Wednesday, October 12, 2016


 My iPhone using friends....... Have you downloaded it yet?? Here is my hubby's newest app. This is an iMessage app, a new type of experience for the latest iOS.

Download it here: SyncScores

Once downloaded (it's FREE), you'll use it from your text/iMessage area. When you're in a text message/iMessage in the new iOS you'll notice that universal symbol for app (in blue on the image below), when you click there you'll see all your new iMessage Apps!! Fun stuff!

So what's it do, you ask? SyncScores is a fun way to keep your family and friends informed of the latest “scores” from any of your favorite sports. Are you at your son's soccer games while your spouse is off at golf? Send him junior's game updates in real time. Like to brag how your favorite NFL team is doing? Update your friends as you chat about the plays. You can get creative too! On my birthday I was exploring the new app and sent the latest "score" to hubby. 34 to 40 to my OLD man hehe.

How's it work? When the first person uses the app to insert a scoreboard into their iMessage chat interface they can update the "parts" of the scoreboard. Here you see the basic scoreboard. Additional sports scoreboards have the necessary parts for their sports like what "Down" it is for football. All of these fields are editable and update-able. 

 Here you see the Football scoreboard as it looks in my texting app. Want the rest of the details, like what Down it is and which yard the ball is on? Just click to view the expanded Scoreboard.

Once updated with a "new" score by your friend or yourself, the previous scoreboard image shrinks up, not taking up your whole chat field and the new updated one is front and center. In the above image you can see this.

New sports scoreboards are on the way! Check back soon!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

EQtainment Fun - Emotional Intelligence Improvement for Kids!

Do you like to practice better behavior and social skills with your young children? Do you struggle with fun methods for teaching them to explore their feeling while also learning better ways to react? If so, check out EQtainment and their products. I was able to explore a fun packet of many of their offering thanks to Tryazon and hosted an in home playdate using their game, Q's Race to the Top as a fun activity.

Starting at around age 3 Q's Race to the top is an interactive board game that helps kids explore their emotions, communication, manners, social skills, creative thinking, balance, and coordination. It's fast paced so even when we let litter sibling join in they were able to stay entertained!

I love the offerings this entire brand has from coloring books that explore more than just crayons to the Q Wunder app boasts being the first app to improve the world's social and emotional intelligence through entertainment. 

You're probably asking what emotional intelligence even is. Emotional intelligence includes: reading social cues, self-motivation, delaying gratification, coping with life’s ups and downs, managing relationships, decision making and problem solving. Research has shown that kids who score higher in emotional intelligence are better able to adapt and thrive both at home, school, and of course in the future.  

Carter was excited to try it out!!

Carter explores movement after landing on a "Do" card.
EQtainment has an On the Go Pack of fun where you can pick cards to quiz your kiddos on their ideas and feelings. It's small and portable but offers lots of entertainment or should I say EQtainment. This set is a great discussion starter and with us has led to really interesting conversations! I love that I can word the questions different with my 4 year old versus my 7 year old so everyone gets the most out of it. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Robot Fun with Ozobot!

I was recently lucky enough to be chosen to receive an Ozobot starter kit to share. I wasn't familiar with Ozobot at first but Im' a huge fan of STEM learning and activities. Ozobot is described as a small robot toy that helps your child become a maker of technology who learns some computer science basics.

Ozobot really is all about play. The start kit comes with paper activities, a protective sheet, stickers, and markers. In addition it can be used with a few available apps and an iPad. The Ozobot website even has more games which can be replayed over and over again just by printing. You can learn about all of the play option on their website here.

Ozobot itself is a small robot about the size of a normal bouncy ball. It comes with some paper and sticker decoration that help make the various games even more exciting and decorative for littler ones. My 4 year old loves customizing Ozobot when it's his turn but my almost 7 year old is more interested in the actual game not the accessories.

How it works?
It's a bit hard to describe but using colors (marker, sticker, etc) you can program the Ozobot to drive itself various ways. There are functions for jump codes and more too.

The Ozobot website also has links and information for teachers to use for lesson plans in the classroom.

