Hope For Chance {Guest Blogger}

Pink and Blue. You see these colors most often associated with the birth of a new baby. Adorable, pink, frills and bows for a sweet girl, blue hats and onesies for a bouncing baby boy. These colors also adorn the awareness ribbon for Pregnancy and Infant Loss.

My name is Michelle Moskiewicz and I was brought into the world of infant loss on August 7, 2013. Chance, my sweet boy Chance was a wonderful, beautiful, healthy 20158299_10100673121551136_515744570_nbaby boy who was taken by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome at two months and twenty-six days old. I guess it’s best to start from the beginning and work my way into that night and how we went about forming Hope For Chance, our non profit organization, that helps with families who have suffered from pregnancy and infant loss.

I found out I was pregnant with Chance about one month into my first deployment. According to the Air Force docs, I was just a little over two months pregnant. So, the Marine Corps sent me home.

 

Our pregnancy had a few complications, but Chance made his debut at thirty-seven weeks on the dot. He was a handsome chubby-cheeked boy who liked watching his dog and listening to “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Band (he wasn’t very fond of the Darius Rucker version). He was the piece of our family puzzle that my husband and I didn’t realize we were missing. With him, everything was as it should be. His blue eyes, blonde hair, and widow’s peak made him the spitting image of his father- which after being in active labor for sixteen hours I didn’t find fair, but he was perfect.

It was that night, no, early morning when our lives changed forever. My husband had woken up to go to the restroom and had stopped by Chance’s crib to check on him. I only remember his screaming for me to wake up and call 911. For the next five or twenty minutes (it felt like forever) I gave my little boy CPR while simultaneously praying to God that this was a nightmare. To this day, I can still remember the chill on his skin against mine. We followed the paramedics to the hospital and were told there was nothing that they could do, my baby was gone. We were able to hold him for awhile. We were able to kiss his tiny head, to smell his scent, to hold him in our arms. My heart and muscles still ache for that weight, for that smell, to look down and see him.

Almost immediately we were pushed into the Loss World. We were still driving home when we got a call from the hospital asking permission to use Chance’s heart valves. We went through an interview with the police, after they’d gone through our home, Chance’s things. They took samples of his formula, of our water, dirty diapers, his crib sheet. They were looking for a reason, a cause. I am so happy they did now that I look back. For an infant to be classified as SIDS there has to be no other cause of death plausible. Chance had been in his crib, on his back, with nothing else. They had no idea what killed my baby boy.20179905_10100673123542146_1794190815_n

Immediately I began researching SIDS and getting into contact with all of the major researchers in the United States and joining all of the support groups Facebook had to offer. It was there that I read the story of a family who, after buying all the things a baby needed, still owing the hospital for birthing because insurance didn’t cover it all, after only having her baby girl home for three days, lost her to SIDS. She couldn’t afford a service, a burial, or an urn. She got her daughter’s ashes back in a plastic bag. I said no. I told myself I would never allow that to happen to another family if I could help it. 20134865_10100673122569096_1879182236_nThat is the moment that Hope For Chance was born in my mind. Within four months, Hope For Chance was a 501(c)3 non profit whose goal was to assist families who had lost a baby (does not have to be SIDS) with the costs of services, burials, and cremation. We also donate funds to research for Dr. Hannah Kinney at the Boston Children’s Hospital, and every year we host the Run For Hope, an annual 5k awareness run to bring more awareness and education to what SIDS is, what it isn’t, and how families can keep their babies safe during sleep. Hope For Chance, in our short four years has been able to help several families across the United States give their babies a sweet goodbye.

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While every late night phone call and e-mail from a family in need or a funeral home does remind me of our own loss, it also reminds me that though he is not here in our arms, he is alive in our hearts and in the hearts of everyone that knows our
story and those we have helped. We will be remembering Chance’s fourth Angelversary this year in just under a month.

I would like to thank Kirstyn for allowing me to guest post here on BurritoBuzz. She and I were brought together by happenstance, through our losses. I hope that any mothers or fathers out there who have suffered the loss of a child, whether miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss through adult loss, know that you are not alone. One in four women suffer with you. We are the guardians of our children’s memories. Whether that memory be a positive test, an ultrasound, a first smile, the first day of kindergarten, or graduation. You are not alone.

-Michelle

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My First Cubby from Little Partners {Review}

d34b7eacde8e85faf23a8b18f840ae53If you’re a new or expecting parent, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. SPOIL ALERT! That tiny squishy baby will soon be an independent almost 5 year old faster than you can ever imagine. Time flies (I’m not at all exaggerating) and soon your little angel will be a wanting to do everything for him or herself with zero help from mom and dad. In my case, that new found independence is so welcomed. I gave birth to my youngest daughter 11 months ago (how is she almost one? *insert crying emoji) so my oldest wanting to do things for herself is a huge help. Whether it’s getting herself dressed, brushing her teeth by herself, going to the bathroom alone, or simply getting herself alp_cubby_lifestyle-800x800 snack, it’s one less thing that I have to do. So I jumped at the opportunity to review My First Cubby ($159.99) from Little Partners!

We have worked with Little Partners in the past and we love their products! You can check out the Tri-Side Learn & Play Art Center review here. I was excited to see how the Little Cubby could make our lives easier and help my daughter grow even more independently. First of all, the construction is solid. It was rather easy tcubo put together, the instructions are very easy to read, and it was put together rather quickly (my husband builds furniture for a living so he may have had an advantage). Once built, I noticed the amazing quality. It’s sturdy and looks very classy in our hallway, it’s a piece of furniture you can be happy to put on display. After a quick screw in the wall for the tether to prevent it from falling, it was ready to go!

There are 2 sides, which is perfect for us so each kid can have their own side. There’s a top cubby that we use for hats. Below that is a section with 4 hooks on each side to hang coats and bags. On the bottom is a little cubby for a 2-3 pairs of shoes. My girls have so many shoes but I put the ones out that they were most often. I seriously love being able to ask my daughter to her jacket, shoes, and school bag and she knows to hang her stuff up when she gets home. It’s so nice! I love that it’s also teaching her to be responsible for her own things and she also knows where she can find her school bag or coat, it’s always in the same spot that she put it. The great thing is multiple cubbies can be pushed together for more children and for day cares or schools!

I’m beyond impressed with Little Partners. The My First Cubby will complete any bedroom, foyer, or playroom! I give My First Cubby a 5 out of 5 stars, it’s been such a help in our house and while the cubby is available in two beautiful wood finishes, I would love to see options available in colors. Soon enough my youngest will be able to hang her coat and bag on her side, but for now, my oldest is happy to lend me a helping hand!

Be sure to check out all of Little Partners fabulous products here and don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to stay up-to-date with sales and new products!

– Casey

**BurritoBuzz received these products at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Adorable Emoji Valentines {Free Printable}

Now that my four year old is in school, I look forward to her little holiday class parties. I volunteer to bring things in for each one and volunteer to help in class for at least one party throughout the year (this year I’ll be helping with their Easter party, last year was for the Thanksgiving party). And even though she’s only in preschool, the parties are still super cute, and I totally turn in to a PTA, Pinterest-obsessed mom when a holiday rolls around.

I know it’s early, about 2.5 weeks away, but I couldn’t help myself and started thinking about her Valentines. Scrolling through Pinterest, I saw an adorable Emoji valentine that I knew my daughter would love (she’s newly obsessed with “mumojis” as she calls them). I showed her the picture and she gave me the biggest smile and declared those were her valentines! So I went to work and made my own:image2-4I used my HP printer to print the valentines on 110lb white cardstock so they wouldn’t be flimsy when the chocolate heart eyes were attached. My paper trimmer helped so much to cut them, as I am horrible at cutting with scissors. I cannot cut a straight line for the life of me. I used Hershey hearts for the heart eyes. They’re the perfect size, not to mention absolutely delicious! I used double-sided tape to attach them which holds them on really well. Lastly, I helped my little one sign her name and that was it! They’re simple, really cute homemade valentines! She’s super excited about them and she can’t wait to hand them out to all of her friends at her Valentine’s Day party!

Supplies

  • Printer
  • Cardstock
  • Paper trimmer or scissors
  • Chocolate hearts
  • Double-sided tape
  • Pen

Print your own Emoji Valentines for FREE here!

– Casey

**I saw similar emoji valentines on Pinterest, but I made these myself.**

Bookroo Monthly Children’s Books

burritobuzzbookrooOn a cold rainy day full of child activities and errands pulling into my drive and seeing this adorable little box propped up against my door was so exciting. I knew even though I was exhausted and wanted to crash coming home wouldn’t be stressful, and we would have a blast opening up our package!

