Grippies: STEM Toys for Toddlers

g8311_6-1200x1200BurritoBuzz has talked about STEM teaching before, so elaborating on STEM, we’re bringing you a review on Guidecraft Grippies. I had not heard of Grippies prior to being introduced to them, but I was fascinated by the concept.

The toddler STEM building toy, Grippies® Builders, combines tactile exploration, magnetic play and an introduction to the basic principles of engineering and geometry. Grippies® use a unique, magnetic rod and ball configuration to provide a secure, frustration-free set of construction option as children first discover the joy of building. Unique in concept and design, Grippies® provide a fun, safe, and exploratory experience for toddlers. The 30 piece set features 4 soft matte textures in exciting bright colors. Suggested age: 18 months+

  • Open-ended magnetic STEM building toy for toddlers
  • Combines tactile exploration with magnetic play
  • Provides introduction to engineering
  • 30 piece set in exciting bright colors for $59.99 or a 20 piece for $39.99
  • Over-sized ABS Plastic rod encapsulates magnets
  • Accompanying metal balls are overmolded with soft plastic, with seamless texture for secure construction
  • Exterior features 4 soft matte textures
  • Winner of the Tillywig Brain Child Award, the National Parenting Center’s Seal of –Approval, Parents’ Choice Awards Silver Honor, and the Oppenheim Gold and Special Needs Adaptable Product (SNAP) Awards

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My son is 22 months old and really fine-tuning his motor skills at this point. Upon opening up Grippies, not only was my son fully engaged, but my husband and I were enthralled with building all kinds of structures with him. He quickly caught on to the concept of magnetism, so much so that he discovered that he could stick them to theg8311_lifestyle3-1200x1200 fridge, dishwasher, and cold air return grates. And while the structures he’s building now are fairly basic, I have no doubt that he’ll be engaged with Grippies for years to come and build much more advanced structures!

I was concerned about the magnets in these products, because magnets can cause serious damage (and death) if swallowed. I’ve been cautious throughout my son’s infancy and toddler years to ensure that small magnets are always out of his reach. Thankfully, the magnets in the Grippies are firmly stuck on the rods. While I tell my son to not chew on toys, he still does at times. Thankfully, the Grippies’ magnets have not budged. He is still always supervised when playing with them, thanks to my momma paranoia.

Grippies have proven to be a fun, educational activity for my tiny human. They keep him busy for decent lengths of time. My only true complaint is the price; they are overpriced for what you get. I’d love to see them have a lower price-point so all families could affordstem-logo-salsify-1200x1200 them. Check out all of Guidecraft’s awesome and educational toys here and Guidecraft’s STEM toys here! They will make great holiday and birthday gifts for any little one in your life!

Don’t forget to follow Guidecraft on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to stay up to date on all thing Guidecraft!

– 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 with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

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A Grinch Toy to Join your Collection!

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December 1st kicked of 25 days of Grinch-mas. What is Grinch-mas? “Grinch-mas is an annual holiday tradition inspired by Dr. Seuss’s classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! that encourages readers to “grow your heart three sizes” through the celebration of family reading, giving from the heart and community spirit. National Grinch Day, December 1, kick starts the 25 Days of Grinch-mas. During this time, bookstores and local retailers all over the country will be hosting Grinch-mas events that will incorporate holiday story times for families and opportunities for kids to win special prizes for doing good deeds throughout the month of December.”

Manhattan Toy offers a great lineup of Dr. Seuss plush animals, and today we’re reviewing their Light Up Grinch. The Grinch is a super soft, interactive plush for your little ones. By pressing the Grinch’s hand, the plastic read heart on his chest lights up (following the Grinch story line where the Grinch grows a heart, of course!)

My son loved playing with his Grinch. Because he’s not yet two, he’s enthralled with the small things in life still, and he was fascinated by the Grinch’s stringy hair because it was unlike any other stuffed animal he’s ever owned. He quickly figured out how to press the Grinch’s hand to make the heart light up, though I’ll admit that the button within the hand could be larger to help smaller children find/press it more easily. The button is tiny and I even struggled to find it inside of the Grinch’s hand.

This is a great Christmas toy to have on hand as you read through the story of the Grinch. The price point is a little high, sitting at $30. That being said, Manhattan Toy only produces the best quality items, and the Grinch is no exception.

Want to win your own Grinch? We’re giving one away on our Instagram page starting TODAY! Our giveaway will end December 6th at 8:00PM EST and ONE winner will be announced shortly after.

How to enter:

  1. Head to our Instagram page: http://www.instagram.com/burritobuzz
  2. Follow BOTH @burritobuzz and @manhattantoy
  3. Like the Grinch giveaway photo.
  4. Tag your friends! One friend per tag please, with no limitation on the number of friends you can tag.

This contest is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.

Manhattan ToyNeed another contest to enter? Manhattan Toy has a contest going through December 7th to win $50 to use on their website. You can enter into that by heading to their Facebook page and finding the Grinch post pinned to the top.

-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 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!

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Twitter

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*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.**

 

Winter Gear for Littles! {Review}

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Ohio. I have never loved living here.

Why? I hate the cold and it gets pretty cold here, 50% of the year at minimum. Love trudging through 2 feet of snow, scraping ice off of your car, and having frozen eyelashes? Then this is the state for you! I dread the cold months even more knowing that my toddler is going to be as stir-crazy as me.

We’ll still play outside, most certainly. This is my toddler’s first year as a tiny walking, playing outside human. Last year he was still super little in the winter and stayed inside. But now, he’s going to want to play in the snow. I spent some time researching outerwear for him and here are the options I ended up selecting (and loving):

614azyrukpl-_uy695_Boots: Kamik – I love Kamik. They are a great, sturdy, high-quality brand. While they aren’t the cheapest brand on the market, they are so worth the money. The Kamik boots that we bought are true to size, easy to put on/take off, insulated well, and they also have extra material to prevent snow/moisture from getting inside. They come in all kinds of colors, but we selected the basic black boot, which ran around $30.

Snow Suit: London Fog (Heavyweight Two Piece) – London Fog is a top-rated brand, as well. I did some digging before finally settling on this brand, but I’m glad that I did. The snowsuit is t81ddxtnixgl-_uy500_op notch. I chose the two piece because it’s likely there will be days we just want to use the heavy weight coat. The suit is thick and well-insulated, and ensures that your child will stay warm and dry. They put significant thought into the design of this jacket, making sure that arm bands cinch closed around the wrists and ankles. Price: Around $40, which is really a very good price for the set. Most jackets alone will run you $50+. Better yet? The whole suite is machine washable.

Have fun playing, and keep those little ones warm!

-Katie

MiracleWare {Review}

If you haven’t figured it out by now, the BurritoBuzz moms are in love with muslin. Muslin is a soft, breathable, non-shrinking fabric that our littles love to snuggle in. From wraps, to sheets, to towels and blankets, muslin is the way to go. Recently,we were introduced to MiracleWare, a muslin line of top-quality products in a variety of patterns and colors.

I decided to try out a handful of products: the crib sheet, hooded towels, and the security blankets.

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cribsheet-08_300dpiMiracleWare Crib Sheet: Two layered, 100% cotton muslin, stretch, breathable sheet. The sheet comes in a variety of colors and patterns. We opted for the elephant pattern. I was surprised with the quality of the sheet for one major reason: most crib sheets you struggle to get onto the mattress. There is nothing worse than struggling in the middle of the night after your little one has leaked through their diaper to quickly remove and put on a new sheet. This sheet, while fitted, stretches easily and stays put. The elastic band around the edge is thicker than most, keeping the sheet in place. Price: $29.95. It’s a little steep for what I’d typically spend on a sheet, but with muslin, you’re generally going to pay double, if not more. And truly, muslin gets softer with each wash.

