Monday, 21 April 2014

Kidz Gear - Quality Children's Headphones

Who here has repeatedly had to ask their child to turn down a show or a game that they were playing or watching on either the computer or a handheld device of sorts?  If you didn't raise your hand than please tell me how you get them to listen so easily...  if you did than were in the same boat.

I would much prefer my oldest use headphones, leaving me free to listen to some music as I get my daily clean on or his little brother to watch whichever Treehouse show he chooses, without a whole lot of background noises.  As long as I know Lucas isn't going to hear or see anything he shouldn't, I'm okay with not hearing it.  However, I am not okay with him using mine, mostly due to the fact that they are ear buds and I don't want him sticking anything in his ears and he always seems to pull the plastic buds off.


 Finding a quality pair of kids headphones at a decent price can seem like a total waste of time...  Until recently, I didn't think such a thing existed.  Kidz Gear offers quality, great sounding headphones designed with the safety of your child's ears in mind at a very reasonable price.  Founded by a mom who much like myself, was tired of purchasing 'toy' products for her children, only to find that they would break within a few days.  She decided to do something about it and that was how Kidz Gear was born.

I for one am happy that it was, I had a chance to try these headphones in action while my son was at school the other day and if I didn't know any better, I would have thought that I was wearing a pair of luxury headphones.  Here are the features and my thoughts:

  • Rich Stereo Sound - the sound was so clear and although the volume was full blast it still wasn't too loud but I couldn't hear any background noise.
  • Light Weight And Comfortable - The comfort fit padding made them so comfortable I actually forgot that I had them on and because of the adjustable straps my big head didn't stretch them out.
  • Easy Accessible Volume Control 
  • Max volume of 80db - 90db with the Kidz Control Limiting 
  • Lifetime Limited Warranty
  • 7 different colors to choose from and a wireless option (additional charge)
For more information or to connect with Kidz Gear feel free to like their Facebook Page.

DISCLAIMER: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for review purposes.  However, as always  all views and opinions are my own.   

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Babbling Bean Giveaway


I remember when my kids were born, one of my favorite gifts to receive were blankets.  I'm not talking about the little receiving blankets, although those were great for swaddling...  I'm talking about the kind that kept them warm at night or the ones that were big enough to give them a little extra heat on any cold winter walks we took.  I had large ones, small ones, fuzzy ones, silky ones, thin ones, thick ones...  If there was a type I had it.


What I didn't have was a minky, I didn't even know what they were or that they existed until I recently received two from The Babbling Bean one in the form of a blanket for a little girl and the other a quilt for a little boy.  These beautiful minkies are both made with 100% cotton on one side, a soft fleece dimple dot minky on the other and bound with a cotton trimming.  The first things I noticed were:

  • The bright and vibrant colors of the strawberry blanket; it reminded me of a warm summers day.
  • The cute giraffes with the different color spots that were on the quilt; perfect for any jungle or animal themed nursery.
  • The personal touch with The Babbling Bean logo sewn into the corner of each minky.
  • The care instructions for my gorgeous new minkies.

All of the items in this Etsy shop are handmade by the owner Ashley and her mother.  Inspiration struck after her first child was born and alongside her mother, Ashley has been making these soft and cuddly blankets ever since.  A stay at home mom to her three kids, she loves to sew and enjoys the peacefulness it brings.  Once in her shop you will notice that not one item is the same, they are all 100% unique, detail oriented and would make a great addition to any nursery.  The only thing that I see wrong with these blankets and quilts is that they are not big enough for me to snuggle up with.


Now comes the fun part for all of you.  Ashley has very generously decided to giveaway a Baby Blanket of choice (not to be confused with the Baby Quilts to one winner from The Mommy Mix.  Open to Canada and US residents only ends 05/11.


DISCLAIMER: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for review purposes.  However, as always  all views and opinions are my own

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Environné Fruit And Vegetable Wash

I love fruit and most veggies but I have to admit that i am at fault for doing a poor job on making sure they're clean.  I mean what's the point if I'm just using water...  How clean can they really get that way?  Just water can't possibly wash away all of the pesticides that may have been used or any of the bodily functions from the animals that may have gotten a little to close to them.  Just as I wouldn't expect my body to feel very clean without using soap neither does my produce.  At the same time though I don't want anything that I put in my mouth to taste like it just had a bath (soap).

