Start Your Holiday Shopping With Funrise Toys!

With the holiday season just around the corner… I’ve decided to help you all out by rounding up some awesome gifts well before the madness of shopping begins so you can get a head start on your shopping!

Zane is almost 2 years old so he’s at an age where I buy him a cool and fun toy and he ends up being more interested in the box (parent reality). So I’m always pleasantly surprised when I find a toy that catches his attention and that becomes a favourite of his! I couldn’t wait to share with you Zane’s current obsessions (which I know your minis will LOVE too!). He lives, breathes, eats and would sleep (if I let him) with these toys!

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HERODRIVE™ DC Super Friends Collection and TONKA Power Movers.

They are sturdy (Zane-proof) toys that light up, move and have his imagination running wild. He can pretend to be Batman as he zooms around the house with his bat mobile! It features lights, engine sounds, and music that bring the action to life! The Batmobile transforms into race mode by pushing the windshield forward to make the wings pop out. Zane can push the logo on the hood for unique Batman sounds, then push it again to send the Batman Racer racing forward with its cape flying behind!

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Zane can also be the master of a construction site with his new dump truck that has lights, real engine sounds and even a realistic backup sound! The rugged Dump Truck features new Motion Drive Technology allowing for fun and intuitive play that brings the action to life!

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They’re fun to play with, they were easy for him to figure out how to use and they are big enough that they don’t fit under my couch (mom win)!!!!

You can check out the whole HERODRIVE™ DC Super Friends Collection here.

And the TONKA Power Movers here.

Make sure to tag me in the pics of your minis playing with their new toys! There’s nothing better than a smiling, happy and entertained toddler.


The Only Stroller You Need To Read About!

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I’ve been lucky enough to test out my share of light weight strollers, so I’d like to think of myself as an expert when it comes to choosing the best one! When I had the chance to test out another, I obviously jumped at the opportunity! With baby #2 due in April, I’m always looking to discover the best of the best baby products (plus it gave me an opportunity to play pretend-big brother with Zane and let him push around a stroller). I’ve been using the Bily Compact Easy-Fold Stroller for over 3 weeks - and there is not one thing I would change about it. My 6 fave features are below! If you’ve tried it, I’d love to hear about yours! (scroll to the bottom of my post for outfit details - including my hat that you can use with a ponytail!)

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  1. You can fold and unfold it with only one hand

  2. It’s SUPER compact and light weight

  3. It has a HUGE storage space under the stroller that is easy to access (not the case in most compact strollers)

  4. It fully reclines so your kids can stay awake for the fun or take a nap while you shop lol.

  5. There is a handle bar that you can clip on toys to (none of the one’s I’ve tried before have had this)

  6. The lock and unlock feature for the wheels is easy to activate

This stroller is hands down my favourite. If you’re looking for a light weight stroller that you can easily carry with one hand, bring on a plane and push around for hours without getting tired, this is the one for you! Click here to learn more or to shop!

The hat I’m wearing deserves special attention too! It’s the first hat I’ve found that you can wear with a pony tail or mom bun! It has an elastic at the top so you can keep your messy mom bun in tact and still keep your ears warm (how cool?!). It’s from My Gear Online and is so practical and cute! It’s an awesome gift for the holidays for anyone in your life with gorgeous locks.

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One Kid Road Coat - the Patented Crash Tested MUST HAVE Coat!

GIVEAWAY LINK: https://manage.kmail-lists.com/subscriptions/subscribe?a=K9Mubq&g=QjAHyj

As a parent, safety always comes before practicality…. so to be honest, I remember dreading winter last year… until I discovered the One Kid® Road Coat. For anyone living with kids in winter weather, you know what a pain it is to run to the car with a jacket, take it off before putting them in their car seat, putting it back on before you go out side again. It’s what we need to do to keep our kids safe, and until I discovered the One Kid® Road Coat, I thought that was the only option! One Kid®  has a patented design that is safe to wear while in a car seat! Yes… you read that correctly! You can even watch videos of a crash test on their website to see how they work. No more taking off their jackets (or snowsuit onesies) before putting them in the car!

