Friday, June 19, 2015

Minbie bottle & nipple review

post signatureWhen I was given the chance to review the Minbie nipple (and bottle) I was thrilled. As a mom to a breastfeeding baby, I am exhausted. But as a mom to a breastfeeding baby who won't take a bottle, I am fried. I knew the second I saw the photos of the Minbie that this would be worth a shot!

When we opened it, I was so ecstatic to find that they mailed it to us all the way from Australia! How awesome is that?!

When we opened it, the bag had a nice letter from Minbie. A bottle (which I had no idea was coming!) and a 3+ month nipple. The bottles are available in either 120ml glass or a 210ml BPA-free plastic bottle. The nipple is made from high quality silicone. They are available in a wide range of flows from x-tra slow for your newborn to advanced for your baby who is 6 months or more. The newborn feeding kit is perfect as a gift or first time mom. It includes a plastic bottle and slow flow nipple.


 I right off the bat was very intrigued by the design - it's an elongated nipple that seems so much like breastfeeding, I was really excited!

 So was Palmer, apparently. Because I had barely pulled it from the packaging when she scooped it up and started sucking on it! I have given her a bottle three separate times now, each time from the Minbie, and each time she has drank it like a champ! The Minbie has helped our non-bottle-taking 9-month-old to take a bottle as if she has had one since 9 weeks! Fabulous!

I liked this diagram the best from the Minbie website, to show just exactly WHY Minbie is a better nipple design that other bottles. Why it's best for a baby transitioning to a bottle. Or even a baby transitioning FROM the bottle to be breastfed. I think the best part is the elongated nipple - it sits farther back in the mouth, just like a mother's nipple does! We are only a few weeks in, and the real test comes when she takes the bottle from someone besides me! Hopefully all goes as smoothly as it has thus far. If you have a baby struggling to take a bottle, you should order the Minbie here. If you have a baby you have been supplementing for some time and want to wean back to the breast, you should order the Minbie too!

I haven't recorded her yet drinking from it, because life with four kiddos is pretty chaotic, but I will tonight and add it to the blog! Thanks again Minbie for the amazing product to review!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit

When given the chance to review the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit, I was pretty excited! I have heard nothing but good things about it on my birth boards, and a quick google search made me realize it's the topic of many discussions on mom-sites. "MMSS", "Magic sleepsuit????", "Help! Is the Merlin Magic Sleepsuit really worth it?" were just a few of the many topics I came across while looking up what it was. Was it possible that a zip-up, "snowsuit" looking outfit could help a non-sleeping baby sleep? Would it help improve Palmer's sleep when she was going through a growth spurt? Would I screw things up by getting one for my already-sleeps-through-the-night 5 month old? What's so awesome about the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit? Would baby overheat in it? Was it safe? Is it going to be counteractive to the already safe-sleep practices we use in our home? (she only has a fitted sheet on her crib, and pre-Merlin, went down, on her back in an Aden + Anais swaddle blanket)

The day we received our sleepsuit in the mail, I was pretty excited. I won't lie - we had some giggles over the marshmallow-man effect it gave Palmer. It looks hilarious. First night down, I put her inside of it in just her diaper (the video is her first night) I carried her up and laid her in her crib right after the video. Let me warn you - I did not rehearse or practice, and I am apparently NOT the greatest at video reviews. But I know that I needed to get this blog posted before the info left my mind, so I am sharing the video anyway, in it's not-so-awesome, mumbling glory.


She slept awesome! No stirring around the normal 5:30 am timeframe like she usually does! She slept until just before my 7:30 am alarm went off! Amazing! She did wake up with chilly cheeks, hands, and feet, though. So I made a mental note to put socks on next time.

Night 2: I placed Palmer into the sleepsuit in just a onesie. My babies tend to sleep warm, and I didn't want to overheat her, so we tried it with a onesie this time. My only complaint from that night was her poor toes were so cold in the morning, again. I had forgotten to put her socks on after getting her into the suit! So the next night, we did a onesie and SOCKS. In the morning, around 5:30, she woke up to eat, and her legs had somehow gotten pulled up, into the sleepsuit. Bummer! I thought of how annoying that was going to be each night, to have to reach up into the tiny leg hole and pull her legs back down.