So far we've loved sharing Ozobot with the grade schoolers in small groups. The boys are figuring out that if they don't create the marker lines correctly (too thick or too thin for example) their robot won't work. It's great seeing them trouble shoot to make it all work. Boy Scouts and after school playdates have been even more fun with robots!!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Grippies - Sensory Toy for Infants and Toddlers

I was lucky enough to be chosen to host  Grippies party. As part of the host kit Guidecraft sent their amazing sensory stimulating building blocks.
These are targeted to toddlers (18mo+) as a first building block. They are magnetic and easily attach and disconnect. The ball shape pieces are covered in a nice soft rubber coating that makes them less destructive if they're' whipped at your head or window by an overactive kiddo... ask me how I know! The longer connector pieces have different texture soft rubber making them easy to grip and handle. Oliver has been a huge fan since the day he first saw the toy arrive in the mail! His big brothers get in on the action all the time too!

We took our Grippies set on our recent Adirondacks get away and it was one of the favorite toys while hanging out on the screened in porch! It helped soften the pain of being told you can't explore outside on your own 20' from a lake when you're 18 months old!

If you're looking to start introducing STEM concepts and enjoy sensory and tactile exploration give Grippies a try. You'll be surprised if you check out Guidecraft's website at all the innovative and modern toys they now offer!

After our vacation and introducing Grippies to friends on our trip we shared our Grippies with our MOMS Club! They are a keeper and will be out at our playdates for a long time to come.

Monday, July 18, 2016

T-fal and time!

Life has been busy even though it's still summer break. Just a week before our long planned family vacation Oliver, then Carter, followed by Nolan all came down with hand foot and mouth disease. While they recovered in time to be cleared to head to the beach, it put a damper on our planned vegetable party with friends to highlight T-fal's new line of fun kitchen gadgets. Instead of hosting our veggie share playdate in mid July, we had to bump it to early August. That darn contagious virus!!

 I still want to share the new Ingenio line now in July with everyone and will come back and post pictures from the playdate. At our party, every mom is bringing along a favorite fresh veggie and we'll clean, prep, and chop them for the kids to explore and taste.

Included in the pack to share and show friends was the following:
T-fal Ingenio Rapid Chopper
T-fal Ingenio Micro Edge Peeler
T-fal Ingenio 4 Quart Bowl
T-fal Zen 6” Utility Knife
T-fal Ingenio Tripod Strainer
• Good Cook Poly Cutting Board

I've been using each ever since with lots of luck. Some of the highlights of each gadget include the small gouging piece on the side of the edge peeler which helps pop out potato eyes. My favorite, no surprise, is the hand powered rapid chopper. I made a fun video highlighting how well it works! I ALWAYS break the small electric choppers so this is the perfect replacement. It quickly prepped nuts for our salad. 

Knives are another gadget I need more of in my kitchen. Surprisingly we've never purchased a nice set and only have a mis match of non sharp knives. The 6" Zen utility knife has been great for prepping lunches for the kids. I chop veggies and fruit in no time and the cutting board has made for easy cleanup. 

If you thought T-fal was just pans you're going to be surprised! Check out their entire Ingenio line and more online at


Monday, May 9, 2016

IO Block building and play

Thanks to Tryazon and Guidecraft, the boys and I were able to try out the new IO Blocks and share them with our MOMS Club friends. We've been using them for building, counting, and more in our weekly TotSchool besides having a fun technology and IO Block playdate. 

IO Blocks are made from a soft rubber like material and snap together in various ways. Each set has 12 shapes of blocks and those shapes comes in 6 different colors. They can be slid up and down various pieces and aren't static like legos for instance. Guidecraft calls it a friction sit system which makes perfect sense. This allow open ended play and building. The blocks pair technology with fun, hands-on building through their App. You know my boys are app obsessed just like their iOS developer dad so this was amazing. 

The block set comes with durable cards showing models an ideas of what can be built and with a blank "tracker" card. Using the app and this tracker card you can get additional ideas front he app, see a model in 3D and get custom building tips.
Here in this photo you can see the tracker card and the app displaying a model I chose. Now using the App I can get detailed instructions on how to build. I have to admit it seemed slightly complicated for me but even my 6yr old jumped in and understood it within seconds. I love that when I'm being asked if they can please play on phones I can say yes now and still insure they are doing more than just vegetating on the couch!

IO blocks have a vehicle accessory pack coming soon that the boys have seen and are begging for!  This new set of 48 pieces comes with bumpers, spoilers, cabins, wheels and more. An IO Blocks® Hero figure is included too.  

I love waking up to see them playing bright and early instead of just wanting to watch a show. 