BK#1 absolutely LOVED opening up her package. She got even more excited when she saw that it was wrapped up like presents. Christmas made our little threenager a PRO at opening gifts and very much aware of “presents” and meaningful gift giving! After we opened the box she exclaimed “Oh mommy, you got me a gift!  I love it”, and she didn’t even know what was inside! BurritoBuzzBookRoogift.jpg

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Bookroo is a monthly subscription box for you children. It is unlike any other subscripton box on the market right now. Not only is it a fabulous deal, but it is a company with a purpose. Bookroo helps the world at with their recycled (and recyclable!) packaging and their commitment to giving back through donating children’s books to children in need through Reach Out And Read!

The moms and owners at Bookroo’s mission is to enable and empower parents to build their children’s book collections in an affordable and exciting way through curated monthly book deliveries. They believe in the power and impact of the written word in the life of a child, and believe it’s never too early to start reading to children!30-minutes

According to the US department of Education reading to/with your child 30 minutes a day improves their intelligence greatly. Reading improves (future) academic performance. One of my new year resolutions was to read to my children more, and Bookroo is just another way to make sure that happens in a new and exciting way once a month!

Reading is an investment in your child’s future. Reading makes for smart, emotionally healthy, and confident kids. Bookroo makes reading easy.

There two types of boxes: Picture book boxes and Board book boxes. And there are 4 different packages and pricing rates. If you have children in two age groups you can simple tell Bookroo and they will alternate your boxes so you get something for each child every other month. screenshot-4

YOU CAN’T BUY BOOKS AT THE STORE THIS CHEAP! Even if you only do it one month at a time you are getting at least two hardback picture books for $8.95 a piece. I am seriously thinking about doing the year long subscription getting 24 book for $7.99 a piece. Not only are you getting books delivered to your door, but you are giving your child a reason to be excited about books and reading! I am 26 and I know I love getting packages, my toddlers love it 100 x’s more!

Each box contains either 3 board books or 2 picture books and the combined retail value of the books always exceeds the subscription price!

The books are always a surprise and hidden gems. The books they send out are extensively reviewed by a panel of 12 families attending Stanford University and their combined 22 kids. They rate each book on a 7 point scale and on its re-readability. Books that emerge as clear winners are sent out in the Bookroo boxes.

We received Sleepytime Me by Edith Hope Fine and Penguin Cha-Cha by Kristi Valiant.

Sleepytime MeA sweet little nighttime book with easy- to- learn phrases and gorgeous pictures to relax and get ready for bed!

Penguin Cha-ChaADORABLE and entertaining book for all ages. You follow a little girl around the zoo who is trying to understand the dancing penguins. Beautifully written and illustrated! his 

If I had to rate Bookroo on a scale of 1-5 stars they would 100% receive 5 stars! This subscription and company is amazing!  I cant wait till February’s box!


IF YOU WANT A DEAL USE THE CODE : AMANVELA  to get $10 OFF! 


Be sure to follow Bookroo on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to stay up to date on everything they are up to.

~Amanda

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Akron Children’s Museum. Cabin Fever No More.

1017541_582065261846428_877869030_nHere in Ohio its winter. Well, I think? It’s currently 50 and raining, so not the normal -15 F and a snowstorm, but still pretty gross. My kids are bouncing off the walls lately and I have been searching for something new for them to do! I know not everyone is close to Akron, Ohio, but if you are or ever find yourself near here,  this place is the solution! Akron Children’s Museum is more like a huge discovery playhouse than a “museum”. Don’t let their name fool you.

IT’S AWESOME!! So much thought was put into this and they aren’t even done yet. Some of you might have seen me try and go live Thursday morning, but Facebook/Verizon was NOT cooperating. You can see the general lay-out though ,and get an idea of what it looks like, even though  Facebook kept cutting in and out a lot.

Akron Children’s Museum’s mission is to be a gathering place for children and families, where play inspires exploration, discovery, and problem solving. ACM envisions a community shaped by lifelong learners, who provide innovative leadership inspired by creativity and diverse perspectives.

Beyond the museums exhibits  they have a calendar of events and activities booked full of fun things to get involved in! Things like little kids yoga, theater games, art studio and much more.

Not only are there awesome and educational exhibits, but they really went above and beyond to think about parents and families. There is a whole area to park strollers and hang coats. If you are a nursing mom or have a child that needs some quiet time there is a quiet room that has dim lighting and a few comfy chairs! 

The museum is located at 216 S. Main St. in downtown Akron, Ohio next to Lock 3 Park.
You can park in the State Street Parking Deck located at 52 W. State St. (behind Barley House). Take the elevator to the ground level, take a right to go outside, and doors to the museum are straight ahead. Out of the elevators you will be right inside of Lock 3. There are plenty of signs showing you the way to the entrance.img_2622

Open Tuesdays- Sundays 10am-6pm

$5 for kids and adults (infants 12-months and under free)

Annual memberships start at just $55 and include free parking.

If you have a family of 4 all requiring admission, the annual membership would pay for itself in 2.5 visits! With the ever changing calendar of events and their additions and continuing to build, it would be well worth it!

My kids and I LOVED Akron Children’s Museum! We will be returning! The only suggestion I have is a little more security. I was very thankful to have someone with me, but if I was alone with two children I would have been very concerned. It is a very open layout and a child could run off or be misplaced fairly quickly. I would love to see a few staff people just walking the floor with the sole purpose of keeping an eye out. The staffers that were around were cleaning and then running back into closets and to the desk to fulfill other duties.  The museum is  wesome, and we were very excited to return, but definitely with daddy or a grandparent to help wrangle those quick toddlers!

Be sure to Check out their website here for more information and to follow them on Facebook to stay up to date on all the awesome things they are doing for the community!   ~Amanda

Minivan Mama

I officially gained my “soccer mom” status this summer when we traded in my little blue SUV for a MINIVAN. And let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made!! It’s true love. I knew I 17194_600always wanted a minivan someday, because I grew up with my parents always having one, and it always just seemed like the most practical with kiddos. What I didn’t know is how much I would not miss my old car and absolutely love this van!

My husband I had been talking about them for a while and finally buckled down and started researching them after we had our second child. We were tired of not having a lot of room in the car especially if we needed to take any extra people anywhere. Two car seats take up a lot of space. We looked at several minivans on the market, but narrowed it down to the Toyota and Honda. We did have a rental Chrysler that we were happy with as well. After test driving, we were actually surprised at how easy the decision was with the Honda Odyssey. The vans were priced roughly the same, but the Honda just felt like it was made better. We didn’t dislike the Toyota (my hubby drives a Toyota Tundra), but the Honda was just better.

 

 

We waited several weeks for the specific model and color to come in that we wanted, but once it arrived, it was love at first sight. I was so anxious and excited that Saturday morning we were able to go and pick it up with the kids. Our 3 year old was excited for the “new van!” too. It was bittersweet leaving our old SUV, but there are new reasons every day why I am so thankful to be a minivan mama now . . .

Here’s a few of them . . .

1.       The automatic sliding side doors… need I say more?! I don’t have to worry about my kids or I banging any cars parked next to us with our doors. You know how loading and unloading our kiddos goes, these door make it a dream come true!! Because of the sliding doors, the opening is so much bigger than an average car door – WONDERFUL! The doors also open and close by the simple push of a button from either the key fob, by the driver’s seat, or on the inside of the sliding doors themselves.

 

2.       Not only is there more room in the doorways, there’s more room EVERYWHERE in this car. I can honestly say I’ve been a passenger in every seat and never once did I feel like I had no space to move. And if you need more room . . . You can MAKE more room . . .

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3.       . . . You can make that extra space because of the movable seats. I know this is typical with most minivans and vehicles with a third row of seats, but the way the Honda was set up was another big selling point for me. Our Odyssey has the option to have an eighth seat. All of the seats are removable (except the front), but with the Odyssey you can have an eighth seat in the middle of the second row. You can easily remove that middle seat of the second row to have 2 captains chairs and an aisle way to the back row, or you can leave it in place to complete the row and have an extra seat. The seat also folds down as an arm rest if it’s left in place. The third row of seats EASILY folds down into the trunk of the van. When we drove to the beach this summer, we opted to fold the third row down so we had TONS of room for luggage and could still see out the back window.

 

4.       Handles on the high way – We drove the minivan on the West Virginia turnpike on our way to Myrtle Beach this past summer, and it handled so much better than my husband’s truck the year before. We could set the cruise control and not have to waver and hit the brake on those winding highway turns.

