CLOSED Giveaway: Wee Rock- the Eco-friendly, Heirloom-Quality Rocker 1/17-2/7

wee-rock-butonClassic and timeless, rocking horses are an iconic symbol of childhood that people of all generations can relate to. Whether it’s sitting in a nursery or getting plenty of use in the playroom, a rocking horse adds a certain aesthetic appeal to the room.

Wee Rock Toy Co. has put a new spin on the classic rocking horse by making them sustainably in a convenient new design. Catherine O’Sullivan and Michael Galea, founders of Wee Rock Toy Co., used their architectural training to create a classic rocking horse that has only six pieces, allowing them to be shipped flat and assembled with no tools, no glue and no hardware!

These unique rockers are crafted from bamboo plywood – an ultra high quality, renewable and child-safe material. Unlike most plywood, the bamboo plywood used by Wee Rock Toy Co. uses a soy-based adhesive that emits zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and is a responsibly-sourced renewable material. The bamboo parts are simply finished with a food-grade butcher-block conditioner. And all of these toys are cut, finished, and packaged in the United States!

These rockers are adorable, and currently available in five designs, including a classic horse, gorilla, elephant, rhino, and giraffe. See the designs here.

ELIZABETH ON ELEPHANT-SQUAREEach of these five designs has the same critical dimensions: the seat is 13″ off the ground and the assembled toy is approximately 13″ W x 33″ L – making the rockers ideal for kids from ages 18-48 months.

If you’ve been looking for the perfect rocker for your little one, or need a unique baby shower gift idea, be sure to check out Wee Rock Toy Co!

The Giveaway

One lucky reader will win the Wee Rock Toy Co. rocker of their choice ($300 value)! This giveaway is open to the lower 48 US states only, ages 18+ and runs through February 7, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. EST. To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Winner: Entry #37922 Brittney D.

Continue Reading

Review: Wooden train pull & push toy by Barry’s Toys

Barry's Toys
Barry’s Toys

When I spotted Barry’s Toys on Etsy, I never dreamed I’d have so much to chat about with Barry Linder, the artisan behind these handcrafted toys and puzzles. Although he now lives in Ireland, Barry was born and raised in Canada, like myself, before moving away. He also spent several years living in Spain, and my husband, son, and I will be moving to Spain in the next fiscal year. Barry is also a successful published author in Ireland, and as a blogger and former military journalist, I envy him that!

Barry began working with wood when he was 17 years old. For two years he restored antique furniture, before starting a 20-year career working on roofs in Western Canada, applying cedar shakes. Barry’s wife was a Montessori teacher, and he often helped her put the toys away at the end of the day.

Combining his love for wood with the designs he saw through his wife’s Montessori experiences, Barry began making wooden toys for his little grandson.

Handcrafted Wooden Fractions Puzzle (Photo by Barry's Toys)
Handcrafted Wooden Fractions Puzzle (Photo by Barry’s Toys)

Barry sent me a wooden train called “Little Smoky” to review. Isn’t he cute?!

Smoky the train
Little Smoky the train

Little Smoky measures 61/2″ by 6″ by 6.” Although the train can be easily pushed along, Little Smoky is attached to a small cord and wood “handle,” so Baby J can pull his train along behind him.

According to Barry, this is how each toy is made:

First I draw the character, usually from a picture on the net or a book. After making the image my own it goes onto the easel and I paint it in acrylics.
I use a company that has very expensive copiers that will take my painting and make it any size that would suit the toy. The image is copied onto very good waterproof paper that holds the colour beautifully.

I cut the picture as carefully as is possible and draw its outline on a handpicked piece of sustainable wood. The silhouette is carefully cut out and sanded. With child-friendly crafting glue the picture is glued to the cut-out. The other side has the outline of the painted picture but painted solid, glued on as well. The rails for the axels are cut out and sanded, drilled for the axels, wheels are made and sanded and attached to the axels using child friendly wood glue. After the toy is complete and sanded again it is sprayed with salad bowl lacquer. After drying it is sanded lightly and lacquered again.

Our experiences:

Baby J turned 8 months old yesterday and has been cruising for several weeks, but he definitely isn’t to the point yet where he can walk independently and pull Little Smoky along behind him. But that doesn’t matter to Baby J. He loves Little Smoky anyway!


Barry's Toys 2

Barry's Toys 3

There are several things I really like about this toy. I like that it’s not made in China. I like that it’s made of wood not plastic. I like the design and colors. I like the nostalgic feel I get from wood toys. I like that it was obviously made with care by someone who’s proud of his work. I also like that the varnish is water based, since Baby J puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. And I really, really like the wood smell. =D

I tugged and pulled on the wheels and nothing came apart, so it’s sturdy. I wasn’t trying to destroy it; I just wanted to put a little pressure on it, similar to what a child might do.

