Minivan Mama

I officially gained my “soccer mom” status this summer when we traded in my little blue SUV for a MINIVAN. And let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made!! It’s true love. I knew I 17194_600always wanted a minivan someday, because I grew up with my parents always having one, and it always just seemed like the most practical with kiddos. What I didn’t know is how much I would not miss my old car and absolutely love this van!

My husband I had been talking about them for a while and finally buckled down and started researching them after we had our second child. We were tired of not having a lot of room in the car especially if we needed to take any extra people anywhere. Two car seats take up a lot of space. We looked at several minivans on the market, but narrowed it down to the Toyota and Honda. We did have a rental Chrysler that we were happy with as well. After test driving, we were actually surprised at how easy the decision was with the Honda Odyssey. The vans were priced roughly the same, but the Honda just felt like it was made better. We didn’t dislike the Toyota (my hubby drives a Toyota Tundra), but the Honda was just better.

 

 

We waited several weeks for the specific model and color to come in that we wanted, but once it arrived, it was love at first sight. I was so anxious and excited that Saturday morning we were able to go and pick it up with the kids. Our 3 year old was excited for the “new van!” too. It was bittersweet leaving our old SUV, but there are new reasons every day why I am so thankful to be a minivan mama now . . .

Here’s a few of them . . .

1.       The automatic sliding side doors… need I say more?! I don’t have to worry about my kids or I banging any cars parked next to us with our doors. You know how loading and unloading our kiddos goes, these door make it a dream come true!! Because of the sliding doors, the opening is so much bigger than an average car door – WONDERFUL! The doors also open and close by the simple push of a button from either the key fob, by the driver’s seat, or on the inside of the sliding doors themselves.

 

2.       Not only is there more room in the doorways, there’s more room EVERYWHERE in this car. I can honestly say I’ve been a passenger in every seat and never once did I feel like I had no space to move. And if you need more room . . . You can MAKE more room . . .

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3.       . . . You can make that extra space because of the movable seats. I know this is typical with most minivans and vehicles with a third row of seats, but the way the Honda was set up was another big selling point for me. Our Odyssey has the option to have an eighth seat. All of the seats are removable (except the front), but with the Odyssey you can have an eighth seat in the middle of the second row. You can easily remove that middle seat of the second row to have 2 captains chairs and an aisle way to the back row, or you can leave it in place to complete the row and have an extra seat. The seat also folds down as an arm rest if it’s left in place. The third row of seats EASILY folds down into the trunk of the van. When we drove to the beach this summer, we opted to fold the third row down so we had TONS of room for luggage and could still see out the back window.

 

4.       Handles on the high way – We drove the minivan on the West Virginia turnpike on our way to Myrtle Beach this past summer, and it handled so much better than my husband’s truck the year before. We could set the cruise control and not have to waver and hit the brake on those winding highway turns.

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5.       Good on gas – I know the gas tank in the minivan is bigger than my tank was in my SUV, but I swear still that the van gets better gas mileage. According to Honda, the Odyssey gets 19 mpg on city streets and 27 mpg highway. Either way, its way better on gas than a huge SUV would be!

 

6.        Does NOT ride like a bus – I traded in a small SUV for my minivan. I had driven it for 5 years. I will say that I was the most anxious that the minivan was going to feel like I was driving a bus after driving my little SUV. I was so wrong. The van does not feel any bigger to me. I would say it sits up off the road the same height as my old car. Even though the van is significantly longer, I really haven’t noticed other than making sure I pull in the garage far enough. The back-up camera has made this easier as well!

 

7.       Bang for the Buck – I’m telling you, you cannot beat a minivan. Even if you have a small family like we do, it is worth considering. For some reason, they get a bad rap, but I can’t think of one negative thing to say about mine. Maybe I don’t look the “coolest” driving the minivan around, but that is the last thing I’m worried about. Most companies offer all the bells and whistles you can find in luxury cars and SUVs, so don’t think those options aren’t available in a van. It’s convenient, affordable, and I know my kids are safe – that’s what matters to me.

If you’re thinking about getting a new vehicle for your new family, growing family, or just want more seats/space, take a look at a minivan. Check out all the options. Take them for a test drive. I think you’ll love it! And if you take the plunge like we did and buy one, you won’t regret it!

