Minivan Mama

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

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

 

 

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

Here’s a few of them . . .

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

-Megan

 

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Finn + Emma {Review}

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Pajamas are a huge deal in our house. My girls love their pajamas. It’s not easy to get them changed into regular clothes in the morning to start their day. They’d live in them if they could, but honestly, who wouldn’t? I know I would if I could. Jammies are so warm, cozy, and comfortable, pretty much everything I look for in everyday clothes! I recently had the opportunity to review an amazing modern organic children’s clothing brand, Finn + Emma. These are some of the coziest jams ever and they just keep getting softer with every wash!

While Finn + Emma offers a lot more than just pajamas, I had to try them first! All of their products are made of the finest organic cotton, with eco friendly dyes, and natural wood. As if Finn + Emma isn’t awesome enough, already, all of their garments and accessories are produced in fair trade settings that focus on social and economic pajamas-fairytale_grandeindependence for local people. I love companies that offer people fair wages and helps them provide a life for themselves and their families. Finn + Emma is a balance of stylish and sustainability and I love it!

The jams I picked out for my girls not only matched, but the print and colors went together perfectly! I’m not usually one for matching my 9 month old and my 4 year old, but when the clothes are this cute, I couldn’t deny my twin-mom fantasy any longer and had to get them to match! The Fairytale print is adorable and not only available in footies for littles and 2 piece sets for older kids, but a ton of matching clothing pieces, accessories, play gyms, and toys are available to complete this beautiful collection! See the Fairytale collection in action here:

I have to give Finn + Emma jams 5 out of 5 stars! They’re so incredibly soft and luxurious, I’m kind of jealous! I really hope adult jammies will be available in the future, I will definitely buy a few pairs for myself! Check out all of the awesome products, like fairytale-coverall-closeup-495x495clothing and toys, Finn + Emma have to offer here. There’s something for everyone, on any budget. I can’t wait to buy more of their adorable clothes for my girls and gift some of their wooden toys to my expecting friends!

Be sure to follow Finn + Emma on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for new releases, sales, 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 with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Lorena Canals Washable Rugs {Review}

img_3897When I was pregnant, one of my favorite things to do to prepare for baby was designing the nursery! I love interior design and putting together ideas for a room (I wish my bank account gave me more freedom) and had so much fun getting my oldest daughter’s nursery together. My poor youngest, she’s still bunking in mom and dad’s room. There’s just enough room for her crib, a big dresser and our queen sized bed. But now that the baby is getting older, we’re really looking forward to our girls sharing a room (and getting ours back). When our oldest moved from her crib to a big girl bed, I gave her room a little makeover, new bedding of course, new pictures on the walls, a banner that says her name above her bed, curtains, and other little decorative pieces. But I’ve always wanted a nice sized rug in her room and wanted one even more with her sister always in there and because they’ll soon be sharing a room. I came across the coolest washable rugs from Lorena img_5863Canals for nurseries and for kids’ rooms (for any room, really) and I couldn’t wait to share them with you!

Lorena Canals is an amazing company that started specializing in children’s rugs 12 years ago to offer their customers all of the essentials to enjoy elegant and cozy spaces with all the requirements that moms need for little ones. The rugs undergo an extensive elaboration handmade process based on the selection of the best raw materials, the use of natural dyes, the control of non-child labor (so awesome!) in the production process, and the compliance of quality and safety regulations for children. Literally every tiny detail is purposely thought out. Watch the video below to see how Lorena Canals rugs are made, starting from the very beginning:

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As I mentioned above, these rugs are washable! Not only are the styles awesome and the quality is top notch, but you can  wash them! I hesitated spending money on a rug for my daughter’s room when I first gave it a mini makeover, because let’s face it, kids are gross and often make crazy messes and a regular rug would be ruined fast. But a rug that I could just throw in the washing machine when my oldest drops pudding on it (even though she’s not allowed to have food in her room, I still find the evidence) and bluemy youngest happens to find a tube of diaper rash cream and empties the entire thing on it. Is there any better way to wash something? Just roll it up and toss it in the washer! Easy peasy.