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5.       Good on gas – I know the gas tank in the minivan is bigger than my tank was in my SUV, but I swear still that the van gets better gas mileage. According to Honda, the Odyssey gets 19 mpg on city streets and 27 mpg highway. Either way, its way better on gas than a huge SUV would be!

 

6.        Does NOT ride like a bus – I traded in a small SUV for my minivan. I had driven it for 5 years. I will say that I was the most anxious that the minivan was going to feel like I was driving a bus after driving my little SUV. I was so wrong. The van does not feel any bigger to me. I would say it sits up off the road the same height as my old car. Even though the van is significantly longer, I really haven’t noticed other than making sure I pull in the garage far enough. The back-up camera has made this easier as well!

 

7.       Bang for the Buck – I’m telling you, you cannot beat a minivan. Even if you have a small family like we do, it is worth considering. For some reason, they get a bad rap, but I can’t think of one negative thing to say about mine. Maybe I don’t look the “coolest” driving the minivan around, but that is the last thing I’m worried about. Most companies offer all the bells and whistles you can find in luxury cars and SUVs, so don’t think those options aren’t available in a van. It’s convenient, affordable, and I know my kids are safe – that’s what matters to me.

If you’re thinking about getting a new vehicle for your new family, growing family, or just want more seats/space, take a look at a minivan. Check out all the options. Take them for a test drive. I think you’ll love it! And if you take the plunge like we did and buy one, you won’t regret it!

-Megan

 

Chore Wars

Let’s talk chores…

I’ve polled this. I’ve asked other parents. I’ve googled the heck out of it…and it boils down to 50/50. I’ll start by saying my kids do chores. My (almost) 4 yr old dusted my cold-air intake the other day. It looked like garbage when he was done, and I re-did it, but he was so damn excited about it. img_4303

Parents who are for it said things like:

“It teaches them to work in a family”
“Chores raise kids to be better adults”
“Chores help kids understand important life skills”
“Children gain a sense of accomplishment”
“Don’t you have kids for free labor?”
“You have to teach them responsibility”

Now flip the tables:

“Chores annoy me as an adult, so I’m sure my kids would be annoyed and that’s emotionally damaging”
“They already have enough to do between sleepovers, playing outside with friends and homework”
“Kids aren’t adults. Housework is for adults”
“Kids need fun and fresh air. Not housework”
“Chores should be considered child cruelty”
“If kids do chores in their free time, all they will do it grow up to be housekeepers”

You ready for these two? These are by far the best most ridiculous answers…. brace yourselves:

“Parents who have their children do chores are just lazy and shouldn’t have to rely on their kids to do their jobs”
“Forcing someone to do work is considered slavery. Individuals should be allowed to choose what they do in life for their own gain. Kids are kids. Not slaves”

I can’t. I just can’t even entertain those.

915497.jpgAlright. So like I said, it’s clearly an equally debatable topic between us lazy slave drivers and the others. Just kidding. We’re not lazy slave drivers and I’m still baffled that someone even used that as a comparison.

Studies has shown and proven that children need chores. A professor from University of Minnesota, Dr. Rossmann, did a pretty extensive study on this whole topic. “Giving children household chores at an early age helps to build a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility and self-reliance…

She “analyzed data from a longitudinal study that followed 84 children across four periods in their lives—in preschool, around ages 10 and 15, and in their mid-20s. She found that young adults who began chores at ages 3 and 4 were more likely to have good relationships with family and friends, to achieve academic and early career success and to be self-sufficient, as compared with those who didn’t have chores or who started them as teens”.
So it seems that her study was pretty conclusive to the fact that us who enforce chores are in fact not slave drivers, we’re just raising a generation more likely to be responsible and successful. Now, I’m not saying that kids that don’t do chores aren’t responsible and won’t be successful…what I am saying… well not even what I am saying…what the studies are saying is there is a correlation between success and chores. 17787369286_0c5db0b3a5

Now, no one is saying to make your toddler scrub toilets and go outside and clean up dog poop… the key here is age-appropriate chores. This list is all
of the things that your child within that age range should be perfectly capable of doing… will it be perfect? no. will you probably have to re-do it the first few times? yes. Is it for their own good? Absolutely.

So trust me. You’re not a slave driver and your kids won’t be emotionally scarred from having to put their laundry in the hamper by themselves. Handling spoons and forks won’t kill them and dumping dog food into a bowl isn’t the end of the world.

Teach your kids to contribute. Studies have shown, it’s worth it in the end.

-Kirstyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shēdo Lane UV Apparel // SwimZip’s Sister Company {Product Review}

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I know summer clothing might not be on our minds, but the warm weather is certainly on mine! I am currently staring outside at a few inches of snow and a temperature that is well below my age. I do much better with the warmer months. If some sunset-beach-chairs-stock-footage.jpgof you are thinking about taking a weekend to the beach, I want to introduce you to some butter soft kids’ clothes! 

We aren’t planning a trip to the beach any time soon, but these polos are making some adorable layering pieces for my little man this winter.

Shēdo Lane is a brand new sister company of SwimZip (as seen on ABC’s Shark Tank), and I am so excited to be introducing and sharing them with our readers! logo.png

Shēdo Lane is a luxury sun protection apparel brand. Utilizing the highest rated, UPF 50+, UV sun protective fabric in complimenting styles, they bring sun protection clothing to its highest form.  Whether it is a morning walk on the beach, a playdate at a favorite playground, an afternoon cup of tea on the patio, or drinks with friends around the pool, Shēdo Lane keeps you covered from the sun’s rays – and looking your best. Shēdo Lane sun protective apparel brings together the function and fashion – so you can indulge in the sun and get on with living your dreams!image2_grande.jpg

We received a toddler 2T polo and found that it runs a little larger than a Carter’s 2T. It fits my little linebacker just fine because he’s so stalky, but on a slender taller toddler, it would be a little baggy.

The material is made from bamboo and it is soft as butter! I seriously wish all kids’ clothes were made this soft and supple. Perfect for snuggling, but stylish enough to wear on a night out! IPhoto087_300dpi.jpg have washed them multiple times and they don’t shrink or lose their shape in any way!

Not only do they offer toddler clothes, but they have clothes for adults!  Who doesn’t want to match their little one? I know I think it’s adorable! I have been eying the cardigan for woman and I will probably be putting it on some sort of wish list for my hubby! I have a feeling I will never want to buy any other brand of shirts!

My only complaint is that the clothes are priced a little high for babies and little ones. One polo is $25. For an adult, I would definitely pay that, but not for a simple toddler shirt. The adult clothes are priced well though. The cardigan I was talkingphoto41_300dpi about is only $40 which is pretty average for a woman’s shirt.

Overall, I have to give Shēdo Lane a 4 out of 5 stars! I can’t stop scrolling through their website, looking at all their comfy clothes! Baby clothes are seriously my weakness.

Have fun shopping!

Be sure to check out this awesome, family-owned company on Facebook and Instagram!

– Amanda

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

10 New Year Resolutions Every Parent Should Have

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Do you make a New Year’s Resolution every year and then falter when February 15th hits, and all the Valentine’s Day chocolate is 75% off? I know I do. I like to have goals that are measureable. Goals that I can make a list for and then a month or so down the road, I can see the progress that I have made. This year, I am making a new resolution.

I want to be a more mentally present and attentive parent.

There are many, many ways that I can do this, but I wanted to share my top 10 that I will be focusing on this year.oneI am way worse about this than I really like to admit.snapchatburritobuzz.jpg But if you sit back and think about it, how often do you actually turn your phone off? How often are you sitting on the floor with your kids and scrolling through Facebook? Or while they’re watching a movie and you’re reading through emails? Better yet, instead of playing, we are snap chatting with them? Gosh, I do this way too much. So much time is wasted playing with stupid filters. Technology is important this day and age, but we have to learn to limit ourselves as much as we limit our children. How often do you say “okay, that’s enough cartoons for the day” and five minutes later, you’re checking Facebook. Guilty!twoI plan on doing this outside of bedtime with my little ones. Not a book here and there, but sit down on the couch after dinner and deliberately focus on extended reading time. Reading is brain food. I hope that by enforcing consistent reading habits for my children that they will learn to love reading and their brains will flourish. You can read more about how important reading daily is here.three5c4135bdfa4c16b5878d7b7d04084dd1.jpgMy littles love being outside, as most children do. No matter how cold, wet, snowy, hot, muggy, or windy, I plan to get them outside to enjoy and experience the outdoors and encourage their love for nature, before they’re teenagers and I am begging them to go outside and do something!fourIhappiness-gratitude-jar.jpg want my children to have favorite memories and activities that we did during their childhood to carry on to their adult life. I am not sure what that will be for sure yet, but I know that we are going to start a “Happy Moments Jar,” planting flowers in the spring, and seeing fireworks in the summer.fiveSometimes we just get in our funks with life and forget that our tiny humans are watching us. Do more of what makes you happy and include your littles when doing it. Let them help you with your hobbies, involve them with things that you normally wouldn’t. As crazy as my OCD might be, I plan on letting my littles bang on the piano a little more when I am at it, having helpers when I bake more often, and maybe even letting them play with my yarn, that’s a big maybe. I wrote a post about choosing to be happy last year. Check it out here.sixNo matter what your religion or what you believe, it is important for children to have strong core values. Here at BurritoBuzz, we respect everyone and don’t really talk about our religions, but I encourage you to focus on what you believe in and what you want to instill into your children as they grow up.
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I have to admit, we have a pretty large family and our “village” for our children is pretty big, but my goal is to embrace it a little more and to lean on those who love us. Even more so to clean up oFind-Your-Tribe-Project-Bond-Laporte.pngur village. Focus on those who focus on us and try not to worry about things that I can’t control. I have learned that I can’t make family behave the way they should. Adulthood and parenthood made it easy for me to realize that friends come and go sometimes, and that’s okay.

