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

 

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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

 

 

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.**

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.**

 

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

Nuun: Hydrating Electrolyte Tablets {Review}

Before I was a wife and mom, I was an athlete. I like to think that I am still an athlete some days, so when I discovered this product, my inner athlete was drawn to it. The convenience of a simple tablet put into water with tNunhe purpose of hydrating, replenishing electrolytes, and providing an energy boost was super appealing. I quickly contacted Nuun and lucky for us, they were eager to share their product with the BurritoBuzz Moms.

Nuun is based out of Seattle and over the course their 12 year history, have become “the #1 selling sports drink tab in the cycling, running, and outdoor specialty marketplaces.” I know what you’re thinking, we aren’t athletes. We’re moms. It doesn’t matter. Our sport is life. There are so many days where we feel like we have basically competed in the Olympics, just in the comfort of our own homes, surrounded by our rowdy kids. It is so important for moms to stay healthy and hydrated for our families and ourselves!

“Clean Product, Clean Planet, and Clean Sport” are the principles Nuun strives to abide by, which I think speaks volumes in a world filled with artificial products harming people and our planet. Nuun tablets feature plant-based ingredients, are gluten free, vegan, soy/dairy free, low calorie, contain no preservatives, and are packed with valuable electrolytes. Sounds legit, right? They’re not packed with sugar and artificial sweeteners like so many other products.

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Nuun offers different varieties based on your needs. We sampled Nuun Active and Nuun Energy. The products were similar, but the Energy variety does have green tea extract for an added caffeine boost. A friend of mine, who is a competitive runner, sampled the Nuun Active and said “it was perfect for both before and after my long runs” and “it actually tasted really good!” They also untitledhave a Plus for Nuun (can be added during endurance activities) and Nuun All Day Hydration. Nuun All Day Hydration is perfect for busy, on-the-go individuals, like moms, who want to make sure they are getting all the right minerals and vitamins along with the appropriate hydration to stay healthy for their families. I will definitely be ordering my own here.

You’re probably wondering what the Nuun tablets taste like. If you’re thinking this product sounds great so there’s no way it can taste good, you’d be wrong. I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed the different flavors. The flavors were very refreshing and not overpowering. Some of their options include orange, tri-berry, citrus fruit, and lemon lime. When you purchase a Nuun tube, you get 10 tablets. Each tablet then goes on to dissolve in 16 oz of water. My only complaint would be that the tablets do take a few minutes to completely dissolve, so be patient! But it’s well worth the wait!

You can purchase Nuun and read all about their mission and products by visiting their website here. They also have an awesome comparison of all of their different products on this page. Nuun is also available on Amazon – Nuun Active, Nuun Energy, and Plus for Nuun.

Don’t forget to follow Nuun on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates on products and sales

– Megan

**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.**

Nootrobox GoCubes Chewable Coffee {Review}

I’m not a home-brewed coffee drinker, I never have been and seeing as how I am 26, I probably never will be. I will, however, indulge in any type of cold coffee. I love the taste of coffee and I love the smell of it, so I’m not sure what the issue is with drinking it hot. So when I was offered to review Nootrobox’s GoCubes Chewable Coffee, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

GoCubes are chewable coffee cubes that offer the caffeine off a cup of coffee without the jitters. Nootrobox has added L-theanine, B6, and methylated B12 for an extra boost and to help alleviate those all well known coffee jitters.hero-shot-yellow

More about the cubes: they come in a pack of 4 and there is a flavor assortment in each pack: Mocha, Pure Drip, and Latte.

The fact that they are concentrated caffeine, as well as a few other ingredients, makes the reaction completely different than drinking coffee. They worked rather quickly and lasted for quite some time. I didn’t experience the jitters or stomach issues I experience after drinking coffee.

Flavor wise, I don’t know where to start. You have to first explain to yourself these are not chocolates or candy, so do not expect them to be sweet or like anything that would be pleasurable to your pallet. The initial taste was okay, but the longer the cube was ibj289byrsdcj4ts00z4on my mouth, the weirder the taste became. It was a cross between black coffee and how a coffee filter smells after it’s wet (kind of sour). Each pack contains all three flavors, so if you don’t like one certain flavor, you’re pretty much out of luck as they all look and smell the same.

Convenience wise, they are fantastic! The small package is easily transported and can be easily carried and stored in your purse, gym bag, desk drawer, etc. Unfortuantely, the package is not resealable. So if you’re only needing 2 cubes, you have to wrap up and clip the plastic package to keep the other two cubes fresh.

Nutritionally, they’re not too terrible for you. A little bit high in sugar and carbs for people, like my husband, who choose low carbs options to accompany his gym regime. Given how a plain black cup of coffee is sugar and carb free, this could be a problem for some. What I don’t like is the first two ingredients being glucose (corn) syrup and sugar. I drink my coffee with sugar but real sugar, not highly processed syrups.

The price point is pretty high, but our BurritoBuzz readers can get 10% off your order by clicking here! They run about $39 for 20 4-packs. That is roughly 40 cups of coffee. Comparing it to the typical home brew, you can purchase a 33.9oz container of Folgers and brew roughly 270 cups of coffee for about $18. However, you will lose the convenience, (almost) immediate energy kick, and other brain focus ingredients.

I would have to give the GoCubes a 3 out of 5 stars. I think there is a little room for improvement and tweaking that could be done to packaging, price, and definitely taste, but overall, a very innovative product that tackles the quickness and convenience of needing caffeine that we all know too well and that exhausted parents need.

