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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Akron Children’s Museum. Cabin Fever No More.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Open Tuesdays- Sundays 10am-6pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

DockATot Grand {Product Review}

img_0042.jpgSleep. Please give me all the sleep. It’s the thing that all parents are seriously lacking in. How toddlers run on so little sleep has to be some sort of miracle. Sleeping when they sleep doesn’t constitute to enough sleep most of the time. It’s a cruel joke, really. I know I know….”Cherish these days while you have them, they don’t last. You will wish you were up at 3 am snuggling in 6 years”. Blah blah blah. No I wont. I will never wish that I was up at 3 am watching Curious George praying that MAYBE it will make her settle long enough for me to snag a few more snoozes.

Until the day that my kids are teenagers and sleeping like I wanted them to when they were two, I will just funnel coffee directly down my throat, and work out at 5 am in hopes that I can make it till bedtime.

DockATot sent us their Grand dock and I gladly accepted. Promises of happier babies and more sleep. Yes please. Take all my money.

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What is a DockATot?

Quite literally it is a safe pillow to nest your child in for a cozier sleep environment. It comes in two sizes the Deluxe and the Grand. Deluxe is made for 0-8months and Grand  is made for 9-36 months.

The Grand is perfect for cuddling, playing, lounging, resting and everything in between. It’s ideal for travel—either from room to room, grandma’s house or on vacation. It’s also ideal for bed transitioning, thanks to built-in, air permeable bumpers that act as bed rails, allowing young children to settle more easily in a bigger bed.  It  gives little ones a snug sense of security in their newer, bigger beds.

The dock is BREATHABLE, MACHINE WASHABLE, OEKO-TEX CERTIFIED,HYPO ALLERGENIC, FREE OF CHEMICALS, AND NATURALLY COOLING. safety-chart-dat.jpg

The dock comes in many different patterns and they also have many cover options that you can purchase separately.

The pad and bumpers are very breathable. I shoved my face in and could definitely take a deep breath and breath comfortably. That made me feel good about my one year old using it.  I wish I would have had this months ago when my little man was still co-sleeping because of nursing. I am sure this would have given him more hours of sleep in the pack n play next to my bed.

I have to admit that I was skeptical. It’s HUGE. And basically a big body pillow for toddlers. Both BK#1 and BK#2 are HUGE fans of it. BK#1 ended up with it permanently in her bed though. BK#2 is my sleeper and will sleep 12 hours at night and a good 2 hour nap during the day.  BK#1 on the other hand is almost 3 and fights sleep with everything in her being. We recently moved her into a twin bed, and I think the large surface area might be messing with her sleep pattern. After I saw how much that she loved playing in it, and then dozing off in it, I decided to put it in her bed to see what would happen. DockATtotBurritoBuzz .jpg

The past 3 days she has gone to bed without a fuss and stays up until her clock tells her that she can get out of bed. Which hasn’t happened in a few weeks! I am actually going to push the time up a little bit for her because I think it is actually waking her! She is definitely more comfortable and not tossing and turning as much. She hasn’t came in my room asking to be covered back up or arriving at my bedside at 4am saying she is up for the day. WIN!

BK#1 LOVED it in his crib. He is 1.5 and can have things in his crib, but the FAQs say that’s not what it is made for without observation. I put it in there for a nap time and a photo, because dang it …its adorable!1483753072005.jpg

What I don’t love:

The price?!?! I get that its made of some awesome breathable fabric, its gone through some pretty strict testing, and the design is awesome…but really almost $300 is a little steep. That is NOT in the average person’s budget. The company is limiting their market by quite a bit with the price. If I knew that some pillow bumpers would have made my toddler happy then I would have put two body pillows in her bed!

Its HUGE. Yes it would be great to have at a grandparents house, or on a vacation for unfamiliar beds, but getting it there is the problem. You can purchase a carrying bag but its still the size of a large suitcase. Lord knows that parents have to take way too much as it is when we travel with children, add on carrying a huge pillow? Yeah that would be a big NO in my book. The car seat for the airplane is enough to lug around.

