Category Archives: Kids/Toddlers

Block Crayon Color & Stow Farm

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As a kid, there was absolutely nothing I loved more than coloring. I was glued to my crayons and I always gave out drawings. It’s no surprise to me now that my little boys BEG to have a good coloring session nearly everyday. Most days I’m happy to join in and Daddy is too. Sometimes, the same crayons day after day can get a little boring so when I heard about Block Crayon, I couldn’t wait to see how it could spice up our doodles!

We received the Block Crayon Color & Stow Barn and right off the bat, I was happy with the “stow” portion of this activity. It’s hard to stay organized as a mom with two toddlers so I have to give credit where credit is due when a company takes the time to consider storage. Everything fits inside and I can just pack the toy away.

Inside the lid of the barn is a large roll of coloring scenes. I wasn’t expecting this adorable touch, but the boys love it! As shown in the first image, you can remove the barns roof and roll the paper out the bottom while placing the crayons on the lid and even stacking them. It makes for organized play as well as more of a station for the block aspect of the block crayons.

On top, there were 6 farm characters. The farmer, his wife, a duck, rooster, sheep and cow. How cute are these?! Jack loved telling me what these animals are and what sounds them make. Too bad he thinks they are all Cats who say “mow!”. The crayons are non-toxic and easily wipe off of hard surfaces. They are also sturdy. We’ve been playing with our crayons for several weeks now and you can still make our each character.

The rest of our crayons were blocks πŸ™‚

These are certainly the highlight of this product. The combination of building and doodling is a win win for me and the boys. They love to stack these, knock them down and draw a few animals in between towers. Each block Crayon was full of details and kept with the farm animal theme throughout along with some letters and numbers.

Overall, we loved our Block Crayon Color & Stow Farm and it would make a great
Holiday Gift for the Toddler or Pre Schooler in your life!

Smart Mom Teething Jewelry

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My first born had no interest in playing with my fashion accessories, he’s always been an independent little guy. So, once Jack was born, I was shocked by the amount of pulling he did on both my clothes, jewelry and anything he could get his fingers on. I had to wear my hair up and be jewelry free for most of his first year. I admit, it was one of the things I stressed most about when he was an infant. (I admit, it’s a small battle) I even stopped wearing my wedding ring because I was worried about scratching his soft new born skin. It changed a lot about my “style” as a mother of two. Looking back, there were solutions & one I wish I had known about is Smart Mom Jewelry.

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I contacted the company and they gladly sent over some samples of their “Teething Bling” for us to try out! Smart Mom Jewelry makes fashion forward, durable pieces of jewelry that are safe for baby to not only pull on, but also teeth and drool all over. Their line is made of a medical-grade, food-safe silicone. Making them bendable and I bet they feel amazing on babies gums! The two pieces I received are colored to look like Lapis. They carry a large variety of colors and imitated stone designs along with prints and a few other necklace shapes as well.

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The first pieces I opened was the Lapis Donut necklace. One thing I thought might be a problem with these necklaces was by encouraging baby to have it, couldn’t you get hurt? But Smart Mom Jewelry is also smart for mom. Their necklaces are hung from soft cotton cords that also feature break-away clasps. So, if baby does get a little excited and pulls too hard, the necklace will simply pop off your neck. It does take a little bit of force to get them off so I don’t worry about the necklace getting off, but it’s a perfect feature to keep Mommy safe.

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The look wouldn’t be complete without a matching bangle. These are wide enough that I’d feel comfortable just handing it to my little one. Even I couldn’t get this thing into my mouth to choke, so I know a little one couldn’t either. The bracelet is comfortable (you forget you’re wearing it) and squishy, making it pretty entertaining for little guys and gals. Our of the whole Smart Mom line, their bangles are the most affordable at $12.99. If you’re unsure if your baby would like the idea or not, I think this is a great price point to give something like this a try!

Know someone with a fussy, teething baby? Want to give a mom friend the chance to wear jewelry again? Try Gifting Smart Mom Teething Jewelry πŸ™‚

Kidz Gear!

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This Holiday season, we’ll be shopping for a 3-year-old who wants nothing more than to be “big”. He’s got it all planned out how he’s going to get a job, driving mommy’s car, get money and go shop for groceries. (namely milk and strawberries. Because you know, the rest isn’t necessary.) One of the many things he likes to do because he is a “big boy” is wear head phones. Especially his Poppie’s wireless set he got last year at Christmas time. The problem is he has noΒ  sense of what might be too loud and as a Mom, I don’t want him hurting his ears.

