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

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Minivan Mama

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

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

 

 

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

Here’s a few of them . . .

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

-Megan

 

Ivory Clasp {Review + Unboxing}

If you know me, then you know I love saving money and subscription boxes. Being a stay at home mom, and on a very tight budget because of having only one income, it’s not often that I am able to splurge on something for myself. Not only that, I generally have a hard time forking over money to buy something for myself when I could use that money to buy something for the yfix_fxtkids, my husband, or something we need at home. I’m certain I’m not alone in this, so I reached out to an amazing subscription box company called Ivory Clasp to review their service and products. I am so excited to share them with our readers!

Ivory Clasp is a monthly or bi-monthly subscription service, where for just $45 a month, you get a beautiful handbag valued at $100 or more, which is hand picked by their stylists based on an in depth style quiz you take when signing up. A $100+ handbag for only $45? Sign me up! The style quiz asks a lot of questions, such as favorite colors and your style preferences, but it’s super quick and easy. There is even a comment section to tell the stylists what they need to stay away from. For me, it was light colors because my children are little animals. The stylists were pretty spot on with the bag they chose for me, too. They picked a beautiful red leather Deux Lux boho bag with rose gold accents that can be a crossbody or shoulder bag, it is gorgeous! If you have someone that is hard to buy for this holiday season, an Ivory Clasp subscription would be a great gift! Like I always say, who doesn’t love the surprise of a subscription box? See the video of me unboxing my first Ivory Clasp box here:

Start your subscription by taking your style quiz here!

Be su1ee2c7bf1b524e828af29416489ee061re to follow Ivory Clasp on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, too!

– Casey

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

Lime and Lotus Organics: Daily Face Cream {REVIEW}

I’ve never been one to use a lot of products on my skin, let alone my face, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t  think it’s important to take care of it (especially when you’re young) so it looks good when you age! With that said, I was intrigued when I read about Lime and Lotus Organics and their signature Daily Face Cream. So many products nowadays are filled with harmful chemicals and added junk, it’s a wonder they are even allowed to be sold. It’s scary to think about some of the things we put in our bodies, and even though it’s “just our skin,” it is equally as important what we are putting on it because our bodies absorb it!

 

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Lime and Lotus Organics prize themselves on their high standards and pure products using only natural ingredients. A holistic doctor created Lime and Lotus. Her hope was to design products for both her patients and family that were not filled with harmful chemicals. She did it. The products made are free from synthetic chemicals, paraben preservatives, petrochemicals, phthalates, and artificial colors and fragrances of any kind.

 

I was able to sample the Daily Face Cream from Lime and Lotus Organics which uses “Shea Butter, Evening Primrose Oil, and Virgin Coconut Oil to hydrate and soothe your skin while ingredients like Organic Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E Oil, and 3444Bulgarian Damask Rose Wax help to reduce wrinkles, age spots, and lines.”  I have not used the product long enough to note any real improvements in my complexion, but I have been mostly happy with the product so far! The scent is light and refreshing with the primrose coming through which I enjoyed. Only a very small amount was needed with each use, and it was very hydrating. I’m talking hydrating to the point where my skin remained looking and feeling oily even with the small amount and rubbing it in thoroughly. I only ended up applying the cream once a day (instead of the recommended two times a day) due to the oily/over-hydrating aspect. I will say though that when I applied the cream after showering at night before bed, I noted my skin feeling silky smooth and looking fresh when I woke up the next morning. The oily glow and texture were gone.

 

Application of the product is super simple – Warm up a small amount of cream between your fingertips and then gently apply

 

 

 

 Lime and Lotus Organics packages their Daily Face Cream in small glass jars, which means they are BPA free! They also offer and 60-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their product. Please visit their website to read more about their products, mission, and to purchase your very own Daily Face Cream. It is also available on Amazon – Daily Face Cream.

 

You can also follow Lime and Lotus Organics on Facebook, Instagram, YouTubePinterest, and Twitter!

