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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*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.**

 

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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

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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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

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.**

 

The snack struggle is real…

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Having an infant. Constant bottle feeds. Every two hours (sometimes more). Cluster feeding. It’s all such a mess. But in all reality, I didn’t realize how easy it was when I just had one thing to do: feed my child.

As my toddler son has grown, I’ve introduced more and more foods into his diet. However, I’ve found myself feeding him the same things over and over at times, because I couldn’t think of what else to give him. Toddler foods should be nutritious, but also bite-sized (or really, in my son’s case, take that bite-sized piece and cut it into 8 pieces or he’ll gag and barf everywhere. Cool, right?)

So when I finally get sick of the snacks I’m feeding him, I find myself on Pinterest or visiting forums for finger-food ideas that are also healthy.

logo (1).pngEnter NurturMe Yum-a-Roos, an organic toddler snack. 100% real fruits and veggies with no added salts, sugars, or preservatives, and they are dissolvable.

These come in resealable bags and NurturMe offers a variety of snack options. The snack that we elected to try was the pea+banana+pineapple combo. These are freeze-dried so they can be toted along without having to keep them cold.

They are USDA organic, gluten free, and offer a quick, nutritious snack for your little ones on the go.

I am by no means the perfect mom, but I do try diligently to offer my 1.5 year old healthy snacks whenever possible and as a busy parent, this allows me to do just that.

My son loves these snacks. I’d recommend only giving them to children that have a good number of teeth. My son still struggles with the dried peas, but the other fruits and veggies he does really well with!

Thanks to NurturMe for providing a good treat for my toddler!

– Katie

**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.**

 

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.**

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

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.**

Giving my son a haircut was a nightmare, until I discovered these…

Okay. I apologize for the clickbait, but this is so 100% worth it.

My son was born with a mop of thick, dark hair. It quickly fell out, but within a week he had hair again! By 8 months old, his hair was in his eyes and he legitimately looked like some kind of hippie infant (which, I’m okay with. I briefly considered dreadlocks.) My husband and I took our son a street over to our local barber. I had called in advance to make sure he was comfortable with cutting a small child’s hair, to which he replied “oh yeah, I cut my nephew’s hair all the time.” Looking back, this should have been my first red flag.

The experience was horrible.

My son cried until he was red in the face. He hated the clippers, hated the hair in his face and really hated staying still. The barber was shaking and my blood pressure was through the roof.

Round 2:

My son needed another haircut (FML is the appropriate response here.) My sister-in-law is a pro stylist and she has the patience of a saint (obviously, she married my brother. HA! Love you baby bro!) but Lucas still didn’t tolerate the haircut. I mean, when those clippers turned on, it was more like an exorcism than a haircut.

So that was it. I was done. I was firmly set on growing his hair into little baby dreads. I’d buy him some cool Bob Marley t-shirt, figure out how to clean dreads (does one shampoo dreads? I don’t know.) It just wasn’t worth cutting his hair.

I finally gave in and started cutting his hair on my own. I placed him in a booster seat in my living room, put on his favorite show and gave him some snacks and a drink. I only used scissors. While he stayed happy, not only did it take me a good 30 minutes, but his hair was far from even.

I did this several time before getting in touch with Calming Clippers. Considering my son has had 7 haircuts and is only 17 months old, I needed a solution and was willing to try just about anything for a peaceful haircut.

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Calming Clippers is a system composed of typical salon scissors with an attached plastic comb, similar to what you’d add to the end of clippers. The kit comes with scissors, 7 combs of varying sizes, a cape and an organizer. The clips were incredibly easy to attach and detach, and I had no issues changing the tension in the scissors. They also have gel bands in the finger holes to change the sizing to fit smaller or larger hands.

The scissors are branded for those with “sensory sensitivity“. They are ideal for children, but also those with sensory disabilities, in particular children and adults with Autism (as an aside, having worked as a tutor with children that have Autism, the concept of these scissors is going to be so revolutionary to parents that struggle through haircuts due to sound sensitivity!) While my son doesn’t mind most loud noises, the sound of the clippers simply terrifies him, so eliminating those for hair cuts for the time being is the best solution.