I give the DockATot a 3 out of 5 stars. Its awesome and definitely gets the job done, but the price is way too high and its definitely not something you have to have as a parent. Adorable and super popular right now? yes. Practical 100% of the time? No.

~Amanda

 

 

Grippies: STEM Toys for Toddlers

g8311_6-1200x1200BurritoBuzz has talked about STEM teaching before, so elaborating on STEM, we’re bringing you a review on Guidecraft Grippies. I had not heard of Grippies prior to being introduced to them, but I was fascinated by the concept.

The toddler STEM building toy, Grippies® Builders, combines tactile exploration, magnetic play and an introduction to the basic principles of engineering and geometry. Grippies® use a unique, magnetic rod and ball configuration to provide a secure, frustration-free set of construction option as children first discover the joy of building. Unique in concept and design, Grippies® provide a fun, safe, and exploratory experience for toddlers. The 30 piece set features 4 soft matte textures in exciting bright colors. Suggested age: 18 months+

  • Open-ended magnetic STEM building toy for toddlers
  • Combines tactile exploration with magnetic play
  • Provides introduction to engineering
  • 30 piece set in exciting bright colors for $59.99 or a 20 piece for $39.99
  • Over-sized ABS Plastic rod encapsulates magnets
  • Accompanying metal balls are overmolded with soft plastic, with seamless texture for secure construction
  • Exterior features 4 soft matte textures
  • Winner of the Tillywig Brain Child Award, the National Parenting Center’s Seal of –Approval, Parents’ Choice Awards Silver Honor, and the Oppenheim Gold and Special Needs Adaptable Product (SNAP) Awards

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My son is 22 months old and really fine-tuning his motor skills at this point. Upon opening up Grippies, not only was my son fully engaged, but my husband and I were enthralled with building all kinds of structures with him. He quickly caught on to the concept of magnetism, so much so that he discovered that he could stick them to theg8311_lifestyle3-1200x1200 fridge, dishwasher, and cold air return grates. And while the structures he’s building now are fairly basic, I have no doubt that he’ll be engaged with Grippies for years to come and build much more advanced structures!

I was concerned about the magnets in these products, because magnets can cause serious damage (and death) if swallowed. I’ve been cautious throughout my son’s infancy and toddler years to ensure that small magnets are always out of his reach. Thankfully, the magnets in the Grippies are firmly stuck on the rods. While I tell my son to not chew on toys, he still does at times. Thankfully, the Grippies’ magnets have not budged. He is still always supervised when playing with them, thanks to my momma paranoia.

Grippies have proven to be a fun, educational activity for my tiny human. They keep him busy for decent lengths of time. My only true complaint is the price; they are overpriced for what you get. I’d love to see them have a lower price-point so all families could affordstem-logo-salsify-1200x1200 them. Check out all of Guidecraft’s awesome and educational toys here and Guidecraft’s STEM toys here! They will make great holiday and birthday gifts for any little one in your life!

Don’t forget to follow Guidecraft on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to stay up to date on all thing Guidecraft!

– 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 with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Draw Your Own Circuits with Circuit Scribe {Review + Giveaway}

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We can all agree that STEM, the education of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, is super important for our children learn this day and age. Technology is our future and where most of the new jobs are being created. With that being said, I love toys and activities that allow young children to learn how technology works and opens their world to new ideascircuit-scribe_copy-of-i-8njccmm-xl_lr and thought processes. I was recently given the opportunity to review an amazing product called Circuit Scribe from Electroninks, Inc. and was completely blown away by how much I learned (at 28 years old) and I am now hooked!

Created by a company based in Austin, TX and Cambridge, MA, Circuit Scribe is a revolutionary pen that uses non-toxic conductive ink that makes it easy for newbies (like myself) and expert makers to have fun with electronics in a new and easy way. Geared towards children 8 years and older, Circuit Scribe is an easy way to introduce STEM to kids and is also great for those who are already experienced. I have to admit, when I was asked to review this product, I knew nothing about it. But I did know that STEM is huge right now, and being integrated in schools across the country and all over the world. I knew I personally wanted to circuit-scribe_img_0048_lrget my hands on a kit (my electronic-loving husband also wanted to give it a whirl) and I definitely wanted to share it with our readers!

