Swimming Goggles – GogglX Review

gogglesMy kids both love swimming! This year I decided to put them in a more serious swim program than the summer one they did every year. At five and six, I really need them to be able to swim! It’s a life skill and I want to feel safe knowing if my kids ever fell in water, they would be able to swim out!

Doing a more serious swim team meant getting all the gear and swim goggles were at the top of the list. Unfortunately I made a rookie mistake of getting the cheapest ones I could find because, well, they were cheap! I got a three pack for $7! What a deal! Not so much. They might as well call them disposable because they literally lasted one time.

Live and learn. I decided swim goggles were something worth spending money on. But how much? After doing a little shopping around I realized I’d have to spend at least $15 to get a decent set.swmmig-goggles

I liked this pair from Gogglx because first, it was in my price range and second, it’s got UV protection with tinted lenses. When swim is in season, the kids are in the pool three times a week, four if there’s a meet. I don’t want their eyes getting burned. So often we remember the sunscreen but forget about eye protection. I’ve burned my eyes before after hours in the pool and there isn’t much more painful than that!

I also liked that these are good for adults AND kids. That way if their dad or I need a pair, we can just borrow theirs with a quick adjustment. I also liked the color options. These blue ones are for my son Reed but of course my daughter wanted pink.

Evenflo Sibby Travel System Review | Now the Middle Can Ride with the Little!

This post was sponsored by Evenflo as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received the Evenflo Sibby Travel System to facilitate my review.

Evenflo Sibby travel system

With three kids I have actually gone through three different travel systems. Practically, I should have used the same for all three but the first time I made the mistake of getting the cheapest I could find. Let’s just say I got what I paid for. The next one was better but still lacking in many regards. I was high hopes for the Evenflo Sibby travel system from Target and it did not disappoint! Third time is the charm right

This thing that really sets this one apart is the Ride Along Board on back so you can transport two kids without the bulk or expense of a double stroller. This one is perfect for a growing family, especially when another child can’t quite walk all the time but doesn’t need to be in the stroller the whole time either.

I’ve never seen this board before. I used to have a sit and stand and there was not enough room for the child to stand. They basically had to lean backwards. I was always kicking and walking into it because of the position it sat in. When they are passed the point of needing to sit in a stroller full time but still too tired to always walk, this Ride Along Board provides the perfect solution.

The Ride Along Board provides much more room and works surprisingly well. The wheels turn easily and in every direction.

Evenflo Sibby travel system-side-functions

I also like that it’s easily detachable so you can just remove and store it when not in use!

The handles are extra tall so that child and parent can hold on at the same time.

It’s also nice if you are tall like me and don’t have to bend down to handles. That’s a back killer!

The larger tires on back make for a much smoother and more stable ride. It almost feels like a jogger when pushing it but without the pop-pable tires. I’ve been through a few of those as well!

I also like the way this collapses. You just have to pull on a handle in the middle of the seat and it folds in half. I much prefer this to the other kind where you have to push one part while you simultaneously pull another! Simplicity works!

When folded in half it collapses pretty flat but it is pretty long. It can squeeze nicely into a trunk.

The bar that goes across the front of the stroller is really easy to remove if you aren’t using the infant car seat clicked into it. My toddler actually likes it there to hold onto but it’s nice to have the option to remove.

The canopies on both car seat and stroller are extra long and provide complete coverage of the baby when used together.

I struggled a bit with clicking the car seat into the stroller. It’s not as easy as it was to the base so there’s a bit of a learning curve to it. Like anything though you get used to and become an old pro in no time.

The basket underneath is a nice size. It’s much larger than any I have seen. Part of it seems to be that the seat of the stroller is higher than most and the height of the back tires probably helps. You can actually fit a full diaper bag in there and still have room for more.

The one feature I don’t particularly care for is the cup holder. It’s nice that the size is adjustable for different sized drinks but I don’t like it on the side. It tends to stick out and get caught on things and I think it’s just a matter of time until it’s broken off.

Evenflo Sibby Travel System

The car seat could have used a bit more cushion but it’s better than many out there. I liked that it had a 35lb weight limit so even my toddler can still use it. He looks like a giant in it but thanks to all the levels of adjustment, it’s not a problem!

It has the nice pillow which is comfy for newborns who still can’t support their head.

It clicks easily into the base and most importantly, is easy to take out! I have really struggled with some!