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One Kid®’s coats and snowsuits are crash tested and will keep your little ones warm in -25 Fahrenheit/-30 Celsius weather! We tried out the Road Coat® Down, which also comes in a vegan version, and a 1 piece snow suit version, and their Snow Pants which are soft, easily pulled on and pack-able! Despite being very warm, they are super light weight and they can be easily folded into a carrying pouch that's included, which makes travelling with them a cinch!

The One Kid® Road Coat® is designed in such a way that you can zip back the puffy outer layer when your little one is in the car seat, allowing the car seat strap to lie closer to your child’s body. There’s also a non slip surface on the front which prevents the car seat's harness straps from slipping, and it even comes with a red marker to help you identify where the chest clip should sit!

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The One Kid® Road Coat® and matching Snow Pants were a no brainer last year and remain one of our fave discoveries from last year.

GIVEAWAY!

I’m SO excited to announce that I’ve partnered with One Kid® to give away one of their Road Coats®! Visit the link below to enter! It’s that SIMPLE!

CONTEST LINK: https://manage.kmail-lists.com/subscriptions/subscribe?a=K9Mubq&g=QjAHyj

*Contest closes October 31, 2018 and the winner will be contacted by email. Open to US & Canadian residents 18 years of age and older.

Top Recommended Books for Toddlers - by YOU!

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I put up a poll on my Instagram a few weeks ago asking you for your top recommended books for toddlers! Who better to recommend books than fellow mamas? Take advantage of free shipping all summer from Indigo.ca and stock up on the adorable books below! Missed my poll? No problem! Add a comment below with any books that I missed so we can check them out!

1. THE LITTLE BLUE BOX OF BRIGHT AND EARLY BOARD BOOKS BY DR. SEUSS

Inside this adorable blue box (with a handle that your mini will love), include the 4 books:  Hop on Pop; Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!; Ten Apples Up On Top!; and The Shape of Me and Other Stuff. They survived 2 weeks with my son undamaged so these books will withstand any child lol. Click here to visit Indigo to learn more.

2. SING A SONG OF MOTHER GOOSE

 

All of your fave childhood nursery rhymes are in this adorable hard covered book including: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star; Humpty Dumpty; Little Miss Muffet; Rockabye Baby; Sing a Song of Sixpence; Ladybird; Pussycat, Pussycat; Jack and Jill; Baa Baa Black Sheep; Hey Diddle Diddle; Rain, Rain, Go Away; Mary Had a Little Lamb; Pat A Cake and Hickory Dickory Dock. Click here to visit Indigo to learn more!

3. DR. SEUSS'S 100 FIRST WORDS

I was curious how many other words Zane could learn before saying Mama LOL. This board book has bright and bold colours that your mini will LOVE. Click here to learn more.

4. ADVENTURES WITH BAREFOOT CRITTERS

Learning the alphabet is fun with these little critters and this adorably illustrated board book. Click here to learn more!

5. DINOSAUR DANCE!

From the best selling author Sandra Boynton, this colourful and fun board book is all about.... dancing dinosaurs! What else!? Click here to learn more!

6. THE LION INSIDE

A beautiful book with a powerful message: We all have a lion and a mouse inside. Click here to learn more.

7. I LIKE MYSELF!

This book about self-esteem encourages children to love themselves! Such a great read and an important message to start teaching your children at any age. Click here to learn more.

8. ORDINARY PEOPLE CHANGE THE WORLD GIFT SET

This New York Times best selling series is all about what makes a Hero. Click here to learn more.

9. GIRAFFES CAN'T DANCE

Gerald the giraffe just wants to dance! With his long legs, it's harder than you think. When he finally receives encouragement from a friend, he realizes he can do it! This book is an inspiration for kids who dream big! Click here to learn more.

10. CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM

This lively alphabet rhyme makes learning the alphabet fun! Click here to learn more.

Don't forget to take advantage of free shipping ALL SUMMER at Indigo.ca!