eight.pngThis is a big thing for me. Marriage is not always easy and it is so important for our children to have a constant strong foundation to lean on. The only way that our relationship is going to grow, is to make each other a priority daily. It is fairly easy now. We are really happy and life is awesome, but life isn’t always awesome. I want to start having more regular dates and doing more things just daddy and I.nine.pngThe constant worry about the dishes, the laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, sweeping up the dog hair… it just never ends. The sooner that I give up and admit that fact, the happier I will be! I don’t want my kids to look back and say “yeah, mom always cleaned in her free time.” Uh, how about a reading a book or working on a craft? Or going for a walk? The chores aren’t going anywhere. Period.

il_fullxfull-229582580ten.jpgI mean really, just hop off of Facebook and Instagram for a hot minute and relax. Who cares when Johnny started walking or that your kid drinks mama’s milk and Sally’s kid drinks formula and cloth vs. disposable diapers. Fit and healthy vs. surviving on 2 hours of sleep. Top of the line baby gear vs.being a single parent with barely one income. Organic backyard farm raised vs. pop tarts and McDonalds. Working parent vs. Stay at home parent.facafd0804849d464c46d2c11eb8f2ea.jpg

Give it up. Being a parent is hard enough just from reading the pamphlets they send home with you from the hospital, much less if you are making a list in the back of your head about whatever everyone else is doing, what you think you should be doing. I do it, I’ll admit it. We all do it and we don’t even think about it. I’m taking a step back and focusing on how perfect our parenting style is and how my kids are thriving, smart, and healthy. That is all that matters in the end.

Happy New Year! I hope your goal is to focus on what you have and not what you need to do in the New Year!

– Amanda

 

 

Edible Won’t-Give-You-Salmonella Cookie Dough

I’m turning the BurritoBuzz table real quick and focusing on us adults for a second and not the children. Not that the kids couldn’t indulge too, but this was so good, I didn’t even want to share. There is no shame in that right?

I got this hankering tonight to make cookies. Although we LOVE cookies, we love cookie dough even more. Danny tried to convince me to whip up a batch of regular cookie dough, eggs and all, and he would be satisfied eating that. The only thing running through my mind was “salmonella” and that isn’t something that we need to contract ever, let alone right before Christmas, so I opted to figure out an egg-less cookie dough that we could legitimately eat right out of the bowl. Which we did.

What’s even better about this recipe is it took like 6 minutes  of my life to make and it requires ZERO baking

Ingredients:

1/2 c. of softened butter (thats 1 regular sized stick)
1 c. of sugar
1 c. of flour
2 tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Sprinkles…as many as your glutenous little heart desires.Directions:

Combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, almond extract and milk; mix well. Add flour and baking soda and mix until combined. Fold in sprinkle. Hide in closet away from children and enjoy!

img_4380Do it. Seriously. Like get up right after you’re done reading this (and sharing it with all your friends who will love you for it) and make some. My husband and I seriously ate the WHOLE bowl, watching a movie on the couch (C was asleep), in our PJ’s.

Let me know how you like it or any add-ins you choose!

-Kirstyn

Milestone™ Mini Cards {Review}

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If you ask my husband what my most prized possessions are (besides my children), the only two things I would make sure to grab in case of a fire – he would even go as far to say I would try to run back into the burning house for them, would be my daughters’ baby books. I write down everything; measurements, doctor visits, trips, every single milestone and first you can think of, I add lots of pictures and little notes, it’s all written down. Everyone said my 2nd daughter’s baby book would be blank, but I’ve made sure that wasn’t the case just because she’s the youngest. I make sure to write card5everything down for my girls so they know everything from when they were little in case anything happens to me. My mom passed away when I was 23, before I ever got pregnant, and I don’t have her here to ask when I got my first tooth or what day I started walking (my dad doesn’t have any idea). So when I find a company and products that make it easier for me to keep track of things for my kids (I love organization) and make it more convenient for me to write down the memories, I have to share it!

I recently had the opportunity to try out the cutest cards from the awesome company Milestone. Milestone makes sets of photo cards to capture and remember those special moments that made you smile. The first sets of Baby Cards by Milestone were printed in May 2012. Today, they’re sold in 22 languages in over 40 countries with new parents enjoying them every day, all over the card2world. Milestone offers several different cards, Baby’s First Year – Original and Limited Edition, Twins First  Year, Pregnancy and First Weeks, Fun Activities, The Early Years (0-4), Mini Cards – First Words and Quotes and even a Wedding Set to capture your big day! All of the cards are of great quality and are beautifully illustrated with adorable little animals and patterns. They’re designed in Holland and printed in Belgium.

Milestone is kind enough to offer free printable cards from their website! There are holiday cards for baby’s first Christmas or Hanukkah, Back to School cards, and even a card for My First Trip to the Grocery Store! Check them all out here and to print your own. Another amazing printable set Milestone offers is their free Premature Cards, available in 8 languages. With milestones like “I weigh 2.2lbs” and “I stopped using the ventilator,” these are huge milestones for8_5-milestone_product_mtc_packshotsmall little babies and need documented and celebrated! Download and print yours here.

I chose to try the Milestone Mini Cards ($19), which can be used to write down just about anything. First words and quotes, 100 small cards that I can use to write down all of the silly things my 4 year old daughter says. I had been writing down things (that I can remember) in her baby book, but this is much more convenient! On the inside of the box, you can right your child’s name and each child can have his or her own box of cards. I will be getting my youngest her own box once she’s older! You can put the cards in the box, in scrapbooks or take pictures of your little one holding the card, too. I jutwinsmainpicst keep her box on her top shelf in her closet and anytime she says something funny or something I want to remember, I just grab a card, jot it down, and I’m done. These cards are a game changer for me. I just wish I found them sooner! Check out all of the Milestone products to document your little one growing up here and visit Milestone’s global shop here!

Follow Milestone on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to stay updated on new products and sales! Make sure you tag your photos using Milestone cards with #milestonebaby and #milestonewedding on social media.

– Casey
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**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Make it a December to Remember

4708a49f89c43e9cd040e038d5ade059.jpgDoes anyone feel like they are on the brink of losing it? Like, all the time? This is what I have always wanted to do. Stay home with my babies, and take care of my husband, my kids, and my puppies. I wanted them to be my everything and for me to be theirs. And yet, now that it has actually happened, I still feel like I’m on this theoretical ledge all the time.

Amazing day or bad day, that ledge is right there. Just staring at me and threatening my sanity. Not everyone is as aware of that ledge as I am. Some people are, some parents have anxiety, too. I guess my question is, exactly how many? How many of us walk around trying our best and are still scared s***less 90% of the time? I d2836c2ad1fbea99ced26288a278f0f8pray, do yoga, have everything just right, and I am still wondering what else I could be doing.

Are they sleeping enough? Because I know I am not.

Do they watch too much TV?

When should they start preschool?

Is all the work I do while being a “stay at home mom” defeating the purpose of being here?

Did they hear me swear when I stubbed my foot on the table leg?

Will this be the horrible day that they remember when they are 40?

Did I encourage them enough?

How are we influencing them when we don’t know it?

Is my house clean enough?

Are they sick this time because I didn’t wash the bathroom enough?

What about the potential mold? Yeah, I should rip out the wall to check.

Are we making sure they see enough of their family members?

Am I spending enough time for myself so I’m the best I can be for them?