Sharing IO With our friends! They have been loved and tested here with kids ranging in age from 15mo to 8 years old! 
Overall I'm a huge fan and love the sturdiness of this set of blocks. They have been in our house for over 3 weeks now and there isn't a day that goes by that they aren't played with. Right now here is my via as I type this post! These are equally as loved as legos here and I love that they are unique! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Healthy Eating, Healthy Life

Although I try not to post on it too much, I have small sized children who aren't great eaters. They aren't picky in the sense that they will only consume junk food or a specific brand of something. They just don't ever eat much. If they fill up on non nutritive items first, the healthy stuff will get skipped. I've worked with my friend Chew Chew Mama and have seen nutritionists and dietitians with our local children's hospitals because along with their eating habits they are very small. We now know some tips for better success at meals and work on getting each bite to matter calorie and nutrition wise.

I recently saw Fresh Baby products and thought they might be a fun tool in our arsenal of feeding gadgets, toys, and equipment. Fresh Baby has a line of toddler/preschooler eating plates and utensils that highlight proper nutrition and help engage your child in the meal process. Their 4-piece set  comes with a partitioned plate, sturdy plastic meal guide, bowl, and big kid cup with nice lid.

I have to say the big kid cup turned out to be one of our favorite pieces. My kids usually have sippy cups at the table, yes even my 6 year old, because they aren't careful and knock over their cup 4.7-million times each meal. This cup doesn't have a spout or anything "babyish" but stops full spills while still teaching them to drink with normal mouth movements. Win win!!

The plastic guide that comes with the set has been a fun teaching tool. At our weekly TotSchool last week and at home afterwards we talked about nutrition. The kids learned different food groups and while looking at the divider plate and food guide picked out their favorite foods from each category. Then they drew pictures of their favorite foods. Lunch that day, Carter picked many of his favorites too!

The guide and plate support the USDA My Plate program and give serving size examples. 

We also use the Fresh Baby cutlery set with travel case. It has preschool appropriately sized fork, spoon, and knife in a cute neoprene like zip container to take with you on the go. The knife is child safe and was a huge hit. Even my 6 year old was jealous his brother has a new knife to use. Carter spent time cutting up items (and then eating them) he normal wouldn't touch or eat just to get to use the knife. 

I love adding new tools and fun instruments that make meal time easier for us. I tried Fresh Baby through a promotional program that sent me the items in exchange for a blog post detailing our usage. No compensation was received and all opinions and ideas are all my own! If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. You can find your own sets of this BPA free meal time fun on Amazon. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Meal Plan Monday

Here's what's for dinner!!

   Sloppy Joes with veggies

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Baby Hair!!

All three of my kids have had crazy hair as babies and it's so much fun. We used to say Nolan at 2-3mo had a Trump comb over. When the crazy politics started this campaign season, I knew my thoughts to make a "Trump Hair, Don't Care" shirt for the kids was over. I wouldn't want to be associated with Trump and his cause. Luckily other policiticans have bad hair too!! Thin, crazy, and long baby hair!!! I present Oliver in his designed by momma, digitized by momma, and stitched by momma shirt!!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Mothers on the Move, Mo+m

I love showcasing baby carriers here on my blog since they are such a huge part of our life. It's even more amazing when I can share one that is both a great priced gateway baby carrier and perfect for seasoned baby wearers who just want one more! I saw the Mo+m carrier and was afraid it was too good to be true so I contacted Mothers on the Move and asked about reviewing it for my readers. I have to say I'm really really impressed!!

As with any hobby, once you get "hooked" you realize the wide variety of prices out there.  Baby carriers are no different. Some are handwoven or machine sewn and not mass produced leading to such differences. It's hard to sell someone, who has never worn their baby but is interested in trying it out, on a $200 baby carrier. That's where Mothers on the Move comes in. Available on Amazon, with Prime shipping even for just $39.95 right now this carrier is definitely in the right price range to be recommended a lot.

I have posted before on my blog about the problems with buying a baby carrier from Amazon. Many times Amazon allows third party vendors to sell items and there is no oversight as to whether the are compliant with US laws. Baby carriers are actually a huge market for knock offs which haven't been tested or rated safe. I feel really passionate about only ever recommending CPSIA, BCIA compliant carriers and Mo+m is both! This carrier is ASTM F2236 - 14 & CPSIA Sec.101 certified and the products have been checked for Cal Prop 65 elements

In addition, when purchased form valid retailers (Amazon is one) there is a lifetime warranty on the carrier. I am sitting here today with a handmade and very expensive baby carrier that started to wear (there's an actual hole!) after very minimal use. I contacted the manufacturer and the response I got today was that it was just cosmetic not structural as only the outer decorative fabric has the wear hole so carrier could be used still. No mention of the fact that poor design led to this issue and now my expensive carrier I planned to still have value for resale once I was finished with it is worthless. Very disappointing and something that wouldn't happen if it also had a warranty.