748252313249-pic2MiracleWare Hooded Towels: I assumed these would be like most other hooded towels that I’ve used, but I was so wrong. The towels come in various quantities, colors, and patterns, but a two pack runs $33.95. The towels are slightly larger than most, which is great for my off-the-charts tall toddler. But the best aspect? The towels get softer and fluffier with each wash, which is not typical of a towel. They are the softest baby towels I’ve used thus far and they seem sturdy enough to last a good length of time. So, in my opinion? Get a two pack of these and avoid the other towels.

748252305541-pic4MiracleWare Security Blankets: A thin muslin square with a silk edge. Little ones love the silk blankets, but this one is idea because the breathable muslin makes it a safer option for babies. These blankets are just big enough to be a good security blanket. Price: $12.95 for a two pack.

Overall I’m very impressed with the MiracleWare product line. They have all kinds of great items, which you can check out here. These would make great baby shower and holiday gifts for the little ones in your life!

You can also find Miracleware products at Babies R Us!

– 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.**

Yookidoo Flow ‘N’ Fill Spout {Review}

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My nearly two year old son loves bath time! He usually has a few toys in the tub, and he splashes around for a good 30 minutes while we listen to Disney music. I had a few very basic bath toys and I noticed that he had lost interest in them. They were geared towards very little babies and with his new motor skills and interest in the world, I really wanted to find something that held his interest and made him think. After img_5248digging around the internet for a toy that was both intriguing and priced in my frugal price range, I elected to buy the Yookidoo Flow ‘N’ Fill Spout.

The spout is around $25 and can be purchased here on Amazon. I had actually looked in several stores for bath toys but didn’t have much luck. I’m a huge fan of Amazon Prime, and it was easy to order and read through a few reviews before purchasing.

The Flow ‘N’ Fill Spout is so unique. The spout actually pulls up bath water and creates a fountain. The fountain can be pulled from side-to-side and there are three different cups that the water can flow into. Each cup has a different effect: one has a turning wheel, one has holes in the bottom to create a kind of sprinkler, and the other has an interior cup that pops up when it’s filled with water. The cups are easily interchangeable and surprisingly sturdy.Yookidoo-Flow-n-Fill-Spout-3.jpgThe fountain is battery operated. The button in the center turns it on and off, and is large enough that toddlers can turn it on and off all on their own.

This has been a great investment and my only regret is not buying it sooner. My son’s mind has been totally engaged by this toy and bath time has turned into a great activity img_5200for fine-tuning my son’s motor skills. He is obsessed with the endless fountain of water and all of the things he can do to interact with this toy.

I hope to work with Yookidoo more in the future and bring our readers additional reviews! With our holiday wish list rapidly growing, we’d love to review a few more of their toys before all of your holiday shopping is done!

– Katie

 

Take it Easel!

81j5anyp4ll-_sl1500_It’s no secret that the BurritoBuzz moms love B. toys. We’ve talked about a few of their awesome toys in the past, and we think so highly of them because of their incredible durability, uniqueness, and quality. Not only that, the toys are also educational and many help with fine-tuning motor skills.

I recently had the opportunity to review B. Toys “Take it Easel” – a portable drawing station for toddlers and young children. The easel folds into a carrying box, so you can store your child’s markers, chalk, and other coloring tools. The board has a chalk side, dry erase side, and a clip to hold paper. It also comes with a set of vibrant dry erase markers and an eraser, as well as a set of chalk. The case is colorful and easy to use, and my 20 month old son has had a blast fine-tuning his new drawing skills.

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It runs between $30-$40, depending on where you buy it. Available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and some Target stores also carry them.

The quality of the easel is good. I did, however, have some issues getting the stand to easily clip and unclip. While not terribly difficult, it did take some force.

The carrying handle makes it simple to tote around and by leaving the case folded up, you can actually give your toddler something to do in the car since the top piece is a drawing board. There is ample storage in the compartment, we have yet to fully fill it up, even with all of the markers, paper, and chalk we’ve stashed. B. toys designs are always fun and vibrant, and this case is no exception. It makes for a great addition to any playroom and has certainly aided my son in working on his drawing skills (though, he hasn’t quite decided which is his dominant hand yet).

Here are some of my son’s fantastic artwork that he created using the Take it Easel and some Color Wonder paper and Color Wonder markers!

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Want to win a Take It Easel of your own? Here’s your chance! With the holidays approaching quickly, this would make a fantastic gift for that special little one in your life. Here’s how to enter:

  1. Head over to our Instagram page here.
  2. Like our original “Take it Easel” giveaway photo.
  3. Follow both @burritobuzz and @mybtoys – we will be triple checking!
  4. Comment on our photo by tagging a friend! One tag per comment please, with no limitation on the number of tags!

One winner will be chosen to win a Take It Easel! Giveaway begins on Tuesday November 1, 2016 at 8AM and ends Monday November 7, 2016 at 8:00PM EST. Good luck! **Instagram has in no way sponsored or endorsed this giveaway.**

– 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.**

 

Manhattan Toy Storybook Castle {Review + Giveaway}

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BurritoBuzz is gearing up to share some great reviews to help you with your 2016 Christmas shopping. We know, it’s too early for Christmas shopping, it’s not even Halloween! But we want to give you plenty of opportunity to read our reviews and enter our giveaways.

So here’s another really amazing toy: The Manhattan Toy Co. Storybook Castle

This castle is an award-winning toy and after seeing my toddler play with it, I can totally see why. The castle has quickly become one of my son’s favorite toys. We’ve been adding more and more wooden toys to our toy collection for a few reasons: they’re infinitely less obnoxious than the electronic plastic toys that seem to ceaselessly need batteries, they hold up exceptionally well, and they strongly promote fine motor skills.

Four quadrants of castle-themed activities features gliders, gears, bead runs, snapping crocodile and more to support motor development.

  • Ages 12 months+
  • Measures 18L x 20.8H x 18W in
  • Measures 45.3L x 52.7H x 45.3W cm
  • All wood toys have non-toxic water based finishes.
  • Surface wash only
  • This product meets or exceeds EN71 and CPSIA safety regulations
  • The castle runs around $100 and can be purchased here

I remember playing with wooden toys as a child and my dentist’s office had many of them. I actually looked forward to going to the dentist just so I could play with their cool toys. Wimg_2184hen I first started introducing wooden toys to my son, I assumed he would be disinterested because he had so many loud, engaging electronic toys. But I was so wrong. He plays with his wooden toys quite a bit more and they keep him busy. The intricate movements of the various moving parts really make him think.

This castle has four quadrants and each quadrant has moving parts. There are sliders, parts that twist, caricatures that spin or move forward, backward, and side to side. Each piece moves in a different way, meaning that toddlers have to spend some time figuring out the motions. All of my pieces worked quite fluidly, with the exception of the princess and knight that move along the main baseboard. For some reason those pieces were tight and didn’t move well. My son especially loved the sliding door and flag, as well as the crocodile attached to the main board.

Putting the castle together was a little more difficult than most, but it only took me around 30 minutes from start to finish. I struggled with the screws and just gave in to the power drill. The pieces all fit together perfectly, but because of the setup of the quadrants and the top screws, I found it awkward to fully get the top screws in.

Overall, this product is really thought out. My son has been engaged for hours upon hours playing with this castle. It’s the ideal height for him to sit, kneel, or even stand to play. It is sturdy, and is increasingly helping him with his fine motor skills.

Want to win the Storybook Castle?

Here’s your chance! Head over to our Instagram page here and follow these easy steps:

  1. Like both @BurritoBuzz and @ManhattanToy, we will be triple checking!
  2. Like our giveaway photo!
  3. Tag as many friends as you want! But only one tag per comment please.
  4. That’s it!

Giveaway will begin on October 24, 2016 and ends on October 31, 2016 at 8:00 PM EST. A winner will be announced shortly after. **This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram**

Good luck!

