Akron Children’s Museum. Cabin Fever No More.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Open Tuesdays- Sundays 10am-6pm

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

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

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

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

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

Advertisements

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

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

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

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

Ingredients:

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

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

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

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

-Kirstyn

Tray Haven {Review}


trayhavenNow that my youngest is almost 9 months old, she’s hell bent on feeding herself. If a spoon or fork goes anywhere near her face, she swipes at whatever’s on it so she can shovel it in her mouth with her own two hands. Because of her new found independence, we just cut food into small bits and put it on her high chair tray so she can go to town on her own. Most of the food ends up on the floor rather than in her mouth though. She thinks it’s funny to throw it all on the floor (I think she wants to give our dog a snack) along with her sippy cup of water. After going through this with my oldest, I pink5-500x500decided to find something so don’t have to keep picking her cup and pieces of food up and constantly cleaning the floor. I stumbled upon Tray Haven and I’m so glad I did! I reached out and the company was kind enough to send me one to try out.

I received our Tray Haven just in time for Thanksgiving and it was a life saver! It’s made to work with most high chairs, booster seats, and wheelchairs with removable trays and seat backs. It’s designed to keep food and objects on the tray, and not on the floor. It’s made from durable mesh and strong straps so it can withstand a lot. It also collapses really easy and can be taken anywhere. We’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and I am so happy with how well it keeps everything where it should be! It’s super simple to attach it to a high chair (or even a stroller). Here’s a video that perfectly shows and explains how to use the Tray Haven:

Tray Haven has made mealtime with my baby so much easier, not to mention there is less to clean up! No more bending over to pick things up over and over and over (because it always turns into a game) and no more constant cleaning of the floor. I wish I would have had one when my oldest was a baby, she was always throwing her food and cups! I give Tray Haven a 5 out of 5 stars. It’s made of quality materials, it’s easy to use, and it works! At $34.99 and available in pink and blue, they make great gifts for birthdays, holidays, and baby showers. Parents and caregivers will be so grateful! Purchase yours here!

If you want to win Tray Haven of your own, you’re in luck! We’re giving away a blue Tray Haven to one lucky winner! All you have to do is follow these easy steps to enter:

  1. Like both @burritobuzz and @trayhaven on Instagram.
  2. Like the original giveaway post.tray2
  3. Tag friends you think are in need of a Tray Haven, too!
  4. That’s it!

The giveaway will begin Friday December, 9th at 12pm and will end Monday December, 12th at 12pm. A winner will be randomly chosen and announced on the original giveaway post within 24 hours of the giveaway ending. Goodluck! **This giveaway is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.**

Don’t forget to like Tray Haven on Facebook and Twitter, too, for product updates!

– Casey

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

BurritoBuzz Mom Approved: Ella’s Kitchen

We want the best for our babies. When it comes to food, I try to make sure my 6 month old is getting the best possible nutrition. Some say the best way to know what your baby is eating, is to makek_logo_good_bluestrap_rgb_painte their baby food yourself. Well, I don’t have the time or patience to make her food. I know it’s not that hard, I just don’t want to. So how do I know that my little one is being fed the best possible food for her little sensitive belly? Ella’s Kitchen!

Ella’s Kitchen is 100% USDA certified organic baby and toddler food and drinks that is handy for mom and dad. Ella’s Kitchen makes food that appeals to all of the senses of little ones, from the texture, colors, taste, the packaging, and even their names. Made with natural ingredients, Ella’s Kitchen shows that food can be both healthy and yummy, even for the pickiest of eaters! You can even do a product search on their website for special diets; gluten free, lactose free, and vegetarian products can be searched for here. Ella’s Kitchen also takes care of our planet. You can send back your used pouches and capsella, and they’re then made into unique products and of course the cardboard boxes can be recycled. 

Ella’s Kitchen offers foods for babies from 4 months (Ella’s 1) and from 6 months (Ella’s 2) to toddlers 1+ year and Big Kids. There are no baby food jars, just easy and convenient pouches. Baby foods are made with all kinds of savory fruits and vegetables. There are so many combinations available for baby food, toddler snacks, and drinks, there are too many to list! Check out what Ella’s Kitchen has to offer here!