– 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.**

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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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.**

 

Freemie | Pump with Your Shirt On

27 Steps to Being an Awesome Stay-at- Home-Mom

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  1. Wake up before your kids.
  2. Schedule your meals and cook ahead to save time.
  3. Always plan time for your own physical activity.
  4. Have a set routine.
  5. Be sure to have naptime and meals at the same time every day.
  6. Schedule your cleaning and only tackle one chore a day.
  7. Don’t forget to have play dates.
  8. This list is a bunch of crap… Sorry about the click bait.

If you’re a stay at home parent, you’re laughing hysterically at this list because 99% of the time all of those are virtually impossible.

I am so sick of seeing Mommy Blog posts about “How to be a Stay at Home Mom”

10 Things To Ensure You Are A Great Stay At Home Mom

6 Ways To Be A Productive Stay At Home Mom

How To Afford Being a Stay At Home Mom

Habits of an Effective Stay At Home Mom

It’s all a bunch of malarkey. You want to know why? Because it looks different for every single mom. Heck, sometimes it looks completely different and it’s a stay at home dad.**gasp** I’m guilty though, because yes, I do click on and read almost all of them. Hoping and praying that somehow this little circus that I got myself into can be more manageable. 210037d0f899f9dc49d3d5edf759ee48.jpgHonestly, I wish I had an answer for all of your stay at home mom questions, but I don’t. I have tips and tricks that have worked for me and my family, but I guarantee that they won’t work for everyone.

What will help is some brutal honesty.

You will never sleep. Like ever. It just doesn’t happen. We get the kids to bed, I try to get some chores done, spend time with my husband, get ready for bed and by the time I am in bed it is 11pm. In two or three hours, my 2 year old will be up wandering the halls asking for her soccer ball or something ridiculous. After getting her back to bed, I lay back down and generally get another 2 hours of sleep because one or both of my little ones are up at 5 AM every day. Every single day. Today it was 4:45…2e2b5526ce131e18a20537f492be2c1a

3 or 4 hours of sleep at night on repeat. My husband works nights,  so sleep is just out of the questions for like, ever. Getting up early for “me time” and to get ready for the day is hilarious.

I have some OCD tendencies but I despise housework. It’s not that I don’t do it. My house is almost always spotless. Especially if we are planning on having company over. I do it, but that doesn’t mean I like it. Your chores never go away. It is a constant stream of dishes, laundry, vacuuming, picking up, dusting, washing the floors, cleaning up outside, cleaning up after pets, picking up toys. Your house never gets a break. No one is at work and daycare all day. It is constantly getting filthy. It might not stay that way for long, but you never stop moving. Between chasing kids and picking up toys, you don’t sit down a whole lot. I never understand when people say they love doing dishes or laundry. I never used to hate it, but I do now. It’s a constant chore that never ends. Someone always has something dirty in their room or on them, and there is always a sippy cup or snack cup hidden away that needs washed.87322a94dfae2c55e7abf4b3e472b313

I told my husband the other day that I am an awesome stay at home mom but I suck at being a housewifeThere are many days when I am asked what’s for dinner and the answer is “whatever you can find and you better use paper products.”

It’s hard. Our job is never done.

Your coworkers like to touch you a lot, they are mean sometimes and they don’t do a whole lot of work.  Quietly sitting at the computer typing this post and que the 2 year old that just jumped on my back requesting a “pony ride.”  There is also a 1 year old over in the corner emptying a basket full of freshly folded clothes on top of the very hairy lab.

You’re never alone. There isn’t a lot of explanation for this. It’s simple. You are your children’s everything, so that means they have to be attached to you all day long. Good luck with your coffee break. I just warmed mine up for the 3rd time this morning.6.png

People will ask you if you want help all the time.  Believe it or not, I really can do this. I have two kids and taking them to the store with me is my job. Cleaning my house with kids at home is my job, among many other things.

I will let you spend time with my kids, and sometimes, yes you do need to get out, but I promise you can do chores and things without people helping you all the time. Help is nice. I have been getting better about letting people give me a hand, but just be warned. People have this attitude that because you didn’t wash your hair today that you must need help. It’s annoying and approaching disrespectful. If I was anyone else doing a hard job, would you offer to give me a break because I had a long day? This is a 24/7 job and I am well aware that I signed up for a crazy job.

When are you getting a real job? ……Please ask me that one more time, I dare you. People even say “I just could never stay home and not work, I would have to get a real job and provide for my child.” So when you are at your “real job”, do you hire a real person to watch your kids or a fake one? People are ignorant, say it to your face and want an actual answer, like what they said wasn’t the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard. I am warning you now, if you haven’t heard it already, you will.14088651_1756641454589235_5618134841622901219_n.jpg

Being a homebody isn’t a bad thing. I love being at home. Ever heard of yoga pants and leggings?  An endless supply of coffee and baby breath? Keep it coming. I literally have to pump myself up to go out with friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends. I love spending time with other adults. I know it is important. I just like my kids, my coffee, my Netflix and my blog more than dinner and drinks.