– 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.**

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

BurritoBuzz’s Favorite Books {Holidays 2016}

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The parents at BurritoBuzz love books. Each of our moms here at BurritoBuzz really enjoys reading with our little ones in our personal lives, so we thought we’d offer some suggestions of our favorite board books for babies & toddlers! (Because we all know that board books are just infinitely more likely to survive the wear and tear that comes with having little ones…) Reading to our young children has proven to be exponentially beneficial. You can read more about that here.

So, without further hesitation, here is a quick list of some of our favorite board books! Most of these can be easily found on Amazon. With the holidays quickly approaching, a new book makes a great gift for any child in your life!PicMonkey Collage.jpg

  1. The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

  2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

  3. Any books by Sandra Boynton, but in particular: Puppies, Oh My Oh My Dinosaurs, Pajama Time, The Belly Button Book, But Not the Hippopotamus,  Snuggle Puppy, Happy Hippo, Angry Duck, Opposites

  4. Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin

  5. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

  6. First 100 Words, First 100 Animals by Roger Priddy

  7. BabyLit books by Jennifer Adams

  8. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

  9. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. + John Archambault

  10. Peek a Who by Nina Laden

  11. The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss

  12. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

– Katie

What is your parenting truth?

Parents aren’t perfect.

Sometimes it’s so painfully evident.

At BurritoBuzz, the intent is to make parents feel like they aren’t alone, to offer some guidance, and to show that parenting in its rawest form is pretty rough sometimes. The endgame: we all love our little ones so stinking much that we’d do anything for them. Most of us are just trying to be the best possible person for them every single day. Are all days perfect? Definitely not.

So we want to share some of our imperfections. We want to shine a light on the humorous side of parenting. Tell us your stories of your imperfect days. Your comical days. The days when you haven’t had time to shower and the T.V. is babysitting your kids. We want to hear it all.

We plan to compile an anonymous list of parenting woes and post it here on BurritoBuzz. So leave us your stories! Head over to our welcome page and at the bottom you can submit your truths.

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Why you need to stop judging parents in the public with their children

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Life with little ones.

Unpredictable.

I’m the mom that’s out in public, sympathizing with the parents of screaming children. While my 19 month old son is exceptionally well-behaved in public, he’s had his moments like every child does. Having only one child, I’m able to be vigilant about damage control. One parent, one child. I can usually calm him down, entertain him, or get through our ventures a little faster to keep him content. If he’s really unhappy and going to go into full on tantrum mode, I promptly leave. But add more children in the equation? I’d certainly not be able to control the situation.

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That being said, guess what world? Parents need to go out just like anyone else. We need groceries, stamps, we need to go to doctor’s appointments. Just like anyone else, going out is not optional. And why should we avoid going out? If anyone needs to avoid cabin fever, it’s those trapped talking with babies and toddlers 24/7, watching Minions endlessly, and cleaning up mashed Goldfish crackers from the carpet. We need to know that a world still exists outside of our life of parenting little ones.

Just a few weeks ago, I found myself in an odd situation. I was on my lunch break from my part-time job at one of my favorite local restaurants. The table in front of me consisted of two middle-aged working women, also on their lunch break I’d assume. Behind me, there were two moms and several little ones ranging from infant to 3 or 4 year olds. The children were restless, not sitting down, a toddler was taking her shoes off and joining other tables to see what other patrons were up to. My own parenting style wouldn’t allow my children to bother other paying customers, but I was not irritated, upset, or put-off by the children at the restaurant. The mothers there, were obviously outnumbered. One had a leg cast up to her hip. The two working women at the table in front of me were beyond irritated and made plenty of snarky comments. I suppose they were waiting for a reaction from me, as the one small child kept coming over and hanging out with me.

But they didn’t get a reaction from me.

Instead, I talked to the little girl and let her sit at our table for a few minutes.

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Children do not come programmed with emotions. And parents aren’t perfect. While children should be taught how to act in public, it’s not an overnight process. This was a family-friendly restaurant, not a place where you should expect to dine quietly or without some small annoyance. I often find myself conflicted about going out in public, especially to restaurants, where I fear that my toddler’s unpredictable moods could impact the experience of other customers. More recently, I’ve gotten over the fear of judgement and just done it.

Our littles can’t learn how to act in public if they aren’t allowed in public.

I think that people forget what it’s like to have children or have simply not been around them a lot. The level of annoyance that I see on a daily basis caused by small children is astounding to me. Most parents, myself and my husband included, are doing the best we can to raise a responsible, kind, considerate little person. I’m guessing it will take around 20 years.

So, the next time you’re in public and annoyed by a child that isn’t perfectly well-behaved, do yourself a favor and choose kindness over judgement or harsh reaction.

Sometimes all a parent needs to get through the day is a smile from a stranger when their toddler is refusing to leave aisle 2 in Target.

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pediped Kicks!

I have a very active 19 month old son. He runs, climbs, crawls around and because of that, he needs some sturdy, comfortable shoes. BurritoBuzz has reviewed pediped water sandals in the past. But as much as it pains me to say, fall and winter are quickly approaching in Ohio and it’s time to change out our sandals and flip flops for shoes and boots. 

So here’s a recommendation!

pediped offers a wide variety of shoes. Their selection of sizes, colors and styles is vast. We decided to try out the Flex shoe for my son.

Some details about the Flex shoe:

  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Flexible rubber sole
  • Casual style with Velcro closure
  • Fit: Runs 1/2 size larger than normal size. I found them to be pretty true to size, but they have extra insoles as part of their Flex Fit System — see below).
  • Approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association for promoting healthy foot development (super important for little ones working on their walking/running skills).

Technology:

The Flex Fit System™ provides additional insoles that can be inserted for a snug fit then removed for room as your child’s foot grows. The insoles can reduce shoe size by almost half a size, extending the life of the shoe.
Machine Washable shoes can handle the playground and the washing machine, so they are easy to keep clean and smelling fresh.
Vegan shoes are made with no animal products or by-products.

The pediped Flex shoe exceeded my expectations. My son has a rather large foot and large in-step. The only shoes I’d found that were easy to get on his chunky feet were Keens, and Target’s new Cat + Jack brand. The pediped shoes are even easier to get on that the brands I had been using. There are two velcro straps, which both easily come loose. The nice thing about the straps, unlike other shoes that he has, is that there are tabs to keep you from pulling the strap all the way out and having to rethread it.

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Though the shoes are new, they are loose around the sides similarly to a pair of shoes that has been broken in. This is definitely a plus, because those tiny toddler feet don’t handle new shoe blisters well that usually come from tight, new shoes.

The shoe is cushioned and form-fitting. The grips on the bottom are better than most, which is ideal to help little ones grip the floor more easily.

These washed well. I don’t typically dry my toddler’s shoes, because they shrink and when toddler shoes cost as much as a pair of adult shoes, I prefer to make them last.

These shoes are $57.00 on the pediped website. While I love the shoes immensely, I’d like to see a lower price point geared towards the typical American middle-class family. I typically spend $30 on a pair of shoes for my toddler and because he needs 3-4 pairs of shoes per year, I can’t justify spending nearly $60 on a regular basis. That being said, vegan shoes are typically quite a bit pricier than the average shoe  and this is no average shoe.

BurritoBuzz gives pediped serious props. Their shoes are high quality and our littles love them. Make sure you follow them on social media, too! pediped will be apart of our huge 1st birthday giveaway coming up at the end of September. Get a jump start and head to their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and show them some love!

– 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.**

Postpartum Back Pain and the Ghostbed

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During labor and delivery, it was discovered the my son’s umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and he was facing up. The combination meant that his heart rate kept dropping dangerously low. After several hours, a positioning specialist came in to try to find a position for me to loosen the cord around his neck.

Needless to say, it was uncomfortable. I’d already had my epidural and couldn’t feel the limitations of my body very well.

After having my son, it was discovered that I likely had a fractured tailbone, in addition to a messed up SI joint and my hips were out of alignment.

All of these problems are unfortunately still lingering. I find myself in rather extreme pain at different times and I realized that some of my lifestyle choices were not helping. My mattress was one of the biggest culprits. 

