My First Cubby from Little Partners {Review}

d34b7eacde8e85faf23a8b18f840ae53If you’re a new or expecting parent, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. SPOIL ALERT! That tiny squishy baby will soon be an independent almost 5 year old faster than you can ever imagine. Time flies (I’m not at all exaggerating) and soon your little angel will be a wanting to do everything for him or herself with zero help from mom and dad. In my case, that new found independence is so welcomed. I gave birth to my youngest daughter 11 months ago (how is she almost one? *insert crying emoji) so my oldest wanting to do things for herself is a huge help. Whether it’s getting herself dressed, brushing her teeth by herself, going to the bathroom alone, or simply getting herself alp_cubby_lifestyle-800x800 snack, it’s one less thing that I have to do. So I jumped at the opportunity to review My First Cubby ($159.99) from Little Partners!

We have worked with Little Partners in the past and we love their products! You can check out the Tri-Side Learn & Play Art Center review here. I was excited to see how the Little Cubby could make our lives easier and help my daughter grow even more independently. First of all, the construction is solid. It was rather easy tcubo put together, the instructions are very easy to read, and it was put together rather quickly (my husband builds furniture for a living so he may have had an advantage). Once built, I noticed the amazing quality. It’s sturdy and looks very classy in our hallway, it’s a piece of furniture you can be happy to put on display. After a quick screw in the wall for the tether to prevent it from falling, it was ready to go!

There are 2 sides, which is perfect for us so each kid can have their own side. There’s a top cubby that we use for hats. Below that is a section with 4 hooks on each side to hang coats and bags. On the bottom is a little cubby for a 2-3 pairs of shoes. My girls have so many shoes but I put the ones out that they were most often. I seriously love being able to ask my daughter to her jacket, shoes, and school bag and she knows to hang her stuff up when she gets home. It’s so nice! I love that it’s also teaching her to be responsible for her own things and she also knows where she can find her school bag or coat, it’s always in the same spot that she put it. The great thing is multiple cubbies can be pushed together for more children and for day cares or schools!

I’m beyond impressed with Little Partners. The My First Cubby will complete any bedroom, foyer, or playroom! I give My First Cubby a 5 out of 5 stars, it’s been such a help in our house and while the cubby is available in two beautiful wood finishes, I would love to see options available in colors. Soon enough my youngest will be able to hang her coat and bag on her side, but for now, my oldest is happy to lend me a helping hand!

Be sure to check out all of Little Partners fabulous products here and don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to stay up-to-date with sales and new products!

– Casey

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

Advertisements

Momma’s Little Helper Day Planner {Review}

14248846_1255458487851775_780646304_nAs parents, we know that time management is essential. So essential that we write things down, put alarms on our phones, put sticky notes throughout our homes, we sync our phone’s calendars with your spouse’s and if you’re like me, you also put everything into a physical planner.

Maybe it’s overkill, maybe I am crazy, but this mom-brain that I have going on is no joke. It starts out as pregnancy-brain because your tiny little human is sucking out your brain cells, and then it turns into exhaustion that I am pretty sure is never ending.

I couldn’t have been happier when Momma’s Little Helper contacted us! With the school year starting, I have zero time to forget things and my old planner was just about done.

This day planner is not like any other because it was made specifically with busy moms. From cover to cover, it is detailed and designed to make your life easier!

13227678_1680849522171169_5007254839125998006_o.jpgAbout this awesome day planner:

  • It comes in two styles, flowers and damask.
  • “Academic planner.” There is plenty of room to write down assignments and projects you have to help your kids with, as well as school functions, classmate info and much more.
  • Plenty of space for your agenda & notes
  • Pockets on the inside of front and back covers.
  • Notes pages for each month unlike most planners with just a small column or one page in the back.
  • August 2016 – July of 2017 and their 2017 January to December daily & weekly planners will be available in October 2016.
  • 240 pages gives you plenty of space to write down to-do lists and whatever else you may need.
  • Inspirational quotes and tips on every page.
  • Awesome price! Currently it’s only $12.95.
  • For stay at home moms: my planner stays in my diaper bag or purse almost 100% of the time. I like to physically write things down to help me remember them. I like that there are pages for emergency numbers, household contacts and family medical information. If I leave my kids at the sitter’s or a sitter is at my house, I can simply show them where to find the info without having to worry if they know everything in case of an emergency.
  • It’s small! It is only 8.5″ x 6″, so it fits in most purses and diaper bags. The pockets are the perfect size for receipts, notes, coupons, whatever odds and ends you might not want floating around your bag.
  • Space for to-do lists and other lists right inside the planner
  • For working moms: (Katie here, your resident working mom, busy body) I utilize a planner every single day. Not only would I lose my mind without a physical planner, but I also love to look back at my old planners and be nostalgic (you know, about years when I was busy going to the movies and on dates instead of arranging child care and pediatric appointments). I plan my life months in advance, so it’s ideal to be able to have a paper planner in front of me so that I can quickly flip to a date to see what I already have planned.
img_4294
Nice, long columns for all of the important stuff I need to keep track of!