The only cautionary note I have is that the cord obviously presents a strangulation hazard for infants, so I believe this toy is really meant for older children. Since Baby J loves it and wants to play with it, we’ll probably remove the cord and handle for now. We can easily attach the same or different cord later.

Want to learn more about Barry’s Toys? Visit Barry’s Etsy shop or his Web site! Barry has graciously agreed to sponsor a wood toy for the Bellies to Babies giveaway hop Jan. 5-14, so you could win your own gorgeous, handcrafted wood toy!

Note: I received a complimentary wooden toy by Barry’s Toys to review and was not compensated for this post. I was not asked to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed above are my own and may differ from those of others.

Continue Reading

CLOSED Bellies To Babies: Maternity & Baby Giveaway Hop Jan. 5-15 #Bellies2Babies

Bellies-Babies-Baby-Shower-Hop-ButtonWelcome to another awesome giveaway hop! Hosted by MamaNYC, the Bellies to Babies Giveaway Hop from Jan. 5-15 focuses on maternity and baby, bringing you more than 30 blogs with designated giveaways!

Here on My Life: A Work in Progress, there are several prize packages for multiple winners, thanks to my awesome sponsors: Babywearing Workout, Beautiful Burps, Zookiescrafts, Cheeky Bunz, Barry’s Toys, and Delight Designs.

After entering the giveaways below, please scroll down to the linky at the bottom of the page. Then, hop around from blog to blog and enter all the other awesome giveaways!

 Babywearing Workout:

Kelli Roschak- the mom behind the Babywearing Workout

The Babywearing Workout is a 30 minute fitness program created by mom Kelli. After Kelli had her daughter, she found herself constantly bouncing around with her daughter in a mei tai, trying to get her baby to sleep. Kelli decided to turn her bouncy movements into exercises to lose weight she gained while pregnant and before. She lost 70 pounds within 10 months! Read my full review HERE.

Beautiful Burps:

Bib & Burp Cloth set- Front

Created by working-at-home mom (WAHM) Courtney, Beautiful Burps is a line of adorable handmade bib and burp cloth sets, individual bibs, individual burp cloths, and burp cloth sets of three. She even has decorated onesies and cross over shirts available! Her burp cloths can be used as changing pads when on the go, as a blanket, or under a baby’s head while sleeping to protect from spit up or drool. Read my full review HERE.


Zookies Crafts4Whether you cloth diaper your little one or not, these cloth wipes by Zookiescrafts are sturdy and soft to clean up messes and wipe little faces and hands. Michele, the WAHM (working-at-home mom) behind Zookiescrafts, has a lot to offer…cloth diaper covers, receiving/swaddle blankets, girls’ skirts and dresses, cloth wipes, beanies, wet bags, loveys, crayon wallets, pacifier clips, and more! Read my full review HERE.

Cheeky Bunz Diapers:

Cheeky Bunz2Cheeky Bunz is a line of cloth diapers and other fun, necessary items for babies and mamas, like baby blankets, cloth wipes, and mama cloth. This year, Cheeky Bunz is expanding to selling bags, children’s clothing, some household linens, nursery bedding and quilts. Elizabeth, the hard-working mom and Cheeky Bunz creator, is planning on opening up a brick and mortar shop the summer in Albuquerque, New Mexico! Read my full review HERE.

 Barry’s Toys:

Barry's ToysIn his crowded studio in Southern Ireland, Barry handcrafts beautiful wood animals, puzzles, and other toys. A member of the Etsy Ireland team, Barry began making toys for his grandson. Based on his wife’s experiences working at a Montessori school, Barry designs toys and puzzles by combining his own designs with those of tried and true developmental toys. Barry’s toys are made with sustainable wood and eco-friendly materials. The toys are finished with a water-based varnish, safe for little ones. Read my full review HERE.

 Delight Designs:

Delight Designs3Jessica of Delight Designs makes more than six versions of cute little baby or children sleeping signs as well as other adorable items. She even sells decals for cloth diaper pails to make sure no trash finds it way in! At Delight Designs, you can find anything from Christmas ornaments to nostalgic and sweet gifts for parents and grandparents. Jessica is open to custom designs, so contact her on Etsy if you have any questions! Read my full review HERE.

 Giveaway Terms & Conditions:

Sweepstakes open to residents of the US. Must be 18 years or older. Void where prohibited by law. Odds of winning depend on total number of eligible entries received. Winner chosen via Once winner has been selected and emailed, winner will have 48 hours to respond or new winner will be selected. Winner’s first name and last initial will be posted on this blog and other social media and Web sites. My Life: A Work in Progress is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Entrance into the sweepstakes indicates acceptance of these terms and conditions.

If you agree to the terms and conditions stated above, enter below. Please note, there are four different Rafflecopter widgets (one for each prize package). If you have any issues with Rafflecopter, please empty your Web browser’s cache TWICE, then return here to enter.

Entry #449 Aubree F. Entry #493 Ellen F. Entry #279 Judith M. Entry #679 Colleen L.

Continue Reading
1 2 3 6