We finally made the decision to find a new mattress. It was a very necessary decision, since we were still sleeping on the $200 mattress I’d bought when I moved out of my parent’s house after high school (yikes). We were overwhelmed with information and suggestions on mattresses and it’s no small purchase, so we wanted to be informed consumers.

We finally selected the Ghostbed for its great reviews, moderate price, level of firmness and quick shipping. The mattress also has a cooling top layer.

  • 100% Designed and Manufactured in the USA
  • Cooling Technology + Memory Foam
  • 20 Year Warranty
  • Firmness Rating of 6.5
  • 101 Night Sleep Trial
  • Free Shipping
  • It comes in a box (don’t be skeptical) and it’s vacuum sealed. The box is heavy, but the mattress expands fully in 24 hours (but can be slept on immediately).
  • Plush Cover
  • Optional Box Spring + Pillows

After much review, this mattress was indefinitely the right choice for us.

The box arrived quickly and after getting it to our second floor, we opened the box/bag and it expanded rapidly. It’s firm, but not too firm. It supports my body in all the right places and it truly stays much cooler than a typical mattress.

I wear a FitBit regularly and my typical sleep pattern is pretty rough. Generally waking fully 3-5 times a night and restless 20+ times. My FitBit quickly showed the changes in my sleep patterns after switching to the Ghostbed. The first few nights, I was awake 1-2 times,and restless fewer than 10 times. That is a huge improvement. Not only that, but my lower back pain was reduced dramatically in the morning. Life changing. 

I am a Ghostbed believer. I hope that it holds up for as long as it says it will, because I’m addicted. I look forward to bed, not that I didn’t before, but now I feel like I could hang out in my bed all day. gb-mat-deco.png

Ghostbed is affordable! We bought a King size for $875. Very reasonable in comparison to some of the mattresses running around $4,000 with much worse ratings.

I 100% recommend Ghostbed and am so thankful for reduced postpartum back pain!

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Want to try it for yourself?

Here’s a $50 coupon!

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– Katie

B. toys {You Need Them!}

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I love playing with my 19 month old son. Sometimes, he’s more entertained by a cartoon than he is by me, but for the most part, he really enjoys to play. And when he gets a new toy? All the better. Watching the wheels turning in his head as he figures out how a new toy works is amazing to see. How truly astonishing it is to see these tiny beings start life unable to hold their own heads up, to being able to walk and run and play within such a short time.

So, as a family on a budget, I try to get him new toys every once in awhile so that we don’t break the bank. I love toys that are educational or sensory, and toys that are also sturdy and for a decent price. That’s where B. toys come in! B. toys is an award winning company, and their toys are coveted by parents for a reason: they truly are phenomenal. My experience with B. toys up to this point has been entirely positive. With Christmas creeping up pretty quickly already (I saw stockings out yesterday), I wanted to start giving parents some ideas for their little ones!

So let me start with a few of the basic “must haves.”

5134nw3rvtl-_sy300_My son’s first B. toy set was the “One Two Squeeze” block set. This was one of his first gifts as a little guy. While he was really little at the time, he liked to chew on them (and everything else he could get his hands on). As he grew, he started to stack them and knock them over. Each one is numbered and a different color, and they also have sculpted animals and shapes. These remain one of his favorites to play with. Such a simple and fun toy, and he can sit and stack them and knock them over for a great length of time. Price: $10-$15, depending on where you purchase them.

detail01A few months back, I purchased the “Alpha B. Tical” puzzle set. This helps children learn the alphabet, colors and sorting. Each letter block fits into a coordinating space. The spaces each have a photo that aligns with the letter. I remember having puzzles like this when I was little, so perhaps I was being nostalgic when I was purchased it. My son is a bit too young to truly get the hang of his ABC’s, but there’s no harm in starting early! And his sorting skills are pretty fantastic. Price: $15-$18.

My son is obsessed with toys that can be pulled along behind him on a string. So obsessive, that it’s a daily occurrence in our home for us all to be walking in circles for an hour with a puppy on a string. It’s probably his favorite activity and I’m not stopping him because it’s great for his physical activity (and mine). Up to this point, we’ve only had two drag-along dogs. I won’t mention the brand, but each of them is excessively obnoxious. One squeaks and the other is both loud against our wood flooring, in addition to it barking and singing as we go in circles. So when I discovered B. toys the “Happy Go Puppy,” I was incredibly anxious to give it a go. Their drag along dog is not electronic (a huge plus for me, no excess noise, no batteries), and the wheels have a rubber rim that allows for fairly quiet dragging. The string is the perfect length for a little one. My son initially had some issues dragging the puppy along without tipping it over, but he quickly got the hang of it and actually chooses this puppy over his other two loud ones (thank you, B. toys for saving some of my sanity). Price: around $10.

The “Bouncy Boing Bizzi” is super fun. This bumble bee jumper keeps my hyper guy entertained. He likes to carry it around from room to room. I’m not sure why he’s so entertained by the stinger on the bee’s rear end, but the whole toy cracks me up. It’s a great exaggeration of a bumble bee and seeing my toddler jump around on it is entertaining. The bee comes with a pump and it took a minute or two to get it blown up. The bee is extremely durable and seems to stand up rather well to even pretty rough play. It’s an adorable design and a great addition to our play room.

And last but not least, my very favorite, the “Zany Zoo” activity cube. I kid you not, I played with this activity cube for hours with my little guy when it first arrived. There is so much on this cube that he was enthralled by each new activity. All four sides have different activities that require coordination and intent. The top is a combination of movable animals and wooden blocks that glide back and forth. In the world we live in where it seems like “screen time” is the go-to activity, seeing my son so completely engaged with this wooden toy really made my heart happy. This activity cube is thought out so incredibly well. Each activity is engaging, but the level of detail is meticulous and well-planned. The corners of the cube and the small wooden doors are even rounded off to avoid nasty cuts and bruises should your little one fall. Price: $50-$75. And make sure you click through these photos to see each of the sides and features of the cube!

I could not be more pleased with B. toys. These are toys that are durable and can be passed down from generation to generation. Thank you to B. toys for creating such thoughtful toys to engage our little ones!

Like what you see?

Keep an eye out, we’ll be having a giveaway with B. toys soon!

– Katie

B. toys donates a portion of each toy purchase to Free the Children.

**BurritoBuzz received some of 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.**

Momma’s Little Helper Day Planner {Review}

14248846_1255458487851775_780646304_nAs parents, we know that time management is essential. So essential that we write things down, put alarms on our phones, put sticky notes throughout our homes, we sync our phone’s calendars with your spouse’s and if you’re like me, you also put everything into a physical planner.

Maybe it’s overkill, maybe I am crazy, but this mom-brain that I have going on is no joke. It starts out as pregnancy-brain because your tiny little human is sucking out your brain cells, and then it turns into exhaustion that I am pretty sure is never ending.

I couldn’t have been happier when Momma’s Little Helper contacted us! With the school year starting, I have zero time to forget things and my old planner was just about done.

This day planner is not like any other because it was made specifically with busy moms. From cover to cover, it is detailed and designed to make your life easier!