“Affording” to be a stay at home mom isn’t easy. Affording is in quotes because I am still trying to figure that out. I am not a couponer. I shop sales and I shop at Aldi. We don’t do a lot of extra stuff, we are a middle class suburban family and I am happy that way. We don’t always get all the new shiny things we want, and there are times that I look back at a month when we had extra expenses and wonder how we did it. But you make it. I promise that there is always a way that things work out. All we knew was that we could pay all of our bills and a little more on one income, that we wanted the kids to have me 24/7, until they were at least in school and that we were going to make it work.83ec59e162040d21c114725fb105aa92

You will never regret the decision to stay home and it is so much fun! I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom. Luckily, my dream came true. Such a simple dream. There is never a bad day when I say “if I could just clock out and go to work.” You will never regret getting extra time with your kids. Getting to see every single milestone unfold before your eyes. Teaching them everything and watching them learn from you. It really is a gift. Don’t take it lightly and don’t brag to your working mom friends about it either.

Not everyone can do it. Being a stay at home mom is not for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that. Working parents are beyond awesome! I have a friend who is an amazing mother but would lose her mind if she was surrounded by her kids all day. Not everyone can do it and that’s completely normal. If you are a working parent, don’t feel bad about working. You spend time and teach your children in your own way, and provide them with awesome caregivers.

Time is fleeting and whatever time we get with our tiny humans is a blessing.

Now that this written  maybe I wrote it for myself, to make me feel better. I don’t know. I just hope that someone can relate and has days where they feel like this is the craziest job on the planet, too. ❤

– Amanda

Sashka Co. Bracelet {Review}

 

**BURRITOBUZZ DOES NOT SELL, SHIP, OR MANAGE PURCHASES OF THIS AMAZING PRODUCT. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ORDER, HAVE QUESTIONS, OR WOULD LIKE TO CONTACT THE COMPANY, PLEASE CLICK HERE

Five of the Burrito Buzz Moms received an awesome offer for us each to review a bracelet from Sashka Co. I connected with the company via Twitter because I was intrigued by their adorable bracelets that appeared to be perfect for moms. I personally am not a big jewelry wearer. I have a few nice p13920912_387822378008680_563082164170156136_niece that my husband bought for me, so I always wear the same thing. I never wear anything too flashy or bulky, and I definitely stay away from jewelry that my kiddos could get a hold of and ruin. This bracelet has met all of my expectations!

Sashka Co. is a unique company because their bracelets are handmade, bead by bead, in Nepal. Artisan women work from home for fair wages in hopes to beat poverty through fair trade. The company is focused on empowering women and promoting gender equality.

Even more reasons to love Sashka Co.:

  1. Each bracelet is 100% unique because they’re handmade.
  2. Bracelets are hand crocheted using glass beads and cotton thread. Because of this, the bracelet will simply roll over your hand and form to your wrist for the perfect fit and fit over any size hand.
  3. Sashka Co. offers a lifetime guarantee. With that said, if your bracelet breaks, they replace it! The company also promises an IMG_4211exchange or return if you are not happy with the fit of your bracelet.
  4. They offer a ton of colors and color combinations to go with any outfit.
  5. The bracelet was durable just as I had hoped. My 1 year old pulled on it when it was around my wrist, and not only did it not break, it didn’t seem to get stretched out.
  6. Bracelets are only $13 from Sashka Co.’s website. I think this is more than reasonable, especially because they also offer free shipping! They also have bracelet sets available.

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As a mom of two little toddlers, I think it’s important to feel like I’m put together some days, because most often, I am so far from put together. If a little jewelry will do that, then so be it! This bracelet is dressy enough to add a little flare to any outfit for any occasion, but practical enough to be worn around my little ones. I give it 5 out of 5 stars, and I’m sure my fellow Burrito Buzz Moms will agree! They too love their Sashka Co. bracelets!

13397485_1626017717714673_1888079011_aCheck out Sashka Co. on their website to learn more about their business and to buy some of their beautiful bracelets!

Follow Sashka Co. on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

 – Megan

**BurritoBuzz 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.**

 

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

A new way to grocery shop: Walmart Grocery Pickup

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Grocery shopping is the errand that all parents dread (I do at least). It never seems to go smoothly, there are always crying children (sometimes mine), and it’s just overall stressful. It’s like there are set scenarios that always play out: the toddler falls asleep one red light from the store parking lot, a diaper explodes in aisle 9, or there is a choir performance from the older kids full of repetition of “I’m bored”, “can I get this?”, “can I go to the toy section?” or “are we almost done?” It can never be a simple, quick trip to the grocery store. Until now.

I saw a posting about Walmart and their new online grocery pickup on Facebook and had no feelings toward it either way. I didn’t see myself grocery shopping online and then have someone else load my groceries into my car for me. I don’t even let the baggers at Publix or the Commissary take my bags to my car, so why would I let someone else do my grocery shopping, bag all of my stuff and bring it out and load them in my car? It seemed like the lazy easy way out. But then it clicked. It’s not lazy, it’s convenient. I work 40 hours a week, get off at 5:30pm and have a 40 minute drive home every single day during the week. If I stop to grab groceries on my way home, I typically don’t get home until almost 7:45 – 8:00pm on a good day.

They don’t offer online pick up at the store in my town yet, but they do in the town where I work and where my mother-in-law lives. We just so happened to be heading to her house on a Sunday and I happened to need groceries, so why not give it a try?

Let me start by saving you $10 off your first order. Use promo code RCMUR0YA (that’s a zero not an “o”) at checkout on your purchase of $50 or more and you will automatically save $10! 1

It was a rather simple process. I went to Walmart Grocery online, put in my zip code, signed into my walmart.com account and viola! It allowed me to choose my store, secure a time slot to pick up and then add items to my cart. You can search through the “store” by department,

2 or search for the items you know you need by name. I quickly added items to my cart (it shows the total in the corner and there is a $30 minimum) and when you’re ready to check out, you simply put in a credit or debit card number, check out and then you receive a detailed list of your order and pick-up instructions via email.

