Monday, August 29, 2011

Pampered Damsel Bar Soaps

A lovely layered bar of soap
from Pampered Damsel
It seems these days, one thing after another that we thought was good for us, turns out to be bad for us.  Take soap for example.  Soap used to be a pretty standard, simple thing.  Pure.  Clean.  Now, it's often a cocktail of chemicals, marketed to us as "ANTIBACTERIAL", and containing among other things, Triclosan, which has been implicated in various health concerns (note: this isn't a medical blog and so my statement is based on data found on the internet, and I realize that this may not be a guarantee that triclosan is bad for you).  However, being of the philosophy that we should keep our bodies free of as many unnecessary chemicals as possible (within reason), I am moving away from antibacterial soaps containing triclosan and moving towards bar and liquid soaps that do not contain this antibacterial agent.

One example of a simple and beautiful triclosan free soap is the lovely handmade Pampered Damsel bar soaps, created right here in Canada - in Moncton, New Brunswick.  The soap is not detergent based, but rather it is "real" soap.  It is gentle on your skin, comes in delicious colourful scents, and lasts a long time without getting gooey or cracking like some other bar soaps can do.  Imagine how lovely a bar of "Apple Cinnamon" or "Almond Biscotti" would be on a cool November night?  Or how the fresh and clean scent of "Cucumber White Rose" would make your kitchen a nicer place to be?  Personally, I would love to try the "One Hot Tamale" scent, and maybe get a bar of "How YOU Doin'?" for the man in the house to use.

I received a bar from my sister some time back and it's taken up residence in my master bathroom where I look forward to using it each time I wash my hands.  The delicate (but not wimpy) scent has not faded as I've been using the bar, and it lathers up beautifully and leaves my hands so soft.

You can read more about Pampered Damsel at

A stunningly gorgeous selection of Pampered Damsel soaps
The soaps are a splurge-worthy $6 per bar, or buy 5 bars for $25.  They are perhaps 7 or 8 cm wide, 5 or 6 cm tall and 3 or 4 cm thick (I did not measure mine before I started using it so no guarantees on those measurements) but as I already mentioned in my review, they last a lo-o-o-ong time so don't think that it will have a short lifespan just because it's not huge.  The manufacturer has offered all of my lovely readers a 25% discount off the cost of shipping the soap to you if you aren't able to pick it up in person at the Dieppe Farmer's Market, if you just mention you saw this on Geekmommy Reviews to her in your order request.  Offer ends on November 30th, 2011 so you can take advantage of the shipping cost reduction in time to pick some of these soaps up as gifts for your friends & family.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Leading Lady - Nursing Bras and More - GIVEAWAY

Last week, I received a wonderful package in the mail. I had been anticipating a nursing bra from Leading Lady to review on this blog, and imagine my delight when in the box were TWO lovely nursing bras, exactly the ones I had hoped to be able to review for you all.

Leading Lady is more than just a retailer of nursing and full-figure bras, they also support nursing moms via their website.  They have a dedicated section of their website called Amy's Corner where user submitted questions are answered by a lactation consultant.  Their helpful articles there include tips on breastfeeding in the heat of summer, breastfeeding your baby when you are sick, and making holidays less stressful so you can spend more time with baby.

They also make and sell some great and affordable nursing bras, such as the "Baby Sees It" molded seamless underwire, and the lovely molded seamless lace edged underwire, both of which I will review here.  Each of these two bras is well made, the stitching is tight and secure, and the bands are wide enough for a triple hook closure (there are also FOUR! different closure settings so I could really customize the fit).  They both look brand new even after being worn, spit up on, and washed.  The cups are molded so even when nursing, I can maintain a sleek silhouette under summer's light tees and tanks*.  The inside slings are secure and so I felt supported even when baby was nursing, and the fact it didn't shift around also made it easy to pull up the molded cup and fasten the clasp with one hand while balancing a sleepy baby with the other hand.  The openings are generously sized, and do not leave any unsightly bulges at all.  When I chose the size bra to order, I followed the website's fit guide, which suggested a 36C.  I am currently wearing a 36D and 34D in other brands, so I took a chance, and ordered a 34D despite the size chart's recommendation.  Both bras fit me very well, however, the band on the Baby Sees It bra is less stretchy than the lace edged one, and so I have to wear it on the very last closure setting.  If you are uncertain which band size to order, for this style I would suggest rounding up, since it has four settings for the closure, you should get a good fit that way.  The lace edged one fits like it was made for me, since the band is a bit stretchier, and so I use one of the middle 2 sets of hooks to close it.