-Megan

 

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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.**

Malia’s House from Build & Imagine {Review}

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Being the mom of a 4 year old and a new baby, my oldest spends way too much time on the iPad or in front of the TV. I know, I know. It’s not good and you’re supposed to limit screen time, but when I’m busy with the baby (it was much worse when she was first born), you have to do what you can to survive. I know she’s not the only one that’s constantly staring at a screen (TVs, tablets, smartphones, and computers are everywhere) and I know it’s hard to pull them away. But when you find a toy that does just that, gets them off of the tablet, away from the TV, and actually using their little brains to learn and play, you have to share it. I was recently given the opportunity to review an an absolutely amazing toy from Build & Imagine called Malia’s House and I can’t stress enough how awesome this product is. My daughter is obsessed and has been for about a week and a half now.

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Build & Imagine StoryWalls are like building blocks meets dollhouse meets dress-up meets dolls for kids 4-8 years old. StoryWalls are magnetic playsets that contain colorfully illustrated scenes that can kids can build and decorate with magnetic accessories (like paperdolls) over and over again. They’re called StoryWalls because it’s like building a 3-D storybook setting, then jumping right into play! Each set include dolls to dress up, illustrated building panels that attach magnetically that create endless play! Dozens of magnetic accessories are also included to make your scene uniquely yours. With everything being magnetic, changing things up to create a new story is quick and easy! See Build & Imagine’s products in action below:

When we received Malia’s House, I honestly thought my daughter would play around with it for half an hour tops, as she seems to move on from activity to activity rather quickly (she takes after her father and can’t sit still for too long). So when I tell you she played at the kitchen table from 11AM until bathtime at 7PM (and did not watch the iPad once the entire time), I was completely and happily surprised. She absolutely loves Maila’s House! She loves building Malia  and her friend Skylar a new house and creating different storylines for them based on the magnetic walls and adding decor. They’ll go to the beach together and forget the sunscreen, or they’ll plant fruits and veggies in the garden while drinking lemonade or put out the fire the cat started in the kitchen (these are actual beach_house_2_web_largestorylines she has come up with). Her imagination literally runs wild and I love it! A four year old that wants to sit and play for hours on end and not want to look at a screen is priceless to me.

I give Malia’s House 5 out of 5 stars and I would recommend any one of the engaging playsets from Build & Imagine to anyone looking for a toy that’s different from the norm for their daughter or son. The panels are durable, even for the roughest of child, and easy for little hands to build with. And there are so many sets to choose from, check them all out here! With sets starting at $24.99 and an expansion packs starting at $8.99, there’s something for everyone’s budget!1-2

Be sure to follow Build & Imagine on Facebook and Twitter!

– 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.**

Playful Dino from Manhattan Toy Co. {Review + Giveaway}

I’m going to be honest. I loathe baby toys. They’re way too loud for my liking and the songs are enough to make any parent go mad. Toys that require a million batteries over their lifetime or they need to be plugged in are the worst. Of course my youngest has a ton of these annoying toys, but I’ve been trying to build her “makes mommy happy” toy collection. So when I got the opportunity to review Manhattan Toy Co.’s Playful Dino, I couldn’t have been happier to add this awesome activity toy to our never-ending stash.

As you can probably tell, we love Manhattan Toy Co. We’ve reviewed a few of their products recently and we’ve been impressed by each and every one of them. You can check those reviews out here and here. The company itself is awesome, they strive to use wood from sustainable forests for all of their wooden toys. The design and quality of their toys are top notch and unlike anything I’ve eg1kw5btruarbdm6k3zs_grandeseen on the market for children. Manhattan Toy Co.’s toys are all so fun, colorful, and engaging. The Playful Dino did not disappoint!

Both my 8 month old and 4 year old love their dino! The suggested age for the dino is 12+ months but my littlest one’s motor skills are advanced so she’s really loving all the activities it has to offer. Her eye-hand coordination is impressive as well, and this toy really helps foster that. There so many eye catching aspects to the dino; there are bead runs, peg mazes, gears, multiple play surfaces, and it’s beautifully painted. It’s sturdy enough to hold my 40 pounder who I caught standing on it, so it can withstand a great deal! It’s been great for both my busy bodies and I love watching my oldest show her little sister how it all works. It was super easy to assemble, too, just attach the tail and let your little ones go to town! See the Playful Dino in action below:

Manhattan Toy Co’s toys will definitely be on my shopping list this holiday season, not just for my girls, but the little ones in my family as well. There are so many awesome toys to choose from, you can check them out here and add them to your shopping list, too! The Playful Dino is a multiple award-winning toy, awards include an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award, Today’s Parent Top Toy Winner, Creative Child Preferred Choice Award – Motor Skills Development category, Parents’ Choice Award Recommended and recognized as San Diego Family Magazine’s Hottest 50 toys! I have to agree, Playful Dino gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me. At $68, it’s money well spent knowing this is a toy that is going to last (and not drive you insane). Purchase your own here!ipbzftl66ouy7xja7k8z_grande