I picked the Stars Navy – White ($200) design for my daughter’s room and it is absolutely perfect! The 4’x5’x3’ is the perfect size for the room and it’s honestly like a cloud! It’s so soft, I can only imagine that it gets softer with every wash. My youngest loves to rest her little head on the rug when she needs a break from crawling all over the house. It’s handmade and made for natural dyes and 100% natural cotton. I am in love with this rug and give Lorena Canals a 5 out o5 5 stars. These rugs are incredible and would be in every room in my house if I could afford it! There are so many different designs, shapes and sizes, and prices, the options are endless! You canimg_3898 check out all of the gorgeous Lorena Canals rugs and purchase here!

Make sure you like Lorena Canals on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter for product updates and sales!

– Casey

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

Tray Haven {Review}


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Casey

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

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.**

Mouthguard Challenge: Game Night Just Got More Fun

Who doesn’t love playing games at family get togethers during the holidays? It’s so fun and a great way to connect with family you may not see very much, if at all, throughout the 51Si5d+l+yL._SX300_.jpgyear. Last year, Pie Face was a huge hit at our get togethers but it was extremely hard to get your hands on one. This year, Mouthguard Challenge needs to be on everyone’s wish list and is a must for your holiday parties!

It was created by Alex Mandel, funnyman Howie Mandel’s son, and the apple definitely did not fall far from the tree! Alex did not disappoint with this hilarious game! It not only contains speaking challenges but “extreme” challenges that are actually challenging, like drinking water without dripping on the table and who can eat a banana the fastest – way harder than it sounds! There are 51 specifically developed tasks, revenge cards and mouthguards included, along with rules of how to play. It’s super easy to play and can be played with 2-5 people and is meant for those 16 and older (not because it’s a dirty game, it’s family friendly, I think maybe because of the size of the mouthguards). Check out this video of my husband and I playing for the first time:

If you’re looking for something to spice up your holiday parties and get togethers this year or if you just want to add something fun and unique to your collection of games, this is the game! Find yours at Hallmark, select specialty stores, or here on Amazon for only $14.99 + free shipping with Prime. `At that price, you can buy a few more to give as gifts! Watch Alex and his friendmouthguard Roman do the Mouthguard Challenge here and see Howie Mandel’s Mouthguard Challenge video here! Your stomach will be hurting from laughing so hard! 

And don’t forget to follow Mouthguard Challenge on Instagram and Alex Mandel’s Vlog on YouTube for more hilarious videos!

– 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.**

GeoSphere from GeoSmart {Review + Giveaway}

My daughter loves to build (and demolish) things. She loves Legos, blocks, anything that she can stack on top of each other until it’s taller than her, she loves. My brother, cousins, and I would play Legos for hours, so I share her love of building, too. But there are so many new construction toys on the market today that I would have killed to have when I was younger. One of those toys is GeoSmart, a magnetic construction toy, that is out of this world! I recently got the chance to review one of the GeoSmart sets and the whole family is in love with this amazing toy!

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GeoSmart is a magnetic construction toy for children ages 5 and older (my daughter is 4 and she had no problem building with them). Each piece contains magnets that are protected by a double safety system, so the magnets can’t fall off. A stainless steel covers the strong magnets and locked onto an ABS core, which is then covered by durable polycarbonate housing. This new patented system makes GeoSmart a safer and stronger toy that offers a long lifetime and are super easy to clean. GeoSmart offers several different shapes in 9 bright and colorful colors. You can use squares, triangles, diamonds, rectangles, isosceles triangles, and trapezoids to create endless combinations and let yourgeo_geosphere3_construction imagination run wild. Some sets come with unique pieces like wheels, lights, or remote controls so playtime is limitless! Some of the special elements Geosmart offers are:

  • Spinner: add motion to a simple construction. The spinner easily clicks onto every square piece.
  • Wheels: use your imagination and build cars with 4 wheels or 6 wheels
  • Tracks: build trucks with tracks!
  • Train connectors: build trailers you can easily connect to your vehicle and drive it around.
  • LED-Lights: light up your construction with one of the 6 LED colors. The panels easily click onto the squares.
  • Remote Control: drive around with your vehicle or make your construction spin automatically.

We received the GeoSphere set that comes with 31 pieces, including one spinner, 12 triangles, and 18 squares. Each set also comes with a book with structures you can build or you can build something original. They’re incredibly easy to build with and fun for everyone. My husband and I like to help our little one build more complex structures to get her little brain thinking. GeoSmart helps with spatial insight, hand-eye coordination, concentration, logical thinking, and allows kids to be creative. There are a lot of awesome sets to chose from, make sure you check them all out here and  they can be purchased here on Amazon! I give GeoSmart 5 out of 5 stars.10491878_4 The sets are so fun and keeps my little one engaged. I will definitely be buying more sets this coming holiday season. GeoSmart sets make a great gifts for all the kids in your life!