To use the scissors, they recommend first cutting the longer locks and then doing rapid cutting while brushing with the comb. My personal experience with these proved that to be accurate in achieving the best cut. For my son, I did a faded look using the 1.5 comb on the sides and the 2 on the top. I was shocked and so relieved to see how even his hair looked. The entire process took me about 5 minutes. That’s it.

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I did find that hair sometimes gets stuck while combing it up, in a way that the hair folds down under the clip, making it so that it doesn’t actually get cut. My solution to this was to wet his hair which assisted with keeping his hair all combed in the right direction. The areas around the ears are still difficult, but with some practice, I have no doubt that I’ll be a pro soon enough. I still take a razor to his sideburns to create a straight line (I just used a 5 blade razor and quickly evened out the area while firmly holding his head to ensure that there was no chance of injury.)

This product has saved my sanity. I cannot possibly thank Calming Clippers enough for the anxiety that they’ve saved me. What a simple, yet amazing solution to such an intense problem for us!

Watch a video on the Calming Clippers HERE

You can purchase these for around $35.00 — essentially the cost of two haircuts. In my book, that’s money saved over the course of 10 haircuts a year!
Calming Clipper Haircutting Kit for Sensory Sensitivity, 10 Piece

Here are two recent photos of my son hanging out with his new haircut!

– 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.**

Gun Safety In The Home

GunSafetyInTheHomeSelf-defense is a very big part of my family’s life. My husband is in law enforcement and keeping our family safe is extremely important to us.rules-of-gun-safety.png

There is a lot of debate about gun control right now, but I am not going to get into that here. Owning a gun is your right and your choice. If your family makes that choice, it needs to be an safe and educated choice! BurritoBuzz is not taking a stance on your gun rights. This is merely an informational article.

I am personally not an expert. These safety tips are just from my family’s safety practices, years of education and experiences.

Twelve steps to safely have a gun in your home.

  1. Always use a safe. Your safe should be specifically made for guns and it should only hold guns, you should have a completely different safe for personal belongings. Even if the kids know there are guns in the home, they shouldn’t know where the safe is or have any type of access to it even if they are within age of teaching gun safety. There should always be parental supervision even when teaching.0075107712309_500X500.jpg
    Gunvault GV1000S Mini Vault Standard Gun Safe This is a simple hand gun safe that we have. I really like it for two reasons. One, you can bolt it anywhere you want to conceal it and two, you don’t have to fumble around for keys. (There is a key provided, but not necessary to open)
  2. Learn how to properly handle a firearm. Whether you take a CCW class or a small class at your local range, you need to learn about your personal gun to ensure proper safety and use make sure you are knowledgeable in your specific firearm.
  3. Practice. You have a gun for emergencies. It is not going to do you any good if you don’t know how to handle it properly. I’m not saying you have to go to the range every weekend, but you should go at least once or twice so you feel comfortable having it in your home and now how to properly handle it.
  4. Ease of access. The gun needs to be secured in a hidden safe but somewhere where you can get to it easily.feature_ORS.png
  5. Teach everyone in your home about firearm safety. Read up on Project child safe and get here their free firearm safety kit!
  6. Always unload and clean your gun after every use. Any firearm should also be cleaned on a regular basis even, when not in use, to keep it clean from dust and to prevent any rust.Cleaning-pistol.jpg
  7. All guns should be treated as if they were loaded. When not actually in use, remember to point it in a safe direction and be sure it is unloaded.
  8. Keep your finger off the trigger.
  9. Always keep your safety in place.
  10. Your children and “Gun play”.  It is a very real activity. Even if you don’t have any play guns in your own home, be sure to teach your children the difference between toy guns and real guns, because they may encounter “gun play” when you’re not around.nerf-revolver.jpg
  11. Talk to your children at a young age about gun safety. Teach them to do the following if they see a gun: “Stop. Don’t Touch. Find an adult to tell.” My husband carries a gun on him at times and my two year old knows not to touch it when it’s attached to daddy (or ever for that matter). Even if you aren’t going to have your gun around your children, please teach them those three steps. It is a simple lesson and it may save a life.If you see a gun. burritobuzz .png
  12. Check state and local laws for storage, transport, and securing requirements. Here is a great overview.