I came across a solution to this problem one night as I was searching the PTPA website (where I find most of my new products I try) for something completely unrelated to this product.  Environné Fruit And Vegetable Wash is a non-toxic, bio-degradable soap for your produce.  Made with purified water, natural cleansing agents, grapefruit seed extract and lemon orange extract with no harmful chemicals.   The Fruit And Vegetable Wash can be used to wash not only a single piece but also clean them in bulk by adding a tablespoon to some water.


  Looking for ways to get your children to help you out in the kitchen, perhaps washing the veggies for dinner or the fruit for dessert...  The Fruit And Vegetable Foaming Wash is a NEW product that makes it fun for your kids to help and all it takes is one pump and a little bit of playing in the water.  I had no problems getting my son to wash the strawberries for our after supper snack.  What is it with kids and foam?



Before I leave the house I always try to make sure I clean any of the produce that I may eat while I'm out and about but their are the occasions that I run into a bit of a snag when when it comes to having time for that.  Now when I have one of those mornings I can just slip the Fruit And Vegetable Wipes in my purse for an easy and quick clean.  These are definitely going to be on my 'must pack' list if we make any camping trips this year.

 
As much as I wanted to try this product I have to admit that I did think, once I tasted the strawberries after they were washed with the Environné products that they would have a different, possibly soapy taste to them but that wasn't the case.  The red seemed to be more vibrant and they just felt clean, I didn't feel or taste any of the dirt and that I usually do after rinsing with just water.


Although I am just hearing of it, Environné products have been around since 1987 and the recipe to make them has never changed and they also make household cleaning products which are great for the environment.  Caring about our planet and the future of where our children will be living in the doesn`t just stop at the products they make - a portion of the profits are donated to children and environmental concerns.  All of the Environné products can be purchased online and at a few of your local retailers, you can find the full list of products and where to purchase them here.  To stay connected and find out more about Environné products like their Facebook Page and follow them on Twitter.

DISCLAIMER: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for review purposes.  However, as always  all views and opinions are my own.  

Thursday, 10 April 2014

5 Books For Your Toddler & Pre-Schooler {Raincoast Twirl Launch}

TWIRL.  TURNING HEADS, SHAPING MINDS.

Ever since Lucas was in the womb I have been collecting books and reading them to him.  In fact he has so many books that his bookshelf is nearly full, we wanted to save room for other items such as; puzzles and games, otherwise it would, without a doubt be completely filled up.  Now that he has a little brother he loves to share his books with him but he also knows that because of Colton's age and the way that he handles the books, not all of them are age appropriate for him.

I found it extremely sweet, as I asked Lucas for his help on which books he would like me to review, that rather than picking out books which were a little more for his age range, he chose the board books from Chronicle Books' new publishing line Twirl, all because he wanted Colton to be able to sit and look at them with him too.  The books and game that we received were: Presto Change-o!, The Ultmate Book Of Vehicles, JOJO'S FIRST WORD BOOK, My First Color Dominoes and A TREE for ALL SEASONS.



Presto Change-O! by Edouard Manceau

Animal hide-and seek, with a twist!
Can you find the owl pretending to be a clock?  The lion masquerading as a flower?  And the rabbit in a hot-air balloon?
Presto change-o!
You can work the magic with just a few simple turns - and a few rhyming verses - transforming everyday objects into animals!


We had a lot of fun with this book; I would stop reading just before the animal was revealed and we would think and make our guesses as to which animal was hiding behind each item.  This book teaches children that things may not always be what they seem and if you look at something long and hard enough, it can transform right before your eyes if you just use your imagination.

JOJO'S FIRST WORD BOOK by Xavier Deneux

Join Jojo and Lulu as they explore the world around them, from mealtime to playtime to bedtime!  With more than 200 familiar objects to spot and name, this friendly and reassuring first word book is just right for toddlers acquiring early language skills.