* Both bras also received the husband-thinks-they're-sexy stamp of approval.

The Baby Sees It bra has a couple of really neat special features: the sling fabric is printed with a bold high-contrast pattern to draw baby's attention to it while feeding, and the straps are wider and padded for comfort.  I found that when nursing with a button front shirt, the printed sling "Baby Sees It" feature really did draw my baby's hands and eyes to it (and kept her from pulling my hair, yay!).  The effect was a little less noticeable when nursing in a shirt lifted up for baby's access, because the tucked up shirt covered part of the sling.  I was concerned that the print might be distracting or keep baby from falling asleep at the breast but I didn't have to worry (I guess the sleep-inducing powers of breastmilk are hard to beat).  The wide padded straps really added to the comfort of this bra, my only other molded bra up til now has ridiculously tiny straps that dig in within the first hour of wearing it.  Now that I have these two lovely bras in my collection, that old one is going into the bin.

I was unsure about how comfortable a lace edged underwire bra could be, since lace can be a scratchy material, but the lace used in this bra is the softest I've ever felt, it looks very elegant and feels so soft against my skin.  The straps are not padded like the Baby Sees It, but they are still generously wide, and have the convenient feature of adjusting in length at the FRONT.  Most bras have the strap length adjustment in the back, but this bra has it on the front of the strap so you can actually get the correct length without having to either contort your arms behind you or take it off to do the adjustment free-hand while you are not wearing it.

Leading Lady has been kind enough to offer to ONE of my readers a $10 discount off your order with free shipping on the entire order.  They do only ship to the US at this time, so this giveaway would make sense for my US readers or those with a US shipping address.  To enter, please visit their website ( and leave a comment here saying what you'd like to order using the $10 discount.

Their bra prices are already very reasonable, so having an extra $10 off plus free shipping would be a great deal!  They also are running a great deal on their website right now (til August 31st 2011) with 20% off your order and free shipping if you buy over $75.

Plus earn up to 3 extra entries by:
  1. Liking "Geekmommy Reviews" on Facebook and telling me you did this in the comments (be sure to let me know your name on Facebook)
  2. Following @geekmommyreview on Twitter and tweeting about this giveaway (be sure to link to the tweet in the comments)
  3. Following this blog on Google Friend Connect and telling me you did this in the comments
Winner will be drawn on Friday September 16th, 2011 using  Your odds of winning obviously depend on number of entries received.

*Disclaimer:  Geekmommy Reviews was given free of charge the product(s) to review in exchange for featuring this product on  Any opinions or statements given above come only from Geekmommy Reviews and were not influenced in any way by the product vendor.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Baby Deal Sites - Part 2

In my previous post I covered several baby/mom product deal sites, and today I will give you my thoughts on the rest (that I am aware of - this is by no means guaranteed to be a comprehensive list of all baby/mom deal sites!)

EcoBabyBuys: Each day there is a new Eco-friendly deal item added.  Often the deals run for several days so you have 3-5 deals to choose from when you shop.  I have not personally ordered from this site yet so I can't comment on the payment/shipping/customer service aspects.  They do post their new items at 9am EST and limit your buying to three of any given style (to prevent reselling).  They ship to the US and to Canada, and seem to have a great selection of items.  Some items they currently have or have recently had are : Fuzzibunz Reusable Feminine Pads ("mama cloth"), Laptop Lunches Bento Bundle Original and Bento Pack 2.0, and Organic Cotton Onesies & Tees.

Greenbabybargains: Another "Green" deal site, one deal per day, at 9am CST.  I have not personally ordered from this site so again I can't comment on their payment/shipping/customer service.  One interesting thing I noticed though is that they offer a rewards system, so you earn points with every dollar you spend, and the points convert to discounts/credits towards purchases from the site (300 points = $5 off, no word on exactly how much you have to spend to earn 300 points).  They accept credit cards and PayPal, and they ship to Canada & US.