The instructions were quite simple. In short, “Go to the grocery pickup location. We will call you 15 minutes prior. Call us back 10 minutes prior to your arrival and again when you get here.” It even showed me a cute little map of the store and where the parking locations were in the parking lot which were marked as well.15469435 It was that simple.

So I called 10 minutes before and again when I got there. Not even 5 minutes later, two sweet young ladies brought me my groceries and I never even had to get my kids out of the vehicle. I received a “Welcome” bag containing some grocery and health care full size samples such as After-Sun Aloe wipes, Sea Salt Covered Raisins, Cucumber Ranch and some other goodies. They loaded the items into my car, I signed the delivery receipt and I was quickly on my way. I hesitantly added produce and eggs to my list and surprisingly had no issues. They showed me my eggs before placing them in my car and my bananas were handled with care and not bruised.

I did figure out that if the store is out of stock with the item you want, they will offer you a substitution at no extra cost, if available. I wanted a 1lb bag of Gala Apples, but since they were out of stock, they gave me a 3lb bag of Gala Apples for no additional cost. Also, if they don’t have the item or a substitution, they immediately issue you a refund for that item.

Overall, if I had to give a star rating, it would be a 5 out of 5. Quick, easy, convenient and so worth it. I would definitely recommend it to busy moms if it’s available at your local Walmart!

– Kirstyn

Baby in Tow: Spoon Cocoon {Review}

Hey Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and caregivers of all kinds – have you ever been super frustrated out in public when it comes time to feed the little one in your life? I know that I have, on multiple occasions. I either can’t find my feeding utensils in the depths of my big, dark diaper bag, they have fallen on the ground in the process of finding them or I just forgot to bring them altogether. I’m about to introduce you to a product that will make feeding our little one out in public a little less aggravating. It is the Spoon Cocoon from Baby in Tow.

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Spoon Cocoon is an infant feeding spoon that comes with a caterpillar-shaped travel container. It is such a neat little product and it can be used with most all other infant feeding utensils, even your child’s toothbrush! The caterpillar case also do71Rvd7CVnQL._SY679_ubles as an adorable little toy for your little one.

More perks:

  1. BPA Free!
  2. PVC Free!
  3. Environmentally friendly for more than one reason. 1. The Spoon Cocoon is made of recycled plastic. 2. I know I used plastic bags to carry utensils for my kids when we went out, so this product eliminates that waste!
  4. Caterpillar-shaped case twists on and off with ease, but not too easily. It feels tightly closed and secure when it’s twisted on.
  5. The case and bright color makes finding the spoon in the bottom of the diaper bag so much easier.
  6. The green color is gender neutral! Baby in Tow plans to release additional colors in the future.

Our family gives this product 5 out of 5 stars. It is super sweet and simple, but a necessity for on-the-go parents and caregivers. It would be a perfect registry item or shower gift for any mom-to-be. You can purchase it on Amazon here: Spoon Cocoon.

Be sure to check out Baby in Tow’s website to learn more about the Spoon Cocoon.

– 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.**

Aden + Anais Bath Products {Review}

I was so excited to learn that BurritoBuzz would be working with Aden + Anais, a company I have been a customer of since I became pregnant with my first child nearly 4 years ago. Back then, I knew A + A for their super soft muslin swaddle blankets. I loved them, my kids loved the81psQHPiQyL._SX522_m and they have held up all this time. I could not wait to try their other products.

Casey, a fellow BurritoBuzz mom, and I chose to try items from their baby skincare line. The Hair + Body Wash, Bubble Bath and Ultra-Gentle Lotion were items we sampled. I also received a set of washcloths and a toddler bath towel. So far, all of the products are fabulous. My kids have been happy with them, my husband has used them and loves them, and I know I will for sure continue to use them.

Here’s the rundown:

The Hair + Body Wash, Bubble Bath and Ultra-Gentle Lotion were all developed by leading New York dermatologist Ellen Gendler, MD and are naturally derived. Each one is tear-free and lightly scented, which I found to be completely accurate. I really loved the light, clean fresh scent of each product and the scent lasts. Baby’s hair smells so good for 41x4X2FrLYLhours after bathtime. These products are free of phthalates, parabens, BPA, gluten and soy. Buy the lotion and body wash together on Amazon here.

Hair + Body Wash – First of all, any bath soap that comes with the pump is already an A+ in my book. It is so easy having that pump when you’re bathing two toddlers rather than having to pick up and pour soap into your washcloth. Aden + Anais put their soap and lotion both bottled with the pump. I’ll be honest, my husband usually bathes our kids, so I had him try out the Hair + Body Wash immediately. We have been trying out other soaps ever since our baby shower supply ran out. We haven’t really found any that we absolutely love, but A + A comes close! My husband said the soap “made a good lather.” It is moisturizing and gentle on my little ones’ skin which is necessary. We do use conditioner on my daughter’s hair quite often, so I can’t honestly say if this shampoo on its own would be moisturizing enough for h71Ad9wUyIdL._SY679_er. I may have to buy the conditioner as well! On Amazon, you can find Hair + Body Wash in a 12 oz bottle for under $15.95.