That was when I heard about Kidz Gear. They create headphones especially for kids that limit the volume so that it cannot get beyond the recommended volume for little ears!Β  Kidz Gear Wired Headphones are available in 5 colors: Pink, Orange, Blue, green and purple. Originally, they came in Orange so we received this color. Parker is a BIG fan of Orange, so we know he’s going to love these. I look a look at these for myself, but we’ve decided we’ll be saving these for Christmas. The ear pieces are super plush and I think they will feel so good on his little head! The cord is pretty long and certainly long enough to work with a wiggly toddler.

Kidz Gear also has a handful of accessories to go along with your colorful, kid friendly headphones. We got their travel bag to keep our pair safe when we decide to travel with them πŸ™‚ They even offer a wireless transmitter and “splitter” which we may have to invest in as soon as baby brother catches on to this fad πŸ˜›

I’m really excited to gift these to Parker this year, I think they will be a huge hit with our noise lovin’ little man!
Who loves a good beat on your Holiday Gift List this year?

 

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List & Giveaway

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There are few things better in the toy world that classic, wooden toys and when I think about this style of toys, one amazing company comes to mind. Melissa.& Doug. Our personal Melissa & Doug collection grows every year and my children learn and grow. This year Melissa & Doug put together a list of their top 20 gifts that are PERFECT for gift giving this Holiday Season. Not only that, they are giving on away everyday (from November 6th -26th) on their Facebook Page.

Click on the image above to see the full list of 20 exciting Melissa & Doug toys to shop this Holiday Season AND Stay tuned here for a giveaway of one of these exciting toys! If you’re interested in one of these- leave a comment letting me know which you want!!

Original Sprout, Worry-Free Luxury

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As a mom it’s important to find products I can use on my kids that is not only going to work but is not going to damage their hair. While baby shampoo has been a favorite for a long time, the older they get and the curlier Parker’s hair gets, the more Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo is just not enough.

That’s when we discovered Original Sprout. Original Sprout makes all natural Vegan products that are “free & clean” and contain organic botanicals and help restore your hair, lock in moisture and even provide UV protection. The best part? All Original Sprout products are tear free, sulfate and paraben free and are safe for every member in the family- even tiny babies.

The first thing we tried was Original Sprouts’ Natural Shampoo and Conditioner. One both myself and the boys, this shampoo & conditioner duo provided soft, clean hair and smelled great! Original Sprouts has a clean, gender neutral scent that is suitable for men, women and children. The scent is not too strong so even for someone like my husband who is not a been “fragrance fan” these would still work fine.

Along with this, I use the Curl Calmer on my oldest, Parker who’s headΒ  is often a ball of messy curls. I am often tempted to put styling products in his hair to show off his curls but things like alcohol, sulfates and parabens deter me. They will leave his hair styled but as soon as I was those products out, I know they would leave his hair damaged. Baby/Toddler hair just can’t take the same abuse as full grown adult hair can! So, when I saw this I got VERY excited. This Curl Calmer not only calms the curls by bringing them into a tight, frizz free look, but it also makes his hair super soft the next day. I’m in love with this product and even use it on baby brother (who has straight hair) to add a bit more styling and polish to his look for special occasions.

Lastly, we tried the Miracle Detangler. Because I’m the only one who really gets tangled hair (and sometimes Parker does too) I used this one more than anyone and I have to say I really enjoyed it. It was best to avoid my roots because it did add a tiny bit of oil to my hair, but who gets tangles at the roots anyhow? Again, I enjoyed the scent and the act that if I wanted to, I could use this on anyone in the family.

We really enjoyed Original Sprout and I love the idea that if we were to go on a vacation, etc we could just take one set of products for the whole family. We’re constantly trying new hair care around here so we have quite a collection for each member of the family- we could never pack all that for a getaway πŸ™‚

 

Bluum Box and Why I Cancelled

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Well, I was VERY excited about this month’s box considering we had been given a hint that we should be expecting to receive a Disney Body Suite in out boxes this month AND that our boxes would now be bigger to create space for bigger goodies. The whole thing turned out to be a BIG disappointment and I have to say, I’m not the only one who is less than pleased with Bluum right now, but I’ll get to that….

So my Bluum box arrived a few days ago and it is in fact larger. About twice the size before. It now also seems sturdier. Bluum is $11 a month and that includes shipping. I have to say that while the box was bigger- nothing else in the box was…

So, this months theme was Magical Moments “Celebrating all the Magical Moments you’ll experience during your little one’s first year.” I think the Magical was just in reference of their partnership with Disney this month- BUT didn’t we JUST get a milestone themed box?