KidSteals: Part of the Steal Network (which also includes BabySteals and ScrapbookSteals), they offer one product per day, at 9am PST (works out to 11am EST).  The products are, like on BabySteals, often popular brands, and are discounted up to 80%.  They also maintain an archive, which is great for shopping any leftovers of past deals.  They ship to Canada and the US, and their customer service is terrific!

Mamabargains: This site updates deals throughout the day, so there's almost always something new to grab at 40%-80% off retail prices.  They have some fantastic prices on products, but I find their shipping costs to be higher than some of the other sites (probably because a lot of their items are heavy or bulky items, like strollers, high chairs, baby furniture, etc.).  That said, they also sell lots of baby & kids clothes, hair accessories, shoes/boots, outerwear, and other smaller items.  They ship to Canada and the US, and accept credit cards for payment (no PayPal).  I have ordered from them before and found the shipping to be average (there's no such thing as fast AND cheap shipping from US to Canada...).

If I come across more deal sites, I'll put up a third post, but as of right now, these are the ones that come to mind.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Baby Deal Sites - Part 1

In many of my reviews I have mentioned one or more of the "Deal Sites" that I use to find great deals on great products.  I think it's only fair to dedicate a blog post to my favourites, so that you too can share in the awesomeness.

To begin with, I have to say that this cannot possibly be an all-encompassing review covering every single deal site out there (this in fact is just part 1 of a 2 part post).  I will obviously have the most to say about the sites from which I have actually purchased items, but I will also list others that I subscribe to, but just haven't bought anything from yet.  If you know of some that I didn't mention, please share in the comments!

Since my blog is about reviewing great products AND helping you to spend your money wisely I feel obligated to warn you that if you're an impulse shopper, signing up for a deal site (or two, or eight) might be detrimental to your bank balance.  However, if you have a good handle on what items your family needs, or at least, items they would use and enjoy, the deal sites can be a great way to purchase brand new items, often popular brand name ones, for far less than retail.  I tend to have a running list of items that I would probably not pay full price for, but that I'd snap up in an instant if they came on for a discounted price on a deal site.  This approach may work for you, and I am NOT to be blamed if you end up buying a ton of stuff you don't actually, without any further ado, here we go!

BabyHalfOff: the first deal site that I ordered from, and quite possibly the one I buy the most items from.  They offer one deal per day at a minimum 50% discount, it loads at 11am EST, and it's there til it sells out (or until the next day, in which case the item can often be found in their archives some time later).  What's great is that you can buy the daily deal, and then add items from their archive to your order, so that you can combine shipping for the items.  You can't however combine shipping for deals purchased at different times/days, so if you buy one item, and then decide later you want two more, you'll pay shipping twice.  I've never had to deal with their customer service as their checkout process is quick & easy, and I've never had any complaint about their products, packaging, or ship times.  You can pay using PayPal or a credit card, which is handy if you don't like giving your credit card number out online, you can opt for using PayPal instead.

BabyEarth GaGa Deals: the premise here is that one item is offered up at a time, for a predetermined time frame (1 hour, for example), and the discount gets bigger the closer the sale is to ending.  So an item may start out at 10% off, but be 90% after 55 minutes.  Now the thing is, if everyone buying thinks the item is a total steal at 45% off, then it may sell out at that point.  So you are basically taking a gamble with each deal by may sell out, but then again, you may get a great deal if you wait!  Due to their shipping limitations, I have not shopped here myself (they only ship to the US at this point).  However, it sounds like a really fun site to watch!

BabyHeist: Another deal site I have not yet purchased from, but probably will in the future - they are based in Canada, and also ship to the US.  They offer a discounted deal-a-day, and also maintain an archive for past products that did not sell out.

BabySteals: Part of the Steal Network (which also includes KidSteals and ScrapbookSteals), they offer two products per day, at 9am and 9pm PST (works out to 11am and 11pm EST).  The products are often popular brands, and are discounted up to 80%.  They also maintain an archive, which is great for shopping any leftovers of past deals.  Be warned, though, this site is widely known, and thus the "good stuff" tends to sell out pretty fast!