Bubble Bath – My kids both love bubbles of any kind. Honestly, who doesn’t love a good bubble bath every once in awhile? Very simply pour 1 to 3 capfuls of the Bubble Bath directly under running water. Bath time was fresh and clean with the added bubble and my little ones loved it. It was also moisturizing to their skin. You can buy it here: Aden + Anais Bubble Bath.

Ultra-Gentle Lotion – I’m not embarrassed to say I used the lotion on myself. Don’t judge! Since I’ve gotten some sun lately, my skin has been dry so I thought that’d be a true test of this lotion. I knew I already loved the scent, so why not? It worked like a charm! I loved that it wasn’t greasy like many lotions I’ve used. The scent is refreshing but not overpowering. I will continue to use it daily, especially in the winter months and on my babies. Amazon has Ultra-Gentle Lotion for less than 20 dollars also or you can get it bundled with the Hair + Body Wash.

Toddler Bath Towel – This is the A + A product I was most excited to try. I don’t know about you, but infant/baby towels infuriate me. Most are so small and thin, barely dry my child and leave them shivering. This towel is legit. It’s nearly the size of an adult towel (50” x 30”) and super soft. The towel is made of pre-washed cotton and muslin, making it plush and soft. It washed up well for me and it81VdceQVBjL._SX522_‘s the perfect size for both my 3 year old and 1 year old. It keeps them dry, warm and is gentle to their skin. I don’t have to worry about it being too small like most hooded towels, but it’s not too bulky either. The Toddler Towel can be found on Amazon for $29.95.

Classic Washcloth – I also received a set of three 100% cotton muslin washcloths. The washcloths are pre-washed just like other products by Aden + Anais, so they get softer wash after wash. They washed up with ease and seem to be durable (I have only washed them twice). They even have a convenient loop, so the washcloth can be hung to dry between each use. I will say, the washcloths are quite large for babies/toddlers (12” x 12”), so they take some getting used to but you can’t beat that soft muslin fabric across their delicate skin. The set of three is available on Amazon for $20.00. You can find it by going here: Classic Washcloth.

Although the price point for these Aden + Anais products may seem high, I promise you, the quality is there. The washcloths and towels come in the most adorable prints (I received Fluro BIMG_6948lue), and some of the prints are perfect for gender neutral gifts. I know I
will be on the lookout for sales and clearance so I can continue to buy these products and others from A + A.

Aden + Anais definitely receives a 5 out of 5 stars from my family and I for the bath products and towels. After sampling, I had to get on Aden + Anais’ site and check out the rest of their bath time and skin care line. You can check it out right here!

A big Thank You to Aden + Anais for the opportunity to review their products! Be sure to follow A + A on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

– Megan

**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.**

pureWash Pro {Review}

Over the course of the last several weeks, my family and I have been sampling the pureWash Pro distributed by GreenTech. I reached out to pureWash via Twitter because I was curious about their product and its benefits to my household. I, along with the other BurritoBuzz Moms, am always interested in new technology, especially products that can improve the efficiency of my home. Since I contacted pureWash, they have been nothing but easy to work with and it is true with their product as well. I was skeptical of it at first, but it has continued to surprise me!

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What is pureWash Pro?

“pureWash is an environmentally friendly appliance designed to work with your residential washing machine, adding enhanced oxygen and Photo Catalytic Oxidizers to the cold water supply. Water treated by pureWash aids in cleaning laundry and killing bacteria without leaving residual detergent in the fabric.”

How is pureWash installed?

My husband installed our pureWash Pro with ease shortly after we received it. It simply hooks up to the cold water supply that normally runs to your washing machine. We have a traditional top loading washing machine, but pureWash can be installed to any model. pureWash needs to be attached to a secure surface at installation to ensure it remains stable and level for its usage. My husband attached ours to the shelving unit next to our washing machine, using the mounting bracket that was included.

Once pureWash is installed, it’s ready to use! Easy, right? Simply operate your washing machine like you normally would. The only difference with using the pureWash is that you can only use the cold water setting to experience the benefits of the pureWash. “If hot water is used, it dilutes and defeats the effectiveness of the oxidizers that the pureWash has introduced into the wash water.”

Some things we noticed immediately after using pureWash:

  1. The first load of laundry we did with the pureWash was towels. We noticed right away that they felt softer and fluffier than normal. We did not use any detergent and the towels were soft, appeared clean and had a fresh scent. I was anxious to keep washing after that!laundry-basket
  1. I mentioned the fresh, clean scent above. This is true for every single load that is washed, not just that first load of towels. This is the “ozone smell”. I love it. The laundry smells so clean once it’s washed. This is not a smell that can be found in any type of detergent or fabric softener.
  1. The purpose of the pureWash is to use little or no detergent. This is where I was skeptical. Really, no detergent at all? How in the world would anything get clean with just water? But it does. Most often, we have not washed with any detergent using the pureWash. Unbelievably, our laundry is clean with only the cold, oxidized water. “Detergent build-up promotes mold growth and does not kill bacteria. Independent, scientific studies have proven pureWash Pro kills 99.9% of both with cold water.” (Sounds clean to me!) I do appreciate that I can add detergent if I want to. When I wash what I would consider a heavily soiled load of clothes (my nursing work scrubs, for example) I can still add detergent to the machine.
  1. Stains on laundry still need to be pre-treated before washing them using the pureWash. Sure it has worked great, but it’s not a miracle worker. When my kids’ clothes are covered in food or dirt, it’s going to take more than cold water to get those stains out. Once they’re treated with the stain remover you would normally use, simply throw your clothes in and wash like normal.
  1. There is a “Household Water Out” option on the bottom of the pureWash that allows you to use the water for other household cleaning needs. It can be used to clean, water plants, wash pets or rinse fruits and vegetables. I liked this option and plan on taking advantage of it.
  1. With babies and toddlers in my home, we often separate the laundry and use different detergent for the them. This is not necessary with pureWash. It’s so much easier washing everyone’s laundry together and not worrying about my kids breaking out in a rash from soap and detergent. pureWash is “ideal for those who suffer from allergies triggered by bacteria and mold found living in our laundry.”

