found a brand of water-based nail polish with seriously delicious colors.  I immediately bought a few and then noticed that they were not only Made in the USA but also non-toxic and eco-friendly.  Talk about hitting the jackpot!  The company's name is Scotch. To find a local retailer click here, or to purchase online click here.  We love all of their colors, but here are a few of our faves:


Tarten Swizzle


Blood and Sand


Friday, August 12, 2011

Wearable Cupcakes

We discovered these leggings last spring and have since fallen deeply in love with them.  Little girls we know covet them and all the moms ask where they came from.  They are called Bon Bon Cupcakes.  These microfiber leggings have ribbon ruffles on the bottom, come in all different colors and they will even custom make a pair for you.  And, they come packaged up just like a cute!  They are made in the USA by two cousins who started the business (read their great story on their website). 

You can buy them at your local boutique- click here to search for retail locations in your area.  Or you can purchase them online by clicking here.  These are a few of our favorites.

Double Layer Leggings- Light Pink and White Dot
Holiday Leggings- Candy Corn

Cream Puff Leggings- Hot Pink on Pink
Hope your daughters love wearing these adorable cupcakes!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sip Away

We LOVE Tervis tumblers!  They are pleasing to the eye, yet so incredibly can drink your hot coffee and iced lemonade from the same cup (at different times of course).  These tumblers keep the hot hot and the cold cold and they are double-walled so they won't sweat and leave a ring on your new wood coffee table.  We've loved bringing them to the pool (no glass) this summer with a cool drink.  They come in a huge variety of colors and patterns, from your favorite NFL team logo to fun prints.  And the best part is that all of their products (tumblers, tops, etc.) are made in the USA.  Oh yeah, they are also BPA free and dishwasher, freezer and microwave safe.  There are many stores that carry Tervis products- click here to find one near you. Or if you would like to order them online click here.  Here are a few of our favorites.

Tervis Tumbler- Fiesta Sunny Dots
Tervis Tumbler- Green Bay Packers
Tervis Tumbler- Jewel Ruby
Sip Away!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Who doesn't love a beautiful smelling home?  The Capri Blue Candle collection at Anthropologie is one of our absolute favorites...and they are made right here in the USA!  The scents are incredible, fill a large room, and the containers are elegant. You can purchase them at your nearest Anthropologie store or click here to purchase online. 'Volcano' is our personal favorite scent and Anthropologies' signature scent.  Here are a few candles in the collection.

Capri Blue Candle Tin- $12.00

Capri Blue Frosted Mercury Glass Jars- $24.00

Capri Blue Etched Jar Candle- $25.00

Enjoy these candles made for you in the Red, White and Blue.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Our daughters love art...absolutely love it.  My son, however, not such a fan.  We found though that all the kids love dot art, which is a great variation from painting and coloring.  My son loves pounding the dotter on the paper, probably because it's like hammering a nail, and the girls love creating colorful designs.  Me, I love any art they all enjoy (and that keeps them busy)!  We have a lot of dotters in our house, and the best ones I have found come from a company called Do A Dot Art.  Fantastically enough, they are made right here in the USA.  Do A Dot Art makes both dotters as well as activity books for kids.  Here are a few pictures of items they sell.

Do A Dot Art Markers- 6 Pack Rainbow Colors $14.99

Do A Dot Art Markers- 6 Pack Mini Jewel Tones $14.99

Picture Me a Princess Activity Book $4.99

Mighty Trucks! Activity Book $4.99

Your local "learning/teaching store" will often carry these items or you can order them online by clicking here.

Note: While the dotter markers and all of the activity books are made in the USA, their Glam Art products (not found on the website) are not made in the USA.

Happy Dotting!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere

What kid doesn't love bubbles in the summer?  If your families are like ours, you always have a stash of bubbles on hand.  Bubbles pass the time, make children laugh and turn smiles upside down.  I went out in search of bubbles made in the USA and found some.  

Imperial Miracle Bubbles- you can find them at Walgreens or click here to buy them online.

Note:  While Imperial Miracle Bubbles are made in the USA not all toys made by Imperial Toys are manufactured in the USA.

Enjoy your bubbles made for you in the Red, White and Blue!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Made in the Red, White and Blue

Diane Sawyer of ABC news recently did a series entitled “Made in America”.   They shared facts such as 90% of toys sold in the US are made in China. We were shocked. We know toys sold here are imported from other countries as well, which means less than 10% of our toys are made in America.  We started looking at all the products in our homes. Made in China-Made in China-Made in Hong Kong.  Even the mandarin oranges we fed our kids were products of China.  And we know that other countries do not have the same regulations as American made products.  So shouldn’t we question if over 90% of our products are safe?

What does this mean for our job market here in the US?  We found a statistic which stated that if we each spent $64 more a year on American made products when available, it would create 200,000 new jobs a year.  Wow- that is a lot of jobs! We are not 'anti-importing' products made in other countries.  We understand that it is not realistic to throw out everything and only purchase “made in the USA” products.  But if we have the chance to buy crayons made in America vs. another country, why wouldn’t we?  Buying American when we can helps us do our small part to help our job market grow. 

Most modern parents do not have the time to look through every product on the shelf trying to find one that is ‘made in the USA’?  This is where our idea started.  Why not create a blog where we show you products that are made right here in the US and make it easier for you to shop ‘made in the USA’.   We plan to not only show you the product, but also let you know where you can find it to purchase.  That way it will be more convenient for you to help do your part!            
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