We’ve teamed up with Manhattan Toy Co. again for a giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a $25 e-gift card, good toward anything (even a Playful Dino!) at ManhattanToy.com! Shipping is free, so you don’t have to worry about it coming out of the gift card! It’s easy to enter, just follow these steps:

  1. Follow both @burritobuzz and @manhattantoy on Instagram.
  2. Like the giveaway post.
  3. Tag friends you think would like to win, too!
  4. That’s it

This giveaway ends Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 12pm EST. The winner will be chosen randomly and will be announced on the original giveaway post within 24 hours. Winner will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Goodluck! **This giveaway is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.**

Don’t forget to follow Manhattan Toy Co. on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter to stay up to date on sales and new products!

– 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.**

Bluebee Pals {Review + Giveaway}

Technology is everywhere and sadly unavoidable for the most part. With cell phones, tablets, computers, TV, and game systems at easily available at home and tablets andgroupshot computers now apart of the curriculum at most schools, screens seem to always be in children’s’ faces. But what if a product that can be used with said technology can help help educate  our little ones? I was recently given the opportunity to review an amazing product called Bluebee Pals from Kayle Concepts that combines state of the art technology and traditional plush toys.

Bluebee Pals come in 6 animal styles; Riley the Zebra, Leo the Lion, Hudson the Puppy, Lily the Lamb, Sammy the Bear, and Parker the Monkey so kids can pick their favorite animal to adopt. They are geared for children 3-8 years old but can of course be a lifetime pal to your child! Bluebee Pals use Bluetooth Technology to sync to any iOS and Android device. They can even be used a a hands-free phone with a built in microphone and speaker! riley-the-zebra-pro-510x510Each of the plush stuffed animals has a mesmerizing feature – lip synchronization – that allows the pal’s lips to move as it sings or reads from various apps.

My daughter chose Riley the Zebra and she loves her! She’s incredibly soft, even though she has a rechargeable battery stuffed inside. Hooking Riley up to our iPad was quick and easy. I downloaded several learning and singing apps, but the ones that read stories are my daughter’s favorite. Riley’s mouth moves and “reads” to her, she thinks it’s so cool! Simply prop a phone, laptop, or tablet on the pal’s lap and tuck it into their plush arms. Pal’s work with any app that has sound, including foreign language apps! Check out this video to see one in action!

Bluebee Pals are so fun and innovative, that’s why thousands have been adopted into households, schools, and therapy sessions. Pals  offer so many benefits, including auditory attention and processing, cause and effect, pre-literacy skills, and more. To date, the toy industry has given Bluebee Pals 6 awards, including Mom’s Choice, National Parentingspecial-needs Publications, Parent’s Choice, Creative Child Award, Academic Choice, and Tillywig, they were just listed as #1 on the list of products that impressed STEM Education at International Society for Technology in Education Conference 2016. I also think Bluebee Pals would be beneficial for children on the Autism spectrum, to help with language and communication. Get your little one his or her own award-winning Bluebee Pal here, at Target, or on Amazon for $64.99!

Here are a few links to recommended educational apps from the Bluebee Pals website, but be sure to visit their site to see all of the recommended apps:

Would you like to win a Bluebee pal of your own? You’re in luck! One winner will get to adopt a Bluebee Pal of his or her choice! Just follow these easy steps to enter:

  1. Like @burritobuzz and @bluebeepals on Instagram
  2. Like the giveaway post.
  3. Tag friends (one per comment) that you think would like to win, too!
  4. That’s it!

bluebee_palsThe giveaway will start Saturday, November 12th at 12pm and end Monday, November 14th at 12pm. The winner will be randomly chosen and announced within 24 hours. Goodluck! **This giveaway is no way sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.**

Don’t forget to follow Bluebee Pals on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for updates, new products, 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.**

 

Wash with Water Organics {Review}

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“Together we will protect our earth’s limited resources so our children can love, create, and live as they dream. Together we are limitless.”

We live in a world where it is truly a struggle to find the best for our children and make sure we are giving them the best future. Simple acts, like buying products from sustainable companies, can help our children now and in the future.

Wash with Water is committed to preserving the Earth’s limited resources.

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All of their products are vegan and cruelty-free!

Because they want the best for our families, their products are also free of:  Petrochemicals, Phthalates, Sulfates, Parabens, Synthetic Colors, TEA, DEA, Silicons, PEGS, Dairy, Egg, Oat, Lactoperoxidase, Citrus Seed Extract, GMOs, Triclosan, and Synthetic Dyes.