The first thing I pulled out was this white organza bag with the “Disney Onsie” inside…

This is where I was instantly unhappy. First off, two months ago, we were told we would be getting this Body suit. I assumed because it was Disney we would get a character. I was wrong. Before my box arrived, I got a sneak peak that showed we would be getting a 3-pack of plain white onsies. I admit, I was pretty disappointed, but I thought getting three was pretty nice! Then only one arrived. (I assumed three because the sneak peak ALWAYS shows you the size you will be getting and specified a 3-pack, likely this was a mistake on their end) If a plain onsie when you expected a character one OR a 3-pack wasn’t enough- IT WAS WAY, WAY TO SMALL.

I decided to contact Bluum as to why I received a 6-9month size onsie for my 20 month old (who wears 18 months). They replied: (after about 4 days)
“Thank you so much for reaching out. Our partners at Disney have given us an opportunity to try their new baby body suit in October. While we did our best to stay true to baby age and size, it is very difficult to estimate the correct fit of all bluum babies. In fact, the largest size given to us was 6-9 months which apparently is the largest size offered in the particular style you were sent. (So, basically- you didn’t get the sized needed to fit all Bluum babies and in my mind, as a consumer- you chose to put your relationship with Disney above the needs of your customers. You also did not ask ANY customers their sizes.)

We apologize if your bluum baby was not able to fit the body suit. Our sourcing team feels that you and baby should get more of what you need and your feedback ensures a better selection of products to come in the near future. Additionally, bluum is a subscription service designed for mom and baby 0-12 months however, we will soon introduce a toddler box for our growing bluum kids in the following months.” (Fair enough, BUT when I signed up, I was asked my child’s Birthday and though he IS over 12-months old I was STILL allowed to sign up. You keep saying things that make me think it’s all about the money, Bluum… I’ve been hearing about this “toddlers box” for about 6-months now and still nothing…)

This Body Suit would be worth $5…if it fit.

Next was a sample size of Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Tear Free Shampoo & Wash. We like Burt’s Bees well enough and we will certainly be using this! This sample has a value of $1.58

Next was another Burt’s Bees product. This is their new Intense Hydration Night Cream. I don’t love that is this a one time use sample. I’m not sure how anyone can tell if they like a night cream after one use, but I like trying new products on the market so this isn’t a total loss. This sample is worth $1.80

And this is where I was like “enough with the Burt’s Bees!” BUT I truly love this product. Though this “Rhubarb” color might look and sound intimidating, it’s actually pretty sheer and adds just a pinch of color. The smell is pretty menthol-y when I love to have during the winter time. This is a full size Lip Shimmer which retails for $5. This is the only product I’m actually happy about and I would NOT have paid $11 just for this…

Last was a Happy Baby Organic Baby Food pouch. On the card- it says you could get Happy Baby OR Happy Tot (or at least both are listed) So, were they paying attention to my child’s age at all?! And if they were also giving out Happy Tot (as in Happy Toddlers, by the way) then what was the above about 0-12 months old? These retail for $1

Overall- I just feel lied to, confused and like Bluum could care less about me as a consumer. I did complain, cancel and get a refund without having to fight it, so in that regard (and when they replaced a leaky item for me before) they have good customer service. But I think it’s VERY poor customer service to say your box is for 0-12 month old babies and allow older kids to participate AND THEN partner with a company that only sends you 6-9 month size onsies for your subscribers and basically try to “get away with it”. I just want to look at Bluum and say “WHAT?!”. I have to admit that I might (for ONE month) try their Toddler box, but at this point, I’m saying this box is a dud. It was in no way personalized to make my baby and I feel special. Plus getting only 3 brands and SO many from one company was a little silly. They could have spaced out Burt’s Bees better. (or did a different item in place of the night cream)

Oh!! And to add insult to injury, they threw in a discount for Wittlebee. If you’ve been considering Wittlebee- RUN! Don’t do it! They charge $40 a month just JUNK! Not to mention, you see this picture above with a box STUFFED full of goodies?! You ARE NOT going to get anywhere near that many items. How many is that above- 11? You’ll be lucky to get 6. Bluum, I recommend disassociating from Wittlebee, as to not go down with them…

Knot Genie Review & Giveaway

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As a kid, I grew up in a beautician’s home. This meant constant hair styling and dare I say it- perms- until about the age of 5. To this day, brushing the knots out of my hair is, for me personally, my most dreaded form of personal “beautifying”. Because I have two boys, you would think their hair styling would be much more simple and for the most part it is, but with high energy boys, one with thick, curly hair, getting brushing out of the way and pain free is always the objective.