13227678_1680849522171169_5007254839125998006_o.jpgAbout this awesome day planner:

  • It comes in two styles, flowers and damask.
  • “Academic planner.” There is plenty of room to write down assignments and projects you have to help your kids with, as well as school functions, classmate info and much more.
  • Plenty of space for your agenda & notes
  • Pockets on the inside of front and back covers.
  • Notes pages for each month unlike most planners with just a small column or one page in the back.
  • August 2016 – July of 2017 and their 2017 January to December daily & weekly planners will be available in October 2016.
  • 240 pages gives you plenty of space to write down to-do lists and whatever else you may need.
  • Inspirational quotes and tips on every page.
  • Awesome price! Currently it’s only $12.95.
  • For stay at home moms: my planner stays in my diaper bag or purse almost 100% of the time. I like to physically write things down to help me remember them. I like that there are pages for emergency numbers, household contacts and family medical information. If I leave my kids at the sitter’s or a sitter is at my house, I can simply show them where to find the info without having to worry if they know everything in case of an emergency.
  • It’s small! It is only 8.5″ x 6″, so it fits in most purses and diaper bags. The pockets are the perfect size for receipts, notes, coupons, whatever odds and ends you might not want floating around your bag.
  • Space for to-do lists and other lists right inside the planner
  • For working moms: (Katie here, your resident working mom, busy body) I utilize a planner every single day. Not only would I lose my mind without a physical planner, but I also love to look back at my old planners and be nostalgic (you know, about years when I was busy going to the movies and on dates instead of arranging child care and pediatric appointments). I plan my life months in advance, so it’s ideal to be able to have a paper planner in front of me so that I can quickly flip to a date to see what I already have planned.
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Nice, long columns for all of the important stuff I need to keep track of!

Likes: the front pocket. The front pocket of my planner usually contains all kinds of chaos that has been paper-clipped in. Now, I have a nice little pocket to hoard all kinds of ridiculous things in. The detailed front pages are fantastic. While I personally will never utilize any of the cooking tip pages (trophy wife of the year, I know) I’m sure plenty of other moms will love these pages. The tips at the top are fabulous. I love random trivia anyway, so I really love seeing it on each page. The layout is great and leaves plenty of space for details, and the quality of the planner is also really good.

Dislikes: I wish this planner had tabs like my current one does. Each month in my current planner has an easy-to-find tab that makes flipping through really easy. While this isn’t a huge downfall, it’s a nice perk and would be great to see in the next edition of this planner. Also, I find that this product could easily be marketed towards dads, too. Stay at home dads, working dads, coaches and dads that just like to use planners would also find it very beneficial. I’d like to see a product geared towards parents putting us all on a level playing field (though, if I saw my husband using a planner I might actually die of shock. He isn’t exactly organized).

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Old planner on the left (almost outdated) and new planner on the right. Comparable in size and quality!

If you’re looking for a way to organize your day to day activities, Momma’s Little Helper is definitely the way to go. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Instagram!

Happy planning!

– Amanda and Katie

**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.**

 

When you stop bending your life…

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I just saw Bad Moms this week, and I relate on so many levels it’s almost scary…

All of the BurritoBuzz moms know how busy I am. I know that everyone is busy, and that “busy” is just a state of being when you’re in your mid to late twenties. Life doesn’t stop. And if you let it stop, you’re either 1. Dead. 2. Homeless or 3. Eating Doritos on your couch binge watching Stranger Things (no judgement). If you read this blog, you know that I take busy to a whole new level. I work, own a business, write for BB, hike, am a gym rat when time allows and raise the most beautiful, amazing 18 month old (in addition to somehow keeping a clean home). And sometimes, when things come up, I inconvenience my entire daily routine to appease others. I like doing things. If you’ve heard people being termed “do-ers,” that’s me. I can’t sit still. And while I like doing things, because it makes me feel fulfilled, sometimes doing things means bringing unneeded chaos into my life, out of the fear of offending someone by not doing said things.

But here’s the thing: outside of the things I have to do, I shouldn’t be bending my life unless I want to. Things that used to take precedence in my life have been moved to the back burner.

Need a card for a birthday party but it’s nap time? Too bad, we’re going to color a card instead of going to the store. (Aren’t handmade cards better anyway?)

Impromptu friend get together at my toddler’s bedtime? #WholeLottaNope Changing that tiny human’s sleep schedule makes everyone miserable. Want me to go out past 10pm? Also, a big fat no. With a toddler that gets up at 5am-6am, this mama requires sleep.

Want to have a huge family gathering, but it’s hot as shit and there’s nothing he’s going to want to do outside of ripping your breakables from your shelves? Hard pass.

My once feelings of guilt for not always saying “yes” have subsided. Because let’s face it, the sanity of my family is infinitely more important. And while I firmly believe that life shouldn’t stop when you have a baby and that you should integrate them into your typical life happenings, some things are just more hassle than what they’re worth. When life is a constantly revolving door of work, unpaid Uber driving for my toddler and trying to make sure that I at least have enough food in the fridge to feed him, the last thing I should be worrying about is the impression I’m leaving on others when I do or do not participate in events.Moms-funny21.jpg

So, my guilt? Gone.Thankfully, most of my friends and family remember the days of having small children and understand fully that we do what we can, when we can. We try to see everyone and participate in life, but they understand that life happens and that tiny humans are unpredictable. But to the occasional person that forgets these things, or just doesn’t realize how truly exhausting and long the days are, please forgive us. Our lives are ruled by tiny dictators and sometimes a nap for a grumpy toddler trumps the party that we missed.

– Katie

Aldi & Why You Should Consider Their Baby Products

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I’ve always been a huge fan of Aldi. When I moved out right after high school, I had a grocery budget that allowed me to eat pasta for essentially every meal. I think I lived on somewhere around $450 a month and after paying rent and utilities, I was usually left wondering how I was going to stretch the rest of my money. And now I wonder how in the hell did I live on such little money. But, I digress. Aldi was my savior. I could easily pack my cart for under $100, and I was able to get more than just junk food. Aldi offers a fair variety of groceries and their range of products is ever-expanding.

My first several years shopping at Aldi, I obviously didn’t care about baby products. But now, many years later, I had mostly stopped shopping there because I didn’t like being inconvenienced by having to go to multiple stores because Aldi didn’t have what I needed for my son. They had carried diapers and wipes for some time, but there was no baby food or snacks for little ones.

But people of the world: EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED

Aldi now carries a variety of baby goods. Thankfully, I qualified for the most recent VoxBox, which was an array of Aldi baby products. Aldi’s Little Journey line is just what I’ve been waiting for.qualitytested_a408e6f99f.png

LET ME BREAK IT DOWN

Diapers: WINNER081716_R_49856_LTJ_JumboPk_Diapers_5_Horizontal_D__539aefd336

I’ve been incredibly picky when it comes to diapers. Flat out, I hate diapers that leak, are awkwardly proportioned, have intensely fragrant smells, leave cotton residue behind, or have too small of tabs. I have, up to this point, tried Luvs, Pampers, Huggies, Sam’s Club brand, Target brand, Walgreens brand and possibly a few others. Huggies have been my favorite for their lack of smell, absorbance, ease of use and comfort. The Aldi diaper is almost spot on with my analysis of a Huggies diaper, but they seem slightly more flexible (which is great). They are super absorbent and have no strange perfume smells. Even babies with sensitive skin do incredibly well with these diapers. I am exceptionally pleased with this product. And better yet, they are a fraction of the cost of big brand diapers. After I did the math, the price per diaper is right around $.14 in comparison to $.20-$.25 per diaper with other major brands. When you’re going through 10 diapers a day, this is a big deal.

Wipes: WINNER081716_R_51727_LTJ_MoistWipes_Rockline_D-New-at-Al_a6fc1e6ed6

I wish I could say that I just use wipes for my toddler’s diaper changes, but in reality I use them for random spills, removing makeup, cleaning my car, wiping down the dinner table, etc. So we go through a lot of them. (I’m making a hearty effort to use fewer wipes in my everyday life, but sometimes the convenience of a wipe just wins in my crazy mom world.) The wipes are comparable to Huggies. They’re also not incredibly fragrant, which is a plus to me. I prefer baby products that are not loaded with fragrance. The price is right, and for something that we go through like crazy, Aldi wipes are really a steal. I want to see these in bulk instead of single packs. I can go through a single pack of wipes in 2-3 days. Give me these in packs of 10!

