Thursday, September 24, 2009

This mom loves all things Aussie - from Hugh Jackman to Baby Banz!

Read more about her thoughts on Baby Banz today! - Test Drive Baby Banz Kids' Sunglasses

Michelle's Kids' Fashion Blog

By Michelle Kouzmine, Guide to Kids' Fashion since 2005

Tuesday August 25, 2009

Test Driver Lucy in her Baby Banz SunhatThese super-cool, no-slip kids' sunglasses for toddlers and big kids are fantastic. Kids love to wear these sunglasses that actually fit little faces and stay-put. Now your little ones can jump waves, build sandcastles, run around the yard, and bebop around town in their favorite sunnies made just for them.

Baby Banz had 4 Test Drivers

  • 2-year old Elijah Test Drove: Kidz Banz Combo in Hunter Camo
  • 3-year old Sarah Test Drove: Kidz Banz and Sunhat in Pink and Green Floral
  • 5-year old Lucy Test Drove: JBanz in Safari Pink and Hat in Solid Pink
  • 5-year old Sawyer Test Drove: Jbanz in Blue and Coordinating Hat

What did my Test Drivers think of their new fun-in-the-sun products?

What did their moms say?
Find Out:

Read More: Test Drive: Baby Banz Kids' Sunglasses and Hats

Image courtesy of Lucy's Mom

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Baby Banz Supports Operation Shower


Lifetime Television Series Army Wives’ Wendy Davis to Host “A is for Apple” Baby Shower

ST. LOUIS/Sept. 17, 2009 – St. Louis charity Operation Shower, providing baby showers and “showers-in-a-box” for military families, has recently partnered with the national foundation, March of Dimes. Hosted by actress Wendy Davis, who portrays Lt. Colonel Joan Burton in the Lifetime Television network series “Army Wives,” Operation Shower and the March of Dimes will hold the “A is for Apple” baby shower on Sept. 20, 2009. Taking place at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., parents, who most likely would never have a baby shower of their own, will receive the “showers-in-a-box” filled with baby supplies including books and toys, as well as clothing and a number of essential items courtesy of March of Dimes’ supporter, Kmart, and many other helpful contributors to both Operation Shower and the March of Dimes.

“Operation Shower is thrilled to work with the March of Dimes, Kmart and the other donors of Operation Shower to help bring these showers to the military moms. We felt this fit very well with our mission to support military families who may not otherwise have a baby shower. We are grateful for the opportunity to support these families,” said Operation Shower’s Chief Shower Officer Lena Morrissey.


Scheduled to be featured in the November issue of Redbook, Operation Shower is a non-profit organization committed to assisting mothers-to-be whose spouses are deployed by providing baby showers at military bases and distributing “showers-in-a-box.” The Operation Shower team collects donations and creatively packs them in boxes. The presentation of a “shower-in-a-box” is festive and the contents useful for expecting mothers and their newborns. The March of Dimes strives to enhance the health of infants by focusing on the prevention of birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality; their first NICU Family Support® site is located at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va. “Mission: Healthy Baby” is a program created by the March of Dimes with the Veterans of Foreign Wars. This plan is tailored particularly for military families to grant free pregnancy and newborn health resources and guidance. The March of Dimes plans to announce the re-launch of “Mission: Healthy Baby” at the shower.

Moms will receive stylish donated items from overall shower sponsor Kmart, as well as the following sponsors: Anka, Baby Banz, My Baby Place, Boogie Wipes, Cotton Babies, The Global Fund for Children, lillebaby, Peacelovemom, Petunia Pickle Bottom, Sage Creek Organics and Swaddle Designs. In addition, design services have been provided by the local St. Louis company, Integrity, and shipping has been provided by WN Epstein & Co. The wonderful party decorations and invitations were donated by TomKat Studio and Celebrations at Home.

Operation Shower is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that recognizes and honors the sacrifices military families make by producing and coordinating baby showers and “showers-ina-box” for pregnant and expecting military personnel and their families. For more information about the “A is for Apple” baby shower or Operation Shower, visit or call Lena Morrissey at 314-809-3754.


For more information, contact Melissa Stromblad 314-542-0400

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Parents Ignorant About Eye Risk From Sun Exposure

Parents Ignorant About Eye Risk From Sun Exposure

Submitted by Ricky on August 19, 2009 – 9:15 pm

In an appalling revelation, experts have cautioned that three out of four parents are putting their children’s eyesight in jeopardy by exposing them to bright sunlight without the use of apposite eye protective gear.

Parents Ignorant About Eye Risk From Sun ExposureIn a survey undertaken by the College of Optometrists on two thousand people, it was found that close to a third of British-origin parents didn’t invest in sun-protective glasses for their children. Even in those that did buy them, close to half of them laid greater emphasis on costing rather than adequate protection and merely a quarter of them bought sun-protective eyewear from reputed brands.