Night 3: Palmer went down in a onesie (and socks this time!) and slept 6 hours. Fantastic! She hasn't been feeling well, so I am not surprised she awoke after a mere 6 hours, but I honestly wonder if we would have even had THREE hours had she not been zipped up in the comfort of her new Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit. Cheeks and toes were a bit chilly, so apparently I just need to learn to up my thermostat for our bedroom temp. Palmer sleeps in her crib, which is against our bedroom window.

Night 4: After the cold feet/cold cheeks night, I decided to go ahead and give her a try in the sleepsuit in a light sleeper. We followed the same routine we always do - feed her around 9:00pm, and by 9:30, she is drowsy and zipped up, ready to lay down. She slept amazing that night too, however, when she woke up around 7:00, she was a little sweaty. I do know my kids are warm sleepers, so I expected this, but wanted to have a good comparison of the different ways she went down in it, to help with this review. So I know for me personally, she runs a little cool in just a diaper, a little hot in footed sleepers, and just right in a onesie, provided she has socks to keep those toes warm!

I love the snugness and warmth it provides to my daughter, and honestly, I feel she does too. I know that's the reason she sleeps fantastic when in the sleepsuit, no matter what she's wearing. Many nights, when she wakes up for the first time, she is frantic and fussing. When I get to her crib, she has busted out of the comfort of her swaddle and has one arm out and the unraveled the blanket and it's sitting on her face! The Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit has eliminated that scared-to-death, pit-in-my-stomach feeling I've gotten several mornings (or middle of the nights) when I wake up to her with a blanket on her face, wriggling to get out from under it.

I can imagine the Merlin would have been a great addition to our family several weeks ago! It's been a lifesaver for a baby who is slowly learning how to break out of the swaddle, but not yet ready to sleep in her crib without something swaddling her.

Maureen is the brilliant mind behind the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit. She is a mother of 4, and a pediatric physical therapist. When her own son wasn't sleeping well in his crib at night, she created the Magic Sleepsuit to stimulate the calming, comforting environment of his car seat, where he slept soundly. The sleepsuit is designed to replace loose bedding a promote back sleeping, giving baby a wonderfully peaceful environment to sleep in. It reduces their reflexes, which in turn helps them stay sleeping longer periods of time. Made from a soft microfleece outer-layer and a soft cotton inner-layer, sandwiched between the two is a layer of poly-fil, the awesome combination makes a just-right sleep environment for baby. Best of all? As a mom of four, I can't imagine how difficult this product would be if it had one, centered zipper or wasn't machine washable. However, it IS machine washable (win!) and also has a DOUBLE zipper which not only makes getting Palmer into and out of the suit a breeze, but diaper changes are fantastically easy too!

It comes in several different color choices and is affordable at the price of $39.95.

There are so many reasons why the sleepsuit is a great addition to our home. The main one? Fantastic sleep! With sleep, everything else falls into place. When Palmer isn't sleeping, I am not sleeping, and when mama isn't sleeping? Well, chaos ensues. So thanks so much to the Baby Merlin's Magical Sleepsuit for eliminating the chaos!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fulcrum Gallery {www.fulcrumgallery.com}

When I was contacted by Fulcrum Gallery to review one of their art pieces, I was super excited! Our home has a few photos here and there, but I have been wanting to add something new for quite some time!

When browsing their website, I wasn't lost or overwhelmed in the slightest. In fact, the website is very clear and concise, making ordering a piece easy for someone such as my grandmother. The categories are defined, and there are beautiful thumbnail images available of each piece. FulcrumGallery has something for everybody - from 
Cappiello to Van Gogh, the art you'll find will make you happy, regardless of what you're looking for.