As parents, we are always worrying about our children. We are always worrying if we are doing the right or wrong thing for them. No matter how you do it, I can assure you that if you are taking steps to protect them, you are doing the right thing no matter how you choose to do protect them. If you choose to have a gun in your home, please do it safely! Guns are not toys or collectables. I will be sure to post more about gun safety at the end of this post. The more you educate yourself about this topic, the safer you and your family will be!

– Amanda

PlaSmart Smart Mat {Review}

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My 16 month old son loves his cars. Maybe almost as much as I loved playing cars with my younger brother when I was little. My brother and I had a cool car mat with streets and shops that we would play on for hours at a time. Though, it was located in his room instead of mine, which I still call bullshit on. As an adult, I hate real cars and how much they take from my bank account, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still love a good few hours of playing Hot Wheels with my son. I was thrilled that PlaSmart was sending BurritoBuzz some products, because I was really anxious to get one of their Smart Mats!

We set the Happyville Smart Mat up in our playroom and while my son doesn’t quite get the idea of the roads yet, he truly loves driving his cars on it. The mat is pretty large at 80 x 57 x 0.2 inches, which is way larger than the carpet one that I had when I was young.

It is lightweight, at only 2lbs and the base is made from EVA foam. IMG_2888

The graphics are phenomenal, and the ease of cleaning this mat makes it a great purchase (which I found out after my asshole cat decided to barf on it). The pattern does repeat three times, but most children won’t care or even notice.

This does take a few days to flatten out fully and it also needs to air out. The smell of paint/ink/chemicals when first opening this was extreme and made me a little wary but did go away within a day or two.

While I love the material and texture of the mat, it does damage very easily. My son has put several gouges into the mat already and if you have any pets with claws, you’re doomed and a carpet mat would probably be better for you. Still, toys endure wear and most things look like they’ve been abused after a toddler has played with them.

Traintown.pngThere is also another variation, the Traintown Smart Mat, that BurritoBuzz mom, Casey, received. She also agreed that it needed to air out for a day or two and the graphics are pretty awesome. Her little one likes to play with trains, so her little collection of trains were perfect to play with on her new mat. The graphics are printed three times on the train mat as well, but little Stella doesn’t mind. In fact she liked that mommy and daddy could both have the same “pink house” as she did.

Even with those few cons, I still think this mat is a great addition to our playroom. My son plays on this daily. The Happyville mat will run you around $25 and the Traintown mat is about $30, a pretty modest price for a car and train mat like this!

You can buy yours here:
Plasmart Happyville Smart Mat

Plasmart Traintown Smart Mat

Aden+Anais Dream Blanket {Review}

You might already know about Aden+Anais, because BurritoBuzz moms love their products. We did a review not long ago on their toddler bedding, but I want to share my new favorite love with you all: The Aden+Anais Dream Blanket.

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Their super soft muslin dream blanket is four layers of rayon, made from bamboo. The blanket is breathable, but still thick enough to be plush and warm. The quality stitching keeps your blanket from falling apart like many other blankets do, particullarly when being machine washed over and over again.

 

machine washable
for care instructions
soft
pre-washed and stays soft wash after wash
layers
four layers of 100% rayon made from bamboo
47″ x 47″ baby blanket
I was thrilled to throw this into my son’s crib, knowing that it’s a safe product for him (he’s now 16 months, so well beyond the age of keeping items out of the crib.) This is a good starter blanket for him. The designs are truly beautiful, and I chose the Midnight – Stylo. What I like most about this blanket is how easy it is to quickly fold up and transport– it isn’t bulky, so it easily fits into my diaper bag.
The price point is a little high for the Dream Blanket, at right around $60. The cost of most muslin products, especially of such good quality, is generally slightly higher than a typical blanket.
Many thanks to Aden + Anais for always providing quality products.