Stay tuned for more deal site reviews in my next post!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Nursing Covers - Udder Covers and Cover In Style by Hooter Hiders

I'll admit, I'm not really that big on "covering up" when nursing my baby - it's usually too warm for her and me, she is at that distracted age where she would just grab it and pull if I did try to use a cover, and it's just one more thing to carry around.

However, there are occasions where a coverup has been perfect. Take for example the time I had to nurse my son in the hospital waiting room when he was just a few days old. Neither of us had any idea about breastfeeding and so latching was an awkward and time consuming process (with way more exposure than I was comfortable with at the time). Or how about the times that I have ventured out to church with a baby, that isn't exactly the kind of place where I'd like to whip out a boob... Not to mention that not everyone is as easygoing as I am with breastfeeding in public, and some places even give nursing moms a hard time (that is awful, I'm glad no one has ever told me to cover up, I think they would have gotten an earful!).

I have a new black and white Udder Covers brand coverup and a borrowed pink and white Cover in Style coverup by Hooter Hiders. Both operate on the same premise, they are a rectangle of fabric with a strap attached, and a section of hem between the strap connections that has some boning to make a stiff opening when the strap is fastened around your neck. This opening can be made bigger or smaller by loosening or tightening the strap. Both nursing covers allow this to be done fairly easily using a double d-ring fastener. Once the cover is on, simply bring the baby into position, arrange the fabric around him/her, and rest assured that no one will be seeing anything that you don't want them to. I suppose if you are sitting down and someone stands up behind you, they could possibly see in from the top, but really? Who does that? (Please tell me no one does that...)

The Cover in Style has a terry fabric pocket on one corner, it's great for wiping up any milk leaks or spit up without having to wrestle with another piece of cloth.  Both coverups fold/roll up quite small and so they don't take up much space in your diaper bag. I usually keep mine in the car so that if I happen to be in a place where I need it, I have it handy. They are machine washable (delicate cycle recommended), and can go in the dryer on low heat, though I usually line dry mine.

Both the nursing covers come in a great selection of colours and patterns, I would recommend a lighter colour if you think you'll use it outdoors where the sun can make it uncomfortably warm for you and baby. You can check out the selection of Udder Covers at, as well as use the store locator to find a local retailer (and save yourself the $10 shipping!).  Although they don't seem to make the Cover in Style anymore, you can also look at the similar Hooter Hiders and Bébé Au Lait nursing covers at All of these brands will cost somewhere in the $30 to $40 range.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Since someone, somewhere, determined that August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I thought I would post a few breastfeeding related reviews for you to enjoy.  This one is of a neat little product called Milkbands.  New moms have a lot on the brain.  There are the big things like doctors appointments and vaccination options and schedules, and small things like remembering to eat and shower, changing diapers in a timely manner, and oh my goodness, when is the last time baby had a bath?  (Tip: if baby's neck smells like sour milk, it's time for baby to have a bath...). Oh, and then there is the feeding.  The sleep deprivation, and the endless feeding.  And the sleep deprivation that makes you forget when the last time is that the baby ate, and on what side.  You may end up doing the squeeze test to see if you can determine which side you are supposed to offer next...which is fine, til your husband sees you doing it, and gets that look in his dear, I don't need any help with this specifically.  If you want to be useful, go empty the dishwasher or fold some laundry ;-)

So, how do Milkbands make your life better?  What exactly are they?  They are bracelets that you wear on one wrist, similar to the yellow Livestrong bracelets, and they can keep track of the side you last fed on, the time since the last feeding, how long the feeding was, and more.  You flip the bracelet inside out to record the side you last fed on, and the text for LEFT is lowered, and RIGHT is raised, so you can even do it in the dark.  There are plastic sliders that fit onto grooves in the bracelet which you can move up and down to track the feeding start time, or the duration (whichever you are interested in).  The bracelet is comfortable, unobtrusive, and waterproof, so you never have to take it off.

I did find the original sliders that came with the Milkband were prone to breaking, after being used for a while I would go to adjust them and notice that one was very loose or missing.  I definitely broke one while changing the sheets on my bed, my wrist got caught between the mattress and the bed frame.  Thankfully the Milkband came with four sliders (only two are used at once on the bracelet), and after two of them broke, I contacted the company and was able to order replacement sliders (they were free, but I did have to pay a couple of bucks for shipping).  The replacement ones are much sturdier, and after I finished using the Milkband, I packed them away with it (in case I ever need to use it again).