The handle you hold onto is much wider than most making it easier to carry.

While I love the car seat, the stroller is my favorite of the set. I’ve gone through even more strollers than I have car seats so I know what works and what doesn’t for my family.

This new travel system is available now at Amazon! They recently re-designed their baby section and it looks amazing! You can find this travel system among the others and I think you’ll find it’s the best bargain for all it’s amenities!

Overall it’s a really nice travel system, somewhere in the middle price range with a lot of really nice features. The Ride Along Board makes it the perfect on the go stroller for those that don’t want to deal with the hassle of a double stroller or sit and stand. Motherhood is hard and all the gear that comes with a baby can be overwhelming. Anything that makes my life easier makes me a happy mom! Most importantly, my kids are happy and safe in the car seat and stroller. You can’t put a price on that!

Baby Registry Essentials

Are you expecting a new baby? Moms know babies come with lots of stuff, but how do you decide which items are most needed? We are excited to feature some amazing Baby Registry Essentials and a wonderful giveaway filled with beautiful AND essential products for moms with babies!

baby-registry-essentials

Babee Talk offers organic crib bedding and plush toys designed with health, safety and style in mind. Proudly made in the USA with soft organic cotton, this cozy bedding collection includes a patented organic crib rail cover, fitted crib sheet, matching crib skirt, and two Eco-Buds Take-Along Pals. (crib and side rail covers not included)

The Yummy Mitt is the first patented glow-in-the-dark teething mitten for newborns and infants 3-12 months. It secures to baby’s hand allowing them to provide teething relief while simultaneously preventing gagging, need for constant parental assistance and dropping of the teether. Made with 100% food grade silicone and 100% cotton, the Yummy Mitt is BPA, latex, PVC, lead and phthalates-free.

Revelae Kids makes innovative solutions for playtime, snack time, and nap time. Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches are ideal for holding homemade baby food and allow older kids to easily take healthy snacks to the playground. Cozy Sleeper swaddle transition blankets and Cozy Blanket Pouches keep babies snug and warm within a safe and secure sleep space, perfect for slumber and lounging. Cozy Sleepers and Blanket Pouches also fit in a car seat or stroller!

Surround your child with comfort and luxury! More than a floor pillow: Designed with both parents and baby in mind, the Dakota Aqua Pello Luxe Floor Pillow is the ultimate multi-use floor pillow and play mat to keep a baby comforted, safe and secure. The unique design and materials make this a perfect resting spot for baby and ideal for your child’s ever-changing needs.

Buttons Diapers 100% cotton muslin burp cloths & bibs are the perfect baby essential. Works as a contoured over-the-shoulder burp cloth for baby, an large coverage bib during meals, and a handy cloth to wipe up messes. Muslin is a soft, breathable, absorbent, natural material that gets even softer & fluffier each time you wash it. The burp cloth easily converts to a bib by using the sewn-in snap. Set of 2.

Margaux & May is proud to use GOTS 100% certified organic cotton with all their swaddle blankets. These luxuriously soft muslin blankets are decorated with unique stunning prints, perfect for nursery sets and baby gifts. Set of 2.

This giveaway is coordinated by Mommy Scene, sponsored by the participating brands, and is open to US entries ages 18 and older. No purchase required to enter. One winner will be randomly chosen and displayed on the giveaway widget after the giveaway ends on Sept. 7, 2016. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand.

Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Treasure Mountain Train Adventure™ Review VtechToys

The train has been provided by VTech so I could experience it with my family; however, the thoughts and opinions are all my own.

My youngest son Jax is almost three so naturally, like many boys, he loves trains! I knew he would be thrilled with the Go-Go Smart Wheels Treasure Mountain Train Adventure because not only does it have a train; it also moves by itself and makes sounds!gogo-kids-toys

As is typical of Vtech, this is more than just a train set! It’s chalk full of learning opportunities at every turn; literally! I had to help him put it together but because the tracks come in different colors it was easy for him to assist me! I would tell him to find the red track, or the blue curved track.

It was a lesson in colors and shapes and sizes just putting it together! There are different configurations you can make with the same track so I let him choose the one he wanted. I also appreciated the color coding because it made it super easy to put together just by copying the picture.