Now for the fun features of the carrier. I have the Mo+m® Classic Cotton 3 Position Baby Carrier which has a mesh cooling vent, removable hood, and pocket in Navy.  

Here you can see the pocket open. It's large enough when expanded to hold my wallet and cell phone plus a disposable diaper. Game changer!!

Hood has been unsnapped here and is in it's front stash pocket. The large zippered pocket is behind that. 

The mesh cooling vent is open. It doesn't come completely off the carrier so no worries about loosing it but it opens to vent and add circulation to baby's back. 

Here carrier is snapped as it might be when wrong. You can see the chest clip is sturdy and glides along the webbing which keeps it in place. 

inside view of carrier showing mesh area. It's laying on my Lenny Lamb baby size carrier for comparison. It can produce a nice ergonomic seat! 

It's definitely similar in seat size to an ERGObaby carrier and lets you get a proper M-position seating  through infancy up to toddlerhood. It's comfy and great for the wearer too. The hood is perfect in that it's removable which leads to all sorts of fun customizable options too!! I know my Tula hoods are pimped and accessorized and this one is the next I plan to make our own.

Here is Oliver's seat. The base is 12" wide and O gets great support. 

At 14mo Oliver is able to go arms out if he wants or tuck them in for snuggles. 
The Mo+m is rated for babies between 12 lbs and 36 lbs.

If you're nearby and would like to see it in person just send me a message! I love sharing the baby wearing love!

I received this carrier in order to complete my review. No compensation was taken and all opinions are my own. Have a question? Ask away!!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sunday Suppers

Getting my meal plan published a day early for this week!! We have a busy week with lot sod appointment and plans so early on in the week I need to rely on my crockpot a bunch! Those are handy recipes I have made forever so no real recipe to follow but if you need some help just comment and I'll come up with one.

     Marinated Baked Chicken with Curried Couscous
    Crockpot Meatball Subs
  Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie
  Mexican Black Bean Pasta
  Roasted Tomatillo Curry with Pita Bread and Hummus

Friday, March 4, 2016

Carseat Safety... again!

If you pay any attention to my posts here or blog posts, you know I am passionate about PROPER carseat usage. That includes keeping your child in the appropriate seat for their age AND size but also using it properly. Unless you've spent time reading your carseat manual and looking at the key items for a proper install there is a high chance your seat is installed incorrectly. Why does that matter? It's physics and engineering. They are designed to save lives when used properly and have been tested to save lives when used properly. Install them properly and it's anyones guess how safe your little one truly is.

Quick facts... if you're going to bug out of this post soon and are assuming you're doing it all correct at least check these out.

  • Chest clip needs to be positioned across the sternum lined up with the top of the armpit. Incorrect positioning can cause internal organ damage in an accident!
  • Straps need to be tight. Pinch along the top of the straps and if you can get any slack your child isn't secure.
  • NO thick coats in carseats. Install your child with their coat on and take the coat off and reinstall if there is any difference in the amount of harness length needed the coat is too bulky to be worn in a carseat. It can compress in an accident leading to ejection.
  • Rear face to a MINIMUM of 2yrs old. Bones ossify closer to three and your child is significantly safer rear facing to four and beyond (to the limits of your carseat and high capacity rear facing seats are now easily available).

If the above facts are no brainers for you please still read on.
  • Harness strap positioning – When in a rear facing seat the harness shoulder straps should be adjusted so that they come out of the back of the carseat at a position that is at or below your child's shoulders. When forward facing it's opposite and the harness shoulder straps should be adjusted so that they come out of the back of the carseat at a position that is above your child's shoulders. Improperly positioning the harness straps changes the amount of force you child's small body will receive in an accident! That's directly related to how injured they would be.
  • Top tether – ALL forward facing carseats should be installed using the included top tether. This affects how much rebound your child's head receives in the case of an accident. 
Additional safety precautions such as placement of any car seat headrests, bracing (touching) against other car chairs, when to use LATCH versus seatbelt (never do both!), guidelines for replacing after an accident, and more is all important, can change by car seat manufacturer and car manufacturer. Even after thoroughly researching car seats I learn more all the time. Please do your research and keep your baby, toddler, preschooler, and child SAFE!!

