Milestone™ Mini Cards {Review}

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If you ask my husband what my most prized possessions are (besides my children), the only two things I would make sure to grab in case of a fire – he would even go as far to say I would try to run back into the burning house for them, would be my daughters’ baby books. I write down everything; measurements, doctor visits, trips, every single milestone and first you can think of, I add lots of pictures and little notes, it’s all written down. Everyone said my 2nd daughter’s baby book would be blank, but I’ve made sure that wasn’t the case just because she’s the youngest. I make sure to write card5everything down for my girls so they know everything from when they were little in case anything happens to me. My mom passed away when I was 23, before I ever got pregnant, and I don’t have her here to ask when I got my first tooth or what day I started walking (my dad doesn’t have any idea). So when I find a company and products that make it easier for me to keep track of things for my kids (I love organization) and make it more convenient for me to write down the memories, I have to share it!

I recently had the opportunity to try out the cutest cards from the awesome company Milestone. Milestone makes sets of photo cards to capture and remember those special moments that made you smile. The first sets of Baby Cards by Milestone were printed in May 2012. Today, they’re sold in 22 languages in over 40 countries with new parents enjoying them every day, all over the card2world. Milestone offers several different cards, Baby’s First Year – Original and Limited Edition, Twins First  Year, Pregnancy and First Weeks, Fun Activities, The Early Years (0-4), Mini Cards – First Words and Quotes and even a Wedding Set to capture your big day! All of the cards are of great quality and are beautifully illustrated with adorable little animals and patterns. They’re designed in Holland and printed in Belgium.

Milestone is kind enough to offer free printable cards from their website! There are holiday cards for baby’s first Christmas or Hanukkah, Back to School cards, and even a card for My First Trip to the Grocery Store! Check them all out here and to print your own. Another amazing printable set Milestone offers is their free Premature Cards, available in 8 languages. With milestones like “I weigh 2.2lbs” and “I stopped using the ventilator,” these are huge milestones for8_5-milestone_product_mtc_packshotsmall little babies and need documented and celebrated! Download and print yours here.

I chose to try the Milestone Mini Cards ($19), which can be used to write down just about anything. First words and quotes, 100 small cards that I can use to write down all of the silly things my 4 year old daughter says. I had been writing down things (that I can remember) in her baby book, but this is much more convenient! On the inside of the box, you can right your child’s name and each child can have his or her own box of cards. I will be getting my youngest her own box once she’s older! You can put the cards in the box, in scrapbooks or take pictures of your little one holding the card, too. I jutwinsmainpicst keep her box on her top shelf in her closet and anytime she says something funny or something I want to remember, I just grab a card, jot it down, and I’m done. These cards are a game changer for me. I just wish I found them sooner! Check out all of the Milestone products to document your little one growing up here and visit Milestone’s global shop here!

Follow Milestone on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to stay updated on new products and sales! Make sure you tag your photos using Milestone cards with #milestonebaby and #milestonewedding on social media.

– Casey
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**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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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.**

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.**

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.**

My New Favorite Subscription Box for Little Ones: Bumby Box {Review}

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I love subscription boxes. It feels like my birthday every time one shows up at my door because you never know what you’re going to get (kind of like a box of chocolates, am I right, Forrest Gump?). I’ve gotten so many subscription boxes over the years for myself, our dog Mesa, my husband, and of course my kids. My favorite boxes to get has to be the latter, because I love all of the neat products they offer. My girls come before myself (I’m sure any mom can agree) and are spoiled as can be, so they have gotten quite a few bumby2boxes from several different companies. They all had different kinds of products and I liked each for different reasons. But I just received a complimentary subscription box from Bumby Box and I was completely blown away with the products we got in it!

Not only was our box amazing, but the company itself is awesome. Bumby Box donates toys to non profit agencies that provide shelter and childcare to families when they need it the most. They also only work with and promote environmentally sustainable companies that treat their employees fairly and pay them fairly, too. Bumby Box focuses on child development and each toy that is sent is supported by child development research. The toys are safe; they’re free of phthalates, PVC, BPA, and other harmful plastics – I love that I don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals, and they are also careful to only select toys that are manufactured with water of soy-based inks and bumby3paints to their safe to play with and for little ones put them in their mouths (which we all know will happen).

We received our box almost two weeks ago and I opened it up as soon as it was dropped off (like I said, it feels like my birthday when I get a subscription box – they should be called surprise boxes instead), my daughter was actually still at school. I kind of felt bad but I was eager to see what she got! We got a super cute and fun Haba game called The Little Orchard that’s actually made in Germany. Here’s how to play: there’s a raven that loves the cherries hanging on the tree (there are 5 of them) and there are 5 spaces to the tree. You roll the dice with pictures of flowers on it and whichever flower appears, you flip over one of the matching tiles – one will have a picture of a cherry on it – which you then pick a cherry and put it in the basket, one will be have a raven on it – you then move the raven one spot closer to the tree, and one will have a sleeping animal on it – you then have to be very quite not to wake the animal up (my four year old prefers to yell at it to wake up). The idea is to pick all the cherries before the raven gets to the tree. I love it because it helps with memory, you have to remember where theimg_2585 raven and sleeping animal tiles are so you know not to pick the raven. It also helps with recognizing and naming the colors of the flowers and it’s a game that everyone fries to find the cherries together, so it helps foster the “we” concept. It’s for children ages 3-8 and can be played with 1 to 4 players. It’s one of our favorite games to play together! 

We also received the cutest little mailbag from Child’s Cup Full, a company that offers educational children’s toys handcrafted by refugee and low income women artisans in the West Bank. At their artisan center, they train and employ talented women to make beautifully handmade educational toys. I love that they’re empowering women who live in such a male dominated part of the world. The little mail pouch is my daughter’s favorite toy that came in thebumby4 box. It’s adorable and comes with little felt envelopes that can actually fit little letters or objects in and close with Velcro. The letter and envelopes even have a “stamp” sewn in the top right hand corner. She loves walking around and giving us our mail! Check it out the mailbag here and see the rest of Child’s Cup Full’s spectacular toys here here!

The final product in our box may be the coolest one in the box, So Awesome’s Emotion Wallet Cards! The wallet cards feature 36 photographs and 36 illustrations of different children showing how we’re feeling today. My daughter loves looking at them and going through and tell me what each picture shows, like the little girl is sad, or the little boy is angry. The deck is durable, non-toxic, educational, and perfect for kids of all ages. They’re intended to show children a wide range of emotions and to help strengthen social-emotional skills. The deck can easily be attached to a diaper bumby5bag, backpack, or a stroller so they can be taken anywhere. We like to use them when we’re waiting a the doctors or in line at the store, they make a good distraction for my 4 year old. Be sure to check out all of their amazing Wallet Cards (they have bundles, too) and products here!

This is the most thought out children’s subscription box I’ve ever seen. I feel like everything was chosen specifically for my daughter and I love that. You can check out past boxes to see what other products have been sent out to get more of an idea for what you can expect in a future box. I highly recommend Bumby Box and they will make great gifts for family and friends! To sign up for your own box and to see what I’m raving about, use code BUZZ10 for 10% off your $49.95 one month subscription or save with a 3 month subscription for only $99.95! Deliveries can be skipped at anytime, so you can choose when you want to get your box! Click here to sign up!1465568479

Follow Bumby Box on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter for special promotions!

– 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.**

The Original Squeeze Company {Review + Giveaway}

As parents, we all love the convenience of squeeze pouches. Whoever thought to put food in pouches for kids is a genius in my book and deserves an award of some sort. Whether they’re pureed baby food pouches for babies, or applesauce pouches for toddlers and big kids, being able to take the cap off and hand it to your child with no spoons involved is awesome. My big problem is they’re not cheap (as you all know I’m a cheapskate). Puree pouches cost more than a jar of baby food and you can often get a big jar of applesauce for the same price you’d pay for 4 pack of pouches. And if you want organic pouches, you’ll be paying a lot more. So why not make your own puree baby food or buy a big container of recipe151yogurt or applesauce and put it in a reusable pouch? I recently discovered a company that has allowed me to do just that! The Original Squeeze Company created the original reusable pouch and they were sweet enough to send me several of their products to review!