5 Baby Raising Essentials That All New Moms Need

The nice thing about raising children is that we all get experience throughout our lives. Perhaps you’ve got a neighbour that recently had a child and you go over there to help out occasionally, or maybe you’re sick of hearing one of your friends ranting about how difficult it is to look after a baby. We pick up tips and tricks here and there from the most unlikely of sources, but when it comes to raising your own newborn, it’s easy to forget all the sound advice we’ve been given.

As a result, raising your child can be stressful, difficult and you might even feel lost. To help you out, we’ve put together five baby raising essentials that every mom needs in their life. Whether you’re expecting soon or want to make raising your child easier, you’ll find some excellent advice here.

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A Good Crib

Cribs are expensive–let’s not ignore that fact. You’re going to be paying a lot for a sturdy crib that adheres to safety standards and is known for being safe and secure. Don’t rely on cheap cribs here, get yourself a high-quality hand-me-down if necessary. The last thing you want is for the materials to weaken or to put your baby at risk. When choosing the bedding, make sure it fits tightly into the crib and is snug.

A Baby Bouncer

Baby bouncers are quickly becoming one of the staples in baby development. This is because they’re portable, small, ergonomic and can be a great tool to help your baby fall asleep more effectively. Baby bouncers also come with music box features or might even have soft plush toys. Take a look at articles such as this one comparing Baby Bjorn Bliss vs Balance Soft to help you find the right baby bouncer. Babies do prefer to spend more time in their bouncer than their crib, so try to limit the amount of time they spend on it.

A Comfortable Chair

For you, not the baby! When it comes to feeding time, it’s essential that you’re relaxed and comfortable. A traditional rocking chair is fantastic for this, but there are plenty of space-saving alternatives such as using a comfortable sofa instead of buying a new chair. However, you may want to keep the chair in the nursery so that you don’t have to carry your baby too far to get them into their crib.

A Night Light

You’ll always be checking on your baby at night, so the last thing you want is to have a bright bulb distracting them or keeping them awake. Not only is it horrible for power efficiency, it’s also going to make it harder for your baby to fall asleep. Instead, invest in a small night light to check on your baby throughout the night.

A Baby Bathtub

These aren’t very expensive and will help keep your child safe when they’re in the bath. If you want to save space and money, then you may want to consider a bathtub liner instead. These will help keep your child from accidentally hurting themselves in the bath when you’re not watching over them.

Make a Gazillion Memories This Summer!

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With BBQ season finally here, I've found the MUST have products to keep children entertained: the Gazillion Bubbles Collection! Their bubble machines and wands will keep children of all ages busy and playing outside, instead of in front of the TV. Make a Gazillion memories this summer with Gazillion Bubbles! Their top secret bubble solution makes the brightest and most colourful bubbles that are eco-friendly, safe, non-toxic and won't stain clothing or furniture!

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The Gazillion Bubbles Tornado is a must have for any backyard or patio. You turn on this machine and there are literally hundreds of bubbles within seconds! It's light weight and affordable so I'm even going to bring mine to the park this summer! Be prepared to be the favourite parent in the neighbourhood with this machine!

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Their bubble wands are just as fun! Zane had a blast chasing the bubbles and this is definitely something I'm going to keep in our stroller all summer. Gazillion Bubbles also has Crazy Wands (scroll down for a few pics) which are for kids a bit older than Zane but I think they would also make such awesome loot bag ideas if you're planning a birthday party this summer!

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Gazillion Bubbles products are available for purchase in Canada at Walmart & TRU Canada

Perch Hanging High Chair Review!

I got my hands on the highly raved about Perch Hanging High Chair from Guzzie and Guss and am so excited that I did. I've seen hanging high chairs EVERYWHERE and Guzzie and Guss is a brand that I've followed for a while, so the Perch chair was high up on my list of must try baby items. You can also scroll to the bottom of the post to watch a quick unboxing of the chair and my first impressions. Here's what we thought:

For starters, I LOVE that the Perch Hanging High Chair easily folds up and comes in a travel bag. It makes it super convenient to bring to restaurants, out for dinner when you're going somewhere where there are no highchairs and even when brining it to the mall and park. 