Once it was put together it was time to explore! The train comes with batteries for store testing purposes only but they have actually lasted several weeks of continuous use so that was a nice little bonus. The freight train can go by itself, even up that steep hill without a problem! We have motorized trains before that just would not stay on the track but this one does and turns easily and naturally with the curves in the track, all the while talking and singing away.gogo-kids-toys2

If you press the light up button it will sing three different songs. When it hits the 9 different SmartPoint sensors on the tracks it says different phrases that correspond with that specific area.

The top of the mountain that is supposed to be a mine has holes for three different shapes that are also different colors. They can push them in and then they travel down the mountain. Once at the bottom they are stopped by a gate, until the train comes along and hits the sensor and then it dumps the shape (or gold) into the trains cargo car. This was just my favorite part for some reason!

My toddlers favorite was the crane that he turned into a wrecking ball that’s separate from the track and hammering the shapes into a building. Of course he likes the typical boy destructive things!

All three of my kids are obsessed with Minecraft so they were relating a lot of this to the game. While this is rated up to five, my seven year old daughter was instantly obsessed with it and playing with her brother. She started putting her dolls on the train and watching them chug around the track.

My kids have been playing with this daily for weeks! I was waiting for them to get tired of it to change the track configuration and mix it up but it hasn’t happened yet! The Go Go Smart Wheels Treasure Mountain Train Adventure is filled with fun learning opportunities and hours of entertainment for young children!

Product Description

Best for ages:
1 to 5 years
It’s a gold rush at the Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Treasure Mountain Train Adventure™ by VTech. Turn on the motorized freight train and watch as it chugs around the tracks, through the tunnels, and up hills on its own! The freight train responds to the playset’s nine SmartPoint® locations with fun phrases, music and more. The gold mine also includes rotating gears, a crane to move the shape pieces around and a mine shaft where you can pretend to mine for gold. Press the toy freight train’s light-up button to hear three sing-along songs and learn the letter “F” and the name of the vehicle.

Go! Go! Smart Wheels is ON SALE on Amazon.

Serve up some Fun with Brownie Match™ Game by Educational Insights

My kids love playing games and they are especially fun around the holidays like now when they have a week off school for Thanksgiving. They have been playing together and with friends and a new favorite is the Brownie Match ™ Game!This game has instant appeal, probably because everyone loves brownies! My seven year old daughter was super excited to start playing right away! Now that she can read she read the directions to her two year old brother before playing.

brownie-match-game

Even though he’s only two, he actually did really well playing with his sister! It wasn’t long before my oldest son who originally said he wasn’t interested had joined them!

I really like games that all three can play together and there really aren’t many that they like!

Each player spins the spinner and flip a brownie with the included spatula. The idea is to make a match and scoop it up. Whoever gets five first wins. Of course there are little twists and turns along the way like burnt brownies and spilled milk. Nobody likes that!

This would make such a fun gift for kids and families this holiday season. Everyone seems to love it! I have even found my daughter playing with her stuffed animals when no one else is around to play!

Brownie Match ™ Game is a huge hit in our house and I’m sure it would be for the kids on your holiday shopping list too!

6 Simple Ways to Help Your Kids Succeed in Life

Raising kids is both difficult and rewarding. As a responsible parent, you want to do everything in your power to make sure your kids get placed on a path toward success. Givin

kid-success-mindset-min

g your kids a head start isn’t as complicated as it may seem. Here are some simple ways you can boost your kids’ potential every day.

1. Value Education

The more you personally value education, the more your kids will take school seriously. Your kids learn from all aspects of their lives, but school is one of the most influential places to teach critical thinking, problem-solving, and proper social behavior. Explain how you viewed school when you were younger, how school is helpful, and why it’s important to work hard in class. Help your kids figure out which subjects they like the most and find ways to support their academic interests.

2. Reward Responsibility

Kids can help around the house no matter how old they are. Let your younger children separate socks during laundry time, and older kids can help with dishes after dinner. Establish a responsibility system and reward your kids for keeping up with their duties. This teaches kids how to hold themselves accountable and develop a good work ethic.

3. Develop a Strong Sense of Self-Worth

Kids need to feel safe and loved to develop the self-assurance they need to be successful. However, you don’t have to go far out of your way to boost your kids’ esteem. Small, daily acts of encouragement go a long way.
For example, instead of doing everything for your child, let your little ones take on small challenges themselves. Encourage them along the way, even if they are slow and make mistakes. Don’t look over their shoulder as an authority figure but as a supportive hand when the challenges get too complicated. Assure them that you are around to help when they get stuck, but let them figure things out in their own way. As a result, they’ll feel more capable, independent, and rely less on external praise for self-esteem.