 

-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 and we never guarantee a positive review.**

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOW TO USE

Apply:

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

YOUNGLIVINGBURRITOBUZZALLERGYSEASONDIFFUSER.jpgDiffuse:

  •  I diffuse for the kids 95% of the time.
  • I use this diffuser instead of an expensive one from Young Living and it works great and has never broken. (I have a Young Living diffuser that has died)
  • Fill diffuser to fill line with water then add 5 drops Lavender, 4 drops Lemon, and 3 drops Peppermint. I put the diffuser in whatever room we are in and it runs for around 6 hours before I need to refill.
  • Depending on the severity of their symptoms, I diffuse 24/7 or just in the morning when they wake with sniffles.

Ingest:

  • Add 1 drop of each oil to 1 teaspoon of local honey for children. For adults, use 2-3 drops of each oil.
  • It is an oil, so it will be a little rough on the pallet. Just use a chaser like a glass of water.

Peppermint and Children

Always be safe with your oils. Especially with peppermint. Peppermint is one of the most effective essential oils for respiratory infections and congestion, but it can be dangerous for young children. It can slow breathing, so be sure to always use a safe diluted amount. There are many different opinions and ages that are suggested. Some say don’t use under age 3, some say it’s safe as long as it’s diluted. Our pediatrician said that she felt it was safe if heavily diluted or diffused. I don’t apply blends with peppermint to my little ones, but there is plenty of research saying that if applied safely, it is okay to use. I just worry so much as it is, so I completely avoid applying it since diffusing the blend works so perfectly already. Please read more about oil safety here.

Fall is my favorite season, but our bodies don’t like the weather changes as much as I do. I am so glad to have found a natural solution! I hope this blend helps you as much as it helps my family.

– Amanda

 

 

Nuun: Hydrating Electrolyte Tablets {Review}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Megan

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

The DivaCup: Does It Really Make For A Better Period Experience?

Abso-freaking-lutely. I am definitely a believer. I’m sold and I won’t go back! But let’s start from the beginning.Pink_DivaCup-Logo_No-Star-Final-Aug-2014Large

When my husband and I first started to realize we were going to have a harder time conceiving than we had hoped, we decided to change our lifestyles to try and rid unnecessary toxins and chemicals from our bodies and our household. I heard of the DivaCup, but it sounded gross, weird and just plain scary. But you know what else is scary? All the shit that is in the majority of tampons and pads out there. If you’re not buying organic feminine products, there’s a really good chance you’re putting some nasty stuff up/in/around/below your vagina. And I was too, so no judgement here. I’m going to spare you the science lesson that I would probably botch (and we’re all adults here and know how to use Google). But go now and do a few Google searches about what’s in tampons and pads. Even scarier, the FDA isn’t required to list the ingredients because feminine products are considered “medical devices.” I don’t doubt a man is behind this somehow.

Anyway, after I did all that research and decided my vagina deserves better, I started looking into menstrual cups. I was still hesitant, but I liked the thought that 1. I could spend around $30 and it would last me a year or so and 2. there was no waste going into the landfills. There are tons of different brands, each with different sizes/benefits, but I was a newbie and decided to go with the brand I heard most about, The DivaCup. I ordered mine from Amazon and it was right around $30.

In case you don’t have a clue what the hell I’m talking about when I say “menstrual cup” download (1)(like my mother, love you mom!), I’ll explain. It’s a small silicone ‘cup’ that you place in your vagina. It’s super bendy and flexible, and it kind of suction cups to the walls of your vagina. The cup catches all of the blood. Imagine a funnel (without the hole in the bottom), as long as the cup is in place, there are no leaks.

When I first received my DivaCup, I got online and read all kinds of tips and watched videos so I knew what the heck I was doing. I will admit, it took a few tries to get the hang of it and to get it to where there were no leaks, but once I figured out what worked for me, it’s super easy! It’s completely painless and not weird at all.