The chair is SUPER adaptable so it will fit most tables (make sure to read the instructions on proper installation to ensure that the table is sturdy enough and safe to hang it on). I tried hanging it on my mom's dining room table, a picnic bench and my kitchen counter and it was easily installed on each. I am obsessed with this chair. I love that when I'm in the kitsch now, my son can sit at the counter colouring or snacking and be part of the action and conversation. I often feel like when he's in his highchair, it's bulky and in the way.

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It has a 5 point harness so it can be used on babies 4months +. I would recommend it for babies that are able to sit upright on their own. It doesn't recline so your baby definitely needs to be able to support their head. The cover comes off so easily to wash (a definite plus) and it's super padded so your baby will be comfortable and happy while in it! It comes in SO many colours too which I love. Click here to see them all. 

We also tested out the Perch Silicone Placemat which is a MUST HAVE accessory in my opinion. It's a silicone placemat that specially fitted to go under the support rails of the Perch chair so that your baby can't pick it up and throw it around, but it's also safety tested to use with the chair. You wouldn't want to use a regular placemat because then the Perch chair wouldn't be safe on your counter. The placemats are dishwasher safe, have raised edges to contain messes and easily fold up! We LOVE our Guzzie and Guss Perch Chair and recommend it to anyone looking for a portable chair or a hanging high chair that will nicely fit in with any decor :)

Review of the Mountain Buggy Nano

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Certain things you only learn to appreciate once you have a 25 pound child - and one of those is a great quality light weight stroller. I was SO excited to get my hands on the Mountain Buggy Nano. Not only is it less than half the weight of the stroller I used to use, but it also fits a diaper bag underneath, folds up in to a storage bag for travelling AND reclines so that your mini can sleep while you take over the world! Most light weight strollers force you to compromise on functionality - but not this one!

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I never knew until trying out the Nano that you could have all the perks of a larger stroller, but in a compact version (and for a fraction of the price!). Some of my fave features include: 

1. Reclinable seat: most light weight strollers don't have adjustable and reclinable seats so it makes it difficult for your minis to nap. The Mountain Buggy Nano Fully reclines and you can see that Zane thoroughly enjoyed his mid day siesta :).

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2. UV protective canopy: The Nano has a retractible out sun hood with UV protection, making it the perfect accessory for summer time strolls.

3. Compact and Lightweight: it folds up with the push of 2 buttons and fits into a sleek carrying case (that is included - no extra purchase necessary #win), making it the perfect flying, travel and road-trip companion. I love that it doesn't take up my entire trunk when folded up and it still has a compartment on the bottom for a baby bag. When it's in the case, there is also an accessible handle, making it a breeze to carry through airports.

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Have you tried the Mountain Buggy Nano? Did you know they just released a Double version? So all you mamas with 2 kids - you can now benefit from the same awesome features too! Click here to see more pics and learn more about this light weight and super practical stroller!

Discovering Boppy

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Walking into baby stores is so overwhelming at times and with so much available online it's so hard to decide which baby products to try and trust! That's why I LOVE being able to test out new products and brands and give you guys the low down on what I think! This month I'm putting Boppy to the test. First known for their pillows, Boppy was created by a fellow mama (so we know these products were designed for parents) and they now have an extensive line of baby items that range from nursing pillows, to carriers, to teething scarves and even pregnancy pillows! This month I'm reviewing their new ComfyFit Baby Carrier and their Teething Scarves

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First up was the ComfyFit Baby Carrier. I'm going to be honest and say that I have never been a fan of baby carriers. I've always found them to be uncomfortable for my back, Zane hates them, and 99.9% of the time I can't figure out how to put it on properly, so I was a bit skeptical about trying out another one (I already own 3 that are all nicely packed away in a storage bin). I AM THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE that not only did I figure out how to put it on in under 10 seconds, but Zane was smiling AND it is the most comfortable carrier I've ever put on.