The Original Squeeze Company is a family owned company located in Idaho, started by mom Kristin Ahmer. Kristin created The Original Squeeze (for babies 6+ months), the original spill-proof reusable squeeze pouch that is made of durable silicone and is 100% toxin-free. They will last for years growing with your child, while also saving you money instead of purchasing one-use pouches! They make pouches for everyone, Original Squeeze with Eeeze for kids 2+ and the Sport Squeeze for all ages!

All Squeezes are:

  • Dishwasher safe (top rack only)
  • BPA, PVC, and Phthalate freepouch5
  • Easy-to-assemble components
  • Naturally non-stick for easy cleaning
  • Freezer safe
  • Come in several sizes and colors
  • Not for liquids

I received all three squeezes for my family to try. The Original Squeeze was perfect for my almost 7 month old. It’s available in 2 ($13.99) or 4 ($14.99) ounce pouch and several colors. The spill-proof nipple-like spout makes eating a lot less messy. My little one loves yogurt but is quite messy, as she likes to grab the spoon and try to feed herself, but with the Original Squeeze, it’s a lot easier and more convenient to have her suck out the yogurt. I’ve also made my own purees and spooning them in the pouch is super easy because the neck is pretty wide. My four year old loves her Original Squeeze with Eeeze. The spout is free-flowing, making it easy for her to get her yogurt, smoothie, or applesauce out. It’s available in 2 ($13.99), 4 ($14.99), and 6 ($15.99) ounce pouches and is perfect for school lunches! Its lid (that is attached to the pouch so you won’t lose it) allows it to be closed and not have to worry about it spilling out. I was sent the Sport Squeeze ($18.99) which is so awesome! It an 8 ounce pouch and is great for smoothies. If you work out, this pouch is a must for protein shakes! It’s flip-top lid is interchangeable with any Original Squeeze, too. The included carabiner attaches to anything, so you can just clip and go.

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If you have little ones who use pouches a lot or you just like the convenience of them without the high price, Original Squeeze products are for you! The quality is phenomefullnal and they will hold up through wash after wash. Since we received our pouches, all three of us have used them at least once a day. I love that you can also build your own Squeeze by choosing between 3 spouts (spill-proof, free-low, or flip spout) and ten trending colors. Little ones will love to pick their favorite colors! They’re super easy to wash and store, asor empty. The prices are a little high, but if you buy store-bought pouches often, it will soon pay for itself. Not to mention all the waste you’ll be saving our precious Mother Earth!

We love The Original Squeeze Company pouches so much, we’re giving away one of each to a lucky BurritoBuzz reader! One winner will receive: (1) The Original Squeeze, (1) The Original Squeeze with Eeeze, and (1) Sport Squeeze! It’s super easy to enter:

  1. Follow both @BurritoBuzz and @TheOriginalSqueezeCompany on Instagram
  2. Like the giveaway post
  3. Tag a friend (one per comment)
  4. That’s it!

The giveaway will start at 12pm on October 9th, 2016 and will end at 12pm on October 11th, 2016. The winner will be announced shortly after on the original giveaway post. Best of luck! **This giveaway is in no way sponsored by Instagram.**

Best sure to follow The Original Squeeze Company on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, too, for sales and new products! Check out their recipes for applesauce ble4pack300nds, yogurt blends, purees, and more here!

– 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

 

 

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.**

Freida’s Pantry is now available in the US!

Like most new moms, I hardly had the time and energy to eat when my first daughter was born. I quite literally lived on a couple cans of Redbull a day. I got back to my pre-baby weight super fast, and even lost about 15 pounds more on top of that. I hadn’t been so small since my freshman year of high school and it happened in a really unhealthy way. When you have a newborn, finding the time and energy to eat just doesn’t happen. Instead of eating when you get free time, you choose to do the dishes, laundry, or if you’re smart, you’ll take a nap. I can’t image if I had been breastfeeding. You burn so many calories when you nurse, so you have to eat. That’s where Freida’s Pantry comes in! I recently found out this UK company is launching in the US today and I had to share their delicious nutritional bars with our readers!

Freida’s Pantry bars contain a mix of grains, nuts, and super seeds that are rich in vitamin B that help with energy production. The bars provide protein which keeps you feeling fuller, longer, and is a quick and convenient snack that’s also good for you. For breastfeeding mamas, they’re also rich in Omega 3 and “good fats” that have been shown to increase the fat content in breastmilk. The unique blend of seeds and nuts provide a variety of vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, and selenium. The bars are wheat, soy, and dairy-free and are suitable for vegans.

  • No artificial additives or preservatives
  • Non GMO
  • All ingredients are ethically sourced

Three bars are coming to the US today, and they’re all so good!

Freida’s Pantry Feeding Food Snack Bar is perfect for postpartum and breastfeeding moms. It’s packed with superfoods and full of nutrients and good fats that help with energy levels (that we all know new moms need help with) and they keep you full longer. I love how convenient a snack bar is and the fact that it helps nursing moms fight hunger and tiredness and supports lactation makes it even more awesome! Ingredients: Oats, Almonds, Pistachios, lin seeds, Quinoa, Sunflower seeds, Chia seeds, fennel seed, raisins, golden syrup and sunflower oilfriedaspantry2Freida’s Pantry Super Charged Food Snack Bar – Goji & Fennel is so delicious! It’s super dense in several super foods that keeps energy up and provides much needed nutrients. It’s made up of 9 different super seeds, nuts, grains, and fruits. It’s the perfect start to your morning, whether you’re an expectant mom, a tired parent, working on your fitness, or just a busy, active person. Ingredients: Oats, Linseeds, Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Almonds, Quinoa, Pistachios, Goji Berries, RaisinsbarrrrFreida’s Pantry Super Charged Food Snack Bar – Maca & Chia is equally delicious, but I didn’t try it. My husband got to it first and devoured it! He loved it! It’s made of a unique mix of superfoods that support fertility as well as energy levels and vitality. Again, it’s perfect the perfect snack for new moms and those in the pre-pregnancy stage. Ingredients: Oats, Quinoa, Almonds, Linseeds, Brazil nuts, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Sesame Seeds, Maca, Goji berries, Golden Syrup, Sunflower OilbarFreida’s Pantry bars are available in packs of 12 for $31.20, making each bar $2.60 which is comparable to other seed and nut bars on the market, but Freida’s Pantry bars pack such a big punch! The fact that they’re made for pregnant, nursing, and postpartum women makes them an even better deal at that price! Check out Freida’s Pantry website for more nutritional information, FAQs, and you can also order yourself a pack of bars and have them delivered right to your door!

Be sure to follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay up-to-date with all things Freida’s Pantry!

– 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.**

Nootrobox GoCubes Chewable Coffee {Review}

I’m not a home-brewed coffee drinker, I never have been and seeing as how I am 26, I probably never will be. I will, however, indulge in any type of cold coffee. I love the taste of coffee and I love the smell of it, so I’m not sure what the issue is with drinking it hot. So when I was offered to review Nootrobox’s GoCubes Chewable Coffee, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

GoCubes are chewable coffee cubes that offer the caffeine off a cup of coffee without the jitters. Nootrobox has added L-theanine, B6, and methylated B12 for an extra boost and to help alleviate those all well known coffee jitters.hero-shot-yellow

More about the cubes: they come in a pack of 4 and there is a flavor assortment in each pack: Mocha, Pure Drip, and Latte.

The fact that they are concentrated caffeine, as well as a few other ingredients, makes the reaction completely different than drinking coffee. They worked rather quickly and lasted for quite some time. I didn’t experience the jitters or stomach issues I experience after drinking coffee.

Flavor wise, I don’t know where to start. You have to first explain to yourself these are not chocolates or candy, so do not expect them to be sweet or like anything that would be pleasurable to your pallet. The initial taste was okay, but the longer the cube was ibj289byrsdcj4ts00z4on my mouth, the weirder the taste became. It was a cross between black coffee and how a coffee filter smells after it’s wet (kind of sour). Each pack contains all three flavors, so if you don’t like one certain flavor, you’re pretty much out of luck as they all look and smell the same.

Convenience wise, they are fantastic! The small package is easily transported and can be easily carried and stored in your purse, gym bag, desk drawer, etc. Unfortuantely, the package is not resealable. So if you’re only needing 2 cubes, you have to wrap up and clip the plastic package to keep the other two cubes fresh.