My almost 7 month old loves everything she has tried from Ella’s Kitchen and my toddler loves their delicious nutritious drinks and shakes and dev41f41c19c7dbee85307d6fcf40f8d043ours their toddlers snacks. I love knowing that both my girls are eating healthy and that they love what they’re eating.

I am so glad I found Ella’s Kitchen and that my family loves it. And while it costs more than Gerber or Beechnut baby food, you know that your little one is getting certified organic food and getting the best for his/her little belly. Check out your local grocery store or find out where to buy here. Your little one will love Ella’s Kitchen, and so will you!

Don’t forget to follow Ella’s Kitchen on Facebook and Twitter!

– Casey

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

The Original Squeeze Company {Review + Giveaway}

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

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

All Squeezes are:

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

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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

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

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

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

– Casey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOW TO USE

Apply:

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

YOUNGLIVINGBURRITOBUZZALLERGYSEASONDIFFUSER.jpgDiffuse:

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

Ingest:

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

Peppermint and Children

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

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

– Amanda

 

 

Re-Think Mealtime with Re-Play {Review + Giveaway}

img_9596I was recently looking for new silverware for my toddler, something that was fun, easy to handle, and I wanted to stay away from metal. I found a really cute set of plastic forks and spoons made by Re-Play and they are perfect for little hands. They were exactly what I was looking for and I was pleasantly surprised at the price, just over $2.50 for a pack of 8! If you know me or have read any of my blog posts, you know I’m a cheapskate. The price point is perfect for those on a budget (I’ve learned that all Re-Play products are easy on the wallet). They’re super durable and my daughter loved them soreplay1 I decided to reach out to Re-Play to collaborate on a blog review. They were kind enough to send a Complete Toddler Feeding Set (right) for my daughter to try. I soon started learned what an amazing company Re-Play is and I am so excited to share this company with our readers!

The moms at BurritoBuzz love products that are good for the planet, good for our families, and products that are made in the USA. This company hits all of those marks and more! Re-Play products are made from recycled milk jugs! How awesome is that? That means there are less milk jugs (we all know you go through gallons and gallons of milk when you have kids) ending up in landfills thanks to Re-Play, which is a family-owned and family-focused company. The brand looks to fulfill 5 Tenants of Responsibility: sustainability, safety, durability, functionality, and affordability. Re-Play is a brand you can feel really good about buying from. Their products are a better alternative for those looking to make the planet a better place for their children and future generations. Check out the Re-Play recycling process here:

I picked the white set for my daughter to try, but there are a ton of colors to choose from (they’re all dishwasher safe and they don’t fade)! Seriously, it probably took me a half an hour and asking my husband repeatedly what color I should pick (white was not one of his fullsizerenderchoices but I loved it and ultimately decided on it), it was not an easy choice. The Complete Toddler Feeding Set ($22) includes: 1 spoon and 1 fork, 1 divided plate, 1 spill proof cup, 1 drinking cup, 1 snack pod, and 1 bowl. I must say, Re-Play makes fantastic products! They’re so durable and the spill proof sippy is in fact spill proof. My daughter has used a popular brand of sippies with characters on them since ditching the bottle years ago, but they eventually leak and the spout gets cruddy as the plastic piece inside the mouthpiece, which is hard to clean. The Re-replay3Play spill proof cup is only 3 parts: the cup, lid, and valve. It is so easy to clean, as are all of the products! They come in packs of 2 for only $8.99! Products range in price from $4.99 for 8 utensils to $5.99 for 3 bowls, $7.99 for 3 divided plates to $5.99 for a snack stack of 2, check out all of their products and prices here! The snack pod is perfect for on the go and it has allowed me to stop using plastic sandwich bags (there I go, helping to save the planet again). The prices are very affordable and there are several color combinations to chose from, like rainbow, sorbet, and bold to name a few. Re-Play also has kitchen essentials for grown ups and teethers and toys for little ones. Be sure to check out the product section on their website to see all of their goodies!