First of all, if you’ve never done anything with circuits (or if you have no idea what a circuit is), the workbook/sketchbook is so easy to read through and understand. I couldn’t wait for my husband to help explain everything to me, so I took it upon myself to learn how it all worked and it was surprisingly easy, even for a newbie like me. Here’s the gist of how it works: simply draw traces with their quick dry conductive ink pen, then snap on their magnetic modules to create fully functional electrical circuits instantly! You place the magnetic steel sheet under a sheet of paper, then use the circuit stencil with the conductive ink pen to draw pathways for the current to allow the modules to interact, creating the circuit. Each module is different and does something different. Here is a list of modules included in the Maker Kit that I received:circuit-scribe_ultimate-kit-contents_lr

  • 9V Power Supply and battery (power)
  • SPST Switch (input)
  • Photo Sensor (input)
  • Potentiometer (input)
  • Blinker (connect)
  • 2-Pin adaptor (connect)
  • NPN Transistor (connect)
  • BI-LED x2 (output)
  • RGB LED (output)
  • Buzzer (output)

The Maker Kit consists of 17 pieces, including 11 modules, 1 conductive ink pen, a circuit stencil, jumper stickers, a magnetic steel sheet (that has an awesome symbol guide for quick reference), and an easy to read step by step workbook. There are several different Circuit Scribe kits available, starting at $9.99 for the Mini Kit (available or pre-order), the Basic Kit for $44.99-$59.99, the Maker Kit for $79.99, the Ultimate Kit for $99.99, and the Developer Kit for $194.99. There are also classroom kits available so entire classes can participate and learn about circuits thanks to Circuit Scribe! You can also circuit-scribe_maker-kit-with-contents_lrorder replacement or extra modules right on their website, too. Check out all of Circuit Scribe’s products here! We also have an exclusive code for 15% off your Circuit Scribe purchase, jut use code BURRITO15 at check out!

This is the coolest, most educational product I have had the privilege of reviewing for BurritoBuzz. I have learned so much from playing around with the different modules already, and my husband is a big fan also. Although we’re still learning, we are having a blast going through the workbook together. If you have children or nieces or nephews that are interested in science and technology, I highly recommend Circuit Scribe! It’s a great way for kids (and adults) to learn and have fun at the same time. It would make a fantastic gift this holiday season, I know I will be gifting a kit or two myself this December! Here’s a video of my handsome husband showing how some of the modules work:

And guess what? We’re giving one lucky winner a Maker Kit of their own! Follow these quick and easy steps for a chance to win!

  1. Follow both @burritobuzz and @circuitscribe on Instagram, we will be checking!
  2. Like our original giveaway post.
  3. Tag a friend who would love the chance to win, too!
  4. That’s it!

The giveaway will start at 12pm EST on Thursday November 3, 2016 and end at 12pm EST on Sunday November 6 ,2016. You can tag as many friends as you’d like to get one entry per tag/comment. Good luck! **This giveaway is in no way sponsored by Instagram.**circuit-scribe_electroninks_wallpaper-logo-3_lr

Don’t forget to following Circuit Scribe on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay updated on sales, new products, and more!

– 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.**

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.**

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

 

 

D-Link Day & Night Wi-Fi Baby Monitor {Review}

This past, week my husband and I decided it was time for our 9 week old to move into her big sister’s bedroom (she has been in our room since birth) and I knew we needed a baby monitor to keep an eye on them. She has been sleeping through the night for about two weeks and we desperately wanted to have our room to ourselves again, my poor husband has been on the couch since she came home! We weren’t concerned aboFullSizeRender (1)ut having a video monitor, as our iPhones and iPad could double as monitors (and it saves money!). We just wanted a good camera that we could hear and see our girls on. We went with the D-Link Day & Night DCS-800L Wi-Fi Baby Monitor and I am so glad! I don’t know much about baby monitors or cameras for that matter, but this one has exceeded my expectations!