Did they hear the attitude in my voice when I was talking to my husband?

It. Never. Stops. Ever.c1d425c0e31df0a0bb531377ac6a98ca

Why did noone tell us about this? This never ending parent dialogue that is in our heads. Big things, little things, intelligent things, stupid things?

I have days when I feel like we are the best parents ever. We are doing everything right and giving them a better life than we could have ever dreamed of. There are also days when I wonder, “How can it possibly get worse than this?” Both toddlers screaming, both parents sleep deprived and snippy, both staring at each other like “How did this even happen?”…. and the puppy pees on the floor and runs through it.

My point? You are not alone.

No one. Parent or not. You have someone. And if you don’t feel like you do, then you certainly have someone you can talk to in me, and in this amazing little BurritoBuzz Community we have created.

During this Christmas season, I am challenging myself, and you, to treat yourself better. Take a step back and really look at what you have. I mean really look!

15203400_1343580815706208_7773401147009153584_nMy kids might  never sleep, but I have amazing kids to wake up to every single morning.

My husband might have a crazy schedule that I hate, but he is more than I could have ever dreamed of for myself and works so unbelievably hard for our little family.

My dogs might make my house messy, but they bring an extra level of love into my home that I just couldn’t ever replace.

My house might be older and need fixed from time to time, but we have a home, and a pretty perfect one at that.

I might have to go shopping before we have dinner, but we have money to go shopping with.

Bedtime is always a fight, but my kids enjoy life and don’t want to miss a single minute.  3bcfba4a5643ccb16f8443c63e1801ce.jpg

Turn your life around by flipping your attitude. Your life is no one else’s responsibility other than your own!

Parent or not, your attitude, your stress, your anxiety, and your outlook on life can only be changed by you.

It is Christmas time! Cinch that belt, because we all ate too much last week,  love yourself as much as you can, and love everyone around you. Stop beating yourself up, tell your subconscious to cool it, because it’s time to snuggle up on the couch and watch Christmas movies with your kids on repeat for the next month!

– Amanda

 

Book Review: Dreaming in Color {The Adventures of Oliver Poons}

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Author, Lauryn Alyssa Wendus, is at it again with a new children’s book featuring her star character, Oliver Poons! You might remember my previous review about Lauryn’s first book, Oliver Poons and the Bright Yellow Hat. If not, you can read it here! My daughter was nearly 3 at the time, but she really enjoyed the first book, so I was not surprised that she was excited to read another Oliver Poons book. Not only that, my younger son (16 months) was excited about the new “kitty book” too!

Lauryn does a fabulous job telling a simple, rhyming bedtime story about Oliver Poons and his pals working together to bring colors back into Oliver’s dreams. It’s a perfect story for little ones, because the rhyming keeps them interested. Kids are introduced to new animals and colors throughout the story, which is great, too. The same characters are brought back from the firsoliver-poons-dreaming-in-color-cover-600px-510x510t book of the series, so in our house, we often can’t read one book without the other. My oldest is into longer stories “with lots of pages, Mom!” nowadays, but she still remained interested in this book and I love that now my youngest can read along with us.

Lauryn’s mother, Lois Wendus, is the book’s illustrator and she does a beautiful job again in this second book. I just love the mother-daughter duo behind this series and their mission, “our products are designed to inspire a happy day and happy dreams for your child.” And it’s not only about their products bringing joy and smiles, but the Oliver Poons Children’s Company also supports children and animal rescue by donating a portion of their proceeds to organizations like Mission for Orphans, Inc. and No Kitten Left Behind. They also have a campaign right now (#YellowHatsforCats) where they donate a portion of their sales to various animal shelteroliver-poons-childrens-co-logos to raise awareness about animal rescue.

You can find both books of the series online in hardcover, paperback, or an ebook version. You can purchase the hardcover book for $19.95 on the books’ site or here on Amazon. There are other items available on the Oliver Poons website, too. Workbook learning activities, an interactive floor game, Oliver Poons artwork, and even the floppy yellow hat itself are available for purchase on the website.

These books would make a wonderful Christmas gift for any little one, especially those who adore cats like mine! You can feel good about giving these books to a loved one because not only are they receiving a fun loving, adorable read, but somewhere else another little kiddo or kitty will also be a little happier too!

Follow Lauryn and learn more about the adventures of Oliver Poons on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

– Megan

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Hi Little One {Review}

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BurritoBuzz moms love personalized apparel, but even more so, we love supporting small businesses.

Hi Little One is a company that we were introduced to recently and all too-excited to work with. Their products are made in the USA, their orders ship within 5 business days, and 10% of their profits go to fight pediatric cancer (you can read why here.)

Hand printed products with a modern feel? I was definitely in. I ordered two products, a t-shirt for my little man and a tote for myself.

Truthfully, I expected custom items like most of the ones I already had, with that filmy-plastic decal slapped on some scratchy cotton. I was pleasantly surprised and thankful that wasn’t the case with Hi Little One. Their tee’s are so stinking soft and the print was not a plastic decal, but instead printed on the material. Each of their orders is designed by a professional.

Custom design at a great price? Yes please!

T-shirts range in price, generally from $23-$29. Really, a very good price for a custom item. However, I have a hard time spending more than $10 on a child’s t-shirt when they grow so quickly. My son is just about 2 years old and wearing a lot of 3T and 4T things already.which means we’ve gone through an insane amount of clothing in under two years. Thousands of dollars worth, most likely. As a parent on a budget, I understand that $29 for a t-shirt might not be ideal, but I will tell you that these are adorable, high quality, and would make a great custom gift for a special occasion.

Totes are $19-$25, which is what I’d expect to pay on a tote anyway. I love mine. I throw all kinds of things in it, and just grab it and go. It’s super sturdy and will certainly last for years to come.

With Christmas quickly approaching, items from Hi Little One would make great custom gifts for the little ones in your life! They even have some great gift sets to make life easy.

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Be sure to check them out this holiday season and follow them on social media!

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

*Small Business Saturday is this week! They have some great deals going on, you don’t want to miss out!*

– Katie

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

 

Mouthguard Challenge: Game Night Just Got More Fun

Who doesn’t love playing games at family get togethers during the holidays? It’s so fun and a great way to connect with family you may not see very much, if at all, throughout the 51Si5d+l+yL._SX300_.jpgyear. Last year, Pie Face was a huge hit at our get togethers but it was extremely hard to get your hands on one. This year, Mouthguard Challenge needs to be on everyone’s wish list and is a must for your holiday parties!

It was created by Alex Mandel, funnyman Howie Mandel’s son, and the apple definitely did not fall far from the tree! Alex did not disappoint with this hilarious game! It not only contains speaking challenges but “extreme” challenges that are actually challenging, like drinking water without dripping on the table and who can eat a banana the fastest – way harder than it sounds! There are 51 specifically developed tasks, revenge cards and mouthguards included, along with rules of how to play. It’s super easy to play and can be played with 2-5 people and is meant for those 16 and older (not because it’s a dirty game, it’s family friendly, I think maybe because of the size of the mouthguards). Check out this video of my husband and I playing for the first time:

If you’re looking for something to spice up your holiday parties and get togethers this year or if you just want to add something fun and unique to your collection of games, this is the game! Find yours at Hallmark, select specialty stores, or here on Amazon for only $14.99 + free shipping with Prime. `At that price, you can buy a few more to give as gifts! Watch Alex and his friendmouthguard Roman do the Mouthguard Challenge here and see Howie Mandel’s Mouthguard Challenge video here! Your stomach will be hurting from laughing so hard! 

And don’t forget to follow Mouthguard Challenge on Instagram and Alex Mandel’s Vlog on YouTube for more hilarious videos!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Ivory Clasp {Review + Unboxing}

If you know me, then you know I love saving money and subscription boxes. Being a stay at home mom, and on a very tight budget because of having only one income, it’s not often that I am able to splurge on something for myself. Not only that, I generally have a hard time forking over money to buy something for myself when I could use that money to buy something for the yfix_fxtkids, my husband, or something we need at home. I’m certain I’m not alone in this, so I reached out to an amazing subscription box company called Ivory Clasp to review their service and products. I am so excited to share them with our readers!