I have fallen in love with Re-Play! I love that the company is helping the earth and future generations by recycling what would be waste. I give their products a 5 out of 5 stars. I will definitely be purchasing more of their products, especially their spill proof cups for my girls! Re-Play is available on Amazon, through the Re-Play website, and in store at WalMart, Whole Foods, Kroger, HEB, Target, and at various specialty shops and grocers around the country. Give Re-Play a try and I can promise that you will fall in love, not only with their amazing and durable products, but the wonderful company!

We have an exclusive code for 15% off a $20+ purchase just for our readers! Use code BurritoBuzz2016 at checkout to save on your order! **Code is good through Tuesday, September 27th.**

Re-Play has offered to give away a Feeding Set to one of our lucky readers! You’ll definitely want to try to win and it’s super easy to enter:img_9595-1

  1. Follow @burritobuzz and @replaymeals on Instagram
  2. Like the giveaway post
  3. Comment with your choice of color
  4. Tag a friend

That’s it! The giveaway will run from Tuesday, September 20th at 12pm and will end Thursday, September 22nd at 12pm. We will announce the winner on the original post on Thursday, September 22nd shortly after 12pm. Good luck and share with your friends! **Instagram is in no way sponsoring this giveaway.**

Don’t forget to follow Re-Play on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter for updates and sales!

– Casey

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

FunBites: Making Mealtime Fun

Toddlers are picky. I think it’s just ingrained in our DNA that when we’re between the ages of 1 and 5, we’re picky little turds. My almost four year old is beyond picky. The one and only food that she is guaranteed to eat is potatoes: french fries, mashed potatoes, tater tots, potato-filled pierogies and hash browns. That’s it. It’s really hard getting her to try
new foods or to eat anything other than potatoes. I’m guessing (hoping) it’s a normal toddler thing. I set out to find IMG_6803
something to help me get her to eat different kinds of foods and found FunBites. I reached out to FunBites and they were awesome enough to send me one of their Bite-Sized Food Cutter Sets.

FunBites is the first and only food cutter set that creates bite-sized fun for little ones! Each set included a patented curved, little finger safe blade cutter with matching popper (to easily pop the food out). It’s BPA free, dishwasher safe and made in the USA (which we love)! It’s CPSC children’s product compliant, making it safe for little ones 18 months and older. You might have seen FunBites on Shark Tank in 2015, too! I now remember seeing their pitch and thought it was genius!

We were sent Jackie the Dreamer, the orange triangle set. There are several designs available: squares in green or yellow, hearts in pink or red, triangles in orange or blue and limited edition Minions goggles! Once I got the cutter out of the box, I explained to my daugher what exactly it was. I said it cuts food, like sandwiches and fruit, into triangles. She immediately asked for a peanut butter sandwich and I happily obliged (remember, she doesn’t eat much of anything). I washed the cutter and made the sandwich then put the cutter directly onto the sandwich and rocked it back and forth, to make sure each part is cut all the way through. Once rocked enough, IiIMG_6805ned up the popper, pushed it down and popped out the triangles. It was so easy! I placed the triangles on a plate and my little one devoured them. She actually asked for two more triangle sandwiches! What?! She ate every single piece! I will be ordering the other shapes as well to make more creative dishes for her and her little sister once she’s old enough.

 

If you’re looking to spice up mealtime and get your picky eater to actually want to eat, try FunBites and get creative! They’re perfect for kids, parents, grandparents, schools and daycares, anyone who wants to add some fun to mealtime! You can even get your kids to help you in the kitchen and have them create a little masterpiece to eat. I give FunBites a 5 out of 5 stars. The price is right at $9.99, although I think a bundle of two or three cutters at a discounted price would be great to offer.  It’s easy and gets kids to eat. What more could a mom ask for?FullSizeRender (100)

Follow FunBites on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on sales and new designs!

– Casey

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

Pic’s (Really Good) Peanut Butter {Review}

Pics-Seriously-Good-Peanut-Butter-300x172I don’t know about the rest of the moms and dads out there, but my household would not survive without peanut butter. I love it, my husband loves it and now my kids love it. We can eat it on pretty much anything! When Burrito Buzz got the chance to sample some peanut butter, I was all about it! I will admit, my family and I prefer JIF and Ppb6eter Pan, but we remained open-minded to Pic’s Peanut Butter, which is gourmet and all natural.