Nutritionally, they’re not too terrible for you. A little bit high in sugar and carbs for people, like my husband, who choose low carbs options to accompany his gym regime. Given how a plain black cup of coffee is sugar and carb free, this could be a problem for some. What I don’t like is the first two ingredients being glucose (corn) syrup and sugar. I drink my coffee with sugar but real sugar, not highly processed syrups.

The price point is pretty high, but our BurritoBuzz readers can get 10% off your order by clicking here! They run about $39 for 20 4-packs. That is roughly 40 cups of coffee. Comparing it to the typical home brew, you can purchase a 33.9oz container of Folgers and brew roughly 270 cups of coffee for about $18. However, you will lose the convenience, (almost) immediate energy kick, and other brain focus ingredients.

I would have to give the GoCubes a 3 out of 5 stars. I think there is a little room for improvement and tweaking that could be done to packaging, price, and definitely taste, but overall, a very innovative product that tackles the quickness and convenience of needing caffeine that we all know too well and that exhausted parents need.

– Kirstyn

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

Big Red Rooster Projection Alarm Clock {Review}

I don’t know about you, but waking my daughter on schools days just plain sucks. It’s not fun. She’s crabby with me and only me, because I’m the one that woke her up. I feel it starts our entire day on the wrong foot. She’s four and learning her numbers and always asking what time is it, so I thought now would be the perfect time to get her own alarm clock for her room. I wouldn’t be the one waking her so she wouldn’t be snotty with me and it cabwodqprgn also help with her numbers and telling time. I got the opportunity to review an awesome interactive alarm clock from Big Red Rooster and I was eager to check it out.

There are four different interactive alarm clocks to choose from, a Rocket Ship Projection Alarm Clock, which was their first clock to hit the market, and three new animals, a Dog Projection Alarm Clock, a Cat Projection Alarm Clock, and a Dinosaur Projection Alarm Clock. What sets them apart is the time and images they project! Each clock has four different images that projects on your ceiling or wall and each image reaches up to 30 inches in diameter. The clocks stand about 8 inches tall and their heads rotate 340 degrees, so they’re interactive themselves. The timer can be set for 10 or 30 minutes so the images aren’t projected the entire night, or it can be set to project all night. You have the option tobig-red-rooster-brrc103ac-dinosaur-projection-alarm-clock-operates-on-an-ac-adaptor-included-or-3-c-batteries-0-hires project just the time, the images and the time or just the images, so there’s options for everyone. They operate on an AC adaptor, which is included, or can be cordless with 3 C batteries.

My daughter picked the green dinosaur alarm clock because she loves dinosaurs and it’s a pretty cool dinosaur. The four dinosaur images are a Diabloceratops, Stegosaurus, Diplodocus, and Pterodactyl and Ampelosaurus. And while my daughter thinks they’re super cool, the graphics aren’t that great, especially if you have a high ceiling. But she likes it, and that’s all that matters to me. The clock is super easy to set, as is the alarm. And there are on and off buttons on the front for the projection clock and images on the front. And the set and snooze buttons are right on the front make idinosaur_projection_clock_1024x1024t one-touch to set the alarm and to snooze if your little one is super stubborn in the mornings.

Overall, I’m thrilled with this alarm clock and I’m so glad I no longer have to wake my little sleeping bear in the mornings. She’s waking up really proud of herself for turning her alarm off and not having to be woken up. She’s happier, which of course makes me happy. The graphics could be better, but the clocks are really cute and it’s helping my little one learn how to tell time, too. Not much more I could ask for, except perhaps a lower price. The $29.99 price tag is a little high for my tight budget, so to see it at around $20 would make it a definite winner for me. The rocket ship, cat, and dog are super cute, so be sure to check out all of the alarm clocks here! Big Red Rooster also makes sound machines, so if you’re in the market for one, check out the children sound machines here and the adult sound machines here!

Don’t forget to follow Big Red Rooster on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to stay in the loop with new releases and sales!

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Four cute alarm clocks to choose from!

– 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.**

BurritoBuzz is ONE & we’re having a HUGE GIVEAWAY to celebrate!

one-year-todayWe are so incredibly thankful for our readers! If it weren’t for all of you, we would not be here today! We have grown so much in just one year and we cannot wait to see what the next year brings!

As a big thank you, we have put together a pretty amazing giveaway from some of our favorite companies that we have worked with this past year.

ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL WIN ALL OF THESE AWESOME PRIZES:

Finding Dory – Little Sound Book From: PI Kidslarge_9781503705326.jpg

FunBites Food Cutter From: FunBitesuntitled.png

Baby in Tow Spoon Cocoon in Grape From: Baby in Tow14a50161513bb63141c4c82b24d85228.jpgFour in one Nursing Cover!

From: Covered Goodsfullscreen-capture-5252016-33452-pm-bmp

NurturMe Gift Set From: NurturMenurturme.jpgGift set includes:

1 bag organic quinoa baby cereal

1 pouch of NurturMeal blend + NurturMeal quinoa

1 Yum-A-Roo toddler snacks

1 reuseable eco-pouch

1 BPA free baby spoon 

1 coupon

1 informative quinoa bookmark

MAM Feed & Soothe Set From: MAMmam-147_1z

pediped Originals

pediped Originals come size 0-6, 6-12, 12-18, and 18-24 months. Winner picks boy or girl.

A pair will be in this giveaway and there will be one next month, too! Keep an eye out!

 

ergoPouch ergoCocoon Swaddle to Sleep Bag From: ergoPouch

 

Kacenda Silicone Placemat From: Kacenda91DksO27dTL._SX522_.jpg

This amazing giveaway is valued over $180, all for one loyal follower!

How to enter to win it all:

  1. Follow BurritoBuzz on Instagram here.
  2. Like the giveaway post on Instagram.
  3. Follow these 6 companies that are involved in our giveaway below:
    1. FunBites
    2. Covered Goods
    3. NurturMe
    4. MAM
    5. pediped
    6. ergoPouch
  4. Tag a friend! One tag per comment please.

That’s it! We will be triple checking to make sure all rules are followed!

Giveaway begins Monday, September 26th at 8am and ends on Friday, September 30th at 8am. One winner will be announced shortly after giveaway ends. Goodluck and be sure to share with friends! **This giveaway is in no way sponsored by Instagram.**

Thanks for sticking with us for our first year!

– The BurritoBuzz Moms

mommy’s BLISS {Review}

mommysbliss-logoWhen you are a new mom, there are a lot of facts and products being shoved in your face. You really don’t even know where to begin, what advice is legit, and what products you actually need v. the products that people just loved but would be useless to you. When my doctor prescribed vitamin D drops and suggested probiotic drops (I was EBF my daughter), I followed her advice. But I quickly learned that there are so many options, not only that, but there are so many opinions on your options.

Who knew life could be so complicated?

Mommy’s BLISS made my life a little easier two years ago when I had a colicy baby and they continue to make awesome products today! Their line takes the guessing out of choices. You don’t have to worry about additives or additional problems on top of the ones you are trying to treat with the medication.

All of mommy’s BLISS products have: no additives, chemicals or parabens, no artificial flavors or colors, no dairy, no gluten, and no soy. They are also 100% vegan and vegetarian.

Mommy’s BLISS actually contacted me and sent me their new products a few weeks ago and I have been waiting to write this post so I could be sure that I used them to their full potential! I have to say, I am very impressed with their new products and so excited to  share some secrets with you!

VITAMIN D ORGANIC DROPS71PQlouMpxL._SX522_.jpg

Let’s start with why breastfed babies need vitamin D drops.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all babies receive routine vitamin D supplementation (400 IU per day) due to decreased sunlight exposure and an increase in rickets-Vitamin D deficiency”

The babies who do need these supplements need them due to a lack of sufficient sunlight, which is the best way to get your vitamin D. For example, with my Ohio babies, it’s far too cold to go outside and play in the sun half of the year, so vitamin D drops are necessary. Also, if you are darker skinned, it takes more sun exposure to absorb vitamin D.

A formula fed baby most likely would not need any vitamin supplements because their formula is fortified with vitamin D. A breastfeeding mom is most likely deficient in vitamin D (unless you take a supplement yourself, you have a pretty good chance of being deficient), so doctors advise you to give your newborn a supplement every day.

Vitamin D helps with healthy growth and bone development. It is not something to take lightly. But neither are all the chemicals and additives that are in some drops. The products are made for newborns. You would think that it would be a requirement to be the best possible product. But it’s not, so parents are left staring at boxes and weighing the risks of the additives and chemicals for their tiny humans.

