Bookroo Monthly Children’s Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

~Amanda

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

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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.**

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOW TO USE

Apply:

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

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

Ingest:

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

Peppermint and Children

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

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

– Amanda

 

 

Mommy has OCD

Being a parent is hard. I mean, it’s a never, ever, ever ending job. Your work is never done and will probably never be done even when your babies are grown with babies of their own. But I find being Obsessive Compulsive AND a mom is literally the hardest thing I may ever do. When you have OCD, you obsess over specific things. For me, it’s cleaning and tiporganization. If you come to my house and I’m expecting you, you most likely won’t find any toys in the living room, kitchen, bathroom or our bedroom. All of my three year old’s toys are in her room with a few lucky ones in the future playroom in the basement. All of those toys are organized to a damn T. You wouldn’t even know we have children if it weren’t for their pictures plastered on the walls, artwork displayed on the fridge, the rack drying my youngest daughter’s bottles on the kitchen counter and the mamaRoo in the living room (it’s hard to move and store). Being told “for having kids, your house is the cleanest I have ever seen” is one of the best compliments I have ever gotten. Here is a little glimpse inside my irrational and sometimes crazy OCD mind.

Dishes: There cannot be any dishes left in the sink at night for me to do in the morning. There is no way I can sleep knowing they are there. I just can’t. Also, iftoys2 you want to see me to go bat shit crazy, go ahead and put a dirty dish in the sink right after I get done washing and drying all of them. I freaking double dog dare you.

Toys: Ahh, with kids come massive amounts toys. You can throw one away each day and it seems like three show up in its place. Who buys all this crap anyway? When I notice my daughter is done playing with something, like Lego Duplos for example, no matter how bad I fight it, I have to clean them up and put them away even though I know she will get them back out five minutes later (it happens every time). They all have specific places for them in her room, too. Although my husband knows this, he refuses to put them where they go. I think he does it on purpose to see if my head will actually spin all the way around.

Sweeping: If you have a dog or cat or both, you know how much hair they can produce. You can find it along the baseboards of each room, clumps of it stuck to the carpet, pretty much everywhere in your house. It is utterly disgusting and gets even worse the two times a year when our Border Collie/Lab mix sheds his coat. There are days when I don’t get to eat but remember that I had some of his hair in my mouth several times that day so that must count as eating something. Anyone know how many calories hair has? No matter how many times I vacuum the entire house and brush his coat outside, the hair never goes away and it’s almost maddening Washing windowshow fast it finds its way back to the baseboards.

Windows: The hardest ‘chore’ (if you want to call it a chore) for me are the windows. They are never clean enough, even the ones my toddler isn’t able to reach and lick. If I see a smudge or streak, I have to drop everything (except the baby, I lay her down), get my Windex and paper towels and get to cleaning. But it’s never good enough. Sometimes it looked better before I tried to clean them which fills me with rage which means it’s earmuff time for my toddler as I drop a few f-bombs. Someone should invent self cleaning windows or a spray like Rain-X so it repels everything. Did I just invent a multi-million dollar product? Shark Tank, here I come! 

Laundry: I never understood when people said ‘it’s laundry day’ and have mounds and mounds of laundry to do. Every day is laundry day at this house. I do at least one load a day. We have a hamper in our room but no clothes ever see the inside olaundryf it. They get thrown downstairs and get put in the washer and I run it when it’s full. There are never any towels on the floor or random socks anywhere. If you looked in our closets you would definitely know someone with OCD lives here. All of our clothes are organized by color and sleeve and pant length. Yes, I know I have entirely too much time on my hands.

Making Beds: If I could, I would make the beds while my husband and and daughter are still in them. I just can’t with unfolded blankets, pillows thrown about and the sheets wrinkled. It makes my skin crawl just looking at an unmade bed. I don’t drink coffee or tea in the morning (or at all – how am I so high strung without caffeine?) so to get my day going I have to make our beds. Now that I say that out loud it sounds a little crazy.

Organizing: I like to think of myself as the Queen of Organization because my house is so organized that it annoys the shit out of me (and my loving husband, too). Everything has to be lined up perfectly, centered on the wall, facing the right way, labels out and it has to be clean. Rugs on the floor have to be lined up perfectly to the couch or in the center of the cabinet it lies under. I don’t even like my husband to touch certain things because I know he won’t put it back the correct way. He knows he will feel the wrath of his crazy ass wife. How in the hell am I still marriCrazy housewife with kitchen toolsed? My husband is an honest to God saint.

I’ve seen quotes saying “a messy home means love lives here” or something to that effect. A messy home may mean that love lives there but it doesn’t mean love doesn’t live here. It’s just a spotless, well manicured kind of love so mommy doesn’t lose her shit.

– Casey

Mixing Babies and Fur Babies

IMG_7652Many years before having our son Lucas, my husband and I adopted our cats, Edgar and Basil.

Our cats are mellow, and they’ve enjoyed the quiet of our home.