I was leaning towards a beautiful Mary Cassatt piece, like that ones I had hanging in my bedroom as a child. When I realized my dad may very well still have those Mary Cassatt prints, I decided to go with something different. We wanted a religious piece of artwork, and found something that fit our family as perfectly as the creme filling goes with an Oreo.

We decided on this one: "At The Helm" by Danny Hahlbohm.

My husband was Active Duty for the United States Navy, and I also happen to struggle with mental health issues, including severe depression, so you can see why this piece fits our family perfectly! It is hanging proudly in our living room at the bottom of our staircase.

When I ordered from the website, it was so easy and self-explanatory. There was no second-guessing or trying to make sure I was getting what I thought I was getting. It was CLEAR AS DAY that I ordered the print that I did, in a 23 by 19 inch, with a black frame and white mat. Simple as that. There are other options, of course. Silver frame. Gold frame. Even a canvas! The options are endless! I realized AFTER placing my order, that there are other options besides the "suggested" ones. Seriously - frame of almost any color or type. Black, brown, cherry, gold, silver, or natural. There are gallery wraps, unstretched canvas, and more! Go check out their website and see if something catches your eye!

Once I had ordered, I patiently waited and received the confirmation email shortly after placing my order. Then shortly after that, received the email that my piece had shipped! In seemingly no time at all, it was here. On my doorstep. I lugged it into the living room and sat it down, ever-so-gently against the couch.

I sat and stared at the large box, wondering if I had ordered a bigger size that I realized. It sat in my living room for a day, because I knew I needed help from hubby and with 4 kids - I knew once it was open, it had to go straight onto our wall. So there it sat. For almost 30 hours. Untouched. It was like Christmas - you can look at all your gifts under the tree. You can pick them up and shake them to try and guess what was inside. But you can't do anything else with them until Christmas morning. FINALLY hubby had time home and I had a free minute to sit down, sans kids, and open it up.

It was even more awesome in person than I could have imagined! Impeccable quality! I can not say enough fantastic things about FulcrumGallery. The customer service is fantastic, the ease-of-ordering is just that: EASY! The quality of the photo, plexiglass, and framing is fantastic! There is merely no other word to describe how happy and satisfied by them I am. Our photo came with a nifty hanging "lip" and an extra one, just in case. I also am impressed that it is hand-signed by the framer who put our piece together. Just one simple personal touch, that shows they go above and beyond with the effort they put into the pieces of artwork.

I barely touched on any other pieces available at FulcrumGallery, but there are SO many. I can't say it enough - you WILL find something you like at their website, simply because of the diversity of products they have available purchase. Some of the MANY things they have for purchase {the descriptions are on the website, I've shared them here} include:

Word Art

Seasonal Art

There is one more awesome part of FulcrumGallery - and that is their Satisfaction Guarantee. They are so certain that you'll be happy with your product, but even if you maybe dislike it or something happened during shipping, they have a return policy that is again, above and beyond. Thirty days - no questions ask. All you pay is shipping.

Any questions? Still wondering how it works? Is there something my particular review didn't cover that has you wondering? Go check out the Frequently Asked Questions section or feel free to shoot them an email!

Thanks so much to FulcrumGallery for the new addition to our home. It will be oohed and ahhhed over for many years to come. We have already had SO many compliments on it, and I love being able to share the website so they can get their own beautiful, affordable piece of art.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


When I was asked by Kidecals to review their fantastic labels, I was pretty excited! I love labels. They’re the best for organizing things. Keeping track of things that belong to our family and kids tend to lose. Keeping my sanity with things in our pantry or my craft supplies. Soooo many aspects of my life! I think a regular plain Jane label in general is awesome. However, Kidecals? They are the Ferrari of labels!

• Waterproof - meaning, yes, they can get wet. What kind of regular, printed-at-home label doesn’t get ruined completely with merely DRIPS of water, right? These are SO much better than those!

• Washing machine, dryer and dishwasher safe - wait, what?! You mean the kids’ sippy cups can have a personalized and oh-so-colorful label slapped on them and STILL go into the dishwasher?! CHECK

My kids’ soccer socks or jerseys or even soon-to-be-baby’s cloth diapers can be LABELED and WASHED and label stays intact?! Fantastically awesome!