These vitamin D drops are USDA certified organic and free of any type of chemical or additive! You are giving your child only what they need. Even though I don’t have a newborn, I still give my 2 year old vitamin D drops (under her pediatrician’s guidance). BK#1 is extremely picky, going through the phase that most toddlers go through, and refuses to eat and drink most of the time. I worry about her getting proper nutrients and growing properly. So far so good, but as a parent, you worry. You can’t help it.

My favorite thing about these drops is the amount needed daily. Just one drop. You don’t have to struggle getting a full syringe into your newborn or toddler for that matter. I sneak a drop on the top of her sippy before she takes a drink and voila, no tantrum because I had to hold her down and give her meds. There is no scent or taste either!

Mommy’s Bliss Vitamin D Organic Drops, 0.11 Fluid Ounce

PROBIOTIC DROPS + VITAMIN D & 15 DAY BOOST81+CQR1kx7L._SY679_.jpg

When BK#1 was an infant, this would have been a Godsend! My tiny little angel had colic like nobody’s business. I can’t even begin to explain how tired we were. I suppose I should write about that experience, but colic is not fun for anyone. It leaves you feeling like a zombie with literally zero brain cells because every parental instinct you have to comfort them just doesn’t work. She cried all the time and absolutely nothing we did helped. The evenings were the worst with no break at all. Finally, after trying every possible solution, we tried probiotics and we finally found some relief! She slept. She stopped crying. She was happy.

New parents, talk to your doctor! Save yourself and your baby and try probiotics.

If you want to learn more about how they work, read this amazing article.

“Probiotics are living microorganisms that scientific research has shown to benefit human health. Most commonly these are bacteria, but they may also be yeasts. In some cases they are similar to, or the same as, the microbes already found in a healthy digestive tract. Many probiotics were originally isolated from common fermented foods such as yogurt. Mommy’s Bliss Baby Probiotic Drops contain the live culture Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, the most widely studied probiotic in the world with over 800 scientific publications attesting to the safety and healthfulness of these beneficial bacteria. Like all dietary supplements you should discuss the use of probiotics with your baby’s doctor.” source Mommy’s Bliss Probiotic Drops Plus Vitamin D, 0.34 Fluid Ounce

Mommy’s BLISS created an amazing probiotic and vitamin D blend to help parents skip a step! No need to keep track of two medications. Not only is it two medications in one, but it’s the same price of any other probiotic on the market! You are definitely getting the better deal with mommy’s BLISS.81h9L3vRlIL._SX522_.jpg

If you don’t have a baby that has colic, you still might want to consider probiotic drops if your child gets sick, to help balance their immune and digestive system. The Mommy’s Bliss Probiotic Drops 15 Day Boost, 0.2 Fluid Ouncewas created to help replenish beneficial bacteria and may help with occasional diarrhea. Antibiotic use may cause occasional diarrhea* and digestive upset.*

Parents, it actually works! My littles were passing a tummy bug back and forth and this had them back to their normal selves and solid bowels much faster than anything ever has. It’s definitely something that I will be keeping in my medicine cabinet from now on.

Mommy’s BLISS is a great company! Learn more about them and why I think they are so great on there site here and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram to get awesome tips and parenting advice.

– 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 and we never guarantee a positive review

 

Keep Germs Away with CleanSmart Toy Disinfectant

cleansmart-logo

As you know, cold and flu season is unfortunately upon is. With the changing of the weather and the start of the school year, illness is something that we can’t really ignore. My four year old started her second year of preschool last week and was kind enough t16oznursery-419x1024o bring a cold home. My family of four all got runny noses, we were sneezing like crazy, had awful sinus pressure, coughing, and had watery eyes, including my poor 6 month old. She got hit the worst and is starting to feel better minus the never ending runny nose. Over the weekend she had a pretty high fever and was overall miserable. When babies get sick, you heart breaks because there’s not much you can do for them. Lots of cuddles and some tylenol to bring down the fever is about all you can do when they’re really young. So what can you do to help prevent the spread of germs when little ones always have toys in their mouths? I have found an amazing toy disinfectant from CleanSmart and I love it so much! I knew I had to share it with our readers!

CleanSmart makes products that are not harmful to people. There are no chemicals or chemical residue, harsh fumes, and the products are 100% natural – just salt and water is left behind after cleaning! There is zero toxicity and can be sprayed around anyone (babies, too). There are no allergy or asthma triggers in any of the products, so you can feel safe knowing what you’re using to clean and disinfect and know the products work! You won’t see any first aid labels on CleanSmart products because there are no hazards. What more could you want in a cleaning product? Watch here to learn about the CleanSmart difference:

I was looking for something to clean my children’s toys, especially with having more than one kid, germs spread entirely way too easy. If one is sick, the other will be soon. It’s just a fact. But I wanted something to help prevent illness as much as I could. Babies put everything in their mouths as we know and germs linger. CleanSmart Toy Disinfectant kills 99.9% of germs and cold and flu viruses, E. coli, salmonella, listeria, strep and RSV. The best part, you just spray and play! You can literally clean toys without rinsing right in front of your child. I often clean my little one’s exersaucer while she’s in it. It’s so cleansmarteasy and I love not having to think twice about using it around my kids. No gloves needed and you don’t have to have a crazy ventilation system (or open all the windows/doors in your house to air it out). It’s perfect to use with teething babies and after sick kids.

I love this product and look forward to purchasing more awesome products from CleanSmart, including their household disinfectants, hand cleansers and more products for my little ones: Pacifier Sanitizer ($4.99) and Nursery & High Chair Cleaner ($4.99). Products for little ones are now available at Babies R Us, so they’re easy to find! You can purchase all CleanSmart products on Amazon. The price point is perfect, $5.99 for the Toy Disinfectant. I’ve had it for about to months now, and I have about ⅔ of the bottle left so it does last a while. Because it’s not harmful, that doesn’t mean it should be left around children. Keep out of reach of children to keep them safe.

Connect with CleanSmart on Facebook and Twitter!

– Casey

IVF: The Novel

I’m titling this preemptively because I’m assuming this one may be long, but I hope that doesn’t discourage you from reading on. It’s amazing how little people know about IVF. When I don’t feel like going into the nitty gritty, I usually say something like “oh you know, like a test tube baby.” First off, it’s more like a petri dish and secondly, this makes IVF sound so much simpler than it actually is. And as someone who has gone through it, I’m proud as hell of myself and should brag about how amazing my dedication to being a mom is.

IVF is not for the weak. Do you hate needles/shots/blood draws/invasive ultrasounds? You’ll get over that really quickly. There are many, many IVF protocols and drug combinations, so I will only be talking about the one I did, which is called the Antagonist Protocol with birth control. I’m not going to mess with the science of all of it, but basically you take the birth control to calm your ovaries down and prevent any follicles (which is where the egg comes from) from forming. That way, when you start the injections meant to make your ovaries grow as many eggs as possible, they all grow at close to the same rate. Then once your follicles get to a certain size, you introduce another shot to keep your body from ovulating all those eggs you’re working so hard to grow!

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My table of IVF drugs!! Shots, shots, shots!!

For me, I think the birth control was worse than the shots as far as symptoms are concerned. I hate birth control. It messes with my mood, my skin, gives me headaches, and I had hoped I would never need it again! I think most people on this protocol only take about 3 weeks worth, but mine got pushed a little longer because my doctor was on vacation and I wanted to wait for him.

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Last birth control pill!

I took my last birth control on a Tuesday, and started my injections on that following Sunday. For me, it helped me feel more relaxed and in control to try and have all my bases covered before starting stims. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel and wanted to be able to focus on relaxing and growing follicles. I spent the weekend prior to starting injections and majorly cleaned our house. I also made sure I had all my prescriptions (and there are a lot!) and medications ready to go. On top of the shots, you have a pretty decent pull regime going on at certain times of your cycle. It’s important to know what you’re taking and when. I know for awhile I was taking over 80 pills and vitamins a week!

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So. Many. Pills.

My clinic also wanted me on a high sodium diet during and after stims to help prevent OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome). This is caused by your ovaries working extra hard and causing a buildup of fluid that if left untreated, can lead to death. Your doctor should be keeping a close eye on you for this anyway, but anything you can do to prevent this is obviously a good idea! So prior to starting stims, I went to Sam’s Club and stocked up.