Bath Wash: WINNER081716_R_46849_LTJ_BabyWash_New_at_Aldi_PTPA_D_fb9deac720

I am incredibly biased when it comes to bath wash. I conducted some serious tests a few months ago to see which washes were both okay for our babies to be putting on their delicate skin, and truly tear-free. I did this by literally rubbing baby wash in my own eyes to see if they were actually tear-free. Shocker, most of them were not. After finding one that I really loved, I didn’t think I’d find another baby wash that I’d like. While this wash is not truly organic, it is tear-free and pretty mild. Overall, we are happy with it and will use it! The easy-to-use pump makes bathing  an always-on-the-move toddler much easier.

Little Munchers, Yogurt Bites and Puffs: MOSTLY A WINNER

Being the mom of a toddler, I feel like I have to have snacks on hand 100% of the time. Not only does it prevent my little guy from getting hangry during outings, but they can quickly stop an ongoing tantrum. Each of the snacks come in several different flavors and they are comparable to brands you’d already find on your local grocery shelves, but at a fraction of the cost. My son loved each of these snacks, but in particular he devoured the yogurt bites. Puffs do go stale quickly, but this is a problem across the board with all brands of puffs. I’d recommend throwing them out after a week or trying to put them in an airtight container when possible. The snacks are a winner in my book.

Baby Food Purees: WE LOVE THEM, BUT…081716_R_50433_LTJ_AppleBananaPeachYogurt_BabyPure_9a87aa4908

These baby food pouches were indefinitely what I was most excited about. Not only are they fully organic, but they are nearly half the price of their competitors. This is an enormous cost-savings, especially for great quality products. The Burrito Buzz babies loved these pouches. Our only complaint is that all of the pouches contain apple. This is okay for some babies, but for little ones with sensitive stomachs, too much apple is not a good thing. We hope to see more variety in the future, because we’re exceptionally excited about the availability of these pouches!

Formula: WE CAN’T SAY…081716_R_50462_LTJ_SensitivityFormula_D_New_at_Ald_8ba3cd2919

None of our BurritoBuzz babies are currently utilizing the formula. That being said, Aldi says that their line is comparable to Similac. They offer a very fair variety of formula, including a soy option. The price point for Aldi formula is truly going to be a godsend to families on a budget!

Our overall analysis of the Aldi line is that it’s a wonderful, much-appreciated addition to their stores. We are thrilled with this huge improvement and we love the products being offered.

The big downfall? Busy families like mine tend to order things online. Many stores offer free shipping on diapers and baby food and I utilize that free shipping almost weekly. Sometimes it’s so much easier to be able to have a box delivered to your doorstep instead of carting the little ones into a store. If Aldi is listening, please consider offering a free shipping option for parents (or even the option to ship). This would be a very welcomed and much appreciated addition.

Here is a quick pricing breakdown and products offered:

Product*

Retail

Little Journey Newborn

$4.99

Little Journey Size 1

$4.99

Little Journey Size 2

$4.99

Little Journey Size 3

$4.99

Little Journey Size 4

$4.99

Little Journey Size 5

$4.99

Little Journey Size 6

$4.99

Little Journey Size 3 Club

$12.49

Little Journey Size 4 Club

$12.49

Little Journey Size 5 Club

$12.49

Little Journey Size 6 Club

$12.49

Little Journey Training Pants Boys

$5.99

Little Journey Training Pants Girls

$5.99

Little Journey Wipes

$1.29

Little Journey 216ct Wipes

$3.49

Baby Wash Test (28fl. oz)

$2.49

Little Munchers – Cheese

$1.39

Little Munchers – Veggie

$1.39

Mixed Berries Yogurt Bites

$1.79

Banana Yogurt Bites

$1.79

Strawberry Yogurt Bites

$1.79

Strawberry Apple Puffs

$1.39

Blueberry Puffs

$1.39

Banana Puffs

$1.39

Apple Mango

$0.79

Apple Blueberry Banana

$0.79

Apple Carrot

$0.79

Apple Sweet Potato

$0.79

Apple Pear Green Pea

$0.79

Apple Pear Spinach

$0.79

Apple Broccoli Pear

$0.79

Apple Banana Raspberry Yogurt

$0.79

Apple Banana Strawberry Yogurt

$0.79

Apple Banana Peach Yogurt

$0.79

Banana Apple Apricot Rice

$0.79

Prune Apple Butternut Squash Quinoa

$0.79

Advantage Baby Formula

$12.99

Premium Baby Formula (Infant)

$12.99

Sensitive Baby Formula

$13.49

Gentle Baby Formula

$13.49

Soy Based Baby Formula

$12.49

Toddler Formula

$11.49

*Available while supplies last. Items may not be available in all stores. Prices and labels may vary by location. Quantities are limited. No rain checks.

– Katie

**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 Amber Monkey

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Let me preface this article: I am generally not someone who utilizes holistic approaches to medicine. In addition, this article is in no way written by a medical expert. Please consult your pediatrician prior to utilizing Baltic Amber.

My son started teething pretty early. Now, at 18 months old, he’s still teething. At around 7 months old, his discomfort from teething was pretty unbearable. He was fussy, drooling, and not sleeping well. While we did give him teething toys often, most other remedies were utilized infrequently (Tylenol, tablets, etc.)

I heard the hype of authentic Baltic Amber, and initially dismissed it. After seeing the buzz time and time again, I decided “why the hell not?” We purchased our first Baltic Amber necklace. It was the right size for my son’s neck, had a release clasp, and was knotted between beads. He wore it all day, except for in the bath, and at night we wrapped it around his ankle under a sock. And while I can’t say indefinitely that it was the amber, I can say that within a week there was a considerable difference in his demeanor and even less drool. He wore his necklace for months until he outgrew it, and then we ended up getting one from The Amber Monkey.

Their necklaces are authentic Baltic Amber. They have various sizes and styles, and sell both adult and children’s necklaces. They actually sent us an adult sized necklace, too, that I’ve been wearing!

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But truly, the Amber Monkey sells quality items. I inspected each necklace and was impressed by the styling and attention to detail.

Here is some additional information on Baltic Amber:

For centuries amber has been treasured not only for its beauty but also for its health benefits. The Amber Monkey’s 100% certified Baltic amber jewelry comes directly from the amber mines in the Baltic region of the world. For hundreds of years, people have worn the Baltic amber fossil, which releases trace amounts succinic acid, a natural analgesic and healing agent.

Amber is the fossilized resin from ancient forests which has gone through multiple changes over the centuries. This metamorphosis resulted in an exceptional gem with extraordinary properties. Various types of plant life as well as insects may be encapsulated in the amber resin, adding a peculiar uniqueness. These trees fell and were carried by rivers to coastal regions. There the trees along with their resins became covered with sediment which hardened into amber over hundreds of years. Geological events have repositioned a great deal of the amber, however many amber deposits remain in the ocean residue and can be found on the shores of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea.

Due to its ornamental uses, amber is often considered to be a gem stone in the same class as semi-precious stones such as jade and turquoise. However semi-precious stones are mineralized whereas amber is a wholly organic material derived from the resin of an extinct species of trees. When amber is touched with fire, it gives off the scent of burning pine.

For hundreds of years the properties of Baltic amber have proven to be very beneficial. Many people boast of wearing Baltic amber for relief of migraines, head, neck and throat congestion, teething and toothaches. Amber can be beneficial for controlling rheumatism and arthritis pain, for aching muscles and joints, for carpal tunnel syndrome and sports injuries. For the best results it is recommended to wear the Baltic amber as close as possible to the painful area. From infant on thru the sunset years, wearing Baltic amber can be invaluable in providing natural healing. Baltic amber is the only fossil resin that contains 3/8 percent succinic acid, which is a powerful therapeutic substance. For the greatest effectiveness, it is recommended to wear the amber as close to the painful site as possible. The warmth of the body releases the healing properties of the amber.

Amber is sometimes used as a body oil as well as an ingredient in perfumes. Many spas and wellness facilities use amber oil for message. As the amber warms to the touch, it exudes a pleasant, relaxing fragrance while messaging away aches and pains.