I am so disappointed that I didn't know about this carrier sooner. It comes with a super practical storage bag, is made from a super soft and stretchy material and it can accommodate your mini forward facing or rear facing. Putting it on is SO easy. There's a snap around your waist, you slide in your arms through 2 holes (that are labeled "right shoulder" and "left shoulder" = SO EASY) and you tie the hanging pieces around your waist. That. Is. It. I LOVE the colour, am obsessed with the fact that my husband can wear it too (and figure out how to put it on alone) and am so happy that Zane is now as comfortable as I am when using a carrier! I totally recommend the ComfyFit Baby Carrier.

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 I borrowed one of Zane's delicious girlfriends for this photo shoot!

I borrowed one of Zane's delicious girlfriends for this photo shoot!

Next on my list from Bobby was their Teething Scarves. I was intrigued when I saw this product online because Zane loves chewing on my face, my jewellery, my arms, shoulders, shirt (you get the point), so the idea of having a scarf that was meant for him to chew on seemed like a genius idea! They come in 4 colours (to match every outfit) and not only does Zane love to chew on them, but the fact that it's around my neck means he can't toss this teether on the floor which is a total mom win. We've all been out at a restaurant with a teething angry baby and then they decide to catapult their teether on the dirty floor... this happens to me daily. With this teether, it's around my neck, is super cute and helps soothe Zane's gums! Click here to visit the Boppy website to check out their Teething Scarfs. 

 Little baby Ruby couldn't get enough :)

Little baby Ruby couldn't get enough :)

If you've never heard of Boppy, I totally recommend heading over to their website to discover their entire product line. I love supporting fellow moms and this brand won't let you down with their innovations and quality! 

Best Wooden Toys Under $20!

If you follow my blog then you know I love children's wooden toys and the ones we have are among Zane's favourite.  I've rounded up the best on Amazon for under $20! Let me know if you have any other amazing finds that should be added to my list! Click the image or product links below for more info :)

Promotes hand-eye coordination and concepts of colour and size.

Colourful skill-building toy for toddlers and preschoolers. Promotes hand-eye coordination

Promotes hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills

Promotes colour and shape recognition and problem-solving skills.

Promotes hand-eye coordination, counting, sorting, colour recognition, and problem-solving skills.

Promotes colour recognition and hand-eye coordination.

Improves fine motor skills and colour and shape recognition

Great for hand-eye coordination and imaginative play

Features numbers, letters and pictures to identify for vocabulary-building

Brightly colored, smooth-sanded pieces help build early shape, color, and size differentiation skills

Promotes counting, colour recognition, fine motor skills, and early math skills.

Learn the theory of balance through balancing the scale and train your baby's hands-on ability

Encourages counting, sorting, pretend play, and an interest in food and nutrition.

Diaper Caddy Essentials!

Having everything at your fingertips is SO essential when you're changing your mini and have an unexpected blow out. I've been asked by so many new moms what my essential diaper caddy  items are so here is my list!

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1. Often overlooked, a functional, easy to access and organize, sturdy and portable Diaper Caddy. I love the one from F&K Solutions. It has large compartments so everything is easily accessible, it wipes clean and has practical side pockets. An often overlooked feature, but one that I LOVE about this caddy (and don't often see) is handles. This caddy has super long and practical handles on each side, making it easy to put over your arm and bring around to different rooms of your home. I hate running upstairs every time Zane needs to be changed but also find it so unpractical to have 2 of everything (1 upstairs and 1 downstairs) in my home. I love that I can just bring his essentials with me everywhere I go. Click here to see more pictures and more features of this awesome diaper caddy

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2. Hydrasense Nasal Aspirator Starter Kit: Oh the joys of motherhood - no one warns you that you'll need to suck out stuff from your babies nose lol... but I am. So you're welcome. This is a product that you won't be able to live without when your mini is sick. It allows you to clear their nose with saline and suction (because they can't blow their nose) and all the gunk gets trapped thanks to a filter. I recommend stalking up on the refills of the filters and the saline. I prefer the hydrasense individual dose saline vials because I don't have to worry about the contamination that happens from the bigger reusable bottles of saline. 