The College of Optometrists advocates the choice of dark coloured glasses bearing the CE quality trademark. Experts have counselled that those with light eyes are at greater risk from sun damage, with those having blue coloured eyes must constantly use sunglasses.

The ultra-violet rays emitted from the sunrays can harm the retinal area and lens of the eyes that can cause considerable damage in the long run. Excessive sun exposure is being strongly related to cataracts and age-associated macular deterioration. Wearing inferior quality sunglasses that have no UV filter protection causes greater damage than not wearing any sunglasses as improper eyewear causes pupil dilation that in turn allows more damaging sunrays to penetrate the eyes. The risk is directly proportional to the UV exposure.

Experts at the Royal College of Optometrists state that even good-quality; CE-marked sunglasses needn’t be highly priced, with budget-friendly options being plentiful. Wearing a sunhat along with sunglasses is the right choice as children tend to often remove off their shades. The use of sun protective glasses should be followed when venturing out to the beach.

The studies undertaken in this regard have however revealed diverse end result s regarding whether UV rays cause major damage. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists states that really young children should be majorly kept away from bright sunlight.

Sunglasses covering up a sobering health concern

Sunglasses covering up a sobering health concern

Published: Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 3:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 3:39 p.m.

When getting ready to enjoy the outdoors, it’s easy to remember your skincare needs, but don’t forget the sunblock for your eyes – your sunglasses.

An optometrist for Port City Eye Associates in Wilmington, Jason Hendrix’s office is stocked with the latest sunglasses. Regardless of the summer season, Hendrix encourages eye care outdoors year round. “It doesn’t matter if it’s the summer or the spring, you need to protect your eyes in the fall and winter just as much,” Hendrix says.

This is especially imperative for individuals involved in outdoor sports such as boating, golfing, fishing and other fun-in-the-sun activities. Fishermen and those who live much of their lives on or near the water are more prone to cataracts, a clouding of the eye lens, as a result of the glare from the water.

Enter polarized lenses, which fishermen and boaters have been using for years, as they help to reduce the sun’s glare off the water. And there are several other benefits to polarized sunglasses: they allow more light to enter your eyes; improve colors and make details sharper; and, most importantly for those who worry about the later state of their eyes, block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays, the ultraviolet light that can lead to cataracts. (Although less likely than UVB to cause sunburn, UVA penetrates the skin more deeply and is considered the chief culprit behind wrinkling, while UVB is considered the main cause of basal and squamous cell carcinomas as well as a significant cause of melanoma.)

So with polarized lenses becoming more popular, questions are arising on what that means for the average consumer. For instance, are all polarized sunglasses created equal? “An inferior pair of lenses will have fuzz around the lines of an image, whereas a superior pair does not,” Hendrix says. “In addition, higher quality polarized lenses also have an anti-reflective coating on the back of the lens.” Antireflective coating cuts down on glare and relieves eye strain.

Purchasing a pair of sunglasses may seem like a no-brainer, with inexpensive eyewear available in most retail stores and even gas stations. But unfortunately, some of these sunglasses emblazoned with “polarized” or “UV coverage” can leave you guessing. Although most sunglasses, regardless of the price, have some UV shield, Hendrix points out that the levels of UV absorption varies with certain lenses. Plastic lenses can only guard the eyes against 88 percent of UV light. Triacetate lenses only absorb 40 percent of UV rays, whereas polycarbonate lenses (generally only sold at optical stores) have 100 percent UV coverage.

Technical terms aside, does protecting yourself from the sun mean gaudy glasses with no style? “Absolutely not,” Hendrix says. “I think all glasses are very fashion-forward now with all the name brands available.” You can now protect your eyes while looking perfectly put together. Port City Eye Associates offers nine exclusive lines to Wilmington, including Salt Optics, a California-based company supplying stylish sunglasses with premium polarized protection.

A popular product for golfers and seafarers is Maui Jim, showcasing specs polarized for men and women in updated fashion. With saltwater safe frames and the same corrosion- and tarnish-resistant properties as pure titanium, these rimless lightweight lenses are available in unisex designs. Although men and women’s polarized sunglasses vary only on their style, what is good for an adult is not the best bet for a child. Sun damage occurs more often during childhood than during adulthood. Baby Banz, 100-percent UV protected polarized sunglasses with a velcro strap to keep them fastened to your child’s head, ensures the same UVA and UVB rays adults endure are not entering your child’s eyes. Hendrix uses these types of shades for his own children, including his 4-year-old and 18-month-old, whom he says never leave the house without their shades.

