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Product Review

Friday Favorites: Playing with Lamaze

I recently had a chance to review a few Lamaze products on the Walmart(.com) website. Caity loved them so much I wanted to share our experiences with them here. Overall they are an adorable set of small toys that are great for travel, the car seat, and stroller. With a reasonable price tag and exception quality the attention to detail, use of bold colors, and engaging nature are a perfect combination.

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Freddie the Firefly Peekaboo Book

Caity loves crinkle fabric and this book has a ton of it. It’s a perfect size for the stroller or car seat and keeps her entertained for a while. The colors are vibrant and catch her eye as she plays around with it. The story is pretty cute and my son loves “reading” it to her. On the back Lamaze included some benefits of reading to your child, using the book, play ideas with it, and information on the 12-18 month development stage. I thought that was a nice touch.

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My First Fishbowl

I absolutely adore this toy and so does Caity. The fish, oyster, crab, and star fish are small and squishy, the perfect size for small hands. Each makes a unique sound which keeps her entertained for quite a while. She loves looking at their faces and I even think she is talking to them sometimes. The little aquarium, which is soft flexible plastic, houses all the pieces and is fun for my daughter to play with. We’ve also started using it with my son to teach him about sea animals and how to take care of an aquarium. It’s a great learning opportunity without the risk of losing a friend.    

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My Friend Emily

This is one of Caity’s favorite dollies. She really seems to respond to her life like features and bold colors. The bottom of her dress and feet have the crinkle fabric she is addicted too. She also has a necklace and rings dangling from her hand that are perfect to teeth on. There is a hook at the top to secure her to the stroller or car seat so she doesn’t get lost. Her legs are very soft and crunchy for cuddling. Emily overall is the perfect size for my 11 month old to play with. Large enough for her to grab on and cuddle with but small enough that it is extremely light weight. We are currently trying to teach her to hug her.


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Flip Flap Dragon

I have to admit I think I love this one more than Caity. The colors are bold really catching her eye, especially the purple wings. When you pull on the ring the dragons wings actually flap. Each leg, the stomach, and wings all have different textures, fabrics, and sounds including the crinkle noise. It’s small and light fitting perfectly on a stroller, shopping cart, or in the car seat.

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Nuby Squeeze n’ Squeak Teether Review

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Caity never really took to a pacifier so I have noticed she likes to chew a lot more on her toys than Parker. I like to have a few toys in each room to keep her occupied when I need to get dressed or make dinner. We have always been a fan of Nuby’s teethers and I was so excited when Nuby sent us the Squeeze n’ Squeak Elephant to try out in exchange for my honest review. As always, all reviews are 100% are my own and I never recommend a product I do not use myself or with my family.

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The colorful and animated characters are appealing to baby while the variety of textures help soothe sore gums.

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There are several rings and hoops that make it easy for little hands to grab a hold. Caity likes holding on and flinging it around, especially when her brother is bothering her.

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The Squeeze n’ Squeak Teether is appropriate for ages 3 months, BPA-free, and is currently available at Walmart for $5.97.

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Nuby ReviewsFlip-It™ Easy Grip | Splish Splash™ Stacking Cups | Tub Time Turtle™ | Easy Clean™ Soap Dispensing Brush | Snack Keeper™  | Teethers | Medical Kit | Step Up Stool | Hot Safe™ Feeding Spoons | Booster Seat | No-Spill™ Insulated Flip-it™ | Clik-it™ Insulated No-Spill™ Cool Sipper | Nûby™ Tear-Free Rinse Pail | Travel Set | Toddler Toothbrush & Toothpaste | 3-Stage Teether Set

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Nuby 3 Stage Teether Set Review

I am having a hard time facing the fact that my little baby is growing up. Although I can try to deny it until the cows some home it’s impossible to ignore the obvious signs of teething. The drool, irritability, need to chew on everything, and the occasional fever. Yep, my little girl is teething. Crap!

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We have always been a fan of Nuby’s teethers and were excited when they sent us the 3-Stage Theether Set to try out in exchange for my honest review. As always, all reviews are 100% are my own and I never recommend a product I do not use myself or with my family.