“Wash With Water is dedicated to crafting all-natural, organic skin and hair products. All of their award-winning, made-in-the-USA products are created using only ingredients chosen with the utmost care.”

The products are made using Moroccan Argan oil and Calendula so their products are ultra-gentle, and hypoallergenic. They are perfect for the most sensitive skin

I received the biG kiD best hair day set, biG kiD buBble bAth, and their biG kiD buG rePellEnt. My kids love bathtime and I couldn’t have been more excited. Bath time isn’t just washing up for us. It’s time to wind down, wash off the stress of the day, learn, play, and relax to get ready for bed.

We loved all three of these products! They are top of the line for a reason.

biG kiD best hair day set – This set is great for children and babies alike. I felt comfortable using it on my almost 3 year old and my 1 year old.

The shampoo was extremely gentle and didn’t create too many suds. It didn’t leave their hair dry or oily. My kids have very curly hair, so protecting their natural oils is extremely important. The scent for both products in the set is a very gentle citrus.

The conditioner has a pump that comes with it to make it easier to use. This conditioner was perfect for my son who has curly hair, but it is still pretty fine. With my daughter, who has very thick curls, I felt like I couldn’t get enough conditioner on her head to get the same result. In my opinion, it probably doesn’t have the correct formula of oils to saturate coarse hair. Her hair is a lot of work and I don’t hold it against a brand if the product doesn’t work. Finding the perfect products for her are still a work in progress and we have been using products for adult natural hair. If any of our readers have suggestions, feel free to comment! My son’s hair looks like a little doll’s though. Silky and perfect little curls forming without any work and detangling on my part! It is great! I am so thankful to have found something that tames his little flyaways and baby hair.

The set will run you about $40 for two 8 oz bottles. Amazon usually has it a few dollars cheaper.41SytRcZFVL.jpg

buBble bAth – My kids both adore bubble baths. It just makes bath time so much more fun! When else are you allowed to cover your sibling from head to toe in something and not get into trouble for it? There is barely any scent and it’s a light fresh “baby” scent. You do have to suds up the water yourself to create the bubbles, because there are no chemicals or additives to do it for you. I did like that they bubbles lasted the entire time the kids were in the tub, unlike some other organic bubble baths I have tried that go flat within a minute or so. An 8oz bottle runs around $17.

biG KiD buG rePellEnt – I was extremely excited about this. At the end of summer and beginning of fall, the kids tend to roll around in leaves and we stay out later for bon fires, so you need something to keep bugs away! Even though we need to protect ourselves from bugs bites, I hate all the chemicals that are in most sprays, deet especially! You can read more here. Like all of their products, it’s all natural. Instead of using harsh chemicals, it is made with eucalyptus and lemongrass essential oils. You kind of end up smelling like a citronella candle, but it’s fresh and my husband and I even used it on ourselves!  A 4oz bottle is $16.95.31og7xuthll-_sl300_

The biggest downfall with these products is the price. The brand is high quality, but not much higher than others that I have found in stores in my area. You can only find these online and they’re not in everyone’s budget. Even though they are pricey, I will definitely be purchasing the bug repellent again!

Wash with Water is based out of South Carolina. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates and new products!

– 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.**

Save Your Sanity with Color Wonder from Crayola {Review + Contest}

Coloring with my cousins is one of my favorite memories as a kid. Growing up, we would lay down a blanket (as to not color on Grandma’s white carpet) and we’d color for hours at family get togethers. Now that I have kids, I want to foster their love of coloring, too.logo-img My four year old loves to color but doesn’t seem to understand that markers and crayons are to be used only on paper, and not the walls, the floor, her toys, and herself. We can all agree that Crayola makes the best art supplies and there’s a new reason why I adore this company: Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Coloring. All Magic, No Mess is their slogan and that’s exactly what Color Wonder is.

We received a package from Crayola filled to the brim with different Color Wonder products. I was explaining to my daughter that the markers only color on the magic paper and I told her that she could evdownload-3en color on the couch (meaning that she could take one of the coloring pads and sit on the couch to color), she of course took it as she could literally color on the couch. Thank goodness they’re magic and my couch is still intact with no marks! Each set comes with an 18-page coloring pad and 5 different color broadline markers that can only color on special Color Wonder paper. There are so many different Color Wonder products! They offer a ton of different character coloring book sets so little ones can pick their favorites, Paw Patrol and Frozen were a huge hit with my daughter! There are also finger paint sets, stamper sets, travel sets which are perfect for travelling and long car rides, art mats and totes, and muchfe026fb3-7366-4904-92d5-be181660d5de-jpg-_cb307702319_ more. Check out all of the Color Wonder products here! If you spend over $30 on Color Wonder products, you automatically get 30% off your purchase, no code needed!