Alllll that changed once Lucas was born. We knew it would be a huge adjustment for them, and really started to plan for introducing the new baby to them. Their entire world was about to be disrupted by a tiny human that needs constant attentiontheir days of cat nip every day and warm milk in a dish were numbered.

When we brought our baby home, we let the cats first smell his blankets and clothing to get used to his scent. We then put our newborn in his infant seat and let the cats approach and smell him at their own pace. The transition went really, exceptionally well. 

I should note, we were even more concerned because both of our cats have feline herpes. You heard me. While it’s not quite as gross as it sounds, it still sucks. Edgar initially had it, and transmitted it to Basil. Thankfully, they can’t transmit to humans. Essentially, when they get stressed they get eye infections that require an expensive ointment. If you’ve never put ointment into a cat’s eye before, count yourself lucky. So, #firstworldcatproblems, I have to worry about my cats being STRESSED. HA. We painted our living room once, and it stressed our cats out so badly that they were both running around with eye infections (our vet told us any small change can trigger it.) Thankfully, bringing our baby home didn’t stress them out and we were eye-herpie free.

When we put our son in his nursery to sleep for the first time (around 8 weeks old,) we made sure to keep the cats out until they understood that they were NOT allowed in the crib. Until we were comfortable with the cats in the nursery, we had a baby gate up that was too high for them to jump over. To this day, we’ve only had a cat jump into the crib once (and I think it scared him so badly that he’ll never do it again.)

One of our cats, Basil, does like to push the nursery door open. We’ve (mostly) solved this problem by spraying him with a squirt bottle when it does it.

BUT, more importantly, now that our son is old enough to understand the word “no” we are teaching him to be gentle with the pets. We never allow him to chase them, tug at them, or get in their faces. I have let Lucas pet the cats with an open hand and tell him to be “soft”. IMG_7647

Our animals are gentle animals. But they are animals. If provoked, they will likely revert back to their instinctual cat selves and hiss or scratch if they feel threatened.

When I see photos of small children pulling on dogs, or up in their faces, I instantly get anxious.

No matter how much you love and trust your pet, keeping your child safe is your first priority. Animals are unpredictable, and whether you think you know your pet or not, it takes a split second for their demeanor to change.

Here are some basic guidelines that we abide by with our pets, and with other pets that our son is around:

  1. Make sure all pets have had the proper veterinary care. Keep your pets healthy, and keep their nails short to avoid scratching.
  2. Do not leave your pet unattended with your child.
  3. Do not allow pets to cuddle with infants that are not old enough to move away if they are being smothered. (We don’t allow our 9 month old to cuddle with our cats anyway.)
  4. Pets can be extremely dirty. Keep your animals clean. Don’t allow them to get into the habit of licking or putting their paws on your child (especially their face.) Our cats use litter boxes, and for that reason I try to keep Lucas from touching their paws.
  5. Keep animal things out of reach of your baby (food, medications, litter, etc.)
  6. Start teaching your child as soon as possible not to provoke animals, and that they should always be handled gently.
  7. Keep large animals from sprinting through your household and injuring your child in the process. (I’ve been hurt more than once by a large dog that is too rambunctious.)
  8. If all else fails, keep your animals contained to a part of the house that your children are not in until they can be properly socialized.

The ASPCA has some great resources on co-mingling babies with cats and dogs. The Humane Society also offers some great advice.

I’m a huge animal lover, and as such, I want my family to be a cohesive unit where our son can hang out freely with our pets. Precautions are key to avoiding issues and injury. Know that this is an adjustment for all of you, and that it sometimes just takes time and understanding.

-Katie

Look out Dogs Here Comes Baby!

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With BB#1 this was my biggest concern! I knew that our dogs would be great with a new addition because they have always done well with children, but I had other problems with it! Any new mommy is probably going to have the same thoughts that I did, so I am going to go through them and give our solutions.

  • Dog hair: Depending on the color hair your dog has, don’t buy things that will make the hair stand out. (Our dogs are brown and it really shows on black clothing so we never put him in it!)
  • Furniture: We’ve never allowed the dogs to be on any furniture. This was a lot of work to train them but it is a huge help! This also helped our dogs to realize that they aren’t on the same level as our child! (Don’t get me wrong; we love our dogs, but THEY ARE NOT HUMAN!)
  • Baby Talk: When we found out we were pregnant; we stopped the “baby talk” to our pets! If you talk like this to your child and/or pets, things will get very confusing and frustrating for everyone. The sooner you put a stop to it the sooner your dogs will adjust.
  • Vacuum: My last and biggest piece of advice now that our son is 11 months old is to sweep everyday. We don’t keep our dogs out of rooms just because our son is in there; we want them to be together. So I do a quick sweep of the house every morning. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it really helps keep the hair off baby and all his things! I never worry that where he is crawling is dirty or covered with dog hair!

All in all, it really wasn’t a huge transition for our pets or us. I stressed way too much over something that had very simple fixes. I hope that these can be useful and helpful tips for your family!

-Kayla