The Milkband is not something you will need for a long time, but for those first few hazy weeks (or months), it is a very convenient way to keep track of feeding times and sides no matter what time it is or where you are.  It sells for under $10 and is definitely worth it!  Check out more about Milkbands at

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

aden + anais Swaddles - Classic Muslin Collection

Swaddling has been a requirement in our house as far as babies are concerned.  My son was swaddled til around 5 months, as he just would not sleep without it.  He was a very light sleeper and any little noise would startle him (and up would go the baby arms, smack in his face, and then he'd be awake).  We started swaddling after the nurses at the hospital showed us how, and it was a fantastic way to help him to be well rested (and also didn't hurt that we got more sleep too...).  However, my son grew super fast...and so he outgrew the standard 30" x 36" receiving blankets in about, oh, three weeks or so.  Something had to be done!  I ended up purchasing 3 lengths of flannel from the local fabric store, and serged the raw edges, into a larger size swaddling blanket.  It worked great, but by the time he hit 3-4 months old, we were getting into the warmer days of summer, and I hated bundling him up when it was already so warm in his room.

How I wish I'd had a set of aden + anais muslin swaddling blankets at that time!  I don't know if they even existed, certainly I'd never heard of them, but when I did hear about them I knew right away I'd want a set for my daughter.  I was lucky enough to receive a four pack of them as a new baby gift, and wouldn't you know it, my daughter did NOT take to being swaddled, at least not for a few weeks.  It wasn't until after we got her home and a few weeks went by that her sleeping started to deteriorate (beyond the normal newborn interrupted sleep) and we decided to try swaddling again.  This time it worked, she stopped crying just as soon as we had her all wrapped up.  We used the flannel homemade swaddling blankets at first (and still do, if it's cool at night) but have used the aden + anais ones many times so far on hot summer nights.

They are a generous size (47" x 47"), big enough to swaddle her still at over four months old and almost 17lbs (!!).  She has at times wiggled her soft little arms out of the swaddle but that could be due just as much to my swaddling technique as to the fact that she has such incredibly soft (and hence slippery) skin.  The blankets really do get softer each time you wash them, and seem to be at their softest & fluffiest when tumble dried.  I love using the blankets when we're out and about, they make a nice airy tent over her carseat when she's asleep in it, and are a nice lightweight way to keep the sun & bugs off baby when we go outside for a bit.

If you'd like to read more about the aden + anais swaddling blankets or find out about other products offered by aden + anais, pop on over to their website  You can buy aden + anais products at stores all over (use the store locator on their website to find a retailer near you), on eBay, and online at retailers such as  A set of four blankets will run you between $35 and $60 depending on where you buy it (boutique stores seem to be the most expensive) and if the past four months of use & laundering is any indication, they will last you a good long time.

Today (Aug 10th 2011) you can still buy sets of 4 aden + anais blankets over on!  But hurry, the deal changes to something else at 9pm PST!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Bumbo Baby Sitter

If there is one thing that has been an "essential" baby product, it's the Bumbo Baby Sitter.  With its smooth clever shape and the readily identifiable hexagonal box (the presence of which, for some strange reason, increases the resale value on Kijiji and Craigslist!?), it can be found in more and more homes that have babies.  And despite the recall (don't get me started on how I feel about recalls that are not about defective products but about owners thinking a product is going to take over the job of parenting for them...) the Bumbo Baby Sitter (hereafter referred to as "the Bumbo") is still very popular.  It is useful from quite a young age (as soon as baby can hold his/her head steady), until your child either learns to squirm out of it or until his/her legs are too chunky to fit into the leg openings.  I have the Bumbo in lime green, and bought it secondhand for my son when he was a baby.  He wasn't huge at birth, but by the time he was steady enough with holding his head up, his legs were just about too chubby to fit (yes! true story!).  So we did not get much use out of it for him.  My daughter on the other hand, is 4 months now, and still fits into it (despite similarly chubby legs, they must just be a touch slimmer).