4. Work on Communication Skills

When kids learn effective communication skills early in life, they are better prepared to face life’s incessant challenges. They are also more confident in school and form stronger relationships with peers. There’s a lot of research out there about how to teach communication skills to youth and adults alike. Businesses even measure the financial implications of certain types of communication methods.

5. Learn to Love Reading

Get those cute little noses dug deep into books. Let your kids choose what they read and visit your local library often. To keep your collection of classics in mint condition, a USC online article recommends storing books away from sunlight and humidity. As tempting as that basement might be for long-term storage, avoid damp places that accumulate dust and tend to rot over time.

6. Be Their Biggest Cheerleader

Above all, the best thing you can do to help your kids succeed is be their number one fan throughout their lives. Encourage them, give them constructive feedback, and tell them that they were born with everything they need to live an incredible life. Now, get out there and start living!

The CiPU Baby Diaper Bag has Everything for Baby AND Mom! #CiPU

With three kids I have gone through my fair share of diaper bags, and then some! I could just never find one with everything I needed! I felt like the Goldilocks of diaper bags! This one’s too big, this one’s too small, this one’s ugly, this one’s cheap, this one has no style and this one has nowhere for MY stuff! Well finally I found the one that’s just right!

The CiPU diaper baghas literally everything I need for baby AND me! It was like Christmas morning opening each bag and compartment to find the hidden treasures within! I don’t know about you but I don’t like to carry a separate purse when I am lugging around a diaper bag, a baby and whatever else they need! I only have two arms!

This set includes a double pouch and hand carry pouch, either one that can be used as your purse. I have used both depending where I am going and what exactly I need.

I don’t carry a lot in my purse. It’s basically my wallet, phone and keys so even though the hand carry pouch is small, it fits everything I need!

For those that like a bigger purse, the double pouch works as a purse as it has more space. I personally like this pouch for wet/dirty clothes. it’s nicely lined and can keep those items away from the clean items in the bag! We have all experienced the dreaded blow out and need a place for those nasty clothes!

The set also includes a water proof diaper pad to take care of that messy change!

When it comes to attention to detail, this one has it all. It really is the little things that makes all the difference in the world! I love the pouches on either end of the big bag for baby AND for mommy to have a drink! What I’ve found with most bags is that its a shallow pouch where things tend to fall out. This ones tall and deep enough to hold a standard water bottle or baby bottle without dumping them!

The inside also has tons of space! Usually I shove a few things in and then can’t zip the bag shut. This one has a large capacity for everything you need! My favorite part has to be the pockets. Pockets galore to keep everything organized! It even has the zipper pocket for those things that need a little privacy!

Another neat little feature is the adjustable buckle. I am constantly digging through purses and bags in search of my keys. Somehow they always seem to slip beyond my reach. With this buckle, it stretches up to 63cm so your keys are right at your fingertips! No more lost keys!

If you are out on the go and want to hang the bag from your stroller, the included aluminum hook makes this a snap!

Everything is adjustable, comfortable and set to fit all of your baby’s needs AND yours as well! The CiPU Diaper bag really has it all!

Taking Flight with Super Wings!

My kids often get hooked on tv shows and then want to buy every toy out there. In the case of Super Wings however, it was the other way around!

My three year old Jax loves Transformers! Unfortunately they are made for older kids and he’s easily frustrated by them. He loves the Super Wings toys because he can transform them from plane to bot all by himself! There is no greater sense of an accomplishment than a three year old doing something all by himself!

Once he was introduced to the toys, I showed him the show which is available on Amazon Prime, NBC, Sprout and the Super Wings YouTube channel. Even at three Jax is all about YouTube thanks to his older brother and sister so that’s where he chooses to watch on his iPad. He loves it and so do I! Of course he also loves to star in his own videos!

I like the spirit of teamwork and friendship they have while working together to solve problems. I also appreciate the emphasis about learning about different cultures that is so important in the world he is growing up in!

While we loves all the toys, the Super Wings 5″ transforming character is definitely his favorite which works out well for playing with his best friend who prefers the little Transform-a-Bots that come in a four pack!

Super Wings

The Vroom n Zoom is another fun one with the capability to zoom off on its wheels powered just by your kid. You just have to love a toy with transform feature! Just fun and imagination to guide the way with Super Wings!