We have been using our labels for about 8 weeks now, and I have not had the edge of ONE peel up. They are on EVERYTHING. Each of our soccer/outdoor balls (we have 7). Bikes so they don't ever go missing from the neighborhood. Soccer cleats. Shin guards. Baby carrier. My Nikon and carrying bag. My Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag and matching wipes case. Even the bottom of my MacBook has one. I wish I hadn't been dumb and ordered WATERPROOF address labels, because I don't like wasting them on boring envelopes. But I will tell you what, ANYTHING that gets left behind at a soccer game (favorite water bottle or a lone shin guard), dropped at the mall (daughter's stuffed animal), or left at church (books, sippy cup, or one of my son's beloved GeoTrax trains) we will have the item returned if the person who finds it takes the steps to mail it back or look me up on Facebook. I have an address label with contact info slapped onto the side of my daughters car seat (hidden out of view, so hopefully in the event of an accident, a police officer or firefighter will think to look under the fabric!)

My favorite place that I have a label stuck, that gets the most wear and tear out of all of them, however, has to be on my dogs collar. Yes, she already has an address tag, but it's a scan-able one from PetHub and is scuffed, so thank goodness for Kidecals, who provide labels that are water proof, dirt proof, dog-playing-in-the-mud and scratching-her-neck proof! It's been on her collar for about 7 weeks, and it's not showing ANY signs of coming off.

My next purchase with Kidecals will most definitely be labels for all the dry baking goods and some individualized labels for each of my four kids.

Kidecals doesn't stop there! They offer a wide variety of other labels that will blow you away with not only their durability, but their beauty! They are colorful, quirky, and unique. You'll be the talk of the town! Decorate your home with their Wall Decals or Chalkboard Labels. Organize your life. Prevent a bad allergic reaction with the Allergy Alert labels, or add some fun to your life with some Mustache Madness labels!

Send your kid to school with his/her own unique, personalized labels.
Gift a set of snazzy Keyboard Stickers to your sister or friend.

You can go here to sign up for their newsletter, *and* you’ll be rewarded with 15% off your first order of their delectable labels! Make sure you take a peek at Kidecals best selling labels and see if you find something you love!


*Disclosure: Kidecals provided me with the labels of my choice at no cost to me in exchange for a review. The ideas and opinions in this review are my own, honest thoughts on the product.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Aroma ADF-212 Smart Fry Digital Dual Basket Deep Fryer

Just recently, I got an Aroma Deep Fryer in the mail from amazon.com. I was so excited when it came! I seriously wanted to hug the FedEx lady! It is SO much bigger than I had anticipated! I used it twice just today, and I am in complete loooooove! First of all, it all comes apart, heating element comes out and everything! That to me is a definitive decision maker when it comes to purchasing a small appliance. When I have to take 3 hours just to clean out the cornbread batter from homemade corn dogs, that's pathetic. Do you know how long it took me to clean it out of the oil today? Probably not even 10 minutes. Seriously. It was that easy! All I did to get it completely cleaned out and ready to go next time was this:

1) Took off the lid.
2) Pulled out the heating element (which is connected to the controls).
3) Picked up the square enamel base.
4) Poured it through a paper-towel lined strainer.
5) Put it back together.
6) Dumped the strained, corn-dog-batter-bit free oil back in.

It was so fast and super easy. I hate fighting with all the little teeny itty bitty flecks of batter and breading that get lost in the vat of hot oil, so being able to get them out this easily was FABULOUS!