I am incredibly thankful for Color Wonder markers! I hardly ever let my daughter color with markers, well, because they’re markers. I have OCD and a baby, so I can’t spend all day scrubbing marker off everything she decides to color on. We stuck with crayons for so long but now I can feel confident about leaving her alone with Color Wonder markers because I know I won’t come back to her with her face colored pink and the table purple and blue polka dots (yes, it’s happened before). It doesn’t color on skin, fabric, or furniture, and sets start at just $7.99. What more could parents ask for?

Be sure to follow Crayola on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for updates, new products, contests, and more!

Speaking of contests, Crayola is having an awesome contest on Instagram! It’s super easy to enter, just post a picture of your child’s messy moment that could have used a Color Wonder intervention on Instagram. Tag the photo #MessyKidsContest and tamessykidscollage2g @crayola in the comments to receive one entry! Winners will be chosen weekly until November 21, 2016 when one grand prize winner will be chosen. Learn more about the #MessyKidsContest here and read contest rules here.

  • (6) Weekly winners will win $250 in Color Wonder product.
  • One Grand Prize winner will win $1,000 in the form of a check.

What are you waiting for?! Head over to Instagram and enter to win now!

– 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.**

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.**

My New Favorite Subscription Box for Little Ones: Bumby Box {Review}

bumby-box

I love subscription boxes. It feels like my birthday every time one shows up at my door because you never know what you’re going to get (kind of like a box of chocolates, am I right, Forrest Gump?). I’ve gotten so many subscription boxes over the years for myself, our dog Mesa, my husband, and of course my kids. My favorite boxes to get has to be the latter, because I love all of the neat products they offer. My girls come before myself (I’m sure any mom can agree) and are spoiled as can be, so they have gotten quite a few bumby2boxes from several different companies. They all had different kinds of products and I liked each for different reasons. But I just received a complimentary subscription box from Bumby Box and I was completely blown away with the products we got in it!

Not only was our box amazing, but the company itself is awesome. Bumby Box donates toys to non profit agencies that provide shelter and childcare to families when they need it the most. They also only work with and promote environmentally sustainable companies that treat their employees fairly and pay them fairly, too. Bumby Box focuses on child development and each toy that is sent is supported by child development research. The toys are safe; they’re free of phthalates, PVC, BPA, and other harmful plastics – I love that I don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals, and they are also careful to only select toys that are manufactured with water of soy-based inks and bumby3paints to their safe to play with and for little ones put them in their mouths (which we all know will happen).

We received our box almost two weeks ago and I opened it up as soon as it was dropped off (like I said, it feels like my birthday when I get a subscription box – they should be called surprise boxes instead), my daughter was actually still at school. I kind of felt bad but I was eager to see what she got! We got a super cute and fun Haba game called The Little Orchard that’s actually made in Germany. Here’s how to play: there’s a raven that loves the cherries hanging on the tree (there are 5 of them) and there are 5 spaces to the tree. You roll the dice with pictures of flowers on it and whichever flower appears, you flip over one of the matching tiles – one will have a picture of a cherry on it – which you then pick a cherry and put it in the basket, one will be have a raven on it – you then move the raven one spot closer to the tree, and one will have a sleeping animal on it – you then have to be very quite not to wake the animal up (my four year old prefers to yell at it to wake up). The idea is to pick all the cherries before the raven gets to the tree. I love it because it helps with memory, you have to remember where theimg_2585 raven and sleeping animal tiles are so you know not to pick the raven. It also helps with recognizing and naming the colors of the flowers and it’s a game that everyone fries to find the cherries together, so it helps foster the “we” concept. It’s for children ages 3-8 and can be played with 1 to 4 players. It’s one of our favorite games to play together! 

We also received the cutest little mailbag from Child’s Cup Full, a company that offers educational children’s toys handcrafted by refugee and low income women artisans in the West Bank. At their artisan center, they train and employ talented women to make beautifully handmade educational toys. I love that they’re empowering women who live in such a male dominated part of the world. The little mail pouch is my daughter’s favorite toy that came in thebumby4 box. It’s adorable and comes with little felt envelopes that can actually fit little letters or objects in and close with Velcro. The letter and envelopes even have a “stamp” sewn in the top right hand corner. She loves walking around and giving us our mail! Check it out the mailbag here and see the rest of Child’s Cup Full’s spectacular toys here here!