3. Penaten: This is my go to for every rash, bump or skin blemish. It's basic but a must have. I've tried the fancier ones, with the pretty colored packaging and good marketing slogans on the box but always end up back at this one. It is an ESSENTIAL.

4. Supplies to take your baby's temperature: We all hope it won't happen but it will - they will get sick. A good thermometer is so important because a tiny difference in temp means the difference between a mild fever and a necessary hospital visit. The most accurate way to take a baby's temp is in their bum, so you'll need vaseline so that they are not uncomfortable and alcohol swabs to properly sterilize the thermometer before AND after each use. Click the images below to see my faves:

5. Baby Grooming Kit: a good kit will have all the essentials: Nail file, nail clippers, brush, comb and other items. Some even include a thermometer so check before buying one separately! I've included a few that I love below!

6. Lotion to hydrate your mini's skin! The weather changes, constant drooling and the daily baths (sometimes multiple times a day) means their skin will get dry. We've made cream part of our nightly routine after bath time before bed. I find it so relaxing for Zane and I love the 1-1 time. I LOVE La Roche Posay and find it's great for delicate skin and even helps his eczema. 

Am I missing any products that you find useful? Let me know in the comments below! 

xox Tovah

Affordable First Birthday Gift Ideas

Dance and Move Beat Toy - This is a toy we first saw at a friends house. I don't know why... but Zane is OBSESSED. It makes music that reminds me of being in a club or rave haha but he could play with it for hours. 

Ball Pit - Zane has a similar one and ADORES it. Just make sure which ever one you choose, you buy one that has the balls included!

Pounding Wooden Toy - This toy is not only fun, but will help with hand eye coordination and dexterity!

Wooden Fridge Magnets - these come in SO many different assortments. They have Letters, Shapes, Objects, Farm animals etc. I love that they're wooden and love the quality of Mudpuppy Toys!

Cash Register - Playing pretend was always my fave growing up so I know any child will enjoy this for years to come!

Farmer Says See n' Say - I remember playing for HOURS with this toy when I was growing up. I'm so happy its still available for our minis!

Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Tablet - This tablet will help your mini learn about sounds, animals, objects and colours! We've actually given this as a gift at 2 birthday parties and received one for Zane's birthday! We bring it everywhere with us :)

Big Colorful Building Blocks Woodland Treehouse - This is great gift for a boy or girl. Zane is obsessed with blocks and loves the little characters!

Light up CAT Truck with Sound - One of Zane's fave gifts for his birthday was this truck! My fave feature is that It's big so you don't step on it in the middle of the night (yay!). He loves the sounds and lights!

Classics Retro Record Player - Guaranteed to bring hours of fun and tunes to any little one ;)

Wooden Mini Balls - It's known that I have an obsession with wooden children's toys and Zane LOVES them too! We have a toy similar to this one at home and Zane has been playing with it for months and never gets bored!

Top 10 Bath Toys Under $10

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Bath time is play time and the happiest time in our home. Below are our current bath time faves! You can click the image or the product name for more info :) 

 

Skip Hop Zoo Bathtime Basketball! It's so much fun for your mini, and they'll be practicing coordination and dexterity! 

Bathtime Crayons. Safe on all bathtubs, these crayons will provide HOURS of fun and they wash right off! Let your bathtub become your mini's canvas :)

Bath Tub Tunes Water Flutes - Make bath time music time with these adorable noise makers! 

Octopus Hoopla Bath Time Toss. This is a toy that will grow with your child :) At 12 months they'll love the bright colors and that it floats. As they get older, they'll love trying to toss the rings on the tentacles!

Zoo Mix and Match Foam Pals. Zane is fascinated about how they magically stick and unstick to the side of the tub! He loves putting together the animals and the bright colors :)

Fishin' Bath Toy. This game is great for hand and eye coordination and your mini will love the bright colors! The fish are magnetic which makes it not too difficult of a game! Some of the other one's I've tried actually have a hook and are too difficult for a 12 month old.