Likes: the front pocket. The front pocket of my planner usually contains all kinds of chaos that has been paper-clipped in. Now, I have a nice little pocket to hoard all kinds of ridiculous things in. The detailed front pages are fantastic. While I personally will never utilize any of the cooking tip pages (trophy wife of the year, I know) I’m sure plenty of other moms will love these pages. The tips at the top are fabulous. I love random trivia anyway, so I really love seeing it on each page. The layout is great and leaves plenty of space for details, and the quality of the planner is also really good.

Dislikes: I wish this planner had tabs like my current one does. Each month in my current planner has an easy-to-find tab that makes flipping through really easy. While this isn’t a huge downfall, it’s a nice perk and would be great to see in the next edition of this planner. Also, I find that this product could easily be marketed towards dads, too. Stay at home dads, working dads, coaches and dads that just like to use planners would also find it very beneficial. I’d like to see a product geared towards parents putting us all on a level playing field (though, if I saw my husband using a planner I might actually die of shock. He isn’t exactly organized).

img_4291
Old planner on the left (almost outdated) and new planner on the right. Comparable in size and quality!

If you’re looking for a way to organize your day to day activities, Momma’s Little Helper is definitely the way to go. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Instagram!

Happy planning!

– Amanda and Katie

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

 

Mommy has OCD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Casey

DIY Puzzle Organization

image

Puzzle hell. It’s one step below Lego hell. One very tiny step. It’s when your LO decides to get out every. single. puzzle you never even knew existed under your roof, mixes them all together and then bails for the next shiny object that catches their eye. Awesome.

I’m here to share with you a little trick I picked up from my hard labor time working at a daycare that will help you control the chaos and teach your LOs how to enjoy puzzles individually and make clean up a breeze.

Step 1: Take pictures or Grab Scissors. Ok this step is for my fellow Super OCDers. But if you’re like me and you want to go the extra mile when it comes to keeping your kid’s puzzle madness at bay, take pics. This is really going to be crucial for older children’s puzzles that consist of more than just a lion, a bear and an elephant as pieces. If you can’t easily tell what the pieces should come together as when they are apart, take my advice and take a pic of the completed puzzle. Even easier (if you don’t care about chopping up the box), grab some scissors and cut out the picture frome the top of the box. Boom. Easy.

Step 2: Get bags. You’re going to need something larger than a typical freezer sized imagebag. Go for a two gallon or slightly larger depending on the shape of your LO’s puzzle (a typical Melissa & Doug puzzle should fit in a 2 gallon)

Step 3: Label. Print your picture or grab your box top and tape it to the inside of the bag. If it’s a smaller puzzle that didn’t require a picture, label it something simple like “Jungle Animals.”image

Step 4: Store. Get your bags together and put them in a space that may require your assistance in order for a child to get ahold of them (think large storage bin on the closet shelf)

Step 5: Educate. Explain to your LO that they can have one bag at a time and that each puzzle should be put back in the bag before the next puzzle comes out. If they are too little to understand, even easier. When they want to play with puzzles or you plan it in their day, get out one or two bags for them to enjoy. Afterwards, you have a much smaller puzzle mess to handle and they can learn to put back the pieces in the appropriate bag instead of struggling to get the pieces in the correct spots.

It’s a pretty simple process that will take you less than one nap time to complete but save you an afternoon of irritation trying to sort out a bazillion puzzle pieces. Save yourself the stress and the future argument with your kids over cleanliness of the play room and put the puzzle chaos to rest.

-Chelsea

Juggling.

family-manager-pinkromaI juggle a lot. Anyone that knows me will tell you: I should probably take something off of my plate.

But that’s not an option. The income is important, from both my job and the photography.

I was working full-time before having my LO, and thought I would continue. About halfway through my pregnancy I decided I wanted to go part-time. So now I work MWF, about 25 hours a week. On top of that, I own and operate a photography business specializing in weddings and engagements, which occupies anywhere from 20-30 hours a week between shooting and editing. I also take care of our home (with the help of my husband,) and run this blog. My house is almost always spotless, which may be more attributed to a touch of OCD.

So how do I do it?