We love GeoSmart so much, we’ve teamed up for a giveaway! One lucky winner will win a Solar Spinner set from GeoSmart! Follow these quick and easy steps to enter:

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

The giveaway begins Monday, November 21st at 12pm EST and ends Wednesday, November 23rd at 12pm EST. The winner will be announced on the original giveaway post within 24 hours. Goodluck! **This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.**

Don’t forget to follow GeoSmart on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to stay up to date on new products and sales! _ppxu2zz

– 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.**

Malia’s House from Build & Imagine {Review}

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

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

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

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

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

– Casey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Casey

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

Bluebee Pals {Review + Giveaway}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Casey

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

 

MiO from Manhattan Toy Co. {Review + Giveaway}

logo-6When I was a little girl, I was always playing with my dollhouse. If you were a kid in the early 90’s, you probably know which one I’m talking about. It was big and bulky and made of plastic with a blue roof. It came with a mom, dad, brother, sister, and of course a baby. It had a swing for the baby that hung from the “dining room” ceiling and a closet under the stairs for who knows what. I loved playing “house” and my daughter is now at the age where her imagination is booming and she’s giving toys silly voices and acts them out and she loves when mommy or daddy joins in. I’ve been wanting to get her a dollhouse so she could have the sweet memories that I have when I loyjx0pumkx4crmw7zfw_f7893450-d09d-4935-8401-a6ca6e84fa86_grandewas little and I was thrilled when we teamed up with Manhattan Toy Co. to review their amazing MiO dollhouse collection.

Manhattan Toy Co.  is an innovative and award-winning toy company started in 1978 and is now located in Minneapolis, MN. They strive to use wood from sustainable forests for all of their (amazing) wood toys. All of their toys are thoroughly tested to the most exacting international standards for safety so you can feel comfortable with your children playing mio3with Manhattan Toys. These toys are unlike any other toys on the market. They’re unique, fun, engaging, and kid and parent approved!

My daughter received several pieces from the MiO collection to test out; MiO Sleeping + 2 People ($30), MiO Eating + 2 People ($30) and MiO School Bus + 2 People ($24). The very first thing that I noticed when opening the boxes was the smell of the wood. I love the smell and I hope that it brings back happy childhood memories for my daughters. The construction is top of the line and very sturdy. I love the brightly colored interior walls of the houses. Included in the sets are little people (or animals) with bean bag bodies and hand painted wooden heads.They’re perfect for little hands, my daughter handles them with ease and the wide bottom allows for them to stand up on their own without help from mom or dad Sleeping and Eating sets include a square base and a triangle second floor that are detached to allow for open ended play. Each set included colorful cubes that can be used as seats, the hold up the kitchen table, end tables, whatever your little one wants to use mio4them for. These sets are absolutely adorable and range in price from $10 for 2 sets of people or animals to $100 for the MiO Playing Eating Sleeping Working + 2 People with many sets in between so there’s something for everyone’s budget.

My daughter loves her MiO play sets. She loves driving the school bus and parking it in the house (it’s the perfect size to be a garage) and she even stacks the base of the houses on top of each other to make a bigger house. I love that she’s using her imagination and thinking outside the box and that she named her little people after her family and friends! MiO has even been awarded the  Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2016, the Creative Child Magazine Award – Toy of The Year Award in the Open Ended Playmio Category 2016, and is a National Parenting Product Award Winner 2016. MiO more than deserves those awards, as it’s a toy that allows little ones’ minds to run wild with it’s simple, yet eye catching appeal. I know I will be purchasing more MiO sets for my daughter this holiday season and you can do the same and start shopping MiO hereBurritoBuzz gives MiO 5 out of 5 stars! We adore Manhattan Toy Co., you can check out all of their fantastic products here, you’ll find something for every little one on your list!