When it came to setting the temp after simply plugging it in and turning it on, on the Aroma Smart Fry Digital Fryer, that task was also very simple. I read that the controls for the temperature and timer can be difficult to use, but whoever that person was should have been reading "Digital Fryers For Dummies", because honestly, it was super duper simple, even if it does have 10 pre-programmed settings! You simply push the temp button until the temperature you'd like to fry up your donuts, fries, or breaded chicken in is blinking on the digital screen. I did notice that the steam that comes up through the lid can make for a bit of a scare when you're not thinking about it. I nearly screamed like my little brother when the steam burnt my hand as I went to turn off the timer. Ok, thank goodness you can't see my cheeks, yep, they're red, yes, it was a bit embarrassing, and yes it was stupid. Also, yes, it will probably happen again and again and again. haha :)

The amount of food this awesome heaven-sent appliance can hold is amazing. A whopping FOUR pounds. Yep. 4 pounds of tater-totty goodness. 4 pounds of deliciously salty, stringy Mozzarella sticks. Heck, thanks to the fact that it comes with not only one regular-sized basket, but three baskets, one regular-sized, and two deeper-edged ones, means if I really wanted to, I could make both tater tots AND Mozzarella sticks. At ONCE! I couldn't believe that it included three baskets. To me that's perfect, because the different things we fry sometimes can be combined, but other times, can't. Mozzarella sticks, for example, I don't care if mine stick to other Mozzarella sticks, but I definitely don't want them sticking to my chicken nuggets.

I am in love with the little (but big, for a fryer!) glass window on the lid, it didn't fog up either, when I made french fries, OR our favorite homemade corn dogs. The cool-touch handles on both the sides and the lid are great, especially for a frazzled mom like myself, that has, on numerous occasions grabbed un-hot-pad-covered pans that had been pulled from the oven just moments before. (Come on, I know I'm not the only one that's done that!) I am sure I could write a book, I am so in love. There really are many little things about my new fryer that seem to be "not that big of a deal" but when you wrap them all up into one shiny-surfaced, convenience-creator, it makes a difference. There are so many "pros" I've discovered, and I am sure I will eventually have a list of "cons" besides "Steam burned my hand when I went to adjust the timer" but for now, I am on Cloud 9.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Girly bows for your girly girl!


When I was approached by Michelle of Binga Bows to do a review, I almost said no, seeing that I haven 't given birth to any girls yet, just boys. As cute as my 3.5 year old would be with a colorful flower in his hair... I decided to give the bows to my sister-in-law, Melanie. My favorite thing about the bows, from the second we opened them, was the vibrant colors, quality material and the way they're put-together. Her favorite thing was the fact that they stayed in Macelynn's hair! They were the first bow she's come across that didn't slide out within minutes of being put in! What excitement that was! So, know that if your little girl has super-fine hair, the bows from Binga Bows may just work! There are five fabulous styles Binga Bows has to offer: Binga Bows, Binga Blossoms, Binga Clippies, Binga Beanies/headbands (perfect for your brand-new baby that may not have a lot of hair to clip a bow to!) and Binga Bow Holders. When I let Michelle know I'd love to review her bows, I couldn't believe how quickly she got the package to my home! It came packaged wonderfully, in a pretty fancy schmancy tissue paper stuffed box. It was fun to open it, looking at each beautiful bow as I took it out. Macelynn, my niece, looks absolutely fabulous in them. They match her girly personality perfectly! If you ever need super adorable, colorful, well-made bows for your daughter, and at a super affordable price, Binga Bows is the way to go! ♥ Also, if you're concerned about not finding one that matches your baby girls' new outfit, don't be concerned any longer! She offers a CUSTOM design service too!

Friday, September 4, 2009

As an avid cinnamon-flavoring LOVER, I have eaten and liked many different cinnamon flavored everything: hard candies, suckers, bears, gum, and Salt Water Taffy. Nothing, and I do mean nothing (with the exception of if somebody were to lick the lid of cinnamon flavoring oil), comes even CLOSE to being as delicious, chewy, and best of all: HOT and CINNAMON-Y as Jelly Belly Unbearably Hot Cinnamon Bears! They're my new addiction. After a trip to your Chicago factory 3 weeks ago, where I purchased two bags, I discovered and ate these bears for the first time. I'm hooked. Where have they been my whole life?! Jelly Belly has created a product that not only tastes perfectly wonderful, but is packaged fabulously and is a reasonable price too!

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