Pic’s (Really Good) Peanut Butter is simply made in New Zealand from only peanuts and less than 1% of salt. It can’t get much better than that! The company uses hi-oleic peanuts from Australia to make the peanut butter. The hi-oleic peanuts are GMO free and according to Pic’s “are resistant to staleness” and “keep their fresh roasted flavor and crunchiness long after ordinary peanuts go tasteless and mushy.” I can attest that even after having it for several weeks, the crunchy is still crunchy! Like the company states on their website, the crunchy version of their peanut butter is not a typical crunchy with big pieces of peanuts. Pic’s crunchy peanut butter is filled with tons of peanut pieces of varying sizes, making it even crunchier!

Although my family and I ate the peanut butter without major complaints, I’m still not 100% sold on Pic’s Peanut Butter. I just don’t think it can replace our not-so-natural peanut butters (JIF especially) in our home. We did give a fair shot and I plan to continue to give it to my kiddos because it is better for them, but I can’t say I would buy it on my own. If you’re a fan of “all natural” nut butters, this one is probably for you!

PICS_380g

Pic’s also features several other nut products on their website (Peanut Slugs, Peanut Oil, Almond Butter and Cashew Butter). Visit their website to purchase your own Pic’s peanut butter or find out how the company got started and why they who they are! I really enjoyed reading about them
usa-home2

Amazon (Burrito Buzz moms love our Amazon) also sells Pic’s Peanut Butter. You can purchase Pic’s Crunchy Peanut Butter, Pic’s Smooth Peanut Butter or a variety pack with both!

– Megan

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

The snack struggle is real…

NurturMe-snacks.jpg

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.**

 

NurturMe Baby Food {Review}

I was recently asked to sample and review NurturMe blended dry cereal meals with my 8 month old and I was thrilled for the opportunity. Have you strolled down the baby food aisle lately?! As a new mom walking down the baby food aisle, it can be overwhelming with all the options for your little one. I was unfamiliar with the choices for dry baby food, but fortunately my son has been a wonderful eater, so I was anxious to try out NurturMe organic dry meal pouches and explore new flavors and foods.

The dried baby food comes in a simple easy-to-tear open pouch. Pour the food into a bowl and you add either water, breast milk, or formula to create your desired consistency (one pouch calls for 7 to 8 tablespoons of liquid and will make a typical amount of food). I prepared NurturMe carrots, raisins, and sweet potato baby food with water and was immediately impressed. As any mom would, I tried the new food NME-00238-4before offering it to my little guy and was surprised at the amount of flavor – it was delicious! My little one ate nearly the entire amount prepared. I was thrilled because I knew he was getting a ton of nutrients.

Like most baby foods, the remaining prepared food can be stored for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. I would definitely recommend NurturMe organic gluten free dried baby food, not only because of the ingredients used, but the convenience as well. I think their lightweight pouches would be great for on-the-go families. These pouches can easily be stored and stashed in your pantry, car, diaper bag, etc. and you have the satisfaction of knowing your growing little one is getting powerful nutrients. Check out their website to learn about all of their product offerings and to find their food in a retailer near you!

– Allyson

**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.**

SiliKids Silicone Bags + Spoons {Review}

Silikids

Silispoon – Spoon + Teether $9.95

The SiliSpoon – a very different design from a normal spoon. It’s more of a scoop, with a larger and flatter surface area than a typical spoon. The handle is easy to grab for little ones due to the texture. The colors are fun and they hold up really well in the dishwasher.

My son struggled to eat with these. Anything that isn’t dense enough will fall off. Soup won’t stay in this spoon for sure. We tried a few different foods and I found them to be too wide. Perhaps when my son is a little older, he’ll be able to use these spoons.