The Amber Monkey offers a complete line of classic style amber necklaces and bracelets. Because of the wide color range of amber, The Amber Monkey jewelry can include a stunning arrangement of tones and hues. The Amber Monkey also offers Baltic amber in combination with semi-precious gemstones to give an added splash of color to the jewelry.

Baltic amber comes in a variety of colors and shapes. Colors range from golden tones and opaque cream colors to olive green, deep cherry and several shades of brown. Color has no significance on the effectiveness of amber, it is purely a personal preference. Bead sizes range from small to large in a variety of shapes, including slender chips, baroque (rounded beads), square beads, and flat olive shaped beads to name a few. Some beads are left in the raw, unpolished state and others have been polished to give a vibrant luster to the bead. This again is a personal preference of the appearance and does not affect the amber properties.

Those who prefer an elegant one of a kind piece of jewelry will certainly not be disappointed in The Amber Monkey’s selection. Our designers regularly add new creations to our collection. For the fun-loving customer, The Amber Monkey has many flirty styles that are sure to please.

Baltic amber necklaces have been a traditional baby teething remedy for centuries. Baltic amber’s natural analgesic, anti-inflammatory, pain relieving properties naturally soothe and calm a teething baby. The amber may also help reduce teething related symptoms such as swollen gums, runny nose, diaper rash, fever, and redness in the cheeks. Baltic amber is great for parents wanting to care for their baby naturally.

Proper fitting of children’s necklaces is critical.

With proper care Baltic amber jewelry will last for many years. Simply wipe the beads with a clean damp cloth. Never expose the jewelry to chlorine, oils or lotions as it will damage the beads. Disclaimer: Baltic amber is for external use only. The amber jewelry is designed to be worn only under adult supervision. Take caution to avoid contact with the mouth. The jewelry contains small parts and is not intended for children. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

I’m a firm believer that Baltic Amber has some healing properties. A web search provides mixed feelings and minimal scientific evidence, so I can only speak for our own experience utilizing amber for teething pains.

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Want to try one? Check out this map to find out where to buy yours.

– Katie

**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.**

Putting my Career on Hold

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A snapshot of my LinkedIn, where I diligently try to pretend I’m a part of the corporate workforce. I’m part of the mommy workforce, is what this should say
saParenting requires sacrifice, that’s a given. Most often, our sacrifices are merely based on how we prioritize our lives. In my own, the health, happiness, and general well-being of my son is first, followed closely by the health of my relationship with my husband. After those two priorities, my list becomes a little jumbled and perhaps it’s just one giant third category that includes friends, family, our financial state, other various responsibilities, and my career.pt

“Career” seems like a distant word for me now. Families are composed of all varieties: one partner working and the other being stay at home parent, both partners working, single moms, single dads, grandparents responsible for their grandchildren and the list goes on. In our home, my husband and I both worked full-time career-path jobs before I became pregnant. We each graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and quickly moved into the daily white-collar rat race. While I didn’t always enjoy my job, I was moving up. Receiving promotions, raises, perks, more vacation time. There was a reason to work hard, because there was opportunity for growth.

I knew pretty quickly after finding out I was pregnant that I didn’t want my son growing up his first few years with two full-time working parents, if it was at all possible to avoid. And, I also knew that we couldn’t possibly survive on one income, or even 1.5 incomes. We did some intense budgeting for me to go part-time at a new job, cutting out luxuries we had become accustomed like TV, which I actually don’t miss all that much. For me, I knew that working part time was ideal. I could raise my son, enjoy the early years teaching him, be able to take him to doctor’s appointments and play dates, and know that he wasn’t in daycare 50 hours a week.

But, the sacrifice that came with that was stifling. Thankfully, raising my child has indefinitely been the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done, but my lack of fulfillment in my job was unexpected. I now work part-time as an office manager at a local nonprofit. There is little extrinsic, or even intrinsic, value to my job. I bust ass and get things done, and my days usually go quickly because I’m busy. But there is no upward mobility. No ladder to the next position. No career advances.

It’s humbling. Really. I’ve found that I stress less at my current position because I’m not in competition with the person in the next office over for the next raise. It’s just me, doing my best every day, fully knowing that there is no benefit to doing my best.fallingSo am I falling behind?

Once my son heads off to school, I plan on heading back into the workforce full-time. Will I be overwhelmed? Will I be the old person that knows nothing? Will I be able to get a job? Will I remember my workplace skills?

These questions nag at me every so often. When I look at my LinkedIn profile and realize that it should really read “great at super quick diaper changes” or “professional at neutralizing toddler tantrums”… it makes me wonder if I should have a LinkedIn profile at all.regrets

But here’s the thing:

I will never, not once, regret raising my son. It will not happen.

Jobs will come and go. The corporate rat race will continue indefinitely.

My son will only be little once. I count myself fortunate to be able to swing our finances in a way that I’m able to be part-time, because I do realize that this is a blessing that many families couldn’t possibly consider doing.

ImportantSo for now, I will treasure every day with my toddler. I’ll worry less about the corporate world. I’ll keep my connections and continue networking. And when the day comes that I head back into the workforce, I’ll face it proud with the years that I’ve just spent raising a little boy. Because my husband and I both know, raising our child is the most important job there is.

And to my wonderful, amazing husband that does work full-time making it possible for me to be part-time, I love you and appreciate you more than you’ll ever know. 

As an aside, if you’re wondering what the value of a stay-at-home mom is, check out this articleKT

Stop trying to one-up the struggle…

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The comparison of struggle. Sometimes, it seems like parents are wanting to complain in a way that makes it seem like one person has it worse than the other. Like, “oh, your baby doesn’t sleep? Well, my baby is teething horribly which is so much worse.”

But I’ve said it before, where’s the empathy?

*Disclaimer: I’m addicted to ecards, which I’ll be using in abundance in this post.*

Why can’t one person’s struggle be acknowledged instead of mulled over and one-upped by another person’s struggle? babbleoneupper.png

And here’s the truth: we all have some kind of struggle going on. Whether we talk about it openly or not.

Even then, sometime I’ll just be in conversation and talking about a difficult phase we’ve been going through. Right now we’re dealing with some major toddler tantrums. Instead of saying “oh, I remember those days!” or “this too shall pass” or “it gets easier” or something uplifting, I often hear things like “he’ll be worse when he’s two!” “wait until he talks more…” blah blah blah.

When our son didn’t sleep, like at all, for 9 months, I got so much advice on things we should be doing. Like hello, I don’t enjoy being sleep deprived. If you think I hadn’t already tried those things, you are very wrong.

images.pngSo here’s what I’m getting at: it’s okay to identify and acknowledge someone else’s struggle without being upset that they aren’t facing your exact struggle. Sometimes we all just need to talk about what’s going on to get through the day.

A comparison I’ve heard recently: If you break your leg, you might scream that you’re in pain. In response, someone says to you “every bone in my body is broken!” But here’s the thing, the person with the broken leg is still in pain, whether or not it’s the same pain that you have or to the extent that you have it. It doesn’t make their issue any less of an issue.

This idea goes far beyond just parenting, but I’ve never before experienced such negativity and lack of compassion and empathy as I have since becoming a parent. 1338588890104_3927523.png

When someone takes the time to tell me their struggle these days, I try diligently to get on their level, to show that I care about their difficulties. And it’s impossible to always say the right thing, but I think that if we all try just a little harder to empathize we’ll be in much better shape. Our relationships will be stronger indefinitely.

– Katie

Considering Amazon Prime? Read This…

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Anyone that knows me will tell you: I have a severe Amazon Prime addiction.

But let me break it down for you:

I work.

I run a photography business.

I write for this blog.

I have a toddler.

I need sleep.

Basically, after having my son, I was really stressing about constant trips to the store for baby essentials. I already head to the store about once a week and any more than that is just a burden to try to fit into our crazy, hectic lives.mom_landing_benefit_exclusive-deals._CB286282049_

Enter Amazon Prime.

