Bookroo Monthly Children’s Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

~Amanda

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

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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

 

Book Review: Dreaming in Color {The Adventures of Oliver Poons}

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Author, Lauryn Alyssa Wendus, is at it again with a new children’s book featuring her star character, Oliver Poons! You might remember my previous review about Lauryn’s first book, Oliver Poons and the Bright Yellow Hat. If not, you can read it here! My daughter was nearly 3 at the time, but she really enjoyed the first book, so I was not surprised that she was excited to read another Oliver Poons book. Not only that, my younger son (16 months) was excited about the new “kitty book” too!

Lauryn does a fabulous job telling a simple, rhyming bedtime story about Oliver Poons and his pals working together to bring colors back into Oliver’s dreams. It’s a perfect story for little ones, because the rhyming keeps them interested. Kids are introduced to new animals and colors throughout the story, which is great, too. The same characters are brought back from the firsoliver-poons-dreaming-in-color-cover-600px-510x510t book of the series, so in our house, we often can’t read one book without the other. My oldest is into longer stories “with lots of pages, Mom!” nowadays, but she still remained interested in this book and I love that now my youngest can read along with us.

Lauryn’s mother, Lois Wendus, is the book’s illustrator and she does a beautiful job again in this second book. I just love the mother-daughter duo behind this series and their mission, “our products are designed to inspire a happy day and happy dreams for your child.” And it’s not only about their products bringing joy and smiles, but the Oliver Poons Children’s Company also supports children and animal rescue by donating a portion of their proceeds to organizations like Mission for Orphans, Inc. and No Kitten Left Behind. They also have a campaign right now (#YellowHatsforCats) where they donate a portion of their sales to various animal shelteroliver-poons-childrens-co-logos to raise awareness about animal rescue.

You can find both books of the series online in hardcover, paperback, or an ebook version. You can purchase the hardcover book for $19.95 on the books’ site or here on Amazon. There are other items available on the Oliver Poons website, too. Workbook learning activities, an interactive floor game, Oliver Poons artwork, and even the floppy yellow hat itself are available for purchase on the website.

These books would make a wonderful Christmas gift for any little one, especially those who adore cats like mine! You can feel good about giving these books to a loved one because not only are they receiving a fun loving, adorable read, but somewhere else another little kiddo or kitty will also be a little happier too!

Follow Lauryn and learn more about the adventures of Oliver Poons on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

– Megan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOW TO USE

Apply:

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

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

 

 

First Look and Find Books {Review}

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As I’ve written before, my almost four year old loves books. I love that she got her love of reading and books from my mom (she would read 2-3 thick books a week!). My daughter also loves seek and find books! A few months ago, I was going through a box of my old belongings and found a few Where’s Waldo books and she loved them! So I did a littleIMG_4226 research to see if there were any seek and find books geared towards little ones. I was so happy when I found First Look and Find books from p i kids (Phoenix International Publications).

I purchased two First Look and Find books to see if my daughter liked them. We got Mickey Mouse and Princess Sofia to start off with. She devoured those books! They were all she wanted to look at for a few days until she could find each item with her eyes closed. So I
reached out to p i kids to collaborate on a review together and they kindly sent her a few more titles to check out! The board books come in two different sizes, a small 5″ x 6″ perfect for little hands and a large 10″ x 12.125″ that’s big enough to share. Each page has pictures of several itemFullSizeRender (99)s to look for and the back of each book has bonus challenges, too! The books are perfect to keep kids busy in the car, at the store, at the doctor’s office, anywhere!

There are so many titles available including Disney, Nickelodeon, Thomas The Train, Hello Kitty, Sesame Street, The Peanuts and many more. It’s almost guaranteed that your little one’s favorite characters have a Look and Find book! There are books for Christmas and holidays, too! Kids can search, point and match items, which I love because my daughter is learning as she’s looking! She’s making comparisons and following simple directions. At bedtime, she picks a book, gets her flashlight and “reads” to herself before falling asleep.

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There are other Look and Find products, too, not just books! p i kids sent us two big puzzles that, once put together, have items to find! My daughter loved putting them together then searching for Mickey and friends! There are activity pads, Write-and-Erase books, Fun Boxes (filled FullSizeRender (89)with books, stickers, activity cards, poster and magnifying glass), puzzles, book sets and more! There are so many fun products for little ones! p i kids also publishes a ton of other fun books, be sure to check out their website to see all of their books!

We love Look and Find books and can’t wait to continue to add to our collection! They make great gifts for birthday, holidays, or just because, as any child will love to look through these books! They can be purchased pretty much anywhere books are sold; book stores, Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Toys R US to name a few and prices start at $2.99. I give p i kids Look and Find books a 5 out of 5. My daughter loves when we snuggle in her bed looking for items together and I can’t wait my youngest is able to join in on the search!