Grow With Your Child

baby stepsAs parents, we know that frugality is not a word that we can thoroughly engage with during the first few years of our child’s life. There is always something that will need to be purchased, no matter how hard we try and save on our money and cut back our spending. Once our children are finished with one thing, they’re straight on to another; it’s unfortunately just the way that life works.

There are things that we will just need to keep replacing until our children hit teenage years or until they outgrow the need for them. But what are these things, and how much do we need to set aside for them as they grow?

Beds

Moses baskets, cribs, cots, co-sleepers – whatever you have and whatever you are using right now, it will eventually need updating. Moses baskets typically last up to 5 or 6 months depending on how big your baby is, and they can then be transferred to a cot. Or you could cut out the moses basket/crib and go straight to the standard baby cot.

It is recommended that your child sleeps in the same room with you until they are at least 6 months old to prevent the risk of SIDS, and so you may find it is easier to have a smaller sleep space for them until they go into their own bedroom. The good thing to know is that once they are in their cot they can stay in there for a couple of years, until they outgrow it and will need either a toddler bed or a single bed.

Stores are cottoning on that it’s becoming tedious to keep replacing beds, so many like IKEA are offering extendable beds to solve the problem of constant replacement. This can cost anything from a couple of hundred across the years to thousands depending on how much you want to spend on a good night’s sleep.

Car Seats

The good thing to know about car seats is that eventually, your child will not need them. The other thing worth noting is that you can get car seats that are set in stages once they are out of the car seat that they have used from birth. Check to see which is the right one for you and your child by taking down details of how tall they need to be and how much they need to weigh to go into a particular seat – always assess the safety first.

You can look online for baby seats reviews to see what suits your budget and your lifestyle. They come in all shapes and sizes nowadays, offering everything from ease of access to get your child out of the car to reclining seats for those kids who can’t help but doze off on a short journey.

Clothes

This is the most obvious, but at least when you get to a certain point in teenage years you won’t need to keep buying for size – only to keep up with the latest trends that are cropping up. This is one thing you can be frugal on, and asking friends and family for hand me downs should not be frowned upon; where else are the clothes going to go and what else are they going to be doing? It’s better that they’re put to good use!

Boosting Baby’s Brain

Babies are like little sponges. Everything you say and do with them stimulates their senses and has the ability to create new brain cells and boost their brain power now and in the future. From simply smiling and laughing with your baby to playing games, every move you make is having an effect on your baby’s brain, which means that if you pay attention and implement specific activities, you can increase the power of your actions and make your baby smarter. Here are some actives you and baby can do together that will boost his or her brain at the same time:

Make Eye Contact

Researchers have found that making eye contact with your baby when they look at you and smiling or talking with them will encourage interplay between the two of you, help to build a connection and boost the part of their brain that deals with emotions and relationships.

Reading

Reading to your baby from an early age is one of the best things you can do if you want to boost their brainpower and help them grow into a smart young child. When reading, try to make it a sensory experience by rocking your baby and showing them pictures, even if they’re too young to really notice.

Touch

Touching your baby is something you probably do instinctively and without even thinking, but it is so important to the development of your child. Not only does regular touch help your child to become more self-aware, but it also helps to build knowledge of personal boundaries as they get older.

Play

Playing with children is a great way to teach them about interacting with their surroundings. For example, one of the first games babies intuitively play is the one where they throw their food on the floor and mommy, or daddy picks it up. This teaches them about cause and effect and the world in which they live.

When playing games, babies love predictability and repetition. There are lots of toys and games aimed at babies, which can offer this and help to develop their brainpower – just browse baby toys for games and objects that have pulling strings, repeating sounds and colors, etc., to help baby make the most of their play time.

Bathing

If you can stimulate your baby’s senses, you can help to boost their brain development. The feel of warm, soothing water and the skin to skin contact between parent and child is a great way of doing this, so try to make your baby’s bathtime as fun as possible for your little one.

Talk

Just talking to your baby as you would anyone else will help to boost their vocabulary, build a strong family bond and enable them to express their wants and needs, even in a nonverbal way to start with. The more new words you introduce to your child, the better their own vocabulary will be by the time they reach the age of 3!

Aromas

Introducing your baby to new aromas is another great way to stimulate senses and give them new experiences that will boost their brain. Pick some flowers and let them play with them, take them to the park, give them a massage with lavender oil – do whatever you can to stimulate their sense of smell.