The final product in our box may be the coolest one in the box, So Awesome’s Emotion Wallet Cards! The wallet cards feature 36 photographs and 36 illustrations of different children showing how we’re feeling today. My daughter loves looking at them and going through and tell me what each picture shows, like the little girl is sad, or the little boy is angry. The deck is durable, non-toxic, educational, and perfect for kids of all ages. They’re intended to show children a wide range of emotions and to help strengthen social-emotional skills. The deck can easily be attached to a diaper bumby5bag, backpack, or a stroller so they can be taken anywhere. We like to use them when we’re waiting a the doctors or in line at the store, they make a good distraction for my 4 year old. Be sure to check out all of their amazing Wallet Cards (they have bundles, too) and products here!

This is the most thought out children’s subscription box I’ve ever seen. I feel like everything was chosen specifically for my daughter and I love that. You can check out past boxes to see what other products have been sent out to get more of an idea for what you can expect in a future box. I highly recommend Bumby Box and they will make great gifts for family and friends! To sign up for your own box and to see what I’m raving about, use code BUZZ10 for 10% off your $49.95 one month subscription or save with a 3 month subscription for only $99.95! Deliveries can be skipped at anytime, so you can choose when you want to get your box! Click here to sign up!1465568479

Follow Bumby Box on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter for special promotions!

– 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.**

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.**

Everyone Toilet Needs a Night Light

We all know not to turn the light on when going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The bright lights burn your eyes with the power of a thousand suns. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it really does suck to turn the light on when you’re half asleep, taking yourself or your toddler to the bathroom during the night. We have a dimly lit night light in our bathroom, but it doesn’t really do much to help us see any better. I recently had the opportunity to review a toilet night light from Yinuo and I can honestly say that every parent of a young child needs one!

It lights up the bowl with a rainbow of colors so bright, it makes a world of difference when going to the bathroom at night. You, or your child, can choose one of eight colors or it can be set to a rotation of all of the colors. It’s so easy to use, it just needs 3 AAA batteries (not included) and it easily attaches to the side of the toilet. The rod is adjustable to fit securely on any toilet. toiletIt’s motion activated and turns on for 120 seconds (a minute and a half). It’s very sensitive, just walking by the bathroom turns it on so you know it’ll always turn on when entering the bathroom. It’s also splash and waterproof, which I am so thankful for as I dropped it not once, but twice, in the toilet when cleaning.

I really wish I would have gotten one sooner, especially when we were potty training. It really helps at night and it keeps us safe being able to see what we’re doing. It’s even helped me. For some reason, I have an irrational fear of a snake being in the toilet bowl. It’s nice to be able to look down and see that there’s no snake without turning on the light and blinding myself. It’s on sale on Amazon right now for only $15.99 with Prime, so you’d save $14! Buy yours here! I promise it’ll help and your littles will love their new colorful potty!

– 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.**

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

 

 

Nuun: Hydrating Electrolyte Tablets {Review}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Megan

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

Freida’s Pantry is now available in the US!

Like most new moms, I hardly had the time and energy to eat when my first daughter was born. I quite literally lived on a couple cans of Redbull a day. I got back to my pre-baby weight super fast, and even lost about 15 pounds more on top of that. I hadn’t been so small since my freshman year of high school and it happened in a really unhealthy way. When you have a newborn, finding the time and energy to eat just doesn’t happen. Instead of eating when you get free time, you choose to do the dishes, laundry, or if you’re smart, you’ll take a nap. I can’t image if I had been breastfeeding. You burn so many calories when you nurse, so you have to eat. That’s where Freida’s Pantry comes in! I recently found out this UK company is launching in the US today and I had to share their delicious nutritional bars with our readers!

Freida’s Pantry bars contain a mix of grains, nuts, and super seeds that are rich in vitamin B that help with energy production. The bars provide protein which keeps you feeling fuller, longer, and is a quick and convenient snack that’s also good for you. For breastfeeding mamas, they’re also rich in Omega 3 and “good fats” that have been shown to increase the fat content in breastmilk. The unique blend of seeds and nuts provide a variety of vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, and selenium. The bars are wheat, soy, and dairy-free and are suitable for vegans.

  • No artificial additives or preservatives
  • Non GMO
  • All ingredients are ethically sourced

Three bars are coming to the US today, and they’re all so good!