Here are some things I’ve heard when I tell people I use the DivaCup:

Ew. I don’t want to get blood on my hands. Yes, you might get a little blood on your hands, most likely  when you’re first figuring out how to use the cup. If you have to take it in and out to get it in the right spot, you may get a little blood on you. Once you get the hang of it though, the cup is clean when you put it in, and the bottom part you pull out should stay pretty clean while it’s in there! I’ve never had an incident where I was covered in blood. It’s your own blood after all, it’ll be okay.

How do you empty it when you’re in public? I don’t. I’ve never had to. You can go 10- 12 hours without emptying it and I’ve always been able to plan ahead to where I will have a private bathroom to rinse my DivaCup out in. I will normally empty it in the morning before leaving for work and in the late afternoon when returning home from work. It’s kind of amazing to see how little you actually bleed most days.

What if I spill my DivaCup everywhere? I don’t have much advice for this, except don’t! It’s really much easier than people think. There’s a little stem at the bottom that you use to pull/pinch the cup to pull it out and empty in the toilet, rinse it in the sink then put it back in. I’ve never had a ‘Carrie’ moment with blood and my DivaCup.

How do you clean it? During my cycle, I just give it a good rinse with hot water in the sink (hot water makes the cup more flexible and easier to insert toM1-M2-BOXES-WEB05202015o). When my cycle ends, after I give it a good cleaning in the sink,  I just put it in boiling water to sterilize it. They now sell a special DivaCup soap called DivaWash, but boiling has always worked for me.

I could go on and on with information and facts, but by this time you’re either interested or you think I’m crazy or gross. There is endless information out there, so I encourage you to do some research and find out what the best option is for you! Your vagina will thank you!

– Chelsea

Update: Nexplanon Review

I’ve always been an advocate of women taking charge of their own bodies, which includes deciding when you want to become pregnant. For many years I was on an estrogen pill. After some time, I went on the mini-pill (progesterone) and thought it worked just fine. Minimal side-effects.
After having my LO, my brain was scattered. I knew that taking a pill every day was going to be more difficult. After doing some research, I elected to have Nexplanon put in. Nexplanon is a small, flexible rod inserted in the inside of your underarm by a healthcare professional. It is 99% effective, and has many of the same possible side-effects of a typical combination pill. The rod is good for 3 years, and most insurance companies cover the expensive cost (which ranges from $700-$900 for the rod, and $300 for each minor surgery.)
Insertion of the Nexplanon was quick, and mostly painless. My physician’s assistant numbed the area, and inserted Nexplanon with a small instrument. She then felt to make sure it was in the proper location, and bandaged it up. There was some soreness, and it bruised pretty badly.FullSizeRender

I expected to have some irregular bleeding, but that ended up being a huge understatement. I had irregular and frequent bleeding nearly every day for about 4 months, when I finally elected to have the rod removed. After talking with a nurse practitioner, she advised that this happens with about 1 in 5 that have the Nexplanon put in. Crazy. So, not only was I dealing with insane postpartum hormones, but then this evil birth control rod of death just compounded everything tenfold.

The removal of the Nexplanon was bad. I mean, really bad. First, my nurse practitioner almost cut into my arm without numbing it. In reality, I would have been fine. I just gave birth to a human. But HELLO, let’s not. A nurse quickly stopped her, and she promptly numbed the area. Nexplanon had encapsulated in my arm, so she had to cut way more than what is typical, and it took nearly a half hour. I almost needed stitches (and in retrospect, probably should have had a few.) It’s been several months since the removal now, and I have a scar and some soreness in that spot still.

A quick Google search results in plenty of unhappy consumers that also elected to have Nexplanon removed.

I happily rejoined the birth control pill ranks. 
**UPDATE: it’s been almost half a year since I had the Nexplanon removed. I have a half inch scar, raised above the skin, as well as fairly painful scar tissue. Hoping both the scar and pain will fade, but it really may take some time.**

-Katie