Prime allows me to have mom brain. What do I mean by that? When I forget diapers, wipes, food, etc. I’m able to quickly hop on to my Amazon App on my iPhone and order what I forgot. No extra trips to the store. Free shipping. Two day delivery. Better yet, I’ve put half of my baby essentials on subscription, so I get them delivered mid-month every month. I never go without! I have a perfect supply of what I need.

On that note, you can bet that I’m that person with a stack of Prime packages almost daily. I swear, I’m not ordering stuff for myself. It’s usually just boxes of basics, but it saves me time and sanity. As the mom of a toddler, I can’t ask for much more. Prime has been a total lifesaver for our family. The $99 fee per year is far less than what I’d pay in shipping over the coursescreen-shot-2016-04-26-at-11-48-54-am of a year if I ordered from another store.

And, it gets better. Prime members get deals. 20% off diapers. Exclusive coupons. Baby registry benefits. Streaming of TV shows and movies. Streaming of all kinds of music. It’s a serious deal. Thanks to Amazon Family for saving me a few brain cells.

Want to start your free 30 day trial today? Here you go!
Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial

– Katie

The 18 Month Sleep Regression

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Sleep regressions are a bitch.

My son has never been a great sleeper (or even a good sleeper.) On the other hand, I quite literally can’t function without 8 hours of sleep. If I don’t sleep well, you’ll likely see me throwing dishes in the trash can, putting on tennis shoes with dress clothes and losing things because I put them in the fridge instead of in the cupboard. I go to Target and totally forget what I needed there (and end up leaving without the things I needed and about $100 worth of home goods that I didn’t need.)

So, tiny human… please. Please for your Momma’s sanity, try to snooze. 

Every time that I get into a groove and my son starts sleeping well, he hits a sleep regression. It seems like these regressions happen at fairly regular intervals and usually mean that something is up (new brain development, new mobility, new teeth) or they’re actually tiny dictators that like to show their power when they think things are running a little too smoothly.

A few weeks ago, we hit this new sleep regression and I’m going to tell you how we’ve gotten through it without murdering one another.

My son sleeps on a very regular schedule: Naps at 10:30 and 3, bed at 8, up at 6. Typically he goes down for a nap/bed with minimal fussing. A few weeks ago that all changed. I put him in his crib and he was pissed. Instantly. I mean, hyperventilating at the thought of me leaving him in his crib to fall asleep. He would cry before we even got to his bedroom. He even climbed out of his crib. Bedtime was absolutely the most dreaded event. I’m not someone that can deal with “cry it out” for very long before I feel like crying myself…

So a good two weeks of this went on. I felt my sanity slowly slipping away more and more each day (and my husband certainly did too). It strained our relationship and I was short-tempered with everyone I came in contact with. I was tired. Almost the kind of tired you feel the first few weeks of having a newborn: that absolute sleep-deprivation, exhaustion that comes with keeping a tiny human alive and happy.

I realized that something had to give. And thankfully, we’re doing much better lately thanks to these changes:

  1. I stopped banking on every day being the same. Instead, I took his cues. If he only seemed tired once a day, we went upstairs once for a nap instead of twice. I didn’t try to put him to sleep when he was obviously not tired. This is the age when a good number of toddlers switch from two naps to one. Generally, he’s still napping twice a day, but most often his naps are a bit later.
  2. I calmed myself down and it helped calm him down. Before naps, I really try to get him into a mellow mood. I turn down any sound, disengage from any really crazy play and try to instead do some reading or something that doesn’t require much exertion.
  3. Bedtime has changed quite a bit. About a half hour before bedtime, we turn down the lights, turn down any sound (TV, radio, etc.) and get him into his PJs. We read, snuggle and sometimes watch one of his favorite movies. No drinks or snacks that might boost his sugar levels before bed.
  4. We’ve realized that teething is a nightmare, for us and for him. He’s getting all four of his first set of molars in right now. His gums are bloody quite often and he obviously hasn’t felt well because of them. When it’s bad, we give him some Tylenol and a teether to help ease his pain.
  5. We’ve started playing in his room. Before, his bedroom wasn’t a play place and instead only somewhere he slept. Because he associates his crib with being upset and having to take a nap, we’ve tried to introduce more play into his bedroom so that he makes different associations.
  6. We take our time putting him to bed. We talk, brush his teeth, lay him down, tell him goodnight and give him a few stuffed animals to play with. The stuffed animals really have kept him entertained until he falls asleep.
  7. If he is upset in his crib during naps for more than 15 minutes, we nix the nap and continue playing. If he seems tired, I try to lay him down again after another hour or so has passed.
  8. During the day, we keep him totally engaged. Running, playing, reading, etc. Wearing him out has most certainly helped us get him to sleep, even if it’s taxing on us sometimes!

Sleep regressions are so mentally exhausting on everyone in the household. It’s so important to remember that each regression is a phase that will pass. It’s helped for my husband and I to each have time alone, like working out at the gym, shopping, doing yard work, taking turns napping… just anything to get some quiet “alone” time. But it’s also important to get time as a couple, even if it’s after you toddler goes to bed and you binge watch OITNB.

Stay calm, parents. This too shall pass.

– Katie

MAM Sippy Cups {Review}

13620749_1192619117469046_6551941352393575010_n.jpgHappy 40th Anniversary to MAM! What a huge accomplishment!

When my son was little, he had the most horrible reflux. He was on medication, slept at an incline and after two choking incidents, he was using a breathing monitor. Needless to say, we had to switch his food and bottles to help accommodate his needs. We ended up swearing by MAM! Their bottles were a lifesaver for us.

So of course we were thrilled to be able to review one of their hard spout sippy cups!128165

Their Fun to Drink cup is a pretty typical hard-spout cup, a new product to their line!

MAM Learn to Drink Cup, Unisex, 9 Ounces, 1-Count

  • A few silicone pieces on the inside slide in to create the seal for the spout. It’s important to remove all of these pieces when washing to eliminate the risk of harmful bacteria.
  • The cup was simple to assemble and it’s easy to take apart and wash.
  • The spout itself is a little longer than a typical spout, which I thought was great for little ones who are learning to use the spout or prefer straw cups; it gives them the sensation that they’re still using a straw.
  • The spout has three holes and so far, it has been totally leak proof for us.
  • The cup holds 9 ounces and comes in a variety of colors. It is recommended for babies 8+ months and it costs around $6.99.
  • It’s dishwasher safe. BPA-free, PVC-free, Lead-free,and CPSIA-compliant. It’s specially formulated to withstand steam sterilization in the microwave, as well.

 

Their Sports Cup is like a typical hard spout sippy, but the valve makes it function more like a water bottle.

MAM Sports Cup, Boy, 11 Ounces, 1-Count

  •  The spout comes apart completely for easy and thorough cleaning.
  •  It is larger than their other cups, it holds 11 oz and costs $6.99.
  • I really appreciated the cap for travel! I really don’t like when bottles or sippy cups aren’t able to be sealed. MAMSippy CUppy BurritoBUZz.png
  • Spill proof thanks to their patented valve system. I shook and messed with this cup and it was genuinely spill proof.
  • Easy to hold due to non-slip grip. It isn’t a completely smooth plastic.
  • Unique, curved shape
  • Eye catching designs.
  • The sports cup is recommended for ages 12 + months.
  • Like their other cups, it is also dishwasher safe. BPA-free, PVC-free, Lead-free and CPSIA-compliant.

MAM combines technological innovation, medical function and contemporary design to develop superior baby care products that support baby’s development from day one. Since MAM developed its first pacifier in Vienna in 1976, it has evolved to become a global authority on baby care product design and quality. Today, MAM products are used by families in over 60 countries and in five continents. To find out more and view MAM’s range of award-winning pacifiers, bottles, cups, teethers, oral care items, coordinating accessories and gift sets, visit www.mambaby.com.

Be sure to follow MAM on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and on Facebook!

– Katie & 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 and we never guarantee a positive review.**