Freida’s Pantry Feeding Food Snack Bar is perfect for postpartum and breastfeeding moms. It’s packed with superfoods and full of nutrients and good fats that help with energy levels (that we all know new moms need help with) and they keep you full longer. I love how convenient a snack bar is and the fact that it helps nursing moms fight hunger and tiredness and supports lactation makes it even more awesome! Ingredients: Oats, Almonds, Pistachios, lin seeds, Quinoa, Sunflower seeds, Chia seeds, fennel seed, raisins, golden syrup and sunflower oilfriedaspantry2Freida’s Pantry Super Charged Food Snack Bar – Goji & Fennel is so delicious! It’s super dense in several super foods that keeps energy up and provides much needed nutrients. It’s made up of 9 different super seeds, nuts, grains, and fruits. It’s the perfect start to your morning, whether you’re an expectant mom, a tired parent, working on your fitness, or just a busy, active person. Ingredients: Oats, Linseeds, Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Almonds, Quinoa, Pistachios, Goji Berries, RaisinsbarrrrFreida’s Pantry Super Charged Food Snack Bar – Maca & Chia is equally delicious, but I didn’t try it. My husband got to it first and devoured it! He loved it! It’s made of a unique mix of superfoods that support fertility as well as energy levels and vitality. Again, it’s perfect the perfect snack for new moms and those in the pre-pregnancy stage. Ingredients: Oats, Quinoa, Almonds, Linseeds, Brazil nuts, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Sesame Seeds, Maca, Goji berries, Golden Syrup, Sunflower OilbarFreida’s Pantry bars are available in packs of 12 for $31.20, making each bar $2.60 which is comparable to other seed and nut bars on the market, but Freida’s Pantry bars pack such a big punch! The fact that they’re made for pregnant, nursing, and postpartum women makes them an even better deal at that price! Check out Freida’s Pantry website for more nutritional information, FAQs, and you can also order yourself a pack of bars and have them delivered right to your door!

Be sure to follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay up-to-date with all things Freida’s Pantry!

– 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.**

Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste {Review}

Getting your kids to brush their teeth isn’t always easy. Sometimes, it’s like pulling teeth to get them brushed. My little one doesn’t mind brushing her teeth usually, but she canFullSizeRender (45) sometimes be difficult and pitch a fit but it must be done. Oral health is very important, so it’s good to teach children to care for their teeth at an early age. Starting at four months, I began using a gum cleanser and finger brush to clean my oldest daughter’s gums and now she brushes twice a day, once after breakfast and once before bed. When she was old enough, I started using a well-known children’s fluoride toothpaste. But recently, I started to really look into the ingredients of everyday products my family uses and I decided to switch to natural and organic products if possible. When I was doing research for a natural children’s toothpaste, I found Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste. I was thrilled when they sent a package full (their packaging is out of this world adorable!) of their amazing goodies for my daughter to try.

My daugher was so excited to try her new raspberry flavored Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste and she immediately ran to the bathroom, ready to brush! If you’re the parent of a toddler, IMG_8611you know how happy that made me. I love she couldn’t wait to brush her teeth, something that doesn’t happen often. She used her new toothbrush from the kit and began brushing. A direct quote from her, “this toothpaste is yummy, Mommy! I want more!” She thought it was so good, she asked for more! I tasted it myself and it’s seriously really good. I love that it’s all natural and certified organic so there’s nothing harmful in it and safe to swallow. It’s fluoride and SLS free, too. I can even use it with a finger brush when my 3 month old turns 6 months old, as the toothpaste is safe for babies 6+ months! There are several yummy natural flavors to choose from: Blueberry, Strawberry, Blackcurrant, Banana and Raspberry, all have natural calendula extract as well. Each 50g tube is $6.99.

Jack ‘N Jill sent a few other awesome products for us, including their Jack N’ Jill Bio Toothbrush (the handle is made from NON GMO corn starch and is recyclable and biodegradable – how cool is that?) that FullSizeRender (47)come in several different designs, each with cute animal character on them and retail for $4.99 and a pack of their Stage 1 Silicone Finger Brushes, the pack of two brushes retails for $6.99 and are perfect for babies aged 6 months to 18 months. We also received a Rinse/Storage cup that I love, it’s also biodegradable and dishwasher safe. It’s very a very strong, thick cup that will last for years and retails for $9.99. I think the Sleepover Bag is my favorite product (because I can use it myself), it’s perfect for sleepovers at grandma and grandpa’s or a friend’s house. It stores a toothbrush and toothpaste, making it easy to pack for your little one’s overnight stay. The Sleepover Bag retails for $9.99.