We take it with us when we go out to eat (OK, rarely, but on those rare occasions it helps), when visiting family, and even when I'm doing dishes or we're having dinner as a family at home.  It's a very handy place to be able to put her when she wants to sit up and watch what we are doing.  As long as she is in arms reach, we are comfortable putting her on the dining room table, or the kitchen counter (you would have to decide for yourself if you feel that's a good option for your situation).  The chair has a wide base and a sturdy design so most babies sitting relatively still should be pretty safe where they are, as long as they are not unattended.  If I could change any one thing I would make it have a functional handle or handles, so that a) it would be easier to carry from home to car and back again and b) so that it would be possible to carry the chair with baby in it from one surface to another.

The Bumbo is made of a soft foamy plastic type material (advertised as hygienic and non-toxic), it is wipeable/washable (you could even take a garden hose to it if a particular baby poo incident required that type of attention...).  This is great because I know my babies like to spit up just as soon as they are sitting upright, and easy cleanup makes me happy.  It comes in a bunch of bright, solid colours, and you can purchase an optional white play tray (which I suspect would be helpful in making the Bumbo double as a high chair for meals, though I haven't had a baby small enough to both fit in the Bumbo and eat real food yet).

You can read more about the Bumbo Baby Sitter at  They even make really cute Bumbo covers!  I don't know if I would give up the easy wash surface of the original Bumbo, but it is intriguing to be able to change the look of the Bumbo chair just by changing a cover.

Do you use a Bumbo chair?  Does it make your life easier?  Did you stop using it after the recall?

Monday, August 01, 2011

Jaybird SB2 Sportsband Bluetooth Headphones

In the past I've written about a number of things that make running easier and more fun (RunKeeper and ArmPocket SPORT i-20).  Today I will share my review of the Jaybird SB2 Bluetooth Headphones.  I got these last year after doing a fair bit of research on different options.  Previously, I had used a pair of wired sport earbuds, which often needed to be adjusted while running because the combination of the movement & sweat would shift them around.  Every now and then one of the wires would swing around and get stuck in my ponytail or hands, and sometimes even cause the earbud to fall out entirely.  Not to mention that the little space above my ears was getting mighty crowded, what with the sport earbud hooks, my sunglasses, and my cap!  Having a set of Bluetooth headphones seemed like a great way to deal with the problem of wires getting tangled while running, but since they are not exactly cheap, I wanted a set that were designed for fitness, that were likely to last even when getting a bit sweaty from time to time, and of course, they had to be stylin' as well!

The Jaybird SB2 Sportsband is all of these things, and then some.  With a LIFETIME sweat-proof warranty, I felt confident that they would withstand the rigours of a good workout.  They come in 9 different colours, each of them nicer than the last (I opted for the Runner's Red).  The controls are easy to operate as they are just silicone covered buttons over the right ear.  The top two control the tracks (next/previous) and the bottom two control the volume (up/down).  The center button turns the earphones on/off, and allow you to enter voice control mode on your iPhone.  The headphones expand to fit a range of head sizes but fit comfortably and don't require adjusting while exercising.  I use the smallest setting, but I know a couple of guys that have them and they just expand to fit perfectly.  They even fit nicely over my running ball cap.  They come with two spare pairs of foam earpiece covers, so you can swap them out while one set dries... or you can just save them as backup pairs for when your current pair wears out.  The audio quality is excellent on these headphones, which is important when you need your RunKeeper audio coaching prompts to come across clearly.

One thing I noticed is that the earpiece has little mesh fabric covers, presumably to help keep moisture out.  I only have one of these covers left as it has come detached from the earpiece itself (probably came off inside one of the foam pads at some point...).  It doesn't seem to interfere with the audio at all, and now I just make a point of removing the foam pads after exercising so that the moisture doesn't stay in contact with the earpieces.  My husband also has a pair of these headphones, and he loves his as much as I love mine.  He actually did have a situation where the battery stopped holding a charge (they charge using a simple USB cord) and he worked with the vendor to get a replacement pair, as the problem was covered under their lifetime sweat-proof warranty.  The replacement pair came fast and without any hassle, we were very pleased.

If you want to learn more about the Jaybird SB2 Sportsband Bluetooth Headphones, go check out the information and selection on their website at  They sell for less than $100 at various online retailers.