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High sodium and high protein!

My nurse had instructed me to drink at least 32oz of Gatorade a day, so it was nice to have plenty and not have to worry about picking up more.

Onto the shots! Day 1 was obviously the worst. And the belly shots (for me anyway) honestly weren’t bad. I did them myself, because I can be a control freak and I’d just rather be the one stabbing myself in the belly!

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I was on two injections at night. Medicines called Menopur and Gonal-F. The Gonal-F came in a pen and was super easy to use and inject. The Menopur you had to mix but thankfully my husband did it for me. It helped him feel a little more involved. The Menopur burned a little, so I would just ice my stomach for a few minutes while we were getting everything ready. Wednesday was my first monitoring appointment! This is when they do an ultrasound to see how everything is going, do a blood check to check different hormone levels, and adjust your dosages if needed.

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So many dates with the ultrasound wand!

During this appointment, we added in a third shot that I’d do in the mornings. This was to prevent ovulation of my eggs early! Friday morning was my one and only little stim meltdown when I had a bubble in my Cetrotide (the shot to prevent ovulation) and I swear I wasted too much medicine trying to get that bubble out. I also turned one shot into 3, trying to get the bubble out. Turns out, it wouldn’t have been a big deal since it’s a subcutaneous shot and not going into a vein, but oh well. All was okay, but it took some convincing from my IVF nurse.

I responded quickly to stims and when we went in Sunday morning for another monitoring appt, we were told we would most likely be triggering that night for retrieval on Tuesday! The trigger shot provides your body with a final hormone to get your eggs ready to ovulate. Without the trigger, those eggs won’t be ready to retrieve. This shot goes in your booty, so my husband got the honors of this one! We had to do it at 9:00pm on the dot, which was a good thing, no time for hesitation! After that, we were done with shots until after retrieval!

I already wrote a small article on retrieval, so I’ll skip over that, but you can read all about it and my tips for retrieval here.

Egg retrieval recovery wasn’t too bad for me. I took the day off and the day after, too, which was the perfect amount of time. The trapped gas and constipation was the worst part for me. IVF is so glamorous. Unfortunately, as if egg retrieval surgery isn’t enough for one day, your PIO shots will also start that night if you’re doing a fresh transfer.

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The DREADED PIO…

Progesterone in oil and yes, that whole needle has to go in your butt and hopefully you will need this every night for the next 8-10 weeks! Since your body isn’t becoming pregnant naturally, it takes some time for it to catch on and start producing progesterone naturally, and progesterone is needed to stay pregnant. My husband also had to do these for me and I think he hated it more than I did. They look worse than they are, usually. It seems to be hit or miss with no rhyme or reason. I plan to write another post just on these babies one day.

The day after egg retrieval, I received a call from our embryologists to let us know how many eggs fertilized. At our clinic they call you day 1 and day 3 with reports on how everything is growing. There are certain things they look for and a certain amount of times embryos should divide. We did our transfer on day 5, when they hit the blastocyst stage. We transferred one embaby and froze the others. ❤

I will continue the story of our transfer day in another blog post, so stay tuned!

– Chelsea

My Experience with Misoprostol (Cytotec)

When I went to my OB appointment following my recent miscarriage, my uterus was empty aside from some lining and some clotting but my doctor still prescribed me oral Misoprostol (Cytotec).

Although my body will expel everything all in due time, I believe the main concern comes from not expelling the remnants quick enough and becoming septic, causing an infection. After long thought, research, and discussion with my husband and even though the human body is a well oiled machine and knows what needs to be done, the fear of infection which could potentially lead to sterility consumed our thoughts and ultimately led me to  the decide to take this medication. It was obviously prescribed for a reason.

I immediately turned to Google to find the answers to all of my questions, most are still unanswered. My non-expert conclusion: This medication reacts differently with everyone. It’s worrisome especially because this medication is prescribed (or at least with me it was) with a narcotic pain medication and a strong anti-inflammatory. My mind automatically goes “holy shit, this is going to suck.” Yesterday, on my way home from the doctor, I experienced some pretty heavy cramps and passed large(r) clots when I got home. The cramping has stopped, but I thought I was going to throw up from that pain, so I was really dreading this.

Emotionally, it’s really hard to take a pill that is prescribed for abortions, to induce labor, and to essentially finish or start a miscarriage. I know I am no longer pregnant, I passed the placenta, baby, and other “products of conception.” But this is it. This finishes and finalizes the physical aspect of losing our baby.

The medication states it can take up to 4-6 hours to go into effect and the strong effects should subside within 12 hours. It is prescribed as “2 now and 1 every 6 hours thereafter until complete.” So I will be taking this medication from 11:45 am today until 11:45 pm tomorrow, every 6 hours for one entire day.

A few bits of advice given to me by my doctor:

1. Do not be alone while taking this medication. This was recommended by my doctor as the amount of bleeding can cause dizziness and the potential pain can be debilitating.

2. Take the medication early so given the medications “typical timeline,” the majority of symptoms will be completed prior to bed.

3. Stay on top of the pain with pain medicine. Do not wait until your cramps are painful to take a pill. It’s way easier to stay ahead of the pain than it is to get rid of it once it sets in.

4. Invest in some nice, thick long pads. I have been using Poise Overnight Long Length Pads since my miscarriage. These are the best. I have tried Always Nighttime Pads and have experience numerous leaks over the sides. The Poise pads are long, thick, and super absorbent. I have not had one single instance of leaking. They have leak lock sides to prevent leaking during the day and at night. They’re not cheap, but they’re worth every cent. I believe they’re around $25 for 60 of them at WalMart. Here is my experience:

September 13th:

11:45am – Took my first two prescribed Cytotec pills, 1-800mg Ibuprofen and 1 Percocet
12:45pm – No pain
1:45pm – Eensey weensey back cramp comparable to PMS symptoms before starting a period
2:45pm – Back cramp subsided, still nothing
3:34pm – Stomach cramps that resembled hunger pains. Uterine wise, nothing.
4:45pm -Stomach cramps remain, nothing.
5:45pm – Took my second dose of Cytotec and 1 Percocet (just in case). This has been pretty uneventful thus far.
8:24pm – Still nothing. I’m so confused.
11:17pm – Still nothing. I’m remembering the cramping and passage of clots and tissues yesterday and very early today and wondering if my uterus is already cleared out therefore the medicine has nothing to do.

September 14th:

9:30am – I’ve taken my 4th dose of Cytotec and still nothing.

12:34pm – Slight cramping resembling a period. Nothing crazy.

3:45pm – No cramping. Passed a few small clot, but not even really bleeding.

Took two more doses this day. All in all, it was pretty uneventful. No real pain, no crazy bleeding, and well, not at all what I expected. I’m sure everyone’s experiences will be different. So really, I’m sort of confused by the whole process. I was expecting labor pains, crime scene bleeding, and debilitating symptoms but luckily, I snuck by with some hunger pains and a cramp or two. I will be following up with my OB just to ensure my uterus is clearer.

If you have your own experience with this medication, please comment and let me and others know how it went for you.

– Kirstyn

Postpartum Back Pain and the Ghostbed

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During labor and delivery, it was discovered the my son’s umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and he was facing up. The combination meant that his heart rate kept dropping dangerously low. After several hours, a positioning specialist came in to try to find a position for me to loosen the cord around his neck.

Needless to say, it was uncomfortable. I’d already had my epidural and couldn’t feel the limitations of my body very well.

After having my son, it was discovered that I likely had a fractured tailbone, in addition to a messed up SI joint and my hips were out of alignment.

All of these problems are unfortunately still lingering. I find myself in rather extreme pain at different times and I realized that some of my lifestyle choices were not helping. My mattress was one of the biggest culprits. 

We finally made the decision to find a new mattress. It was a very necessary decision, since we were still sleeping on the $200 mattress I’d bought when I moved out of my parent’s house after high school (yikes). We were overwhelmed with information and suggestions on mattresses and it’s no small purchase, so we wanted to be informed consumers.

We finally selected the Ghostbed for its great reviews, moderate price, level of firmness and quick shipping. The mattress also has a cooling top layer.