Buy yours here!:
aden + anais Silky Soft Dream Blanket, Midnight Stylo, 1 Pack

-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.**

Levana Ovia {Review}+UPDATE

mamanloupsden_levana-ovia-2-video-monitor-422x318Several weeks back I did a review of the Levana Lila. The Lila was a mediocre product at best. So, Levana sent me a new monitor system to review, the Ovia. This really ranges in price from $150 to easily over $350 depending on how many cameras you get with your system, as well as where you purchase it from. My system came with two cameras.

The system looks nice, and appears much more modern in design than some of the other Levana systems that I’ve seen. Set up was easy. The cameras quickly sync to the monitor, and mounting them to the wall took a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, like the Lila, the cord for the Ovia still isn’t quite long enough to reach the corner of a standard wall without an extension cord.

While the monitor appears to be touch-screen, it unfortunately isn’t and instead operates on a moderately difficult arrow-and-enter button system. The interface is difficult to use, especially in the middle of the night when I’m waking up from a dead-sleep. The features are fairly straight-forward: there is a microphone to speak to your baby, a pan/tilt option, the home button, arrows, and the enter button (which also serves as a 2x zoom.) The home screen offers a few other features, which I’ll talk about below.ovia_lcd.jpg

  1. The Pan/Tilt Feature: Great. I love being able to change the pan/tilt from the monitor. The only down side is that the camera motors aren’t nearly quiet enough for a nursery. I found them to be fairly loud, and my 9 month old is a light sleeper.
  2. The Zoom Feature: A good option to have. I zoom in to check my son’s breathing, but the zoom is only a 2x zoom, so it’s nothing to dote over since there’s no variable zoom.
  3. Music: Definitely my favorite feature of this monitor. There are three song choices that you can turn on from the monitor, and they will play from the camera base. You can also adjust the volume.
  4. Camera/Video Recording: Cool feature, but the quality of the camera is too poor to really matter (getting to that point shortly…)
  5. Wake Mode: One of the best features of Levana monitors is that you can keep the monitor on constantly, or have the screen and sound turn on only for various noise levels in the nursery.
  6. Camera: Shockingly, disappointingly poor. The camera on this is SO bad that sometimes I can hardly make out the outline of a baby in the crib. The clarity is terrible, which seems to be in part because of the camera’s inability to focus and define exposure. There is a ton of noise/pixelation in the photo. I get that it’s a baby monitor and doesn’t need to have perfect definition, but this is worse clarity than you would find on a cell phone from 2004. Essentially, do not expect your picture on your monitor to look like the advertisements…
  7. Camera Switching: The menu interface gives you the option to see one camera, or all cameras (up to 4.) I would prefer to see an easy option for switching cameras on the main-frame instead of having to use the menu or the up arrow button.
  8. Monitor: Sturdy, decent stand, but the interface still leaves much to be desired. And if you’re looking to purchase one of these, it’s important to know that it comes with a power supply, but not with the docking station. (An SD card is already included with the monitor, though.) Also, I found it difficult to see the monitor sitting on my night stand from my bed. The way that the screen is designed, you need to be looking at it square-on to see the picture (much like many PC monitors.) But really, who wants to sit up in the middle of the night to see what their LO is up to? (It’s not me.)
  9. Battery Life: Much better. So far, I’ve used this monitor for several hours with no problem. At night, I leave it plugged in and during the day I usually carry it around.
  10. Wifi: This monitor so far has not interfered with the WiFi signal in my home like the Lila did. Definitely a plus.

The design of this system was good in theory, but really not executed to the extent that it should have been for such a pricey monitor. With a few of the camera issues worked out, moving to a touch screen, and fixing some of the other small issues, I think this would be a much better sell.