I think it’s important to note that we use city water and a water softener with our pureWash hook-up. According to pureWash, “it will work with all typical household water qualities, but the better the quality of the water, the better results you will have. If you have hard waterptpa-seal, pureWash recommends a water softener and the removal of chlorine will improve the unit’s performance.” pureWash also recommends consulting a water filtration expert if you have any concerns about the quality of your water (high iron content for example) while using the pureWash.”

Overall, my family gives the pureWash 5 out of 5 stars. I have never seen a product quite like this, but it has surprised me with its ease of installation and use. It’s comforting to know I’m not using tons of chemicals and soap in my family’s laundry and it is still clean. And you know what else, I am saving money! I’m saving money by not using as much detergent and also eliminating the energy waste from washing with hot/warm water.

You can read more about the pureWash here or purchase it through Amazon using this link: pureWash PRO by GreenTech. If you are unhappy with your pureWash after 30 days, they offer a money back guarantee if you are not 100% satisfied with it. Trust me, it’s definitely worth trying and you won’t want to send it back!

Here’s a short video explaining how the pureWash works:

– Megan

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of product review. 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.**

Zulily – Unique Products

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I don’t know about the rest of the moms out there, but ever since I became a mommy, I cannot shop like I used to. Before my kiddos, I could enjoy several hours shopping for nothing in particular. There isn’t time for that now. It is the furthest thing from enjoyable to take my kidd out for a few hours of shopping. It also makes me incredibly anxious just thinking about getting them in and out of the car, in and out of the store, and through the parking lot. It is DEFINITELY not my idea of a good time anymore. With that said, I am so thankful for the website Zulily. Because of Zulily, I don’t even miss being able to “get out of the house” to go shopping.

I was a new mom when I first downloaded my Zulily app. I wasn’t shopping for anything specific, I just wanted to browse. I knew that Zulily targeted moms and specialized in unique brands and products. I was curious then, and I have been hooked ever since.

I love Zulily because of the wide variety of products and brand names. Items on their site include anything from shoes, toys, clothing, décor, and household items. Here is a listing of some of their most popular under-armour_416x416photobrands. You’ll see brands like Vera Bradley, Carters, Coach, Graco, Nike, Crocs, Burt’s Bees, and Aden and Anais are amongst the lengthy list. These brands and others open new “shops” of products that start up every morning, so there is always something new to see, which I LOVE. The catch is that these “shops” do not stay open for long. Most often, it’s only 48-72 hours, and then those items are gone; those “shops” are closed.

To me, Zulily is tough to beat. I know they have competitors out there, but they have kept me loyal and coming back. I have bought a variety of items over the last few years including baby items, shoes, kids’ clothes, purses, bathing suits, kitchen gadgets, bed sheets, toys, and magazine subscriptions. They even have personalization with some shops. You really can’t beat their prices either. They advertise their prices to be up to 70% off every day and offer a $15 credit for every new customer you refer. Most often their shipping times are lengthy (10-14 days), but I have gotten used to that. You also aren’t able to return items if you are unhappy with them.

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Overall, Zulily is a great site, especially if you are a busy Mommy like me and crave the shopping you can’t find the time to squeeze in anymore. The app is user friendly and there are always new shops and products to browse. Check it out ASAP – there is something for everyone!

-Megan

 

Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table {Review}

We bought this for my oldest child’s first birthday 2 years ago, and it has been such a great toy for her. Now, we are preparing to use it all summer long with both of my kids. My oldest is now 3 and she still enjoys playing with it. My youngest is almost a year ol and he already loves it. We usually have it set-up on our deck out back. We have a hose nearby which makes it easy for us to fill up when needed. When we are ready to empty it, we just unplug the drain and let it empty through the deck. Perfect. Even when it’s not filled with water (all winter long it was stored in our basement), the kids still love playing with it!

Here are some more cool features:

img_3976–       Five character balls were included with the table that fit down the spiral slide in the middle of the table. They also squirt water – what kid doesn’t love to squirt their parents?! You can also scoop them up using the attached Ferris wheel or included water cup. I love that you can see through the spiral slide so the kids can watch as the balls come down.

–       The kiddos can use the included water cup to pick up the character balls, pour water through the spiral slide, funnel or Ferris wheel, or just splash each other. My daughter loves that the cup has little holes in the bottom of it too.

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–       The water table is the perfect height for toddlers. Even my youngest stands and plays at it well. He can’t reach to put the balls down the spiral slide, but he is able to play with everything else with ease and loves it!

–       The table is advertised to hold 7 gallons of water. I don’t know if this is exactly true, but either way, it holds enough to make it sturdy to not be pushed or moved around. When my little ones are standing at it, I can trust that it’s not going to push out from under them and they will be safe. The table is light enough when it’s empty (10 lbs) that is can be picked up and moved around with ease to wherever your kiddos want to play.