  • 100% Designed and Manufactured in the USA
  • Cooling Technology + Memory Foam
  • 20 Year Warranty
  • Firmness Rating of 6.5
  • 101 Night Sleep Trial
  • Free Shipping
  • It comes in a box (don’t be skeptical) and it’s vacuum sealed. The box is heavy, but the mattress expands fully in 24 hours (but can be slept on immediately).
  • Plush Cover
  • Optional Box Spring + Pillows

After much review, this mattress was indefinitely the right choice for us.

The box arrived quickly and after getting it to our second floor, we opened the box/bag and it expanded rapidly. It’s firm, but not too firm. It supports my body in all the right places and it truly stays much cooler than a typical mattress.

I wear a FitBit regularly and my typical sleep pattern is pretty rough. Generally waking fully 3-5 times a night and restless 20+ times. My FitBit quickly showed the changes in my sleep patterns after switching to the Ghostbed. The first few nights, I was awake 1-2 times,and restless fewer than 10 times. That is a huge improvement. Not only that, but my lower back pain was reduced dramatically in the morning. Life changing. 

I am a Ghostbed believer. I hope that it holds up for as long as it says it will, because I’m addicted. I look forward to bed, not that I didn’t before, but now I feel like I could hang out in my bed all day. gb-mat-deco.png

Ghostbed is affordable! We bought a King size for $875. Very reasonable in comparison to some of the mattresses running around $4,000 with much worse ratings.

I 100% recommend Ghostbed and am so thankful for reduced postpartum back pain!

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Want to try it for yourself?

Here’s a $50 coupon!

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– Katie

I Am The 1-In-4

“I’ll see you in my dreams tonight.
I’ll kiss your cheek and hold you tight.
I have no more tears left to cry.
You’ve flown away, my butterfly.”

This is not going to be a typical BurritoBuzz blog post. Typically we’re reviewing products, being sarcastic, writing about Lego’s and organization. We’re making our readers laugh and living the happy mommy dream one post at a time. However, I am sharing with you today about a topic that isn’t talked about, taboo in a sense; people aren’t made aware of it because no one talks about it and it’s heartbreaking: pregnancy loss. This is going to be real and this is going to be tear-jerking, but not only do I want others to be able to try to understand, I want other moms who have experienced loss to know that the moms here at BurritoBuzz sympathize with you, can relate and are here for you. 

**Please keep in mind that this is my experience. If you have cramping, bleeding, back pain or another out-of-the-norm symptom, please call your doctor or visit your nearest ER as soon as possible. **

I couldn’t even think of a witty typical BurritoBuzz title for this post and I’m sure that has to do with the fact I simply can’t think at all right now. It’s like a blurred shade has been pulled over my eyes and I just go through the motions to make it through the day.

Nothing I can put into words will truthfully help anyone understand. It’s one of those situations, that if you haven’t been there, you can’t even begin to imagine the pain. It’s one of the worst things I have experienced in my entire life, and I’m still trying to figure out how to make it from day to day. I promise I’m not being overly dramatic, it absolutely f*cking sucks. a27c0fe7949608c3784b2b824e541dd3

The wounds are fresh and very, very new. Not even a week ago, I was being rushed to the ER via ambulance with my 10 week old fetus in a tiny little container on my lap. I had suffered a spontaneous complete miscarriage at home at 9:42pm on Thursday, September 8th, 2016.

Let me start from the beginning. Here’s how it all happened:

Sunday, September 4th – I was seen in the ER for minor spotting with no accompanied cramps. An ultrasound was done and we were told our baby was fine, growing right on schedule, strong heartbeat and the spotting was from a subchorionic hematoma and there was nothing to worry about. Given the positive news, Danny (my husband) left for a funeral in California.

Tuesday, September 6th – I was back in the ER, as the blood had increased, still no cramping. Given the same information as before in regards to the baby being healthy and everything looking perfect.

Wednesday, September 7th – I was seen by an OB. I had yet another ultrasound where she told me everything was perfect, the baby looked great. I still had the subchorionic hematoma, but there was no harm to me or the baby. She told me I had a less than 2% chance of pregnancy loss. I was told to expect some minor (if any) cramping while the bleed cleared itself out. She then reiterated the “low, low risk of loss.” I remember hugging her as I left and thanking her because she put my mind at ease. I immediately called Danny and told him the great news.

Thursday, September 8th – Typical day at home. No bleeding. Few twingy cramps here and there, but nothing worrisome, all to “be expected.” I laid down in bed with C (he sleeps in my bed when Danny is out of town). I felt a peculiar “pop” right above my pelvic bone and vaguely remembering Googling “can you feel you baby move at 10 weeks?” While reading about how chances are extremely slim, I felt more wetness than normal. I figured I was spotting again. I had light panty liner on, so no worries. However, felt the urge to go pee. I stood up out of bed and from there to the hospital is a huge blur. I remember barely making it to my tile floor before the amount of blood became alarming, as it pooled around my feet. I remember trying to stay calm since my 3 year old son was still awake. I remember sitting on the floor of the bathroom on the phone with Danny telling him I had a miscarriage and was holding our 10 week old fetus in my hands. He didn’t want to believe me, swore I was mistaken because less than 36 hours prior I was told everything was perfect. I called my mother-in-law to come stay with C and I sat on the bathroom floor, in a huge puddle of blood, clots and tissue, with our baby, crying hysterically. I remember intermittently answering and making phone calls to my husband and listened to his beg and plea for me to be okay and get to the hospital. I remember trying to clean up the floor before my mother-in-law got there. I suppose this was out of embarrassment and instinct. I don’t remember her coming over and I don’t remember calling 911, but now know the reason I did was the amount of blood I lost. I don’t remember how my baby got placed into a tiny Tupperware container. I don’t remember the ambulance ride or getting to the hospital. I was in such a daze. A blank stare daze. I didn’t speak. I didn’t think. I didn’t move. I laid in the hospital bed, still hemorrhaging severely while the doctors did whatever they needed to. There were so many people, so many questions, gowns, blankets and IVs. My heart rate was through the roof and my blood pressure was low.  I had lost a significant amount of blood, to the point they were hanging bags of blood to give me (which I guess I refused until 100% medically necessary). They estimated from 9:42pm to the time I had gotten to the hospital, I lost between 550-575 ml of blood. I don’t remember anything else past that point. I was discharged roughly 8 hours later with instructions, narcotics and an empty womb.

September 9th-12th – Bleeding, mild cramping, exhaustion and still emotionally numb.

Monday, September 12th – I followed up with OB today and it was horrible. I walked down the hallway of the Women’s Health Clinic as the sound of fetal heart monitors echoed out of the rooms and into the hallway. The doctor came in, did an ultrasound and said that aside from some average clots and a thick uterine lining, my body had expelled everything itself, as if I was somehow unaware of this. She prescribed Cytotec to re-induce labor, Percocet and Ibuprofen for pain. The Cytotec will “shorten the rest of the process to 1-2 days”. I can’t write about my experience with the Cytotec because I haven’t began taking it yet and haven’t decided if I will. If I chose to take it, I will write about it. My body is naturally doing what it is supposed to do and the doctor said everything will resolve itself. I did not need and as of right now, will not need a D&C. This appointment was extremely hard. Not only did I see the same doctor who told me the day before I miscarried that everything was “perfect,” but I also saw my barren uterus. The same uterus that was so full of life, kicking feet and a beating heart last week. It really took a bigger toll on my already fragile emotional state.

Emotionally, I’m still not sure what is going through my head. The “Stages of Grief Cycle” is  a universal kinda thing but what is all true is that we all grieve differently and this cycle is a bunch of bullshit. Just because I’m choosing to share my story doesn’t mean I am in the “Dialogue and Bargaining” stage and given how I’m feeling, I am image011_0somewhere between my personally improvised grief cycle categories of “not wanting to get out of bed in the morning” and “sitting on the couch in a daze all day.” What has truthfully helped me a teeny tiny bit, is the outreaching of my family and friends who have been there and experienced a loss. The support of my husband is outstanding and people have come out of the woodwork to offer their condolences and share their stories. They’ve offered “tips and tricks” for what has helped them, links to websites, books, songs, blogs, etc. Does it heal the pain? Absolutely not. Does it help by surrounding yourself with others who can truthfully relate? Absolutely. Surround yourself with anyone and everyone you feel comfortable with and bask in the love and support you’ll receive. There have been moments when I want to be 100% alone and just be able to cry and scream without anyone consoling me. There have been moments when I want someone around because I won’t breakdown around others and it’s nice to be able to feel “normal” in the sense of having a casual conversation. It’s a crazy mixture of wanting people around, but wanting to be alone. I’ve found myself locked in my bedroom with a house full of people just to keep myself from having a panic attack. There are other days when I have been at my mother-in-law’s house, laughing and interacting with other members of the family. I do want to take an extra moment and touch on my wonderful husband. Even from over 2000 miles away he has been my rock through all of this. He answers the phone no matter what time of day, he calls numerous times a day to make sure I’m okay and he knows how to make me laugh even through all of this. He even sent me a dozen red roses to ensure I knew he was here for me. I have never doubted his support and do not fault him for being away. If we received even a slight bit of hesitant news on that Sunday, he wouldn’t have left. I strongly encourage you to take comfort in your spouse or significant other. They may not show it as emotionally as you will but trust me, they’re hurting just as bad.
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I can’t tell you how to grieve and I can’t give you a timeline as to when the pain will subside because frankly, I don’t think it ever will completely. What I can provide is a support system and the ability for you to reach out to someone who has been there, understands what you’re going through and can offer a sympathetic shoulder to cry on.