Gift kits are available that include a tube of toothpaste (each kit has a different flavor and design), a toothbrush, rinse/storage cup and a sleepover bag. The kits also include a Stage 1 (6-18 months) finger brush, Stage 2 (1-3 years) baby toothbrush or Stage 3 (2-5 years) gum brush. Make IMG_8050sure you choose the appropriate kit for the age of your child. The gift kits retail for $36.99, which is a savings of $2 if you bought each product separately. Jack N’ Jill also offers an electric toothbrush that retails for $22.99 and extra brush heads that retail for $12.99, which would be perfect for older children!

Because of my daughter’s new found enthusiasm to brush her teeth and because the toothpaste seriously good (and not at all whatsoever), I give Jack N’ Jill products 5 out of 5 stars. My daughter wants to try the rest of the flavors, but thinks Blueberry would be extra yummy so she wants to order it next. To see all of Jack N’ Jill’s products, check out their website here! And if you want to place an order, be sure to sign up for their newsletter to get 15% off your FullSizeRender (46)purchase and get free shipping on orders over $25!

Follow Jack ‘N Jill on Instagram, Twitter and on Facebook, too!

– 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.**

What I’ve Learned After 4 Years of Marriage

My four year wedding anniversary is tomorrow. I know it’s not the longest time, but being married to someone for any length of time comes with lessons and should be celebrated these days. Marriage doesn’t seem to mean much of anything lately. It’s ‘just a piece of paper’ is what a lot of people say. But that piece of paper binds two people together, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. It’s easy to bail and get a divorce if it gets hard, but it takes much more to stick it out and make it work. Here are a few things I learned over the past four (wonderful) years of marriage. My husband has the worst memory. When it comes to taking out the trash. The trash goes out the same night every week (unless there is a holiday to throw it off), which is Monday night for Tuesday morning pick up. For the life of him, he cannot remember to take it out without me writing a note or telling him 12 times before I go to bed to take it out. 

You can’t smother your husband because he is snoring or breathing loudly. I am a very picky sleeper. I can’t sleep with any noises other than the fan on the nightstand. But my dear husband sometimes snores or simply ‘breaths’ as he says (which is loud) and it makes me want to smother him with a pillow. But that is illegal. So I just shove him so he rolls over or I put a blanket on his face (making sure he can still breath) so I don’t have to hear him.   Let your husband know you’re OCD about cleaning before you wed. I can’t stress this enough. It will prevent a lot of arguments if he knows exactly how you want things done. Ha, who am I kidding? You could write a list, take a video, show him a million times and it still won’t be up to your standards. And that’s okay. You two will always do things differently. Cut him some slack and tell him thank you for trying.


Say ‘I’m Sorry’
. This one is easy and straight forward. If you messed up, forgot something, made a mistake, say you’re sorry. Also, be easy to forgive (big and small things) and after you forgive, wash your hands of that issue. Don’t rehash past mistakes and throw them back in eachother’s face. Continuing to bring up the past prevents healing and moving forward.


Don’t compare your relationship to someone elses relationship
. This is counter productive. Your relationship is unlike any other relationship, it is unique to just the two of you. So comparing it to what someone else does or doesn’t do has no impact on your relationship. If you’re jealous of what someone else has or does, there’s a problem. Work it out.


What is your husband’s Love Language? What is yours?
If you don’t know what you or your husband’s Love Language is, take this quiz to figure it out! Mine is services: nothing makes me happier than my husband washing the dishes without me asking or sweeping the floor for me. And my husbands is physical touch: he wants to be close to me all the time. It’s crazy accurate and will show you in what way each of you wants and needs love. Then talk about how you both can show each other love. 


Surprise each other
. Who doesn’t love surprises or to be ‘spoiled’ every once in a while? Leave little love notes around the house for your husband to find or pick up his favorite candy or kind of beer on the way home. Cook his favorite meal just because or rub his back after a long day. Never stop doing things to show you’ve been thinking about them all day. The little things are the best things and the ones we remember most Your husband comes first. He is your partner in life. Even before your children, your husband should always be your #1. And he is also an equal. If he is discipling your child(ren), don’t interfere. He may discipline differently but that’s okay. Your child will respect him more if you don’t interrupt and tell him he’s wrong or correct him in anyway. I’m learning to do this myself. P


Intimacy
. Sex is important. Even after having kids, being busy with work and home life and everything else that is thrown at you on a daily basis, you have to make time for intimacy. As humans, we crave feeling and being wanted by the person we love. Don’t put it on the back burner.

Happy Anniversary, Allen! 

– Casey