We got our Knot Genies a few weeks ago and my boys were instantly drawn to the colors. They call this print, Camo Cloud.

Upon examining the unique shape and design of the Knot Genie, I noticed several things I liked right off the bat. Knot Genie does not have a handle, rather it’s domed shape is easy to grasp firmly in your palm. Even my youngest found the shape easy to grasp with his pint sized fingers and spent about 15 minutes brushing Mommy’s hair, something he’s never had any interest in doing before. They claim that it is not only easy to use but it will get through knots with ease, even on the most tangled of do’s.

Aside from it’s lack of handle, what makes the Knot Genie so different? Well, there are two “sets” of bristles on the Knot Genie, each at different levels/heights. These different sized bristles are what gives the Knot Genie it’s “magic powers” and it’s ability to whip through tangles with ease. There is also a well defined curve in the brushes bristle covered side that perfectly contours to the scalp. I found this feature to be especially useful with squirming toddlers. Because it is curved in this way, it covered a larger surface area and leaves every hair in its’ path well groomed, meaning brushing a toddler boys hair is literally done in just 3-4 quick passes.

Knot Genie retails for $19.99. While as a beauty lover, I spend this much on my personal hair brushes, I thought at first I wasn’t sure I would be able to “justify” this sort of price tag on a child’s brush. After using the Knot Genie, I have to say, I think it is well worth the price. My boys love this and no longer run in fear when it’s time to “tame their manes”. Instead, they enjoy brushing my hair and their own to shiny, smooth perfection.

Think the Knot Genie would be the saving grace to your child’s hair care stresses?
One Lucky Rosy Snail Reader will win their very own Knot Genie πŸ™‚
Click on the image below to enter!

Plasma Car: Harnessing Kid Energy! (GIVEAWAY!!)

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We received our Plasma Car a few weeks ago and I have to tell you, since then- we have been spending A LOT more time outside. Maybe it’s the weather change, but I suspect it’s due to the begging going on from a certain 3 year old who cannot get enough of his Plasma Car.

Our Plasma Car arrived in a large box and had only a few quick steps to assemble. I snapped in the back wheels, aligned the steering wheel and front wheels and had my husband tighten the hardware for the steering wheel- then we were ready to ride! Once it was all together, we were able to store this in our coat closet along with Daddy’s long boards. (when not in use)

The finished product was not only VERY sturdy but it was also pretty cool looking. Plasma Car is meant for ages 3 and up and as “wild” as Parker can sometimes get, a sturdy product is a must.

So, what is Plasma Car and what makes this interestingly shaped car different from the rest? Plasma Car harnesses your kids energy to create an exciting and fun ride on toy. How fun? Well, I will tell you my husband couldn’t help but climb on too, but that’s another story πŸ˜‰
By moving the handle from side to side, the rider propels him or herself forward. There are no petals, gears or motors on the Plasma car and even for younger kids, it’s easy to stop- either by slowing down when you stop moving the handle or by placing your feet on the ground. My oldest, Parker, owns a tricycle that he got for his 2nd Birthday but he often tells me “it’s too hard” because he has not yet built up the leg strength to pedal the bike. He ends up stuck in the grass somewhere frustrated. With the Plasma Car, there isn’t very much effort for him to get going.

Here is one happy (nearly) 3-year-old on his Yellow Plasma Car.
Plasma Cars retail for around $50, which is about what we wasted on a shiny tricycle, and can be found at numerous retailers such as Target, Toys R Us and many other places where toys and “rideables” are sold. If you’re looking for one in your area, you can use their Store Locator to see who is nearest you. You can get a Plasma Car in 6 different colors/combinations too!

Aside from the great value of Plasma Car, it’s also a major award winner! Winner a dozen awards over the years including “Best Toy” and “Most Innovative New Product”. I can certainly see why.

With all the excitement, this is baby brother trying to charm Mommy for his turn to ride πŸ˜‰ He’s not quite old enough, but with the 220lb weight limit, he can ride along with Mommy or Daddy πŸ™‚

The people at Plasma Car have also offered one
Rosy Snail Reader a chance to win their very own Plasma Car!

We’ve got a few rules:
You must be 18 to enter
This giveaway is open to Canada and the US minus Hawaii and Alaska!
Other than that: click on the Logo below to enter!