I’m here for you, mama. We’re here for you. You’re not just a 1-in-4 statistic like the world labels you as. You’re a grieving mom to an Angel Baby. 

– Kirstyn

 

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

27 Steps to Being an Awesome Stay-at- Home-Mom

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  1. Wake up before your kids.
  2. Schedule your meals and cook ahead to save time.
  3. Always plan time for your own physical activity.
  4. Have a set routine.
  5. Be sure to have naptime and meals at the same time every day.
  6. Schedule your cleaning and only tackle one chore a day.
  7. Don’t forget to have play dates.
  8. This list is a bunch of crap… Sorry about the click bait.

If you’re a stay at home parent, you’re laughing hysterically at this list because 99% of the time all of those are virtually impossible.

I am so sick of seeing Mommy Blog posts about “How to be a Stay at Home Mom”

10 Things To Ensure You Are A Great Stay At Home Mom

6 Ways To Be A Productive Stay At Home Mom

How To Afford Being a Stay At Home Mom

Habits of an Effective Stay At Home Mom

It’s all a bunch of malarkey. You want to know why? Because it looks different for every single mom. Heck, sometimes it looks completely different and it’s a stay at home dad.**gasp** I’m guilty though, because yes, I do click on and read almost all of them. Hoping and praying that somehow this little circus that I got myself into can be more manageable. 210037d0f899f9dc49d3d5edf759ee48.jpgHonestly, I wish I had an answer for all of your stay at home mom questions, but I don’t. I have tips and tricks that have worked for me and my family, but I guarantee that they won’t work for everyone.

What will help is some brutal honesty.

You will never sleep. Like ever. It just doesn’t happen. We get the kids to bed, I try to get some chores done, spend time with my husband, get ready for bed and by the time I am in bed it is 11pm. In two or three hours, my 2 year old will be up wandering the halls asking for her soccer ball or something ridiculous. After getting her back to bed, I lay back down and generally get another 2 hours of sleep because one or both of my little ones are up at 5 AM every day. Every single day. Today it was 4:45…2e2b5526ce131e18a20537f492be2c1a

3 or 4 hours of sleep at night on repeat. My husband works nights,  so sleep is just out of the questions for like, ever. Getting up early for “me time” and to get ready for the day is hilarious.

I have some OCD tendencies but I despise housework. It’s not that I don’t do it. My house is almost always spotless. Especially if we are planning on having company over. I do it, but that doesn’t mean I like it. Your chores never go away. It is a constant stream of dishes, laundry, vacuuming, picking up, dusting, washing the floors, cleaning up outside, cleaning up after pets, picking up toys. Your house never gets a break. No one is at work and daycare all day. It is constantly getting filthy. It might not stay that way for long, but you never stop moving. Between chasing kids and picking up toys, you don’t sit down a whole lot. I never understand when people say they love doing dishes or laundry. I never used to hate it, but I do now. It’s a constant chore that never ends. Someone always has something dirty in their room or on them, and there is always a sippy cup or snack cup hidden away that needs washed.87322a94dfae2c55e7abf4b3e472b313

I told my husband the other day that I am an awesome stay at home mom but I suck at being a housewifeThere are many days when I am asked what’s for dinner and the answer is “whatever you can find and you better use paper products.”

It’s hard. Our job is never done.

Your coworkers like to touch you a lot, they are mean sometimes and they don’t do a whole lot of work.  Quietly sitting at the computer typing this post and que the 2 year old that just jumped on my back requesting a “pony ride.”  There is also a 1 year old over in the corner emptying a basket full of freshly folded clothes on top of the very hairy lab.

You’re never alone. There isn’t a lot of explanation for this. It’s simple. You are your children’s everything, so that means they have to be attached to you all day long. Good luck with your coffee break. I just warmed mine up for the 3rd time this morning.6.png

People will ask you if you want help all the time.  Believe it or not, I really can do this. I have two kids and taking them to the store with me is my job. Cleaning my house with kids at home is my job, among many other things.

I will let you spend time with my kids, and sometimes, yes you do need to get out, but I promise you can do chores and things without people helping you all the time. Help is nice. I have been getting better about letting people give me a hand, but just be warned. People have this attitude that because you didn’t wash your hair today that you must need help. It’s annoying and approaching disrespectful. If I was anyone else doing a hard job, would you offer to give me a break because I had a long day? This is a 24/7 job and I am well aware that I signed up for a crazy job.

When are you getting a real job? ……Please ask me that one more time, I dare you. People even say “I just could never stay home and not work, I would have to get a real job and provide for my child.” So when you are at your “real job”, do you hire a real person to watch your kids or a fake one? People are ignorant, say it to your face and want an actual answer, like what they said wasn’t the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard. I am warning you now, if you haven’t heard it already, you will.14088651_1756641454589235_5618134841622901219_n.jpg

Being a homebody isn’t a bad thing. I love being at home. Ever heard of yoga pants and leggings?  An endless supply of coffee and baby breath? Keep it coming. I literally have to pump myself up to go out with friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends. I love spending time with other adults. I know it is important. I just like my kids, my coffee, my Netflix and my blog more than dinner and drinks.

“Affording” to be a stay at home mom isn’t easy. Affording is in quotes because I am still trying to figure that out. I am not a couponer. I shop sales and I shop at Aldi. We don’t do a lot of extra stuff, we are a middle class suburban family and I am happy that way. We don’t always get all the new shiny things we want, and there are times that I look back at a month when we had extra expenses and wonder how we did it. But you make it. I promise that there is always a way that things work out. All we knew was that we could pay all of our bills and a little more on one income, that we wanted the kids to have me 24/7, until they were at least in school and that we were going to make it work.83ec59e162040d21c114725fb105aa92

You will never regret the decision to stay home and it is so much fun! I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom. Luckily, my dream came true. Such a simple dream. There is never a bad day when I say “if I could just clock out and go to work.” You will never regret getting extra time with your kids. Getting to see every single milestone unfold before your eyes. Teaching them everything and watching them learn from you. It really is a gift. Don’t take it lightly and don’t brag to your working mom friends about it either.

Not everyone can do it. Being a stay at home mom is not for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that. Working parents are beyond awesome! I have a friend who is an amazing mother but would lose her mind if she was surrounded by her kids all day. Not everyone can do it and that’s completely normal. If you are a working parent, don’t feel bad about working. You spend time and teach your children in your own way, and provide them with awesome caregivers.

Time is fleeting and whatever time we get with our tiny humans is a blessing.

Now that this written  maybe I wrote it for myself, to make me feel better. I don’t know. I just hope that someone can relate and has days where they feel like this is the craziest job on the planet, too. ❤

– Amanda

FunBites: Making Mealtime Fun

Toddlers are picky. I think it’s just ingrained in our DNA that when we’re between the ages of 1 and 5, we’re picky little turds. My almost four year old is beyond picky. The one and only food that she is guaranteed to eat is potatoes: french fries, mashed potatoes, tater tots, potato-filled pierogies and hash browns. That’s it. It’s really hard getting her to try
new foods or to eat anything other than potatoes. I’m guessing (hoping) it’s a normal toddler thing. I set out to find IMG_6803
something to help me get her to eat different kinds of foods and found FunBites. I reached out to FunBites and they were awesome enough to send me one of their Bite-Sized Food Cutter Sets.