He did love them for teething. He’s getting his molars right now and happily carried these around and chewed on them for hours. Even with him chewing on them, they’ve held up quite well.

s500774824218195250_p43_i6_w160

• Encourages independent eating habits
• Textured handles stimulate tactile experience
• Wide head makes it easy to scoop and holds food in place
• Great for soothing gums and little teethers
• Comes in 2 pack
• Dishwasher safe
• 100% silicone

Silibags – Reusable Silicone Snack Bags $11.95

Silicone bags – these are a great  idea. We are all looking for ways to reuse things so that we don’t have to buy plastic sandwich bags. However, the theory of this bag is much better than the execution. This is only good for dry snacks that are a bit larger, everything liquid or even smaller solid foods will fall out of the openings. These bags do not fully close, but instead have small hole closures that don’t work very well. In addition, they are so difficult to properly wash and dry. I hand washed mine a few days ago and getting them to stay open enough to fully dry was actually impossible.

While they can be warmed up in the microwave, I’m not sure that you’d need to as it doesn’t hold anything other than larger snacks. They do store flat, but overall I was unimpressed and would not use these over a standard sealable Tupperware container.

s500774824218195250_p42_i2_w160

• Stores flat
• Gusseted bottom allows the bag to stand up for easy snacking
• Food can be warmed up directly in the microwave
• Can be written on with washable markers and pen
• Replaces disposable plastic bags
• Comes in 2 pack
• Dishwasher safe
• 100% silicone

– Katie

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

Top 5 CrockPot Suppers

The CrockPot is by far my favorite kitchen appliance. Not only are they relatively inexpensive to buy, they make mealtime a breeze. I am a huge fan of fix-it and forget it meals. There is no better feeling than getting home from a long day at work and having dinner already done and ready to go. No additional brain power is necessary, just open up your slow cooker, and enjoy. The little bit of extra time it takes in the morning before work to get things into the CrockPot is totally worth it in the long run. I like to believe that you can cook just about ANYTHING in the CrockPot. From dessert to breakfast, it’s an excellent way to cook for a crowd or to have a few days of leftovers. It’s perfect for using up old pantry items and overly ripe vegetables.

There are many makes, models, and sizes of slow cookers out on the market. I am partial to the CrockPot brand, because it is all I have used and I have never had problems. I imagine they all cook similarly. I have the basic CrockPot seen here on Amazon. At times, I wish it were the programmable model, but like I said, it’s all that I know, and I’ve grown used to the 3 options of “Low, High, and Warm.” My second, wonderful CrockPot is this casserole model. It was new on the market last year, and I Had To Have It. I have found it handy to make any recipe, including new casserole dishes. I also like that it is shallower but still holds the same amount of food. With two slow cookers, sometimes both are going simultaneously.

41pU77gvjuL

I wanted to compile a list of my family’s favorite CrockPot suppers. I like to try a variety of recipes and a lot of the time I modify them to what my family and I enjoy. I don’t often make the same recipe twice. The 5 recipes below have definitely been made on more than one occasion because they’re the favorites!

  1. Caesar sandwiches

SLOW-COOKER-CHICKEN-CAESAR-SANDWICHES-from-Rachel-Schultz-2

You cannot go wrong with this recipe. My husband gives it 5 stars. It is so delicious, great as leftovers, and you can make as much as you want – great for parties. Here is the site where I originally found the recipe, but I will be honest, I’ve made it so much now that I never use a recipe. Throw in your white meat chicken (fresh or frozen, breasts or tenders) along with your water; I also add some garlic, onion, salt and pepper at this time too for extra flavor. Cook on low all day (anywhere from 7-10 hours). If you’re in a hurry, you can cook it on high for 4 hours. When it’s cooked through, remove the chicken from the pot, dump out your cooking liquid, and return your chicken back to the slow cooker. Mix in your parmesan cheese, Caesar dressing, and parsley while simultaneously shredding up the chicken. I usually let it heat through on low for another 15-20 minutes at this time, or as long as you can hold off from eating this good stuff. It’s great hot or cold, bun or wrap. We have tried it all, because it is that good!!

2. Creamy Italian Chicken

006.1

This recipe is even simpler than the first one. I can’t remember where I originally found it, but I imagine it was somewhere on PINTEREST. Similar to the one above, into your CrockPot place your fresh or frozen white meat chicken along with 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, 1 – 8oz cream cheese, and 1 packet dry Italian dressing seasoning. I don’t even mix everything together anymore. That’s it. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (I’ve let it go 10 with no problem) and shred it up when it’s done right in the sauce. It’s excellent served over pasta. This is where I usually use up partial boxes of leftover noodles and sometimes there’s 2-3 kinds mixed together. This one will require more than one helping, trust me!