I love that although Lucas can't read just yet, this is still a book that he can sit, with his little brother, look at and be able to tell a story just by looking at the pictures.  Story time with Jojo and Lulu is perfect for practicing Colton's new words and the one's that Lucas has a problem with due to his speech impediment.

A TREE for ALL SEASONS by Maryse Guittet

Photo credit goes to my son Lucas who thought I should take a picture of this book outside.

This book is a fun interactive, lift-the-flap book that talks about the four seasons and a few of the changes and animals that go hand in hand with each one.

My First Color Dominoes by Edouard Manceau

This Domino game makes learning and using colors fun!
Children will love matching colors and familiar objects in this new twist on an old classic.

Who doesn't love dominoes?  Now I have to admit, as sad as this is, as much as I loved to play the game, I never really understood how to play...  Which is probably why I always lost.  This dominoes game is very easy to teach and in my case learn as well and the book is great for my toddler to help him differentiate which colors go with which objects.  Although Colton didn't really get the concept of the game, he just wanted to keep picking up the tiles and putting them in his pile, Lucas loved it and can't wait to play again, without any interruptions from his brother.

The ULTIMATE Book of Vehicles by Anne-Sophie Baumann & Didier Balicevic

Flaps, pop-ups, pull-tabs and rotating wheels bring nearly one hundred vehicles to life.  From harvesters to street sweepers, ambulances to ferries, and rockets to rickshaws, children will delightin the detailed illustrations of transportation around the world.


Who knew there were so many different types of vehicles...  Not I, that's for sure.  When we went through this book together, we learned a lot from what vehicles went with demolition, city maintenance, commercial transportation and so much more...  By lifting the flaps and pulling the tabs we were able to see what was inside the vehicles, with the rotating wheels we could see what they were used for and the pop-ups were our favorite especially the rocket launcher.

These books can be purchased from Kidsbooks.ca, Amazon.ca and/or Indigo.ca.  If your interested in connecting and staying up-to-date on any new publications from Raincoast Books or Chronicle Kids you can do so on their twitter accounts @RaincoastBooks and @ChronicleKids.

One lucky reader will win the comple set from the Twirl launch that I reviewed above.  Giveaway open to Canadian residents only (excluding Quebec) ends 05/04.


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for review purposes.  However, as always  all views and opinions are my own

Monday, 7 April 2014

My Pros And Cons Of Breastfeeding

After a very painful middle of the night session of nursing Colton back to sleep, I decided it was time to stop breastfeeding all together.  By painful, I mean I had to check and make sure my nipple was still their after he finally relaxed his bite on it.  I am not a monster and this was not the first time that I have felt this pain for the exact same reason, nor was it a spur of the moment decision.  This has been a long time coming and although some of you may call me as a 'bad mom' for feeling this way but I feel relieved and finally free.

When Lucas was born there were some complications and he was in NICU for 2 weeks and without asking me how I wanted to feed him, they stuck a bottle in his mouth and it all went downhill.  From that point on, even with the many times that I tried he would not latch on and refused to take the breast, so I did not get to experience breastfeeding with my first born.  Colton was the complete opposite, besides the emergency cesarean, their were no complications and he latched on like a pro, I thought was great.  We didn't want him to be dependent on the breast, so we still made sure to give him the occasional bottle mostly with breast milk but sometimes with formula and everything was perfect.

 
That is, until he hit about 2 months old and started to refuse the bottle; regardless of the type of bottle, what was in it or who was giving it to him he just didn't want it anymore.  That was when my freedom stopped because he wanted nothing to do with a bottle;
  • My showers were always cut short from cries of hunger
  • Outings without him were nearly impossible unless it was less than 2 hours 
  • I could forget about getting a full nights sleep even just once in a while
  • Once the teeth came ,the pain I was always in was sometime unbarable and no amount of nursing balm would numb the pain
However, besides all of those negative feelings that I had towards breastfeeding, I also had some very positive ones which was part of the reason why I kept doing it for the amount of time that I did;
  • Every single benefit that his body and his health received from the breast milk
  • The bond we had because I was his 'security blanket'
  • The nights were so much easier because he would just latch on and go right back to sleep
  • We saved loads of money from not having to by formula
  • I lost most of the baby weight within the first few weeks after my pregnancy
Once the solids came into the picture, things started to slowly get better he was eating more food, drinking water and a little bit less milk.  My maternity leave was over, I was working part-time but still 8 hours on the days that I did work, so I had no choice to nurse him even less.  Really by the time that I had stopped nursing he was already only doing it at bed and nap times, so I guess without really truly noticing it I was already weaning him.