If purchasing polarized prescription sunglasses seems too costly for those with eye issues, wearing prescription contact lenses with UV protection along with polarized non-prescription lenses is a cost-effective option. Acuvue brand contact lenses offers the highest level of UV radiation-blocking protection in a contact lenses, absorbing a minimum of 90 percent UVA and 99 percent UVB rays. Contact lense prices vary on quantity and the option of purchasing daily, weekly or monthly disposable lenses. There are numerous websites such as and, which offer price breaks, but all discount contact websites require a prescription from your optometrist. And most optometry offices will meet and even beat online prices.

Another option for eyeglass wearers wanting sun protection along with their prescription are Transitions lenses. The glasses let you keep up with only one pair of glasses whose lenses are clear indoors and at night, and automatically adjust their level of tint to changing light conditions outdoors. At the same time, they block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. (Transitions lenses, though, will not adjust while in a vehicle and will remain clear.)

Just as in your regular check-ups at your dentist or doctor, Hendrix encourages an annual eye exam. Eye issues that are ignored, like dry eye, could be a slight sunburn to the eye or white bumps on the inside of the eye could be pterygiums (pronounced te-rij-e-ums) resulting from chronic UV exposure, often found in farmers and fishermen. Others more susceptible to eye issues are those with lighter colored eyes.

With all the positives with polarization are they any negatives? “I do not want to be blamed for someone’s bad golf score,” Hendrix says. Polarization can disrupt a golfer’s ability to read greens while putting, so Hendrix advises selecting shades like amber or purple lenses.

“So only give me credit if your score decreases,” he says.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Baby Banz recognized as a Melissa Etheridge Mom, Baby & Toddler Must-Have

Kt Giftings is Proudly Supporting Komen Greater NYC’s Event City in Pink by Providing a Melissa Etheridge’s Mom, Baby, & Toddler Must-Haves Basket for Auction

For immediate release- Mickleton, NJ The product placement experts at Kt Steppers, LLC were honored to introduce their gifting department (Kt Giftings) to the Komen Greater NYC affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the cure. They presented them with a Melissa Etheridge’s Must-Haves basket for their City in Pink auction and event which will be held on September 9th, 2009.

All of the products included in this auction basket which valued over $1000 were some of the coolest and trendiest hand-crafted products for moms, babies and toddlers.

“We were more than thrilled to put this auction basket together for Komen and their annual City in Pink Event!” said Katie O’Neill, Owner & President of Kt Steppers, LLC. She continues “I would love to be included in this every year and hope to encourage everyone to show their support for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research any way they can. October is the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so we wanted to do something to show our support now. We were also so honored to have an amazing breast cancer survivor; mom and incredible musician back us, Melissa Etheridge. With her name attached, the basket will surely raise the bar for bids and funds for the event. As for the companies who were part of this basket, they continue to drive the baby & toddler industry with amazing products that are most sought after”.

Some of the great brands and products that can be recognized as a Melissa Etheridge Mom, Baby & Toddler Must-Have include:

Baby Banz (www.babybanz,com) $75 Gift Certificate to get all the Sun Protection Essentials needed

These Melisa Etheridge Must-Haves make the value of the basket over $1000 which is due to be auctioned off at the City in Pink Event that is taking place in NYC on September 9th. A little about the event courtesy of Komen Greater NYC: City in Pink is a weeklong tribute in lights as New York City buildings and stores illuminate and decorate themselves in pink to promote breast cancer awareness and celebrate the start of Race Week. In 2009, 31 structures and stores will be illuminated in pink each evening as a lead up to the Komen New York City Race for the Cure®. In addition, there will be six virtual City in Pink participants who will be turning their websites pink for the occasion. Each year, City in Pink kicks off with an invitation-only party. This year’s event will be held at the Samsung Experience on the third floor of the Shops at Columbus Circle in the Time Warner Center.

The evening’s program will be hosted by CBS 2’s Maurice DuBois. For more details on this organization and event visit

“All of us participating in this basket want to thank Komen Greater NYC for doing what they do to support, bring awareness, and to help fund research for Breast Cancer.” Katie continues, “we couldn’t be more honored also to have Melissa Etheridge consider the products included in our basket as ‘must-haves’ for the industry we design for.”

For any information on the products included in this basket, please contact Katie O’Neill by email at or by phone at 862-266-0263.

Kt Giftings is a department under Kt Steppers, LLC. Kt Steppers is a mom-owned, children inspired, online gift boutique featuring hand-painted and custom designed “steppers” or step stools. According to Katie O’Neill, “my company and many others seek out celebrities and other high profile people to get recognition and approval of their products & company brand. There are other ‘celeb gifting’ companies out there who charge a tremendous amount to do this. As a fellow ‘mom-preneur’ I needed to come up with a better, less expensive way to reach who we wanted and know that our products and company info. was reaching the desired destination. Kt Giftings was formed”.