UPDATE

After around half a year of owning the Levana Ovia, I’ve had even more difficulties. The exposure has continued to decline. The audio sometimes makes noises. My second camera only displays upside down, and my monitor sometimes shows the picture with the icons on top of it. It constantly cuts out. I contacted Levana, and the customer service isn’t great. They want a deposit to return, as well as the owner of the system to pay shipping costs upfront. After a technician decides whether or not your system is good or not (when it’s blatantly not,) you get your deposit back. Also, they expect you to send your system in before receiving a new one, which makes baby monitoring…well…impossible, unless you own another system. Only after I asked did they offer to send in a new system while I send back the old (with the deposit, of course.) Overall, I’m incredibly shocked at the poor product as well as the poor service. I love a few of my Levana products, but their monitors have consistently disappointed.

-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.**

Burt’s Bees {Skin Care Review}

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Anyone that’s walked through the baby skin care aisle at a store knows that there is an ample selection, so much so that the options are overwhelming. And, if you’re anything like me, you like to do your research before purchasing a product. As a frugal person, I hate wasting my hard earned money on products that I end up hating.

We’ve written several skin care reviews, but I was exceptionally excited to collaborate with Burt’s Bees since they’re a top name in the industry. Their products are naturally sourced and cruelty free. I was most interested in their ointments and lotion, all of which Burt’s Bees sent my way.

So here’s the rundown:

BB10008Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Lotion: LOVED

Their lotion is minimally fragrant, thick, and incredibly moisturizing. A little bit really went a long way. I used this on my son’s skin as well as my own, and thought it was a fantastic product.

 • Moisturizes with Buttermilk, Shea Butter and Sunflower Seed Oil
• No phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, or SLS
• Pediatrician-tested and hypo-allergenic

Overall, I have preferred this to many other lotions that I’ve bought for my son so far.

Buy it here: Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Nourishing Lotion Original — 6 oz

BB10004Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Multipurpose Ointment: LOVED

A pretty typical ointment, great for forming a protective layer over skin. I personally use a light ointment every diaper change to prevent diaper rash and keep my son comfortable. This was perfect for that. Light, not super disgustingly gooey like many are. Also, the smell was much better than many other ointments.

• Petroleum-free and non-irritating
• Forms barrier against dryness
• No phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, or SLS
• Pediatrician-tested and hypo-allergenic
• Safe, effective and natural

Buy it here: Burt’s Bees Baby Bee 100% Natural Multipurpose Ointment, 7.5 Ounces (Packaging May Vary)

Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Diaper Cream to Powder: Not a FanBabyBee_Cream_to_Powder

The idea behind the cream to powder is great. I’ve never been a huge fan of baby powder, because I think that ointment works better for protecting skin from rash. However, I was fascinated by this idea. At first I liked the consistency of the product. Yet, I found a few things I wasn’t so fond of: this did nothing for even the most minimal of rashes, and the oil separates from the cream, making for a huge mess at times (even after shaking this product, I found that the oil still came out first– not a good idea when you’re already wrestling a toddler for a diaper change.) Outside of that, I also found the thick tube difficult and thought a thin tube would work better. Overall, I think this product needs modifications.

• Dries to a powdery, soft finish
• Talc free
• Hypoallergenic
• Pediatrician Tested
• Safe, effective and natural

Buy it here: Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Cream To Powder, 4 Ounces

All of Burt’s Bees’ products are easily available online and in store. For a product that is 99% natural, the price is definitely right and under the price point of many other comparable lines.

-Katie

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

I’m not throwing caution to the wind…

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I’ve seen a lot of articles lately about “being tough on your kids” and “let them bleed” philosophies. The idea: that life is tough, so get a helmet.

To each their own, but I’m not that mom.

I think there is a fine line between coddling your baby, and just wanting them to avoid unnecessary harm. I fall into the latter category.

When my baby is whining for no good reason, I let him whine. When he’s genuinely not injured and milking it, I let him whine. When he does NOT want to sleep, even though he’s tired… I let him whine. I’m not reacting to his falls unless they’re warrant attention. I’m not endorsing reckless behavior. I’m certainly not allowing him to dramatize situations merely for the attention of it.