In all honesty: something is almost always being forgotten. Seriously. I make these mental lists of things I want to get done, and I end up remembering maybe 10% of it. (Right now, to get this blog done, I’m distracting my 9 month old with a pile of Puffs. You do what you’ve gotta do…)

Obviously, in order of priority, my LO comes first, followed by my jobs, and lastly my house (which is why my fridge currently contains milk and bread and nothing else.)

The key to being a working mom and keeping your sanity is organization.

unnamed-At my job: I have a running to-do list every day. I cross things off as they are finished or make notes to let myself know what still needs accomplished. I also keep a calendar of events, as well as utilize the post-it note feature on my desktop. One of the best ways I’ve found to remember various things in the moment is to actually open all of those browser tabs at once. This way, you’ll look at those tabs and go “why did I have this open?” It’s a quick way to make reminders.

-With my business: I am excessively organized. I have contracts, a calendar of events, reminders, and paperwork for clients to fill out. I know who is watching my child at what time, as well as what they will need paid. I also keep many of the papers with me when I’m out on a shoot (itineraries, important phone numbers, etc.) In doing my business finances, I have several spreadsheets of information to account for itemizing come tax time.

-With my house and family: we have a boogie board on our fridge that keeps us in check. The board can be locked, and you can cross things off and add notes. No need for pens and paper. Outside of that, my husband an71Z22Va1imL._SL1500_d I have a shared Google calendar, and we always have a plan for the day (who is dropping off, who is picking up, who is responsible for dinner… or for picking up Chipotle, most often.) We are CLEAR on communication, i.e. “can you do this, that, and the other tonight” or “I already did this, that, and the other.” I also use the “reminders” feature on my iPhone. My iPhone runs all things, knows all things, and is the sole reason I’m mildly sane. Siri reminds me of all the things I would otherwise forget. Siri… you beautiful virtual woman you.

No part of this is easy. Some days it’s downright daunting. With some organization and planning, things generally go pretty smoothly (by smoothly, I mean that we have never forgotten to pick up our child, and our house hasn’t burned to the ground yet.)

Good luck, mommas! You’ve got this!

-Katie

The Sound of My Sanity

…being flushed riiiight down the drain.

Legos. You know what I’m talking about…those little expensive sharp cornered bastards that you can never find when you’re trying to clean up…only when you’re barefoot in the middle of the night trying to check on your LO. Yea, those. They suck and I hate them. What I hate more that Legos themselves is the bucket I store them in…and worse than that is the noise it makes when the whole…entire…damn…bucket is being dumped out. The whole thing.

And you know just as well as I do that once you tell a two year old to help “clean up”, and he sings that cute little song, that he still won’t clean up and will subsequently destroy everything you’re trying to clean.

So what do I (try) to do…

  1. Cycle out the toys. C has a toy shelf thing with bins on it. Some bins get put up depending on how much I feel like picking up that day..errr I mean so he’s not overstimulated… diversified stimulation is a good thing…or something like that. Each bin is organized… One has Legos, one has cars, one has trains, one has foam letters, one has musical instruments, puzzles, random junk that doesn’t belong anywhere else, etc. I typically leave out something fun, something busy, something intellectual and always his trains. He also has 24/7 access to his bookshelf.
  2. Start a Routine. C knows that before nap time and before bed time we clean up… And then I typically clean up little by little throughout the day. He also knows where his toys are kept and what goes where, so that definitely helps. He cleans up well, just not to my standards.
  3. Task it out. “You clean up your shapes, while I clean up your cars”…and he will. Then I get the “I help you” phrase and quickly have to find the next spot for him to clean before he all of the sudden wants to play with his cars again. Keeps him busy so he doesn’t destroy too much, and helps at the same time.
  4. Set up designated areas. I’m not a “helicopter mom”…frequently C plays in his room, unsupervised, by himself (gasp!) and he’s perfectly fine. He will bring his shapes (or letters), his guitar, and his (unloaded) nerf gun to the living room when I’m sitting out there, and he is absolutely allowed to but he knows that nothing gets left on the floor and his toys either stay on the love seat or the ottoman. He also knows that the living room and the main hallway are “play zones” and knows the whole house is not his for his toys. Don’t get me wrong, he is allowed anywhere in the house (except upstairs by himself) but the toys, not so much… designated areas.

Now if you’re one of those moms that’s perfectly okay with your entire house looking like Toys’R’Us threw up in it, more power to ya. I’m too much of a neat freak for that and I know I’m not the only one out there. The most important thing is make your kiddo responsible for his/her mess… After all, you’re the mom not the maid…

-Kirstyn