Fellowes Saturn 2 125 Laminator

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Attention all craft folks, stay at home moms, teachers and well- anyone who’s ever felt the need to color code their entire life. You’re going to want to check out this review. Why, you might ask would a stay-at-home mom with two toddlers need a laminator? It has over 100 different uses, but I’m sure I can give you PLENTY for why this Mommy & Craft lover will never be without her Fellowes Saturn 2 Laminator again.

My Laminator arrived in a shiny, beautifully printed box. This model is the Saturn 2 125 Laminator.
This laminator is perfect for at home use or even small business/office use. It can laminate up to 12.5″ wide, in either 3mil, 4mil or 5mil thick paper and can do either hot or cold laminator. I honestly, can’t think of anything I could ever need to laminate that would be larger than this machines maximum width & thickness.


On the back, there are only two controls: this power switch and a red lever should by some insane chance, your paper/laminating material ever get jammed.

On top are the rest of your controls, as you can see there is really not a lot of complicated-ness to this machine at all! First there is a Green power button. When you simply press this button, the machine will automatically be ready for cold laminating. You would simply begin bushing your project through the machine and it would cold laminate it. To do any “heat laminating”, you will need to select the thickness you are using (this is easily found on the label of your laminating pages, etc) It takes about 1-2 minutes for the machine to heat up. While it is heating up, the green powder symbol will flash and there will be a “beep” when the laminator is ready to go! I’m going to run you guys through just one of the MANY projects I’ve used this for since I got this handy-dandy thing!

Here are my weapons of choice. My Saturn 2 Laminator, 3mil Legal Size Laminating Sheets, my instructions and my “cleaning sheet” for when I’m all done. (I’ll cover more on that later)

I am going to laminate this Potty Progress chart from Pull-ups. My son Parker just finished his second whole week of potty training and he has been doing FANTASTIC! So, I want to be able to hang this and use it as either a dry erase board or a sticker sheet that I can reuse. Since Potty Training will take a while, I’d need MANY of these if I weren’t able to laminate it, so I’m saving myself that trouble and saving paper to boot! In the photo above, I have the chart placed in between the laminating sheet. You’ll want to line up all the edges exactly how you like them.

Once the machine has beeped to let you know it’s ready, you just begin to push the project (seam side first) into the machine. The laminator will completely take over and slowly guide the paper on it’s own.

Ta-da! All done! Right “off the press” the chart is ready to go. A few times, the papers are warm but nothing on the machine or coming out of the machine is ever too hot to touch or hot enough to cause injury- no matter how long I use it.

After about 20 uses, you will need to put this “cleaning page” through the machine. It will get any build up that may get trapped inside. Other than this, there is little to no maintenance with this Laminator. I love having something so compact and easy to use at home. I come up with plenty of ideas knowing that this is easy to access and there is not a lot of heating up and NO cooling down time (I can put it RIGHT back in the box because it is never hot to the touch)

I’ve laminated signs, charts (perfect for kids), important documents for work and I plan to do much more as my oldest will soon start a reading program with flash cards and assignments. It will be perfect for keeping flashcards in great condition while my toddler man handles them πŸ˜‰

Have you ever thought to own your own personal laminator?

 

 

Crispy Green Freeze Dried YUMMIES!

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We first got to try Crispy Green when we got a small sample in Consious Box. My almost 3-year-old hated the stuff. Took one bite and turned his nose up at it, baby brother on the other hand gladly finished off the rest of the bag and begged for more! So, I contacted them and they gladly sent us more flavors to sample!

We got to try a little bit of everything! Crispy Green freeze dries EVERY fruit you can imagine! From Apples and Bananas to Mangoes and Asian Pears- I was truly blown away by the variety we received. They also have two sizes, a larger resealable bag that was perfect when the whole family wanted to have some and save some for later and smaller bags that were a perfect serving size. Those were also easy to give out to toddlers who think they need to have their very own bag- you moms know EXACTLY what I’m talking about!

Jack loved every flavor and even my oldest, Parker eventually gave in and enjoyed several flavors as well. Because all their fruit is pure- you are getting the freshest tasting fruit imaginable. Everything tasted so amazing and “like the real thing” well because it IS the real thing. Just a freeze dried, travel friendly version! My favorite was the kiwi. They had just the right amount of “fizz” in each bite.

Jack’s least favorite flavor was “sharing”. Hehe.

Please enjoy the following video of me sweetly trying to talk Jack into giving his mother a bite πŸ™‚