41ufn0EEkmLOur family gives this Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table 5 out of 5 stars. I can see the table being helpful with my 3 year old in developing her imagination and sharing skills further, especially now that she is a big sister. My littlest will hopefully get stronger and better at cruising around the table as the summer goes on. The only downside I can think of is that the assembly was difficult. It has been a couple of years now since I put it together, but I remember saying a few choice words and needing my husband’s help.

You can find this summer fun item on the Little Tikes website which is offering 10% off currently or on Amazon

This is the perfect toy for your little one’s first or second birthday and this coming up this summer. They will stand and play for hours and years to come!

-Megan

LaLou Boutique: Pacifier Bib {Product Review}

LaLou Boutique is an adorable little shop on Etsy that is operated by Lacey. Lacey works as a Nurse, but loves to craft in her spare time. More specifically, she crafts precious products for babies. I was lucky enough to receive one of LaLou Boutique’s Pacifier Bibs to try out on my little guy. He has been teething (in reality, it seems like he’s always been teething), so he is constantly wanting to chew on ANYTHING and also has a never ending stream of drool coming from his mouth.  I was so anxious to put the bib on him because it is super adorable and it could now catch all that drool as he sucked and gnawed on everything, especially his binky!

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Here are just some of the PROS of the Pacifier Bib:

  1. The bib has an adjustable snap neck so it can be used throughout the infant stage and well into the toddler stage, as well (my little guy will be 10 months soon). It grows with the kiddo!  I really like the snaps as opposed to Velcro, because I know the bib won’t be pulled off in 2 seconds after it’s put on.

 

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  1. LaLou Boutique offers several other prints in this specific bib (you can even custom order). They are all super adorable. I tried out the white/black stripe. It’s gender neutral, which I love, and it has washed up well. It hasn’t stained or faded. The bib is made of soft chenille fabric with terry cloth backing.

 

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  1. You can attach a pacifier – Biggest perk! This bib sure beats the heck out of a typical pacifier clip. I found that the snap loop part of the bib could be used for toys or teething rings for my little guy too. It’s so nice knowing he isn’t going to lose his binky or toy – It will be right with him. This is perfect right now because he is so mobile or for when we are in the car and on the go. He has what he needs.

 

  1. With all the teething, sucking, and drooling, the bib seemed more than sufficient in its level of absorbency – thanks to the terry cloth backing I believe. My little guy wore it for several hours and his shirt remained dry throughout.

 

  1. Super reasonable price at $12.00 from the LaLou Boutique Etsy shop.

 

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The only downside to this product that I could possible think of is that when my little guy decided he did not want to use his binky, it would just drag across the ground as he crawled. This is not that big of a deal while at home, but if we were out somewhere else, I would not want all the dirt and germs getting on the binky. Once he is walking, this won’t be a problem at all.

 

Overall, this is a great product that I will continue to use with my kiddos. It would make such a good gift idea for any mom you know and their little ones. It is perfect for any little one who uses a bib, even if they don’t use a pacifier. LaLou Boutique has several other products (burp cloths, onesies, regular bibs, blankets) and even offers custom orders! Check them out!

 

-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.**

 

 

Take Your ‘Meternity Leave’ & Shove It

Unless you live under a (nice and cozy) rock, you have probably heardimage about this article an author wrote wanting all the perks of a maternity leave – without actually having a child. Meghann Foye’s book, Meternity, and New York Post article describes the jealousy (honestly, what is there to be jealous of?) she has toward her co-workers who get to take a maternity leave when they – gasp! – gave birth to a child. She even goes to say she is entitled to a ‘meternity leave’ (a sabbatical-like break she says) to reflect on her life. As a woman who is 7 weeks post partum, the words “perks”, “self-reflection” and “sabbatical” make me want to punch this woman in the face. The only perks imageof maternity leave are bonding with your new baby and getting to smell their delicious new baby smell (a baby’s head is intoxicating). It is not a vacation. There is no time for self reflection. If a childless woman wants to take a meternity leave (you know, because she’s entitled to it), I think there should be certain things that she must endure that post partum women go through.

A Swift Kick to the Vag
Your meternity leave will start off on the right foot once you get kicked square in the vagina – with spikes. That’s sort of what it’s like to push a baby the size of a bowling ball out of your hoo-ha.

H is for Hemorrhoids
When pushing out that precious bowling ball, some women (okay,
most women) get hemorrhoids and they feel absolutely amazing. I’m not sure how one can actually mimic hemorrhoids, but just imageimagine pain, itching and bleeding from your read end. Sounds like a good time, huh?

Chapped Nipples for $100 Alex
If you want to go on a tropical vacation or travel the world during your meternity leave, you must do so with sore, chapped, bleeding nips. The first 6 weeks of breastfeeding is difficult. It hurts. Your nipples bleed. And they leak.

Pump, Pump, Pump it up
Speaking of boobs, you have to pump every 2-3 hours, just as a new mom does. I know you have no imagemilk, but you need to fully understand how fun it is to have a newborn. Oh, but you can eat your BonBons and watch your soaps while you pump. Put those feet up, too. You deserve it!

Wakey Wakey
I know you’re on vacation, but you need to set your alarm for every 2-3 hours because that’s what moms with newborns (or children in general) do – EVERY. SINGLE. FREAKING. NIGHT.

Loud Sirens
To get the effect of a crying baby image(who cries and cries and cries), put a loud, annoying siren on repeat for hours. Buy tylenol in bulk for your many headaches.