As always, anything that ever has to do with my children, the pros far outweigh the cons and if given the chance to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing...  Except maybe giving him a few more bottles in between the nursing sessions.

What are your thoughts on breastfeeding?

Friday, 4 April 2014

Heroes Of The City Movie App

I'm not ashamed to tell you that I consider my smartphone to be 'the babysitter', I'm not saying that I stick my kids on the phone for an entire day but the clothes are not going to magically end up in the hamper and the floors unfortunately will not sweep themselves.  Besides the few 'fun games' that I have downloaded I try to make sure that the games, movies and/or books have some sort of learning element to them.


 Heroes Of The City Movie App is an educational app based on the popular television series whose main characters Pauli Police Car and Fiona Fire Engine, are all about helping those in need.  With the co-operation and support of their friends they believe that their isn't any task to big for them to accomplish.  The app includes features such as:
  • More than 6 hours of movies to entertain your little ones
  • Nine fun and exciting games
  • Secret surprises that your children will unlock on their own
  • Multiple languages that can be toggled back and forth between

Although the app targets 2-6 year olds, my 18 month old loves to watch the movies, look at the book and if I'd let him, play with the Fiona Fire Engine and Tilly Train vehicles that we received.  He's still just a little to small for the wheels so for now we have to leave it up to his big brother to do all of the driving around, and he does.  I have to say I am and have always been a sucker for vehicles, or anything really, with eyes that can talk, I think they are absolutely adorable.  I am a little disappointed even though their are 10 different languages, French is not one of them.  Ever since Lucas started in a French Immersion school he seems to want to do everything in French.  I'll just cross my fingers and hope that maybe the next update will include this language.

 

Overall, the kids and myself loved the app and all of the products we received for the purpose of this review.  You don`t have to take my opinion, you can download the FREE version of the app on Google Play and/or iTunes   If you are interested in finding out more about Heroes of The City or you want to stay connected you can like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter


 One lucky reader will receive the same Heroes Of The City pack that I did which will include: A DVD, book and two of the toy character vehicles.  Giveaway open to Canada and US residents and ends 04/27.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for review purposes.  However, as always  all views and opinions are my own



Ultimate Blog Party 2014 #UBP14

Hello and welcome to The Mommy Mix, I'm so glad you all could stop by!   I first linked up with The Ultimate Blog Hop last year and it was a great experience.   In the process I found a ton of new blogs to subscribe to and a load of amazing bloggers to follow on social media.

http://www.5minutesformom.com/88897/ultimate-blog-party-2014/

 For those of you who have never been here before my name is Amanda and just as my About Me sidebar says; I am a wife and mother of two handsome little boys, a blogger on weekdays and a photographer on weekends.  Wanna know a little bit more about me?  You can find out on a post that I had a lot of fun writing and digging down deep to remember everything, due to my 'Mommy brain' syndrome - 10 Things I Want You To Know About Me.


Since starting The Mommy Mix I have been lucky enough to work with some great brands:
I have come up with a few recipes:


Posted some crafts and learning tools:

http://themommymix.blogspot.ca/2014/01/6-ways-to-use-wooden-blocks-for-fun.html http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/b7/25/1a/b7251a343e11df3b4d813d34a0f9784b.jpg

Now that you know a little about me and The Mommy Mix, before you leave, don't forget to enter the giveaways I have going on right now:
The fun doesn't have to stop now, I would love to connect with each and every one of you on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and/or Instagram.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed your stay!