You get it.

But the “let them bleed” mentality is not for me. If my toddler falls and is obviously in pain, I’m going to snuggle him until he feels better. Am I going to leave my child unattended to play outside? Not anytime soon. Am I going to let him crawl up the stairs without me right behind him? Someday, but that day isn’t now when he’s 15 months old.

My child is a pretty stinking independent kid for his age, and I think it’s important to let him play and learn on his own.

But I draw a line when being cautious with your child is somehow a bad thing. Avoiding unnecessary chaos? I’m all about it. We instinctively protect our children, and from an emotional and even biological standpoint it makes sense. Apologizing for my intuition to keep my child safe/healthy is not something that’s happening any time soon.

So here’s what I’m getting at: balance. Not coddling, but also not being cold to the fact that your child is just that… a child. They’ll know the harsh realities of the world soon enough no matter how you parent. And as my child gets older, I’ll step back, because I’m raising him to be a responsible, mature, adult that can choose caution on his own and will certainly make mistakes.

My son is our one and only. We struggled to get pregnant, and could have lost him so easily in labor had things gone differently. Perhaps a combination of these things has made me think day in and day out how much I want him to just live a happy, healthy, safe life. And, if that means my biggest vice is being too cautious… so be it. My parenting has in no way been a hindrance to his development and independence.

We’re all doing the best we can do. Parenting styles differ, and to say that being a cautious parent is a bad thing… well, if that’s the worst thing I’m doing then I’m doing pretty well at this parenting gig.

-Katie

 

 

Baby Gate {Review} Summer Infant

Baby gates. Often necessary, but almost always ugly and inconvenient. More often than not, they don’t fit the space that you need, or require being hard-mounted directly into the wall. My home is a century home, and drilling in to that original woodwork just wasn’t happening. The space that we needed a gate for was also far wider than a typical gate opening.IMG_1610

There are very few options for wide gates that pressure mount. Even fewer that are appeasing to the eye.

Thankfully, Summer Infant solved all of my problems. Their gate is dark gray metal, and has a nicely finished wooden door. It has a total of 4 pieces that easily fit together to fit the width of most areas. We needed all four pieces to span our doorway. The pressure mount was simple, though much easier with two people if you’re using the widest setting. The pressure mounts have a rubber backing to protect the surface of your wall and also keep the gate from sliding.

The gate also is easy to open with one hand, something very necessary if you’re carrying your baby/toddler in your other arm. This gate does not automatically close like many others, but I prefer gates that aren’t spring-loaded.

Summer Infant Decorative Wood and Metal Expansion Walk-Thru Gate

The Summer Infant gate will run you around $75. This is a pretty standard price-point for a gate this size, and much more aesthetically appealing than many of the competitor’s gates.IMG_1611

32-inch tall gate fits openings 36-60 inches wide.

We’ve owned ours for the better part of 6 months now, and have been told many times how nice it looks in comparison to other gates.

Thanks to Summer Infant for a great product!

-Katie

 

Guava Family Lotus Crib {Review}

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My son is now 14 months old. He is weighing in at 26lbs. and a very tall 34in. Meaning, he’s over the limits, or close to the limits, for most traditional pack n’ plays.

Crazy, right? While we aren’t a family that is super keen on the idea of a pack n’ play for every day use, let’s be honest… sometimes they are necessary to get the bathroom scrubbed, throw in some laundry, or just sit down for a second instead of chasing your baby/toddler around.

A pack n’ play is a safe place for your little one, and the peace of mind that comes with that makes the purchase worthwhile.

So, what was I going to do? Travel was going to be harder– many vacation spots don’t offer cribs, and we aren’t co-sleepers.

Upon Googling “large toddler pack n’ play” I stumbled upon a few options, the Guava Lotus being one of them (and the top rated, as far as I could tell.) The lower shelf of the crib sits on the floor, making it safer for those higher-weight babies/toddlers. 