That’s just a tiny glimpse of what a new mom goes through on maternity leave. The first 6-8 weeks of their baby’s life is hard. It’s not fun. Their body is going through so much; healing, hormones changing, sleep deprevation. It is so worth it, but it’s not easy. A mother deserves this time off and for a childless woman to have the nerve to say she’s entitled to the same time off for doing absolutely nothing, she has to be batshit crazy.

– Casey

…Not the mainstream mom.

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Oh the things I thought I would be as a mother BEFORE having my child… I was living in some crazy dream world.

I thought for sure I’d be the Pinterest moms in the photos. You know the ones: cute matching t-shirts, making all meals organic and from scratch, doing a different educational activity every day while also balancing a career.

Let me tell ya’ folks, I’m not that mom.

As I sit here in yoga pants and a shirt I wore in high school, with a pile of laundry next to me that has no less than 5 other pairs of yoga pants (ya know, enough to get me through an entire week,) I wonder if these supermoms really exist, or if it’s a big facade. (If you’re actually that supermom, just don’t tell me so that I can continue to think this is normal.)

We’re pretty active parents. We both work during the week, (I’m working part-time, and my husband full-time,) and run a business on the weekends. We grocery shop on a whim, clean the house infrequently and on turbo-speed during our son’s short naps, and our lawn looks like it’s battling some disease (it probably is.)

All those things I pinned on Pinterest while I was pregnant, planning to do when my son was finally here? I don’t think I’ve looked at a single one of them.

If I get through a day and have even 10 minutes to myself I feel pretty stinking accomplished.

 

Moderation. We hear it’s key all the time, but it’s so true. When I became a mother I completely lost myself in trying to keep up and have a picture-perfect life. It’s like I saw bits and pieces of how others parented, picked out all of the good, and tried to be that parent. I had zero time for myself.

And while I’ve learned to balance and make time for my own needs, I’m still often feeling inadequate thanks to the world we live in now where comparison is always glaring in your face (thanks, social media, you cruel bitch.)

My son is smart. Loving. Ornery. He’s exactly what a toddler should be, even if he isn’t doing Pinterest crafts every day and using baby sign-language or whatever the latest craze is.

So here’s the reality: my son is SO well-balanced, and so am I. Sometimes that means that he’s walking out the door with cheerios in his hair, or that the TV was on an episode longer that it should have been during the day, or that I haven’t had time to clothes shop for myself in an eon, and I live on coffee and dry shampoo.

Here I am world, imperfect. Imperfect, but somehow whole. I’m not leading a lesser life because I don’t add up to what other mothers add up to (whether they’re faking it or not. I’m speaking to you Hilaria Baldwin.)

-Katie

Pacidose {Product Review}

I find it super frustrating as a parent and as a nurse when I have to give little ones medications. Usually, kiddos are already fussy, snotty, and cranky, and then we come along and try to force some nasty medication in them. We cross our fingers and hope they get the proper dose and dread the next time we have to medicate them. This has not been the case with my little experience with the Pacidose. The Pacidose is a product designed to medicate our kiddos using a typical syringe and a pacifier. GENIUS, especially if you have a binky baby.  My kids have both been binky babies, so I think that aided in the success with using this product with them. I think it would work for non-pacifier babies as well.

The Pacidose is easy to use by just drawing up the desired amount of medication through the syringe like you would normally (it also works with syringes other than the one it comes with!). Once the med is 61ENriIl2NL._SX522_drawn up, the syringe just attaches to the binky portion of the product. There is a narrow tube going down the middle of the pacifier that then delivers the liquid med.  According to the Pacidose, this tube “prevents wasted medicine. Medicine is delivered to the back of the tongue, decreasing the chance of rejection.” I found this to be accurate with my 8 month old. He fortunately has not had a lot of experience with taking medications, but he received the whole dose I drew up using the Pacidose. Once he started sucking on the binky, I started to slowly push the plunger of the syringe until he had swallowed all of the medication.

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Here were some other benefits I found with the Pacidose:

          Available in 3 different sizes (0-6 month, 6-18  month, and 18+ month) Although I only sampled the 6-18 month, if I have any more new babies, I will be investing in the smallest size!

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          The pacifier end actually feels like a pacifier! I thought this was important because then it didn’t seem as foreign to my little guy. The package recommended putting the pacifier into another type of liquid (formula, breastmilk) and then giving it to your kiddo so they can get used to the pacifier before you use it with medication.  I think this would be good if your child doesn’t do well with pacifiers.

 

          The syringe is easy to read to ensure you are giving the right amount of medication. I haven’t noticed the markings wearing off at all, but I also have not used the product very much. Hopefully they hold up!

 

          As a nurse, I would LOVE to have something like this to dispense medication to our little ones that come in for surgery. where I work. So often the kids are upset, and they almost always have to take oral medication before and after their procedure. They DO NOT want to take it from me, a total stranger!! This would be great to have in the hospital/doctor’s office setting.

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The only downfall I can think of with this product would be that it is not dishwasher safe. Some reviews I have read talked about the pacifier portion falling apart after only minimal usage. I have not experienced this. I think if the product is taken care of properly (not put through the dishwasher); there won’t be any trouble with this. It seems to be of good quality and very well made.

You can purchase the Pacidose for $12.99 right from their site or from Amazon Prime for $14.99. This might seem like a steep price, but I think it is worth it. This product would also make a fabulous baby gift for new moms and moms-to-be! In my mind, you can’t put a price on making sure your kiddos are healthy and happy and this product does both!

 

-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.**