Stage 1: Teethe-eez Super Soft Teether
Since she is just in the beginning stages of teething we have been using the Teethe-eez Super Soft Teether designed for babies 0+ months. The soft texture of the bristles provides a delicate comfort to Caity’s gums. When it’s time, the design will help assist the process when her teeth begin to break the skin. She is still a little too young to hold it herself, although she sure tries, so we do it for her. Of course that means we get covered in drool in the process!

Stage1 v3Stage 2: Softees Soft Silicone Teether
We are about ready to introduce this next teether which stimulates the lips and tongue to help with the transition to chewing. The Softees Soft Silicone Teether has different textures on each nub for different sensations and more places to grab a hold as she develops her fine motor skills.

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Stage 3: Softees Hard & Soft Teether
Eventually we will introduce this next one to Caity, around 6 months, which has more of a dual surface to massage and soothe sore gums and reach those back teeth. The Softess Hard & Soft teether is lightweight and easy to handle.

nubysofteesThe 3-Stage Teether Set also comes with a travel pack of Nuby All Natural Pacifier and Teether Wipes. These are perfect for the diaper bag when you need to do a quick disinfecting on the go! You can purchase the 3-Stage Teether Set at Walmart.com for about $13 and Target.com for about $15 in two different colors.

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Nuby ReviewsFlip-It™ Easy Grip | Splish Splash™ Stacking Cups | Tub Time Turtle™ | Easy Clean™ Soap Dispensing Brush | Snack Keeper™  | Teethers | Medical Kit | Step Up Stool | Hot Safe™ Feeding Spoons | Booster Seat | No-Spill™ Insulated Flip-it™ | Clik-it™ Insulated No-Spill™ Cool Sipper | Nûby™ Tear-Free Rinse Pail | Travel Set | Toddler Toothbrush & Toothepaste

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Stocking Stuffer Ideas: IQ Twist

Although I am not a huge fan of cold weather I absolutely love the Christmas season. Candles in the windows, hot chocolate, fires by the fire place, and spending time with family and friends. My favorite though has to be shopping for the stockings.

“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nick soon would be there.”

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Special thanks to SmartGames for providing me with an IQ Twist for review. All opinions are my own and I never recommend a product I won’t use myself or with my family.

Along with some practical and fun items I always like to find a small puzzle or brain teaser for my Dad. He plays a lot of games on his iPad but it is fun to have something in your hands to play with. As luck would have it, one of the wonderful goodies I walked away with while attending Blogger Bash this past summer was IQ Twist. After trying it out I knew it would be perfect for him!

SmartGames are fun, multi-level logic games and puzzles for one player. IQ Twist received the 2012 Best New Puzzle Award from Games Magazine. You can check out more of their award winning products here.

Although small in nature, this game is packed with 100 challenges to keep you for quite some time. IQ Twist challenges start off “easy” and get progressively harder working through a Starter, Junior, Expert, Master, and Wizard level.

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To start each challenge remove all of the squiggle pieces and pegs. Using the challenge as reference, match the appropriate color pegs and squiggle piece on the board.

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To complete the challenge you must place every squiggle piece on the board. Seems easy enough, right? Or not… The tricky part is arranging them so that each peg is matched up with the same color squiggle piece.

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I found the Smart level challenges to be a little difficult until I got the swing of things. If you are really stumped on a challenge the back of the booklet as all of the answers.

You can purchase IQ Twist on Amazon Prime for $9.99. That means it’s not too late to grab one up this year to stuff in your stockings. It’s a great gift idea for any parent who spends a lot of time in nap jail, the car, or waiting for doctor appointments.

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Wubble™ Bubble Ball {Review}

Rainy days are really hard with a toddler and newborn at home. Parker desperately wants to go outside and play so I have to get as creative as possible. It’s always a nice treat when I have a prodcut to review on those exceptionally rainy days when there is no chance of getting outside. Last week was one of those days and I was so grateful to have a fun and awesome product for Parker to play with.

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Special thanks to Wubble for providing a Wubble bubble ball for review in addition to financial compensation. As always all opinions are 100% my own and never recommend a product I wouldn’t use myself or with my family.

The Wubble™ Bubble Ball was designed by NSI President and father of four Frank Landi whose children loved playing with bubbles but wished they could play with them without popping so easily. After three years and thousands of hours researching, brainstorming, and designing the Wubble™ Bubble Ball was created. Made from “top-secret super-thermo-stretch-tacular stuff” the Wubble™ Bubble Ball is a “squishy, squashy, super soft and lightweight” bubble that is sure to provide hours of entertainment of any child.