3. Short Ribs

RE0606_easy-bbq-short-ribs_s4x3

I never cooked ribs until I made this CrockPot recipe. I will admit, I was scared to make them. I never knew of a good recipe and I thought they were just too hard to make. But ribs in a CrockPot – maybe this could work. I was eager to try it out and was pleasantly surprised at the result. My family loved them and everyone always asks for the recipe. The meat literally falls off the bone after these cook on low all day long. You can’t beat it.

½ can tomato soup

¼ cup cider vinegar

¼ cup brown sugar

½ tablespoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon chili powder

Mix above ingredients together. Place your ribs (2-5 lbs) in the slow cooker first, pour mixture over top. Cook on low 8 hours.

4. Roast & Potatoes

Slow-Cooker-Pot-Roast-with-Potatoes-and-Carrots-550x367

Meat and potatoes are a staple meal in any kitchen. We like beef in our home so much we decided to buy 1/3 cow. We have done this in the past, and we find it super handy to have beef always available in the freezer. The meat is better quality and often leaner than what you would find in a typical supermarket. It’s also less expensive and can be ordered in the cuts and amounts you wish (ground beef, roasts, ribs, steaks, etc). If you have the space available, this is highly recommended!

Putting any cut of roast in the CrockPot with vegetables and letting it slow cook on low heat all day long is a delicious, simple, and healthy meal. It’s very versatile – I feel like I make it differently every time. The classic route uses potatoes, onions, and carrots, but play around with it. Add any ripe veggies you may have. I’ve used tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers. The possibilities are endless. Below is a recipe I made recently that was an instant hit with the fam and we had leftovers for lunches too. Most recipes you will find will recommend browning your meat in a skillet prior to putting it in the slow cooker. I rarely do this. It does add some flavor, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Most of the time I put my roast in and it’s still frozen.

3-5 lb Beef or Pork Roast

Veggies – potatoes (3-5), carrots, peppers, onions, zucchini, squash, mushrooms (enough to fill the pot)

1 – 15 oz can tomato sauce

½ can water

1 packet brown gravy mix

Minced onion (if not using raw)

Minced garlic

Put everything together in the CrockPot and cook on low 6-8 hours. Enjoy!

5. Cola & Bacon Roast Beef

cola-roast-beef

This next recipe is a twist on meat and potatoes. It’s not as simple as the recipe above, but it tastes even better. The extra steps that include added bacon crumbles and making gravy create mouthwatering flavors that I promise you will love. All of the ingredients are things most of us have on hand (cola, bacon, onion soup mix, cream of celery soup, and corn starch). It pairs great with mashed potatoes, so I thought it was only fitting to provide a CrockPot mashed potato recipe too, but any potato would work perfectly.

I hope these recipes are enjoyed by not only you, but also your family. I also hope that they will help create a new found love between you and your CrockPot. It’s a great appliance that can ease that busy Mom life so many of us have. Instead of trying to figure out what’s for dinner all week, pick up some of the ingredients from the recipes we love at my house, and let the slow cooker do the rest!

-Megan

Who Doesn’t Love Grocery Shopping?!

I never knew food was so expensive until I became the SAHM who takes care of all groceries. (I also never knew packing lunches was the most miserable “mom” task ever).

We have a family of 5. I shop only at  big name stores (Publix and Kroger) and we have a $500/month grocery budget. If we break that down, that is $100/person…it seems like a lot of money but to some it will seem impossible. However,  I stay at or under my given budget most of the time. Have there been months where I have spent $800 on food? Absolutely. But there has also been months where we’re barely touching $350. But trust me, if I can do it, you can do it.

The question is how?

  • Planning-both trips and meals

I typically spend Sunday’s planning my meals for the week (Yes, I grocery shop every week). While I’m planning my meals, I also write my grocery list. Going to the store without a list is asking for trouble. You’ll most likely wind up in the candy aisle trying to decide which chocolate wrapper will be quieter when you’re trying to sneak it from your children. But no really, a list is necessary. I don’t make a fancy list with aisle numbers on where everything is but I do try to keep it organized and grouped together by food group. Also, there is an amazing app Grocery IQ that allows you to input your grocery list either via typing, barcode scanning, or voice. The app also lets you put in the quantity you need, and the aisle category it in is. It also keeps a history of past items so if you’re like me and buy most of the same stuff every month, it saves you a little bit of time. Best perk of them all, it’s free!