Ivory Clasp is a monthly or bi-monthly subscription service, where for just $45 a month, you get a beautiful handbag valued at $100 or more, which is hand picked by their stylists based on an in depth style quiz you take when signing up. A $100+ handbag for only $45? Sign me up! The style quiz asks a lot of questions, such as favorite colors and your style preferences, but it’s super quick and easy. There is even a comment section to tell the stylists what they need to stay away from. For me, it was light colors because my children are little animals. The stylists were pretty spot on with the bag they chose for me, too. They picked a beautiful red leather Deux Lux boho bag with rose gold accents that can be a crossbody or shoulder bag, it is gorgeous! If you have someone that is hard to buy for this holiday season, an Ivory Clasp subscription would be a great gift! Like I always say, who doesn’t love the surprise of a subscription box? See the video of me unboxing my first Ivory Clasp box here:

Start your subscription by taking your style quiz here!

Be su1ee2c7bf1b524e828af29416489ee061re to follow Ivory Clasp on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, too!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

BottomZz Up Potty Training Kit {Review}

When we got the opportunity to review this product, I was super happy! C is what I like to call half potty trained. He will use the potty all day long if he is running around the house naked and if we’re out to dinner at a restaurant, he will ask to go potty. But our problem arises while at home, at the park, or anywhere else where is he preoccupied and focused on playing and having fun while wearing anything, a diaper, pull up, or underwear.

We’ve tried candy.
We’ve tried stickers.
We’ve tried ice cream.
We’ve tried what seems like everything.

He’s just not catching on. Part of it is lack of consistency on my part I am sure. Part of it is the week on/week off custody and his dad allowing him to still use diapers because it’s more convenient than having to do laundry in his eyes.

That’s where BottomZz Up come in.

download.pngThis system is amazing. Now don’t get me wrong, I had my issues with it and I will explain them in a second, but overall, fantastic! Is C 100% potty trained after a week with the system? No. Was there progress made? Yes.

Essentially what you’re looking at is the cloth diaper of the potty training world. The system offers cloth, washable, reusable training pants with an absorbent liner. The starter kit comes with a potty chart, stickers, a certificate, and a travel bag.

The Opening for the Liner. There is almost no wiggle room. I found that I was unable to get the liner in so it laid flat as I was unable to get my hand in to grab the other side and pull it through.

Sizing. C is an average sized toddler and I felt these were extremely small in the leg openings. This was part of the reason I couldn’t be consistent with him wearing them 24/7. They were far too tight on his thighs and he told me they were hurting him. When I took them off, he had pretty significant red lines where they were. There is no option (that I have found) with larger sizes when it comes to ordering.

Price. I think the pricing is a little steep. A box of 10 refill liners is almost $18 and a package of 3 underwear is nearly $50. If you want the whole starter kit, you would be looking at almost $100, but you only get 6 inserts. So automatically plan for another $18 purchase for more liners.

Reusable. I have a whole cloth diaper stash that I had for C and will use again for the next baby, whenever that may be. Not having to run to the store when you “run out” of diapers, pull up, etc., is super convenient.

Chemical free. 100% cotton undies and chemical free liners make it as safe and eco-friendly as it getsdownload-1Now, C peed in them the first time and realized that it was wet as it held the moisture in the underwear. We started bribing him with the stickers and he began going potty on the toilet. He kept them on during nap time and woke up soaking wet as they had leaked on the inner thighs. He had another accident in which they leaked in the inner thigh area too. We made due while at home, but I didn’t want to risk out in public with him in them if they were leaking. They do have a caveat on their site stating they may leak when sitting down, however, neither of the leaks were due to him sitting. But again, accidents happen. I think it has to do with the small gap between the fabric and the liner.

I think an All-In-One system would be a great change for BottomZz Up. Instead of having a removable liner, especially since you have to wash the underwear anyways, sandwiching the liner permanently between the fabric would possibly help stop the leaks and there would be no more struggle in trying to get the liner in.

Overall, I have to say 3 out of 5 stars for BottomZz Up. Innovative, semi-successful for potty training, but high in price and could use some tweaking when it comes to the liner. I would love to see some other sizing options!

– Kirstyn

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Save Your Sanity with Color Wonder from Crayola {Review + Contest}

Coloring with my cousins is one of my favorite memories as a kid. Growing up, we would lay down a blanket (as to not color on Grandma’s white carpet) and we’d color for hours at family get togethers. Now that I have kids, I want to foster their love of coloring, too.logo-img My four year old loves to color but doesn’t seem to understand that markers and crayons are to be used only on paper, and not the walls, the floor, her toys, and herself. We can all agree that Crayola makes the best art supplies and there’s a new reason why I adore this company: Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Coloring. All Magic, No Mess is their slogan and that’s exactly what Color Wonder is.

We received a package from Crayola filled to the brim with different Color Wonder products. I was explaining to my daughter that the markers only color on the magic paper and I told her that she could evdownload-3en color on the couch (meaning that she could take one of the coloring pads and sit on the couch to color), she of course took it as she could literally color on the couch. Thank goodness they’re magic and my couch is still intact with no marks! Each set comes with an 18-page coloring pad and 5 different color broadline markers that can only color on special Color Wonder paper. There are so many different Color Wonder products! They offer a ton of different character coloring book sets so little ones can pick their favorites, Paw Patrol and Frozen were a huge hit with my daughter! There are also finger paint sets, stamper sets, travel sets which are perfect for travelling and long car rides, art mats and totes, and muchfe026fb3-7366-4904-92d5-be181660d5de-jpg-_cb307702319_ more. Check out all of the Color Wonder products here! If you spend over $30 on Color Wonder products, you automatically get 30% off your purchase, no code needed!

I am incredibly thankful for Color Wonder markers! I hardly ever let my daughter color with markers, well, because they’re markers. I have OCD and a baby, so I can’t spend all day scrubbing marker off everything she decides to color on. We stuck with crayons for so long but now I can feel confident about leaving her alone with Color Wonder markers because I know I won’t come back to her with her face colored pink and the table purple and blue polka dots (yes, it’s happened before). It doesn’t color on skin, fabric, or furniture, and sets start at just $7.99. What more could parents ask for?

Be sure to follow Crayola on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for updates, new products, contests, and more!

Speaking of contests, Crayola is having an awesome contest on Instagram! It’s super easy to enter, just post a picture of your child’s messy moment that could have used a Color Wonder intervention on Instagram. Tag the photo #MessyKidsContest and tamessykidscollage2g @crayola in the comments to receive one entry! Winners will be chosen weekly until November 21, 2016 when one grand prize winner will be chosen. Learn more about the #MessyKidsContest here and read contest rules here.

  • (6) Weekly winners will win $250 in Color Wonder product.
  • One Grand Prize winner will win $1,000 in the form of a check.

What are you waiting for?! Head over to Instagram and enter to win now!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

My New Favorite Subscription Box for Little Ones: Bumby Box {Review}

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I love subscription boxes. It feels like my birthday every time one shows up at my door because you never know what you’re going to get (kind of like a box of chocolates, am I right, Forrest Gump?). I’ve gotten so many subscription boxes over the years for myself, our dog Mesa, my husband, and of course my kids. My favorite boxes to get has to be the latter, because I love all of the neat products they offer. My girls come before myself (I’m sure any mom can agree) and are spoiled as can be, so they have gotten quite a few bumby2boxes from several different companies. They all had different kinds of products and I liked each for different reasons. But I just received a complimentary subscription box from Bumby Box and I was completely blown away with the products we got in it!

Not only was our box amazing, but the company itself is awesome. Bumby Box donates toys to non profit agencies that provide shelter and childcare to families when they need it the most. They also only work with and promote environmentally sustainable companies that treat their employees fairly and pay them fairly, too. Bumby Box focuses on child development and each toy that is sent is supported by child development research. The toys are safe; they’re free of phthalates, PVC, BPA, and other harmful plastics – I love that I don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals, and they are also careful to only select toys that are manufactured with water of soy-based inks and bumby3paints to their safe to play with and for little ones put them in their mouths (which we all know will happen).

We received our box almost two weeks ago and I opened it up as soon as it was dropped off (like I said, it feels like my birthday when I get a subscription box – they should be called surprise boxes instead), my daughter was actually still at school. I kind of felt bad but I was eager to see what she got! We got a super cute and fun Haba game called The Little Orchard that’s actually made in Germany. Here’s how to play: there’s a raven that loves the cherries hanging on the tree (there are 5 of them) and there are 5 spaces to the tree. You roll the dice with pictures of flowers on it and whichever flower appears, you flip over one of the matching tiles – one will have a picture of a cherry on it – which you then pick a cherry and put it in the basket, one will be have a raven on it – you then move the raven one spot closer to the tree, and one will have a sleeping animal on it – you then have to be very quite not to wake the animal up (my four year old prefers to yell at it to wake up). The idea is to pick all the cherries before the raven gets to the tree. I love it because it helps with memory, you have to remember where theimg_2585 raven and sleeping animal tiles are so you know not to pick the raven. It also helps with recognizing and naming the colors of the flowers and it’s a game that everyone fries to find the cherries together, so it helps foster the “we” concept. It’s for children ages 3-8 and can be played with 1 to 4 players. It’s one of our favorite games to play together! 

