Once upon a time I was one of those people who actually ate in restaurants. The ones who take their time perusing the menu and then, when the food of their choice arrives, take their time eating it. All the while enjoying the atmosphere, the ambiance, the company... the overall nice experience eating out can be.
And then I had kids.
Anyone who has ever gone out to eat with a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old knows that the entire process, from packing the bag to debating over the food to scarfing down your meal at top speed while being on alert that you might have to leave at a moment's notice... is all a tad on the stressful side.
We've tried all kinds of things to keep Big Sister E and Little Sister B happy and have had varying levels of success but mostly I just opt to stay home or get take-out, it's just easier that way.
But, wait? Do you hear that sound? That's the sound of a peaceful, happy family dinner in a restaurant thanks to the innovative Designer Diner from My Baby's Green.
Carrying an amazing collection of high quality, eco-friendly items for babies, kids and the home, My Baby's Green is run by parents who are just trying to make better choices for their children and the environment.
With everything from stylish organic clothing to beautifully-crafted toys for all ages to simple yet effective products for eco-living, My Baby's Green makes it easy to take even the smallest of steps towards making this world a better place for future generations.
Ready to eat out? A reusable, safe, portable placement and entertainment station all in one, the Designer Diner is convenience and imagination all wrapped up into one 18" x 11" colorful package. One side features a patterned, easily-cleanable placement that can be quickly pulled out to keep food from ending up on the table while the other side contains everything needed to keep children occupied with a wipe-clean chalk mat.
Arriving rolled up and tied with their cute ribbon, preparing to head off to the restaurant required nothing more than tossing our Miss Thing Designer Diners into the diaper bag and walking out the door.
I had planned on waiting to pull out the Designer Diners, but after being seated and attempting (and failing) to entertain Big Sister E and Little Sister B with the paper restaurant placements and two tiny crayons, we were in need of a change almost immediately.
Right away both girls were excited about the bright colors and cute polka dot design but as soon as I turned the mat over and laid it in front of each of them, they looked questioningly at the expanse of solid black. But, with one quick motion, I removed the detachable pouch and opened the 12 piece box of non-toxic colored chalk hidden inside and their eyes lit up.
All of a sudden I was able to relax in the peace and quiet while my two little artists were happily content to let their imaginations lead the way.
My husband and I raised our eyebrows at the silence and sat back to calmly wait for the food to arrive. When it did, there was no problem in simply flipping the Designer Diner over and having a clean, chemical-free place to eat.
Being able to focus solely on eating, Little Sister B was content for the rest of the meal and I was happy knowing that the food that she dropped and then picked up off of the mat never had to touch the table. Big Sister E, on the other hand, had to be convinced to stop coloring to eat (she was having that much fun with it!) but after getting a little chalk on her breadstick she realized she was better off waiting until after she was done eating to continue her art.
When it was time to leave, we put the chalk back in the box, stuck the whole thing back in the detachable pouch, rolled the Designer Diners back up, secured them with the ribbon ties and they went back into the diaper bag.
Walking out of the restaurant, I couldn't remember the last time we had such a pleasant meal out in public together! We will definitely be bringing these along the next time we go out to eat... which, after such a positive experience, won't take nearly as much convincing as usual for me to want to do again.
For at home or on the go, My Baby's Green makes it easy to find a selection of amazing products to help parents and parents-to-be make this planet a little better for our children. There is even a great accompanying My Baby's Green blog where you can find detailed reviews (and giveaways!) of more of the latest and greatest eco-friendly products that are sure to be a hit for all ages.
If that isn't enough, thanks to the generosity of My Baby's Green, one person will get to shop for the best green products around, because...
One lucky person will win a $50 gift certificate to My Baby's Green!
To enter to win:
Extra Entries (available after the mandatory entry above is completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted).
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1 Extra Entry if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the tweet below and leaving me the link. Tweet daily for an extra entry every day!
#WIN a $50 gift certificate to My Baby's Green for eco-friendly gear from @mybabysgreen & @thxmailcarrier! http://bit.ly/9Dj3mA #giveaway
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Giveaway will end on October 29th at 11:59pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, as I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
A big thank you to My Baby's Green for providing two Designer Diners for me to review as well as a $50 gift certificate for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.