Now back to the meal planning, I only plan dinners. Breakfasts are usually cereal or something quick and easy for the kids before school. Lunches are typical as well so it’s easy. A typical week in our house goes something along the lines of cook, cook, leftovers, cook, out to eat, cook, cook. I also plan quick, easy (healthy) meals that I know my kids will eat. Meatloaf, homemade pizza, tacos, quiche, spaghetti, chicken fajitas, sausage and rice, and chicken fried rice are just some of our daily meals.

  • Skip the prepackaged items

Just because it’s prepackaged doesn’t mean it’s the best way to go. Companies typically hike up their prices (and preservatives) for prepackaged food because it’s convenient. People pay for convenience. When you break it down, you can roughly get more than twice as much product for generally the same price and it’s typically healthier.

For example, you can buy a box of (4) Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches for $5.44  -or- you can buy (12) English muffins for $2.28, (12) eggs for $1.98, and (12) sausage patties for $3.96. So for $8.92, you can get 12 sandwiches (that freeze and defrost perfectly)

  • Stock up on non-perishables

Especially when they’re on sale! I have enough cans of green beans in my house to survive the end of the world…twice. Seriously, there is a lot. If something is on sale, and it won’t go bad, save yourself some money (and time) and buy it. I recently just purchased 5 containers of juice as they were on sale from $3.98 to $2.00. So not only did I save myself almost $10, I saved time on shopping trips because I have juice for at least 4 weeks. Most items that you keep in your pantry, won’t go bad for quite sometime as long as they’re closed and sealed properly.

  • Buy in Bulk when practical

We have a Sams Club Membership and it’s fantastic. I typically buy bulk items there. It is definitely worth the money we spend on the membership and keep an eye out because sometimes they do free memberships or passes.

Buying in bulk is initially more expensive. Calculating it out however is more cost effective and beneficial. We typically buy non-perishables or foods we go through quickly from Sams. Buying in bulk again helps save time and money.

Believe it or not, it is cheaper to buy (1) 3lb container or peanut butter than it would be to buy the equivalent in single jars.

  • Coupons

I was the crazy coupon lady for a little while. I was getting shampoo and conditioner for $.33, toilet paper for $.10 and free toothpaste. It was fantastic! I then realized that companies rarely put out coupons for everyday food items. They’re typically for paper goods. Sure, you can find some ones for food and absolutely use the ones you find. Because essentially, cents leads to dollars.

Saving $.35 on cottage cheese two times per month is a yearly savings of $8.40…that’s almost enough to make homemade breakfast sandwiches!

I know grocery shopping isn’t the most fun thing in the world, but it’s a necessity. With a few tips and tricks you can make it almost, almost pain free.

-Kirstyn

Fruit with a side of ketchup

As parents we always try to do what is best for our kiddos, especially when it comes to nutrition and eating. With C’s gluten intolerance it makes me slightly harder but we’ve figured it out…except when he wants to be picky.

Seriously. This kid will ask for crackers and only eat the cheese out of the center and then stack all of the slobbery crackers up and say “ew momma” but if you give him plain cheese he won’t eat it, but he will devour plain crackers…whatever, the crackers are the least of my worries, especially after last week.

No exaggeration…the kid would only eat:

  • Fruit snacks
  • Oatmeal
  • Hot dogs
  • Ham
  • Chicken nuggets
  • And fruit…but only if he had ketchup to dip it in. :gags:

I’m seriously trying to figure out how he survived on 6 items all week…and even more so, why I let him!

This goes back to the “pick your battles” scenario. Is it worth fighting over? Is it really that bad that he will only eat his pears if they’re dipped in ketchup? No. At least, no matter how disgusting or redundant the meal may be, at least he’s eating.

So let your kiddos eat their 6 special items all day every day, because trust me, it will change and soon they won’t like those either.