– 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.**

For Your Little Bookworm: BabyLit Books

My mother absolutely loved reading books. She went to the library several times a week and everyone knew her name, she knew all of the employees’ names as well. She would read super thick, long books cover to cover in just a few days. I don’t think I have met another person who enjoyed reading as much she did. My mom passed away from cancer less than two months before I found out I was expecting my first child. I honestly believe my daughter Stella (her middle name is Catherine, after my mom Cathy) was sent here by my mother to help heal my broken heart. I also feel that she gave my daughter her love of reading and books. Stella loves looking at books and being read to. She follows along, usually trying to recite the words of books we’ve read together a bazillion times. I amFullSizeRender (69) always looking for new and interesting books for us to read, and now that I have another little one, I’m looking for books that they can both enjoy. I have heard such wonderful things about BabyLit books, so I reached out and they kindly sent us several of their adorable books.

BabyLit books are a fashionable way to introduce little ones to classic literature with timeless writers like Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Lewis Carroll and Edgar Allan Poe just to name a few. The illustrations are phenomenal, they’re so bright, colorful and engaging for both my toddler and baby. The artwork really keeps them both interested and entertained. Each book is a primer, an introduction to a subject of study or is used for teaching children to read. The different primers include colors, shapes, emotions, counting, animals, flowers, opposites, weather, fashion, anatomy, ocean, camping sounds, and even French and Spanish languages.

There are so many fun titles that it was actually pretty hard to narrow down which ones  to receive. I ended up choosing Jabberwocky (Little Master Carroll), Wuthering Heights (Little Miss Bronte), Emma (Little Miss Austen), The Secret Garden (Little Miss Burnett) and Edgar and the Tattle-Tale Heart (inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”). The quality of each book is fantastic. BabyLit books are 7” x “7 board books (our Poe book was available in a hardcover, but it’s also available in a board book) and each are around 22 pages long. At $9.99 each, they are right in line with the price of children’s books. Jennifer Adams, the BLIT7A-babylit-A-detail2-1200-300x300author of BabyLit books, does a fabulous job bringing classic stories to a young child’s level. While I have personally never read The Secret Garden, Emma or Wuthering Heights (the reading gene must have skipped me), I really enjoy reading them to my girls.

There are 3 titles in the BabyLit First Steps collection, Edgar and The Tattle-Tale Heart, Edgar gets Ready for Bed and Edgar and the Treehouse Usher which are all inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and are picture books. All Aboard books, written by Haily and Kevin Meyers, celebrates the unique qualities of cities and states such as London, Paris, Washington DC, California, and New York, a must for the travelling baby or toddler. BabyLit also has an awesome coloring book called DoodleLit: Drawing on the Classics with pages from classic such as Pride & Prejudice, Alice in Wonderland, Romeo & Juliet and many more. It is next (along with a bunch of other BabyLit books) on my list for my girls!

I highly recommend BabyLit books for the little bookworm in your life. With all of their amazing titles and primers to choose from, there is something for everyone and I promise you, it won’t easy to decide which books to get and you won’t be able to have just one on your child’s bookshelf. I already want the complete collection and a list of which ones BLIT8C-babylit-8-c-detail1-1200we’re getting next! They’re definitely my new go-to gifts for birthdays and holidays for my little loved ones! Be sure to check out their website to see the entire BabyLit product line, as books are just the tip of the iceberg for this innovative company! They have dolls, totes, buttons, notebooks, puzzles and games which all relate to the books!

Don’t forget to follow BabyLit on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for new releases and sales!

– Casey

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**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.**

Product Review: The Story Box


The Story Box is a monthly book subscription that delivers new, age appropriate books to your doorstep every month…

Holly and her husband Clint, of The Story Box, were kind enough to send a free box to C for review. Holly is a speech-language pathologist and reading is a very important part of her life and job. However, as parents, reading with our children not only gives a boost to the learning process but it also allows for some bonding time.

Holly and Clint also use a portion of each subscription fee ($21.99) to donate books or other materials to benefit at-risk children or children with literacy disorders.

So  I…or should I say C, received this awesome little box and he loved it! The box contained 2 books (1 paperback and 1 hardback) and a handy-dandy parents guide. He loved the books! (He begged me to let him take “his cow book” to Sam’s Club on Tuesday.)


Downfalls are few and far between, because face it, it’s a box…of books…how could you not love it? However, what I didn’t love was the paper-ziggy-zag-frilly-makes-more-of-a-mess-than-it-is-worth confetti in the bottom of the box. Definitely not conducive to a 2.5 year old. I also wasn’t thrilled with the box design itself. I honestly expected to see brighter colors or more design to the box to intrigue children or get them excited from the start, essentially it get’s thrown away so it’s not a terribly big deal, but C wasn’t even interested in the box initially.

On top of donating books to those in need, The Story Box was kind enough to offer a coupon to all of our BurritoBuzz followers! When you subscribe use coupon code BURRITOBUZZ for $10 off! This coupon will be good on December 20th, 2015 and, like most, cannot be combined with any other offers and cannot be used by the same individual more than once.

Definitely a 5 out of 5 and I will sneak in an extra star for giving back to the community!

-Kirstyn

**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.**