As if Manhattan Toy Co. isn’t awesome enough, we’ve teamed up to give not one, but TWO winners a MiO set of their choosing (excluding the $100 set)! Head over to Instagram and follow these simple steps for a chance to win:

  1. Follow both @burritobuzz and @manhattantoy on Instagram – we’ll be checking!
  2. Like the original giveaway post.
  3. In separate comments, tag friends who you think would also like to win!
  4. That’s it!

lvjgkptyhv1uxkyxbikw_ecbd8002-35da-4290-a941-f9bfa7b29175_grandeGiveaway begins Tuesday November 8, 2016 at 12pm EST and ends Friday November 11, 2016 at 12 EST. Winners will be announced shortly after on the original giveaway post. Goodluck! **This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Instagram.**

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

– Casey

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

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.**

Take it Easel!

81j5anyp4ll-_sl1500_It’s no secret that the BurritoBuzz moms love B. toys. We’ve talked about a few of their awesome toys in the past, and we think so highly of them because of their incredible durability, uniqueness, and quality. Not only that, the toys are also educational and many help with fine-tuning motor skills.

I recently had the opportunity to review B. Toys “Take it Easel” – a portable drawing station for toddlers and young children. The easel folds into a carrying box, so you can store your child’s markers, chalk, and other coloring tools. The board has a chalk side, dry erase side, and a clip to hold paper. It also comes with a set of vibrant dry erase markers and an eraser, as well as a set of chalk. The case is colorful and easy to use, and my 20 month old son has had a blast fine-tuning his new drawing skills.

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It runs between $30-$40, depending on where you buy it. Available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and some Target stores also carry them.

The quality of the easel is good. I did, however, have some issues getting the stand to easily clip and unclip. While not terribly difficult, it did take some force.

The carrying handle makes it simple to tote around and by leaving the case folded up, you can actually give your toddler something to do in the car since the top piece is a drawing board. There is ample storage in the compartment, we have yet to fully fill it up, even with all of the markers, paper, and chalk we’ve stashed. B. toys designs are always fun and vibrant, and this case is no exception. It makes for a great addition to any playroom and has certainly aided my son in working on his drawing skills (though, he hasn’t quite decided which is his dominant hand yet).

Here are some of my son’s fantastic artwork that he created using the Take it Easel and some Color Wonder paper and Color Wonder markers!

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Want to win a Take It Easel of your own? Here’s your chance! With the holidays approaching quickly, this would make a fantastic gift for that special little one in your life. Here’s how to enter:

  1. Head over to our Instagram page here.
  2. Like our original “Take it Easel” giveaway photo.
  3. Follow both @burritobuzz and @mybtoys – we will be triple checking!
  4. Comment on our photo by tagging a friend! One tag per comment please, with no limitation on the number of tags!

One winner will be chosen to win a Take It Easel! Giveaway begins on Tuesday November 1, 2016 at 8AM and ends Monday November 7, 2016 at 8:00PM EST. Good luck! **Instagram has in no way sponsored or endorsed this giveaway.**

– Katie

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

 

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

 

 

MAM Pacifiers & Pacifier Wipes {Review}

I received the MAM pacifiers and pacifier wipes several weeks ago and so far so good! Two more great products from MAM! 61Zmb1yo73L._SY679_

Both of my kids have been “binky babies,” so I was kind of anxious to see if my nearly one year old (at the time) would take to a new brand of pacifier. Since birth, we have pretty much stuck to using the AVENT Freeflow Pacifier. I also used them for my daughter when she was younger. I never really shopped around or tried different ones, but these pacifiers seemed to work with my kids, so I stuck with them.

The MAM pacifiers I received are very similar. My son honestly didn’t miss a beat when I swapped his usual soother for the new ones – that’s a huge plus! Now, I do know that some kids are more particular about certain products, so I think it’s important to note that my kids really haven’t been picky when it comes to pacifiers, teethers, bottles, etc. The specific MAM pacifier I reviewed is the Glow in the Dark Night Orthodontic Pacifier 6+ months.

Here are some of its key features:

1. It glows in the dark – This is great! I thought this feature wouldn’t be that big of a deal to me, and41WSjIl2Q6L then I saw how well it glowed in the crib in the dark room at night. I was immediately sold. It was so much easier to find! And I didn’t wake my little one in the process! The only part that glows in the dark is the portion directly opposite the nipple, not the entire shield.

2. Silicone nipple – The pacifier my little guy was used to was also silicone. I’m sure this made the transition easier for him. The silicone is said to feel “familiar, like mom,” so I thought this was important for my breastfed babies.

