Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Babywearing Elsa Style

I received this product for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

I recently received this baby carrier to review. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015HO0OFO I love the pattern, it reminds me of Anna from FROZEN... I can't escape that movie no matter how hard I try! Lucy is obsessed with everything that looks even remotely like Anna or Elsa would enjoy it. So of course she instantly wanted to go up in the carrier.

Now, I will mention here that the RECOMMENDED WEIGHT LIMIT for this carrier is 35lbs. Lucy is closer to 45 so I only put her up for a minute to make her happy. Surprisingly, she (and I) were very comfortable in a back carry for about 10 minutes. I didn't want to stress the carrier over its recommended weight for very long on first use so we made it a short walk around the house to check her out in every mirror (her request).

Trying this out with Flynn, I opted for a standard front carry that most will be familiar with. Flynn is about 26lbs, 15months old, and not yet walking. Because of his low muscle tone I do not use a back carry with him in general. His low muscle tone and global developmental delays are caused by a genetic condition called Koolen-deVries Syndrome. We'll be getting into that in another post, I just haven't found all the words to re-cap the last year. So, back to baby-wearing... We grabbed this cute little carrier and off to the post office we went. This is super light weight, great to toss in the diaper bag or leave in the back seat for a handy way to get baby around without dragging that dragon stroller out of the trunk. I highly recommend this style carrier for people (mom, dad, nana, sitter, anyone) who are new to babywearing and want to have their hands free to do things while keeping baby close and happy. It was great for our trip to the post office today because I needed both hands and there is never enough room to bring a stroller in that tiny building.

Now, I have additional criteria when deciding if a carrier is a good fit for us... FIT! In case you were not aware, I am not a skinny person, If fact, I am plus-sized. And not "plus size model" plus size either. I am a size 24/26 and often am very worried that investing in a carrier will end up in sadness. I was very pleased that I did not have any trouble with this carrier. I was able to securely tie a square knot/ double knot behind my back. I had enough of the arm straps to wrap and tie in the front. Most average size people are able to wrap again and tie in back, this is not the case for many plus size women, or even men with a muscular build I suppose. I felt secure with the ties. The baby was happily seated and enjoyed his ride.

This carrier has a padded portion of the shoulder. This is a nice touch. Many carriers of this style do not offer padding. A very welcome plus that fit very well in both the back and front carries with both kids. The top of the carrier also has some padding, this was a nice addition as it gave a little extra sturdiness to where the baby is being held on his back.

I did have to do some readjusting to get the straps to fit well over my shoulders the first few times, however, I believe this was user-error and not a fault of the carrier. It had been a while since I used a mei tai style carrier and I have fit issues with most carriers due to my body type. A little practice and a good wiggle/bounce/tie and the fit is resolved.

Overall, I enjoy this carrier. I think it will be our go-to for Daddy's car. I like having a carrier in each car for times when a little extra snuggling is needed when we are on the go. This carrier would be a great starter carrier. The price is great and the pattern is so adorable.

Happy Babywearing!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Brilliant Baby Food, a review of Cutielunch Reusable Squeeze Pouch

Reusable Pouches might just be my new favorite thing!

Just starting with the legal bit: I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

Now for the fun part!  Ever thought to yourself it's so expensive to buy those baby food pouches at the store? And then, your baby turns into a toddler and wants the "fun" ones with the pudding which cost an extra dollar... well, solution found!   Cutielunch Reusable Squeeze Pouch to the rescue!

I always wanted to make my own baby food, but since we always qualified for WIC we got tons of baby food jars from them. I am very blessed to have received all this free baby food, trust me.  I always cry when the kids move up to "real" food!  It is great at home, but when we have to go anywhere it is such a mess taking the little container and trying to use a spoon with a wiggly kid.  Besides, I ALWAYS manage to spill on myself opening the foil top.. seriously, how hard does that have to be.

So, reusable pouches have been on my mind for quite a while.  They always scared me a little bit.  When I had the opportunity to review these and receive a set for free I jumped at the chance.  I wasn't going to spend hard earned money on something I just wasn't sure would work.  Boy, was I wrong.

First, cost.  This particular set of 4 pouches is normally $14.99 but right now is marked down to 10.99.  If you have amazon prime (which seriously is a lifesaver in our house) you get free shipping. That comes out to $3.75 a piece at full price or $2.75 a piece if you snatch them up on sale. You might be thinking "but the grocery store ones are only $1" .... and that brings me to the second point...

Second, YOU DON'T THROW THEM AWAY WHEN YOU ARE DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is a huge issue, the pre-filled pouches at the grocery store get tossed when you are done.  Hello, landfill.  These are sturdy, and meant to be used over and over again.  I love that they are reusable, I will be saving so much more money than buying pouches at the grocery store every week.  Even if I still bought baby food at the store the savings just keep going up. The little glass jars are always cheaper than the new plastic ones, and can be used for neat projects afterwards.  Or, instead of buying 15 little plastic boxes of apples I can buy the big applesauce in the fruit section and save cost and trash.  Huge win. Want to have Apple/Squash mix? They don't sell that... you can just grab two single flavors, throw them in a pouch (I added cinnamon to mine) mix and eat!  So awesome..

Lets talk about the practicality, the logistics if you will.  Because we all know it's no good if the food just pops out of the seal and we're no better off than before... guess what?! DOUBLE SEAL! BAM. The bottom has two zip-lock like seals, they are deeply ridged so they catch the other side really well.  After I made my first batch I opened it to check and could see that the cinnamon had gotten between the innermost seal but the outer seal was there to make sure nothing spilled.  It was my fault for using the shaker instead of a spoon to put the cinnamon into the pouch. Learn from my mistakes! Use a spoon if adding spices! But still, there was no leak.

Only for babies? NO WAY! Lucy thought the picture was so cute. She is very picky about which pouches she will get from the store (they have to be purple or pink lately) but with the fun fruits on these she is happily asking for them!  I can up the flavor level when making pouches for Lucy or keep it bland for the baby.  I am tempted to make some for myself!  I'm thinking a little peach and cinnamon with a splash of vanilla might taste just like cobbler!  Cutielunch Reusable Squeeze Pouch has changed the way I look at snacks on the go.  Want your own set? Click here!  (this is not an affiliate link, I'm not cool enough for one of those yet): Reusable Baby Food Pouch (4-pack) for Homemade Baby Food. Squeeze Pouch Is Great As a Food Container and for Food Storage.

I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

SAHM Badge Unlocked: Leggings

This is the story of my first pair of leggings.