Check out Car Seats for the Littles for even more great info!!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Healthy Baby Home Party

Many of you have asked in the past how I am lucky enough to get to share fun, healthy finds with my friends. One opportunity you might qualify for is the Seventh Generation Healthy Baby Home Party.

What is a Healthy Baby Home Party? 
Seventh Generation's home parties are powered by people like you who are focused on creating a healthy environment for the next generation. Developed with input from non-profit partner, Healthy Child Healthy World, they are a great way to get together with friends, share helpful information, and make an impact!
Healthy Baby Home Party kits are provided to all selected hosts and are filled with educational info about our environment, helpful tips, a fun game, and samples and coupons from Seventh Generation and other favorite family-friendly brands like bobble, Plum Organics and Zarbee's Naturals.
What is the Application Process?
  • Sign up at here to join the Generation Good community, or log in if already a members

If chosen, you'll received free samples in exchange for sharing with your friends! I've submitted my application and hope to get picked again too!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Mealplan Monday

... a day early!! Here's our menu for the week!! Remember you can always modify the recipes to your families needs. Purchase all organic, swap out creamed soups for homemade sauces, spice it up a bit! This is our inspiration, not our exact recipe list.

   Ham and Cheese Tortellini Bake with Peas

   Cajun Shrimp Casserole 

   Black Bean Quinoa Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

   Crockpot Beef Stroganoff 

   Chicken Enchiladas Verdes with refried beans

How do you make your own "Cream of Soups" you may ask. Wellness Mama has a great recipe for one that can be a starting point. I tend to start with onions, garlic, a bit of butter, and fresh milk and go from there.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Chore Tracker

My six year old is in a phase where he asks for lots of items. It's frustrating but many of them are recurring things he gets really obsessed with. Luckily he never got into the craze of watching people open toys on YouTube but instead he watches people build Lego sets. That leads to lots of "I want a set like that," comments. His current love is an Angry Birds set coming out in the spring and it's not just a whim it's something he mentions every single day. In the past, I've always answered we could talk about it when it's Christmastime or your birthday. Now though he knows that's a long ways off and both occur with the 2 months of each other. We don't really buy items or toys throughout the year so we felt it might be time to give him a way to earn some things.

I'm also conflicted when it comes to allowances. Lots of things he needs to do because he's part of the family and we all work together. At the same time though, I want to slowly instill some work ethics and let him work towards a goal. I know if I were to say, "clean the playroom and you can earn $1" it wouldn't just magically happen. Nolan is an amazing help but works best when I have specific tasks I call him for throughout the day. I search Pinterest for ideas and asked friends how to convert this to a reward/chore system.

In the end, I came up with this chore punch card.

It's something we can keep downstairs in the kitchen where we usually work out of and when he's been helpful or asks to earn some money I can simply grab it and punch out a reward afterwards. Our goal is that he can earn a maximum of $5 per week. That means there are 20 punches each worth a quarter. Things he does now that are helpful include bringing down carious loads of laundry, taking out recycling, and cleaning up specific items as I point them out. He's earning just small amounts at a time so he doesn't get an inflated sense of what his efforts are worth and it's small enough that he doesn't have to work for long periods of time and get burnt out. We'll see how it goes and post back in a few weeks!!

Would you like to try out the chore punch card for yourself? It's available for download free here.  Four fit on each standard sheet of paper and I plan to print onto cardstock and laminate!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Tula Love and where to get your own pretty carrier accessories!

So I've been asked a few times this year to help embellish baby carrier hoods and suck pads. It was fun but I hadn't done one for myself in a while so I couldn't resist turning this Tula, Treasure Hunt print, into my own!!

The rest of this blog post will show some other accessories I've created. If you're looking to have your carrier accessorized, check out my friend at Ghently Made Creations and all she can create! You might even get a "digitized by me" embroidery design on your accessory!!

A few years back I accessorized my Tula, toddler Rockets, shortly before churning it. 

Added suck pads to my Kinderpack carrier.

My handmade hood and reach straps with embroidery fully digitized and stitched by me. Now I need to finish the carrier to go with it for our own little Green Arrow, Oliver Q. 

A Tula hood I accessorized for a friend.

As mentioned up top here are some great collections from Ghently Made Creations. I digitized (made the embroidery file) for these two but Christina created (stitched the hoods themselves and then embellished and embroidered the designs) them all!! Be sure to visit her page!!

Wear all the babies!!! Don't forget to follow me on Instagram so you can see our baby wearing in action pics daily!