The Wubble™ Bubble Ball was selected as a 2014 Top Toy for the Holiday Season, a Family Fun Toy Of The Year Award Winner where it was featured in the November 2014 issue of Family Fun Magazine and has also won numerous toy awards including an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Award, a National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, a Mr. Dad Approved Award, a Parent’s Choice Award and the  Dr. Toy Best 100 Picks Award.

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What’s great about the Wubble™ Bubble Ball is that it doesn’t require any batteries, comes with it’s own battery operated pump, can be deflated and cleaned for easy storage. Rob has an easy time inflating the Wubble Ball and was done rather quickly. The pump is also fairly quiet, as far as pumps go, which I appreciate. He ended up using a little bit of olive oil, recommended, to insert to the pump. If you have trouble inflating your Wubble Ball take a look at this helpful video.

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I have to admit I felt like a kid again as Parker and I played with the Wubble Ball in his playroom. It’s huge but very light and delicate barely moving anything it bumped into. The material is strong but squishy so we can grab and hold it with one hand. Even Parker was able to grab it and swing it around. I noticed that even right out of the box there wasn’t an overpowering plastic smell that I was fearing.

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I didn’t realize it at the time but Rob took a video of Parker and I playing with it that I just had to share!

The Wubble™ Bubble Ball is available at Target, Toys R Us, Amazon and on their website in red and blue. Wubble Ball’s are not indestructible, but they have a lifetime replacement guarantee. You can get a replacement under the Wubble guarantee for $6.99.

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Caboose VaryLight Stand-On Tandem Stroller Review (Part 2)

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Special thanks to Joovy for providing the Caboose VaryLight in return for my honest review. As always, all opinions are my own and I do not recommend products I don’t believe in or use myself.

Last month I shared my thoughts on using the Caboose VaryLight as a sit and stand in Part 1 of my Caboose VaryLight Review. Now that baby girl is here we have installed the car seat adapter for our Chicco Key Fit 30 and it’s time to share part II of my review!

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We are still loving many of the basic features of the VaryLight regardless of it’s 13 possible configurations.

The extra large canopy really blocks out the sun and gives Parker a chance to take a break and if we are lucky nap for a bit while we are out.

Parker is now in the “I do it” stage so I love having a tray table that can be removed quickly so it’s easy for him to get out of the stroller when it’s time to go on a ride or he wants to walk for a bit.

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The expandable frame makes it easy to fit in the car and spacious enough when it’s in use to keep both kiddos comfortable.

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The front wheel suspension and wheel lock gives the stroller a smoother ride and makes it easy to push 50+ pounds of kids up hills. Luckily the stroller is only 33 pounds despite it’s solid structure.

Most importantly, the undercarriage storage is large enough to fit the needs of both my kiddos. On longer trips we can store all the snacks and drinks along with a blanket and then secure the diaper bag to the side using hooks.

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This stroller is great for long day trips or quick trips to the mall. It’s one-hand fold and ability to stand upright makes it easy and quick to get in and out of the car.

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Let’s talk a little more about the use of the VaryLight with a car seat. It’s a great option for the infant and toddler pair while the infant is in a bucket car seat. Joovy has 9 adapters available to fit the following car seats:

Britax® B-Safe
BOB® B-Safe
Chicco® KeyFit 30
Graco® SnugRide® Classic Connect 35
Graco® SnugRide® Classic Connect 32
Graco® SnugRide® Click Connect 35
Graco® SnugRide® Click Connect 40
Peg Perego® Primo Viaggio SIP 30-30
UPPAbaby® MESA

Each adapter is available for purchase on the Joovy website for $49.99.

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To install all you have to do it open the stroller, make sure it is either locked on the short or long frame option (not in between), and click the adapter onto the frame. Once in place you can click your car seat right into the adapter. The adapter can be removed easily and stored away when not in use.

VaryLight-Configurations

There are 7 different configurations you can use with the car seat adapter depending on your needs. We use configuration #1 the most as it gives Parker room to lay back if he wants. Configurations with the short frame are ideal when shopping in smaller stores, walking around the city, or frequently using the elevator.

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