332aef0d-2b9a-4d61-b07d-a520ab74b815.JPG._CB322275667__SL300__3. Symmetrical nipple is also “anti-slip”. I like that there isn’t a right or wrong side with these pacifiers. It just makes it more convenient and easier for babies to put their binkies in their mouth independently. It is also better for their incoming teeth. I honestly didn’t notice any differences with the “anti-slip.” You might notice this more with younger babies.

4. They’re BPA Free!

 5. There are small openings on the curved pacifier shield. This is important to me because the holes allow air to circulate and my little guy’s skin to breathe better. I don’t have to worry about him getting rashy or his skin breaking down and he is comfortable with the curved shape!
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6. MAM offers two sizes, 0-6 month and the 6+ month size pacifier to accommodate growing babies and their development.

7. $5.99 for a 2-pack on Amazon – you can’t beat the price! These pacifiers last and are of good quality. Perfect registry item or shower gift. Buy yours here: MAM Glow in the Dark Night Orthodontic Pacifier

To go along with my new pacifiers, I also reviewed MAM’s Pacifier Wipes. These were not a product that I was super accustomed to using. I’m a Mom who finds a bathroom and rinses off her baby supplies or applies the 5-second rule when things get dropped. I will admit, these were nice to have in a bind or on-the–go and their small size (each wipe is 4”x6”) made them even more convenient. I still would not consider them a “must- have.”  40 wipes come in the package and they are advertised as not containing any harsh chemicals and also as being non-toxic. They contain no alcohol, dyes, or parabens. To me, those are important things, especially when I’m wiping off items my kids are going to put61e41kfDQ3L._SX522_ right back in their mouths. I wasn’t crazy about the scent. It wasn’t overpowering, it was just unpleasant to me. You could use these to clean any baby item – teethers, toys, pacifiers, etc. You can purchase MAM Pacifier wipes on Amazon for $3.99 here: MAM Pacifier Wipes

Overall, I would give both products great ratings. My son adapted to the pacifier right away, which I think speaks volumes. Even though I wouldn’t use the wipes on a daily basis, they are smart and convenient to use, especially in a pinch.

Be sure to take a minute to visit MAM’s website to check out more of their innovative, and award-winning products for every stage of baby that they have been developing for the last 40 years!

You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook!

– Megan

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

 

 

The First Years Take and Toss Feeding Variety Pack {Product Review}

This little set is a mommy’s best friend! Seriously!

How many times have you forgotten a sippy cup at someone’s house? The store? The park? The black hole that is sippy cup/ snack cup land? This set makes those worries go away!

Pros: Cheap! I’m talking less than $10 for quality products!Untitled (5) They are advertised as a disposable product for the trash or recycling, but they are pretty sturdy and good quality. I have yet to throw one away! They are also stackable, which means less clutter in your cabinets! (You’re welcome fellow OCD parents!) The set includes forks, spoons, snack containers with lids, bowls with lids, and cups with sippy lids.

You can toss them all in the dishwasher!

The bowls and snack cups can be used for multiple things, outside of just snacks. I just popped two binkies in a snack cup and put it in the diaper bag!

These are gender neutral– I really appreciate gender neutral things since I have both a boy and a girl under two! BK#1 can’t claim things as hers, just because they are pink! I aim for gender neutral items for that reason alone! I really don’t need to give them additional reasons to fight down the road. We all know they do it, why not try prevent it!

untitled (3)The set comes in a little zipper bag that my toddler has been carrying around and playing with! Great way to practice using a zipper!

Cons:

The sippy cups are NOT leak proof. I was well aware of that, and I don’t plan on giving them to my babies yet, but to nephews and nieces who might dribble a little? YES! Great for kids that are a little older, and who know not to tip a cup upside down.

The spoons are a little wide, and BK#1 doesn’t really like them, but I’m sure in a few months it won’t matter.

The picture of the set is advertised with a cap for the sippy cup lid, untitled (4)and that was not included! So just be aware. It is not in the description of what you are buying (if you purchase online like I did,) but if you just look at the photo, you might get confused.

I would definitely recommend this to friends and family, despite the few cons. If you need something else to add to a gift, this a perfect little add-on with a TON of value!

 

The company made some super cute videos to go with their products too! Check it out below:

~Amanda