Fascinated, I checked out all the facts on the website and quickly decided that this was a great option for us. IMG_1565

Purchase yours here: http://www.guavafamily.com/ 

Why?

-The travel crib is so much more than just a place to sleep. The side unzips so that my son can crawl in and out when he’s playing. Great for the beach (and you can purchase a sun shade for this,) outside camping, or just for making a fun fort in the living room (which we did.) The side zip has a zipper safety so that your little one can’t undo it.

The Lotus is light. I have some pretty bad lower back problems, so a traditional pack n’ play wasn’t cutting it for me. The Lotus is 13lbs, and easily moved around.

-Set up and tear down could not be any easier. In a matter of seconds, I can have this set up, or torn down. 

The mattress is much better than a standard pack n’ play. I found myself un-enthused with the cardboard-like structure of most, and this one is an exception. It has a nice amount of cushion while still being within safety guidelines. It also has a coating to keep it waterproof.

IMG_1544-The 360 mesh sides bring comfort in knowing that if my guy smashes his face up against the sides, he’ll be able to breath just fine.

-The mesh and guard rails easily come off if washing is necessary.

Legs have extra padding on the inside, just in case your little one falls or likes to bang their head on things (which, my son does…)

Optional accessories: sheet, quilted mattress pad, sun shade, mosquito net.

-The best part to me? This whole thing folds up in to a super portable backpack, with padded straps and all. It stores on an airplane in the overhead storage, as well. The quick design, and portability, make traveling much less daunting.

Overall, I have very few complaints. The design shows immense time in engineering, and attention to detail. It was a purchase worth making in my book.

This WILL run you a good $250, unless you can get it on sale. The accessories are not included, and are also pretty pricey. To make this mainstream, I’d like to see this running consistently at $175 with a sheet and sun shade included.IMG_1540

There is a bassinet, as well, which comes separately. Ideal for new parents that want their LO in their bedroom for the first few weeks/months.

This has been one of my favorite baby purchases so far. We enjoy traveling, and it’s nice to have a quick, safe place for my guy to hang out and snooze. We hope to use this for years to come! Thanks to Guava Family for providing a great product.

-Katie

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Lucas enjoying the Lotus as a fort…

Water Bottle of the Gods {Review}

61Yd1fRTV+L._SL1111_If you don’t have a Camelbak cup yet, you don’t know what you’re missing out on! After months of spilled milk (actually worth crying over when it’s in your carpet,) I’ve finally found a great straw cup.

I, no joke, purchased probably 20 sippy cups in hot pursuit of one that worked. How hard can a freaking sippy cup be to execute?  Cup after cup, I found myself aggravated and seething with anger that all that money spent on sippy cups could have gone to Chipotle burritos.

We’ve done a great many reviews on sippy cups on BurritoBuzz, most of which have been bad. Happily, this one is vastly different.

The Camelbak cup is simple. It is a larger-than-usual straw cup that the baby/toddler must both bite down and suck to get liquid out. I thought it might be a tricky concept for my son, but he got the hang of it within minutes. The cup is four pieces, and is simple to take apart and clean. 

I’ve found it numerous times laying sideways on the floor and it hasn’t leaked. The straw portion also folds down to prevent any possible spillage when not in use.

Two things I dislike:

  1. If you little one is teething and biting, they may be able to push the straw all the way in. My guy has only done this twice, because it’s pretty hard to do. When this does happen it creates a mess, but I’ve found that if I really make sure the straw is secure it’s a non-issue.
  2. This water bottle wouldn’t work well for littles that are just learning. The straw is too big/difficult to use. I’d recommend starting the use of the Camelbak cup around 8-9 months.

The cup comes in all kinds of great colors and designs. And while they’re a little pricier than a typical sippy cup, ($10-$12,) they are worth the funds. Instead of spending $100 on 20 cups you’ll throw away, spend $20 on two that you’ll use until your LO is done with sippy cups.

I strongly recommend this to any parent or caretaker looking for a good cup option. Add it to your registry, buy it as a gift… it’s a well-designed product!

-Katie