First off, it’s small so we attached it to the top corner of my daughter’s crib to where we can see the baby and also my three year old in her bed. The way we set it up in their room up is perfect for the angle we get with the camera. It can be set up wirelessly or plug it in. We opted to just plug it in so we didn’t have to worry about a dead battery but the wireless option is nice so we can use it anywhere. It also has all of the features I wanted in a monitor. The video picture is incredibly clear for a baby monitor. I am pleasantly surprised with the quality. I love that you can snap pictures or take videos right from the live feed. So if your baby or toddler is doing something cute, it automatically saves to your camera roll.

Features:

  • It has 2-way audio so you can sooth baby without going into the room\
  • Infrared night vision, sees up to 16 feet
  • Prerecorded 5 soothing lullabies
  • 4x digital zoom
  • 802.11n wireless lets you place the camera anywhere
  • Motion or sound alerts when baby moves or cries
  • Notifications can be sent to your phone for detected events
  • 3 interchangeable accent rings: yellow, pink and blue
  • H.264 video compression and PCM audio
  • Snap photos or record video live video with app
  • Can be powered by an external USB battery
  • Compatible with iPhone and iPad using iOS 5.1.1 or higher
  • Compatible with Android smartphones and tablets using Android 4.1 or higher

Once you set up the camera, you download D-Link’s free app. It’s easy to do and takes a minute. When your D-Link account is setup, you can access the camera remotely as long as you have wi-fi connection on your tablet or phone and also through the website so you can see baby from any computer, anywhere in the world. The video quality is superb, even at night, so you can always see baby perfectly. The infrared night vision turns on automatically when blinds are drawn or at night. The app offers so much for parents’ peacedlink2 of mind, like movement and sound alerts (that you can also get e-mailed to you) and even if your phone or tablet is locked, you can still hear what is going on which is so important as it won’t kill your battery!

I am so glad we went with this camera. The price is on point as well at $99.99 (I purchased from Kmart but it’s available at many stores or websites). We have had zero complaints and are thrilled that it works so well. There are several different models, some of which have panning capabilities, which is the only feature I now wish this model had but I am very impatient and a local store had this model in stock so I didn’t have to order it online. But overall, I give it 5 stars. I honestly can’t find anything wrong with it!

– Casey

Raising the Plugged-In Generation

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How many times have you heard the following phrases:

“Don’t let them watch too much television, it’ll rot their minds”

“Those video games, they’ll make him violent!”

“You never know what they’re looking at on the internet…”

“Why would she need a phone? She’s a child.”

I saw this Dateline 20/20 Nightline whatever episode recently that said “we” (me and you, current parents of small children) are raising the “Plugged-In Generation.” And it’s this horrible, scary thing where our kids are ruled by technology, and their minds really are mush and they’re doomed to be socially inept their entire lives because computers and smart phones will do everything for them. Okkkk….

So then I visited a mom friend the other day that told me that they have their television on for a total of 30 minutes a day. THIRTY. I found this out when naptime was approaching for the kids so I turned on a quiet cartoon, went to the bathroom, came back and the tv was off. Alrighty then.

Is it true? Is all the technology of today still rot-your-brains-out horrible? I’m not so sure.

Call me Mom of the Year, but my tv is rarely off. Sorry Mom Friend, but I think you’re a little nuts. But I also don’t want my kid to only speak in Jake the Pirate lingo and not be able to function outside of a computer screen…image

And when I say my tv is on all day, listen, I’m a stay at home, military mom. My DH is in and out constantly and I just can’t be in a house alone with my LO, sitting in silence all day. But that also doesn’t mean I park her in front of the tube and she sits in zombie mode for hours on end. In the mornings, we snuggle and watch a few episodes of Curious George. And then she’s off. Sometimes its a cute, toddler-appropriate cartoon in the background, sometimes it’s the Disney Pandora station. But my tv is on for the majority of the day for the simple purpose of background noise.