We also received the cutest little mailbag from Child’s Cup Full, a company that offers educational children’s toys handcrafted by refugee and low income women artisans in the West Bank. At their artisan center, they train and employ talented women to make beautifully handmade educational toys. I love that they’re empowering women who live in such a male dominated part of the world. The little mail pouch is my daughter’s favorite toy that came in thebumby4 box. It’s adorable and comes with little felt envelopes that can actually fit little letters or objects in and close with Velcro. The letter and envelopes even have a “stamp” sewn in the top right hand corner. She loves walking around and giving us our mail! Check it out the mailbag here and see the rest of Child’s Cup Full’s spectacular toys here here!

The final product in our box may be the coolest one in the box, So Awesome’s Emotion Wallet Cards! The wallet cards feature 36 photographs and 36 illustrations of different children showing how we’re feeling today. My daughter loves looking at them and going through and tell me what each picture shows, like the little girl is sad, or the little boy is angry. The deck is durable, non-toxic, educational, and perfect for kids of all ages. They’re intended to show children a wide range of emotions and to help strengthen social-emotional skills. The deck can easily be attached to a diaper bumby5bag, backpack, or a stroller so they can be taken anywhere. We like to use them when we’re waiting a the doctors or in line at the store, they make a good distraction for my 4 year old. Be sure to check out all of their amazing Wallet Cards (they have bundles, too) and products here!

This is the most thought out children’s subscription box I’ve ever seen. I feel like everything was chosen specifically for my daughter and I love that. You can check out past boxes to see what other products have been sent out to get more of an idea for what you can expect in a future box. I highly recommend Bumby Box and they will make great gifts for family and friends! To sign up for your own box and to see what I’m raving about, use code BUZZ10 for 10% off your $49.95 one month subscription or save with a 3 month subscription for only $99.95! Deliveries can be skipped at anytime, so you can choose when you want to get your box! Click here to sign up!1465568479

Follow Bumby Box on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter for special promotions!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Lime and Lotus Organics: Daily Face Cream {REVIEW}

I’ve never been one to use a lot of products on my skin, let alone my face, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t  think it’s important to take care of it (especially when you’re young) so it looks good when you age! With that said, I was intrigued when I read about Lime and Lotus Organics and their signature Daily Face Cream. So many products nowadays are filled with harmful chemicals and added junk, it’s a wonder they are even allowed to be sold. It’s scary to think about some of the things we put in our bodies, and even though it’s “just our skin,” it is equally as important what we are putting on it because our bodies absorb it!

 

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Lime and Lotus Organics prize themselves on their high standards and pure products using only natural ingredients. A holistic doctor created Lime and Lotus. Her hope was to design products for both her patients and family that were not filled with harmful chemicals. She did it. The products made are free from synthetic chemicals, paraben preservatives, petrochemicals, phthalates, and artificial colors and fragrances of any kind.

 

I was able to sample the Daily Face Cream from Lime and Lotus Organics which uses “Shea Butter, Evening Primrose Oil, and Virgin Coconut Oil to hydrate and soothe your skin while ingredients like Organic Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E Oil, and 3444Bulgarian Damask Rose Wax help to reduce wrinkles, age spots, and lines.”  I have not used the product long enough to note any real improvements in my complexion, but I have been mostly happy with the product so far! The scent is light and refreshing with the primrose coming through which I enjoyed. Only a very small amount was needed with each use, and it was very hydrating. I’m talking hydrating to the point where my skin remained looking and feeling oily even with the small amount and rubbing it in thoroughly. I only ended up applying the cream once a day (instead of the recommended two times a day) due to the oily/over-hydrating aspect. I will say though that when I applied the cream after showering at night before bed, I noted my skin feeling silky smooth and looking fresh when I woke up the next morning. The oily glow and texture were gone.

 

Application of the product is super simple – Warm up a small amount of cream between your fingertips and then gently apply

 

 

 

 Lime and Lotus Organics packages their Daily Face Cream in small glass jars, which means they are BPA free! They also offer and 60-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their product. Please visit their website to read more about their products, mission, and to purchase your very own Daily Face Cream. It is also available on Amazon – Daily Face Cream.

 

You can also follow Lime and Lotus Organics on Facebook, Instagram, YouTubePinterest, and Twitter!

 

-Megan

 

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

 

Everyone Toilet Needs a Night Light

We all know not to turn the light on when going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The bright lights burn your eyes with the power of a thousand suns. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it really does suck to turn the light on when you’re half asleep, taking yourself or your toddler to the bathroom during the night. We have a dimly lit night light in our bathroom, but it doesn’t really do much to help us see any better. I recently had the opportunity to review a toilet night light from Yinuo and I can honestly say that every parent of a young child needs one!

It lights up the bowl with a rainbow of colors so bright, it makes a world of difference when going to the bathroom at night. You, or your child, can choose one of eight colors or it can be set to a rotation of all of the colors. It’s so easy to use, it just needs 3 AAA batteries (not included) and it easily attaches to the side of the toilet. The rod is adjustable to fit securely on any toilet. toiletIt’s motion activated and turns on for 120 seconds (a minute and a half). It’s very sensitive, just walking by the bathroom turns it on so you know it’ll always turn on when entering the bathroom. It’s also splash and waterproof, which I am so thankful for as I dropped it not once, but twice, in the toilet when cleaning.

I really wish I would have gotten one sooner, especially when we were potty training. It really helps at night and it keeps us safe being able to see what we’re doing. It’s even helped me. For some reason, I have an irrational fear of a snake being in the toilet bowl. It’s nice to be able to look down and see that there’s no snake without turning on the light and blinding myself. It’s on sale on Amazon right now for only $15.99 with Prime, so you’d save $14! Buy yours here! I promise it’ll help and your littles will love their new colorful potty!

– Casey

**BurritoBuzz received these products at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

The Original Squeeze Company {Review + Giveaway}

As parents, we all love the convenience of squeeze pouches. Whoever thought to put food in pouches for kids is a genius in my book and deserves an award of some sort. Whether they’re pureed baby food pouches for babies, or applesauce pouches for toddlers and big kids, being able to take the cap off and hand it to your child with no spoons involved is awesome. My big problem is they’re not cheap (as you all know I’m a cheapskate). Puree pouches cost more than a jar of baby food and you can often get a big jar of applesauce for the same price you’d pay for 4 pack of pouches. And if you want organic pouches, you’ll be paying a lot more. So why not make your own puree baby food or buy a big container of recipe151yogurt or applesauce and put it in a reusable pouch? I recently discovered a company that has allowed me to do just that! The Original Squeeze Company created the original reusable pouch and they were sweet enough to send me several of their products to review!

The Original Squeeze Company is a family owned company located in Idaho, started by mom Kristin Ahmer. Kristin created The Original Squeeze (for babies 6+ months), the original spill-proof reusable squeeze pouch that is made of durable silicone and is 100% toxin-free. They will last for years growing with your child, while also saving you money instead of purchasing one-use pouches! They make pouches for everyone, Original Squeeze with Eeeze for kids 2+ and the Sport Squeeze for all ages!

All Squeezes are:

  • Dishwasher safe (top rack only)
  • BPA, PVC, and Phthalate freepouch5
  • Easy-to-assemble components
  • Naturally non-stick for easy cleaning
  • Freezer safe
  • Come in several sizes and colors
  • Not for liquids

I received all three squeezes for my family to try. The Original Squeeze was perfect for my almost 7 month old. It’s available in 2 ($13.99) or 4 ($14.99) ounce pouch and several colors. The spill-proof nipple-like spout makes eating a lot less messy. My little one loves yogurt but is quite messy, as she likes to grab the spoon and try to feed herself, but with the Original Squeeze, it’s a lot easier and more convenient to have her suck out the yogurt. I’ve also made my own purees and spooning them in the pouch is super easy because the neck is pretty wide. My four year old loves her Original Squeeze with Eeeze. The spout is free-flowing, making it easy for her to get her yogurt, smoothie, or applesauce out. It’s available in 2 ($13.99), 4 ($14.99), and 6 ($15.99) ounce pouches and is perfect for school lunches! Its lid (that is attached to the pouch so you won’t lose it) allows it to be closed and not have to worry about it spilling out. I was sent the Sport Squeeze ($18.99) which is so awesome! It an 8 ounce pouch and is great for smoothies. If you work out, this pouch is a must for protein shakes! It’s flip-top lid is interchangeable with any Original Squeeze, too. The included carabiner attaches to anything, so you can just clip and go.