FunBites is the first and only food cutter set that creates bite-sized fun for little ones! Each set included a patented curved, little finger safe blade cutter with matching popper (to easily pop the food out). It’s BPA free, dishwasher safe and made in the USA (which we love)! It’s CPSC children’s product compliant, making it safe for little ones 18 months and older. You might have seen FunBites on Shark Tank in 2015, too! I now remember seeing their pitch and thought it was genius!

We were sent Jackie the Dreamer, the orange triangle set. There are several designs available: squares in green or yellow, hearts in pink or red, triangles in orange or blue and limited edition Minions goggles! Once I got the cutter out of the box, I explained to my daugher what exactly it was. I said it cuts food, like sandwiches and fruit, into triangles. She immediately asked for a peanut butter sandwich and I happily obliged (remember, she doesn’t eat much of anything). I washed the cutter and made the sandwich then put the cutter directly onto the sandwich and rocked it back and forth, to make sure each part is cut all the way through. Once rocked enough, IiIMG_6805ned up the popper, pushed it down and popped out the triangles. It was so easy! I placed the triangles on a plate and my little one devoured them. She actually asked for two more triangle sandwiches! What?! She ate every single piece! I will be ordering the other shapes as well to make more creative dishes for her and her little sister once she’s old enough.

 

If you’re looking to spice up mealtime and get your picky eater to actually want to eat, try FunBites and get creative! They’re perfect for kids, parents, grandparents, schools and daycares, anyone who wants to add some fun to mealtime! You can even get your kids to help you in the kitchen and have them create a little masterpiece to eat. I give FunBites a 5 out of 5 stars. The price is right at $9.99, although I think a bundle of two or three cutters at a discounted price would be great to offer.  It’s easy and gets kids to eat. What more could a mom ask for?FullSizeRender (100)

Follow FunBites on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on sales and new designs!

– Casey

**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.**

How We Afforded IVF

Woof. For us, the financial aspect of infertility was probably the most stressful. We have easily spent $15,000 at this point and that is cheap compared to a lot of couple’s expenses. It’s hard to spend that kind of money only for a chance of becoming pregnant. There are no guarantees unless you go to a clinic that offers those programs and it’s still a gamble. They’re generally more expensive up front, so if you get lucky and get pregnant on your first shot, you’re out a lot of money!

We took a year off to save up the money for IVF because the money is due upfront and we also wanted to use that time to get in the best health that we could. Here are some of the ways we raised money:

  • GoFundMe. We had some awesome friends (Katie from BurritoBuzz and her husband) who asked us if they could set up a GoFundMe account for us. This was an amazing gift and it helped us raise a good chunk of money without having to do a lot of work. This was great too, since our goal was to also raise infertility awareness.
  • Garage Sale. We had a massive garage sale. It was huge. My mom and I cleaned out her basement and we also had a lot of people donate items for us to sell. I advertised it on a local buy/sell/trade page and that really helped. A lot of people who stopped at the sale also wished us well with IVF and that was very sweet.image
  • Cookie Fundraiser. This one might not be as feasible for everyone, but I went to culinary school for pastry arts. I worked at a bakery and they offered to let me make and sell an item at the bakery, and the profit would go to our clinic for our IVF. I chose to make giant triple chocolate chip cookies. I did the work off the clock, but it was definitely worth it!
  • Pinched Pennies. We had a lot of game nights at home. We’re homebodies anyway, so this wasn’t too hard! We didn’t make ourselves miserable, but by cutting back on a few “extra” things here and there, you can save a lot of money. Most of our friends understood and were happy to have cheap date nights with us!
  • Apply For Discount Drug Programs. Our clinic provided us with forms to apply to both First Steps and Compassionate Care discount programs. They’re income based IVF drug discount programs. Our nurse also suggested writing a cover letter and we were offered 25% off from both companies and these discounts are good for one year.

I’ve made friends with people who have gotten loans specifically for IVF/infertility treatments with low interest rates, so that’s another good option! There are also grants you can apply for. Another idea is to open a credit card that offers no interest for a certain amount of time. I’m a firm believer that if there is a will, there is a way!!

With all of these tips, we raised a huge chunk of the money that we needed for IVF. We couldn’t have done it otherwise. I know a lot of people never get to pursue IVF strictly due to the enormous cost, so I hope that this might give you some options before giving up!

Baby Dust!

– Chelsea

Livie & Luca Shoes {Review + Giveaway}

My favorite part about the start of the new school year (other than having our house being tantrum-free for a few hours) is the back to school shopping! I always loved shopping with my mom for school supplies, new fall and winter clothes and of course shoes! Both my daughter and I love shoes. For school this year, I wanted to make sure I got her a pair that would hold up the entire year and that were cute (my daughter says her shoes have to be cute). I have always been a fan of Livie & Luca shoes, so I decided to reach out to see if we could collaborate on a review. I was thrilled when they offered to send not just one pair, but a pair for my daughter and a pair for Megan’s newly walking son, for us to try out! FullSizeRenderMitzi Rivas and Amie Garcia met at a prenatal yoga class in 2003. When Amy saw Mitzi’s first pair shoes, she fell in love and wanted them not only for her own children, but for children everywhere! Their goal was to combine joy, and hand-made shoes, thus Livie & Luca was born! The first collection was released in 2005. The company strives to make a difference and spread joy through their beautiful, whimsical shoes and for their products to positively affect the lives of others. I absolutely love their motto: Spreading joy, growing community, making a difference – this is Livie & Luca. Companies like Livie & Luca are few and far between these days. Their passion and charitable efforts alone will make me a lifetime customer.

I let my daughter pick out the pair she wanted to try from Livie & Luca’s Fall/Winter 2016 catalog. I wasn’t worried because all of the shoes were fabulous, we would have been happy to receive any style! Not surprisingly, she picked the Oak Mary Jane ($62). This shoe is perfect for her and any little one who loves nature! On one toe is a cute little squirrel and on the other is an acorn. They are absolutely gorgeous! I couldn’t believe the quality of materials and how beautiful the brown leather is. The shoe is made from genuine brown leather, nude leather lining, velcro closure (making it super easy to get them on and off), a breathable inner sole, and a padded comfort collar. Although the price for Livie and Luca shoes is quite a bit higher, the quality cannot be beat. These shoes are made to last. The Oak Mary Jane is available in a toddler size 4-13 and the length is true to size and the width is medium. Thes20160903_095409e Mary Janes are perfect for little girls who wear uniforms to school, and they are also available in black!

Megan chose the the adorable Hayes sneaker in Walnut (also available in a Denim, pictured below) for her little guy and they both love them! He just started walking this summer so he’s still learning, but these shoes are helping him get around better and fit his chubby little feet perfectly! This sneaker is a snap to get on thanks to the double velcro straps. Check out all of the cute boy styles here!

I highly recommend Livie & Luca shoes for your little one. There are so many different styles for both girls and boys, you won’t have any trouble finding the perfect pair (or maybe you’ll find two… or three). Sizes are available in baby soft soles (0-6mo to 18-24mo), little kids and big kids (4-13) and youth (1Y-3Y). The prices range from $39 to $70. The price point is a little high (the fabulous quality reflects the price) for me personally and they are out of your budget, they often have awesome sales (like right now) and you can also check out their Buy/Sell/Trade groups on Facebook for great deals on previously owned Livie & Luca shoes. Click here to visit their website to see which styles you fall in love with! 

FullSizeRenderLivie & Luca is such an amazing company, they have offered to give a pair of their shoes away to two lucky BurritoBuzz readers! One winner can pick a girl style of their choice and one winner can chose a boy style of their choice. It’s super easy to enter, just follow the steps below! We will be triple checking to make sure each step is followed!

  1. Follow both BurritoBuzz and Livie & Luca on Instagram.
  2. Like the giveaway post on Burrito Buzz’s Instagram page.
  3. Comment on the giveaway post with what size and gender you’d want if you won.
  4. Tag at least one friend to let them know about this awesome giveaway.

That’s it! The giveaway begins at 12pm on Monday, September 5th and will end at 12pm on Wednesday, September 7th. Two winners (one boy and one girl pair) will be chosen at random and announced shortly after 12pm on the original Instagram post. *This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by LivieAndLuca_Logo_2014_WebInstagram.*

Don’t forget to follow Livie & Luca on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for the latest releases and sales!

– Casey

**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.**