So besides my tv always being on, what other brain-rotting sins do I commit? Well I have a Fisher Price app on my tablet that she loves to play and if she could figure out Facetime on my phone, I’m sure she’d call my sister 37 times a day.

I’m a little conflicted here. I’m not a doctor or a scientist. Just a sahm, shrink in training (read: grad student in Professional Counseling), trying to make the best, most practical choices I can for my kid. So here’s my opinion:

1. Cartoons aren’t what they used to be. When we were little, it was Rugrats, Scooby Doo and Wiley Coyote being blown up by a bird. Now, my child has a ridiculous amount of educational shows to choose from. And they really are educational. Daniel Tiger learns how to share, Curious George does odd jobs to buy a kite, and Sofia the First deals with bullies. These are life lessons, in bold colors, with catchy songs that kids remember.

2. Use technology to your advantage. Sure, as your children get older they’re going to learn that there is a world of opportunity available out there on the internet. So be smart. Use the parental settings on your smart phones, your cable and your internet plans. Block what you don’t want them to have access to, give them kid-safe technology like a Leap Pad. As they get older, regulate who they can and cannot contact on their phones. Technology is expanding every minute but that doesn’t mean you have to be an ignorant parent. Stay up to date and monitor what you child, at any age, has access to.

3. Be safe. Get your middle schooler a phone if you want. Shoot, get your elementary schooler a phone. Give them text and call services and teach them that this is for emergencies only. Sure they may text their friends when you turn your back, but this isn’t a Mayberry,-leave-your-doors-unlocked kind of world anymore. My child having a way to contact me should there be, God forbid, some horrible event happening at their school or just some creeper near the bus stop, gives me peace of mind. It’s a safety measure I think is necessary here in 2015.

 4. Teach them OTHER things. Start young. Have scheduled play time OUTSIDE, every day if possible. Read to them. Read in front of them. Instill in them a joy of reading, crafts, music, couch-fort building and imaginary tea parties as soon as you can. The more you encourage non-technology related activities and make them appealing to your children, the less they’ll even care about watching Frozen for the 94th time this week.

Promoting the fun in other activities will also help avoid that feeling that they are addicted to technology. It can be helpful to reward positive behavior in your children, especially when they are toddlers. But constantly using your own personal phone or tablet as a reward WILL turn around and bite you when you eventually need to take it away, resulting in that dreaded inconsolable tantrum in the middle of Walmart that we all love. Try stickers or a musical toy, something fun they don’t always have access to as an incentive for good behavior.

If you want them to have “app time” during the day, schedule it into your routine. This way, they’ll know when to expect time on the tablet and won’t demand it at random moments throughout the day. Routine works!!!

5. Lead by example. The phone/tablet/laptop/smart watch…whatever…put it away. Don’t text and drive. Don’t check emails at dinner. EAT DINNER AT THE TABLE. Talk to your kids, no matter how young they are. I’m a student and I write for this super awesome blog so I suppose you could say I “work from home.” My child sees me use technology often. But I make technology-free time for her all day long. When you’re interacting with your child, be present. Listen when they have something to say. Set the example that you want them to follow.

I really don’t care how many hours a day my television is on. I’ll give my kid a tablet to play an age-appropriate app every now and then. What’s important is that technology doesn’t rule her life. I’m teaching my child how to speak politely to adults, the importance of fitness and a love of several different hobbies that don’t involve a keyboard or remote.

In the right context, technology can be so beneficial for children of all ages. We need to be forward-thinking parents. We need to not be ignorant to changing technology and current safety precautions. Keep up with your kids, stay current in their lives, and set the example you want them to follow. Technology isn’t the enemy, poor parenting is. We can’t protect them from everything, but we can guide them toward becoming successful, intelligent, social human beings that don’t have carpel tunnel from video games, but instead understand the value of new, evolving sciences that will shape their tomorrow.

-Chelsea