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If you have little ones who use pouches a lot or you just like the convenience of them without the high price, Original Squeeze products are for you! The quality is phenomefullnal and they will hold up through wash after wash. Since we received our pouches, all three of us have used them at least once a day. I love that you can also build your own Squeeze by choosing between 3 spouts (spill-proof, free-low, or flip spout) and ten trending colors. Little ones will love to pick their favorite colors! They’re super easy to wash and store, asor empty. The prices are a little high, but if you buy store-bought pouches often, it will soon pay for itself. Not to mention all the waste you’ll be saving our precious Mother Earth!

We love The Original Squeeze Company pouches so much, we’re giving away one of each to a lucky BurritoBuzz reader! One winner will receive: (1) The Original Squeeze, (1) The Original Squeeze with Eeeze, and (1) Sport Squeeze! It’s super easy to enter:

  1. Follow both @BurritoBuzz and @TheOriginalSqueezeCompany on Instagram
  2. Like the giveaway post
  3. Tag a friend (one per comment)
  4. That’s it!

The giveaway will start at 12pm on October 9th, 2016 and will end at 12pm on October 11th, 2016. The winner will be announced shortly after on the original giveaway post. Best of luck! **This giveaway is in no way sponsored by Instagram.**

Best sure to follow The Original Squeeze Company on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, too, for sales and new products! Check out their recipes for applesauce ble4pack300nds, yogurt blends, purees, and more here!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Barbie Lied

animated barbie childrens artA good number of us spent our youth playing with Barbies. Making them get married and have babies. They lived in their colossal Barbie Dream Houses, drove around their expensive Corvettes, and Barbie stayed home with the kids all while wearing her pearl earrings, with perfect hair, and perkier than ever boobs. Ken was rockin’ six pack abs and always brought home the bacon, all while maintaining their seamless landscaping. To say that Barbie didn’t prepare us for real life would be the understatement of the century.

Where is my mansion?

Why isn’t my hair perfect every day?

Where is my endless wardrobe?

Why is Barbie so unconcerned about her finances?

Why does my yard look like it’s straight out of Jumanji?

Barbie influenced us to believe that life was going to be the same for everyone. That we would all grow up to get married, have babies, and live the “American Dream.” Looking back, I wish someone had burned all of my Barbies and said “this isn’t real life.” Not only are many millennials not following Barbie’s lead, but we’re also coming to the realization that Barbie was a huge liar.

I am a millennial and in all reality, I followed the typical trajectory for a young twenty-something. I finished up my bachelor’s degree, got married a few months later, traveled a bit, bought a house in the city, and had a baby. I am the cliché of life. And while there might be some Freudian-subconscious-Barbie-impression shit going on somewhere deep in the darkest pits of my brain, this life is truly what I wanted, which is totally not to say that I don’t dream of what other versions of me I could have been at times. Could I have gone rogue and lived in South Africa or been a journalist for a prime time station or been a tattoo artist and shaved half of my head and had sweet ink up and down both arms? Definitely the latter. And, a tattoo sleeve could still totally happen sometime in between mom groups and my white collar job. 

But what Barbie didn’t prepare me for is the emotion that comes with changing who you are when you become a mother. Barbie convinced me that nothing changed. She didn’t teach me that my “mansion” (aka- century home that needs work) would collect dust. That my new tiny human would actually spend most of his first year not sleeping and spitting up on me. And that Ken would also be exhausted and that the Corvette would probably be more like an unwashed SUV with maximum storage for a stroller and baby necessities. Worst yet? Barbie had no less than 30 pairs of heels. Where are my designers shoes? These days, I care so little about heels that I spend most days in a nice pair of Dr. Scholl’s flats. Attractive, I know.

Barbie didn’t have postpartum hair loss. She didn’t have stretch marks or bags under her eyes from staying up all night. She was peppy and most certainly never wore yoga pants. She didn’t have an identity crisis when trying to figure out how to balance being a working mom. And she definitely never seemed phased by the criticisms that are christened upon us as soon as our tiny humans are born. Her bank account was endless and she never worried about paying for diapers, organic baby food, and tuition to preschool. Barbie’s house wasn’t littered with entirely too many toys. She and Ken somehow still enjoyed romantic vacations next to their Malibu pools and didn’t think twice about hiring a random babysitter to watch their kids.

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#MomLife

So here, in my late-twenties, I have serious misgivings about the impression that Barbie left upon me. And what I want moms to know is that it’s okay to be a hot mess. If this is the life you dreamed of, but you still don’t have it together day-to-day, welcome to the club. If you do have it together, please leave a detailed report in the comments so that the rest of us can figure life out. What I’ve learned in my year and a half of parenting is that you can be totally happy and also totally unprepared for life all at the same time.

And to Malibu Barbie, we say Bye Felicia.

– Katie

Essential Oils for Allergies {Lavender, Peppermint & Lemon by Young Living}

younglivingallergiesburritobuzzIf you follow my posts, then you know that I am a pretty crunchy mom. When it comes to my life, and my children’s especially, I try to use the best products available. There are so many chemicals surrounding us on a daily basis, so I try to limit chemicals and artificial ingredients that we put into our bodies specifically.

I found essential oils when BK#1 was little. You can read about Tummy Gize and how I use it here. I also use oils for teething, you can read about that here. Last year, I found a blend that works wonders for our family’s allergies. I have some pretty rough seasonal allergies, my husband has seasonal allergies and some specific allergies, and our littles definitely inherited them unfortunately. Thankfully, right now,  it just seems like the babies have seasonal allergies. Their pediatrician prescribed some over the counter allergy medication. They didn’t really help, so she then prescribed prescription strength medicine. After  some time, I didn’t see much of a change in symptoms even though my one year old was taking medication every single day. I consulted with our pediatrician and we decided to start exploring some natural remedies for their allergies before extensive allergy testing and medications.lrj2b.jpg

I started diffusing a blend of peppermint, lavender, and lemon and saw immediate results. Not only were the results immediate, but they were continuous. They are still working. Any time the kids are having any allergy symptoms, I diffuse the blend and their sniffles subside within minutes. As an adult, I not only notice my runny nose and sniffles disappear, but my sinuses are clear! If you have allergies, you know how amazing this feels.

***Before I go into how it works, I need to preface with the fact that I am not a Young Living rep, nor am I being paid to endorse Young Living*** 

I have done the research and tested multiple other brands. Young Living is the best quality and works the best. You can find many different brands at many different price points for your budget. But like most things, you get what you pay for. It is just that simple.

HOW TO USE

Apply:

  • Always dilute with a carrier oil (like coconut) for little ones.
  • Apply to base of neck.
  • Apply to bottom of feet and put on socks.
  • I apply Lavender alone on my cheekbones and bridge of my nose for sinus pressure relief.
  • You can also make a roller ball using equal parts of each oil for travel and to have the oil already mixed on hand.

YOUNGLIVINGBURRITOBUZZALLERGYSEASONDIFFUSER.jpgDiffuse:

  •  I diffuse for the kids 95% of the time.
  • I use this diffuser instead of an expensive one from Young Living and it works great and has never broken. (I have a Young Living diffuser that has died)
  • Fill diffuser to fill line with water then add 5 drops Lavender, 4 drops Lemon, and 3 drops Peppermint. I put the diffuser in whatever room we are in and it runs for around 6 hours before I need to refill.
  • Depending on the severity of their symptoms, I diffuse 24/7 or just in the morning when they wake with sniffles.

Ingest:

  • Add 1 drop of each oil to 1 teaspoon of local honey for children. For adults, use 2-3 drops of each oil.
  • It is an oil, so it will be a little rough on the pallet. Just use a chaser like a glass of water.

Peppermint and Children

Always be safe with your oils. Especially with peppermint. Peppermint is one of the most effective essential oils for respiratory infections and congestion, but it can be dangerous for young children. It can slow breathing, so be sure to always use a safe diluted amount. There are many different opinions and ages that are suggested. Some say don’t use under age 3, some say it’s safe as long as it’s diluted. Our pediatrician said that she felt it was safe if heavily diluted or diffused. I don’t apply blends with peppermint to my little ones, but there is plenty of research saying that if applied safely, it is okay to use. I just worry so much as it is, so I completely avoid applying it since diffusing the blend works so perfectly already. Please read more about oil safety here.

Fall is my favorite season, but our bodies don’t like the weather changes as much as I do. I am so glad to have found a natural solution! I hope this blend helps you as much as it helps my family.

– Amanda