Bath time Bubble Book - Bath time fun can be educational too! Take the time to read a quick book :)

Float and Play Bubble Bath Toy - Your mini will LOVE these floating see-through colourful toys :) Zane is always so fascinated by the fact that they're transparent. Be prepared to have one happy baby with these floating around!

Squirting Bath Toys - Guaranteed to get a laugh from your mini when they discover that they can squirt water from their fave toys!

Wind up Swimming Penguin - wind it up and let it go! Watch your mini try to catch it and have a blast while doing it!

Kiko Miami Diaper Bag Review

With winter coming to an end (hopefully soon) I am allll about the backpack diaper bags. I find it so much more practical to have your arms free and with so many options on the market, there is no reason to settle for one that is less than perfect for you! I got my hands on a Kiko Miami Dipaer Bag and here’s what I thought:

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I tested out the Freedom Diaper Backpack. First off, I LOVE that this bag comes equipped with so many extras that you normally have to buy. It comes with 2 built in bottle insulators (to keep things hot or cold) and it also comes with two straps so that you can hang it from your stroller handle bar and not take up room under your stroller. It has 8 pockets in total and has two large handles at the top if you want to carry it in your hands.

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My fave feature is that it stays open on it's own and stays upright without tipping over! So m any of the backpack diaper bags I’ve tried have not had these features which means you need both hands when searching for something – one to keep the bag open and the other to grab what you're looking for.

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This diaper bag is so compact yet has SO much room, you will never need to bring along a second bag for full day trips. Kiko Miami has a ton of other diaper bag options if you’re looking for something other than a backpack. You can click here to visit their website! 

5 Awesome Loot Bag Ideas for Babies and Toddlers!

Get 15% off of everything below as well as all regular priced items at at Elfe.com using the code ZANE15. It's only valid until March 23, 2018 (certain restrictions apply) so don't wait!

Are you looking for creative, amazing and practical loot bag ideas for your child’s next birthday party? Look no further! I’ve rounded up my top 5 loot bag ideas for babies and toddlers (and chose 3 of them for Zane’s birthday party last month! You can click here to read all about his Jungle Themed Birthday). I went on the hunt for loot bag ideas that kids would be able to enjoy long after the party ended and I hope you love these ideas as much as I do! You can also get 15% off of everything below as well as all regular priced items at at Elfe.com using the code ZANE15. It's only valid until March 23, 2018 (certain restrictions apply).

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1.     Sip N' Snack Cup: This is a cup that’s perfect for self-feeders and kids who can sip from a straw. It’s an adorable and practical loot bag idea that that the kids will want to start using the second they leave the party! It’s a sippy cup and snack container all in one! It has a genius snack container on the top and a sippy cup on the bottom. I decided to sweeten up the bag a bit and add some candy to the loot bags too! We gave these away at Zane’s Birthday Party to the children that were 2 – 5 years old. Click here to find out more!

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2.     3-Step Teether Set: We had a few babies at Zane’s party that where under 9 months and so what better gift than colourful, texture filled teethers that will help soothe their sore teething gums? This 3 pack of tethers is awesome because it covers your mini from start to finish during teething! Click here to find out more!

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3.     Bath Time Toss: What’s more fun than bath time? Nothing once you have this colourful floating octopus! This Bath Time Toss is great for kids 18 months+ and they’ll have a blast playing with it in the bath. Zane is only 1 year so he doesn't quite understand that he's supposed to toss the rings on the tentacles but LOVES it none the less :) Click here to find out more!

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4.     Plush Teething Blanket: This is one of Zane's fave toys at the moment. It’s a teether, a little lovey and has crinkle paper inside so it’s a toy that keeps him entertained as well! I love how colorful it is, the price point is great for loot bags and parents will thank you for sending their kids home with such a memorable and useful toy! Click here to find out more!

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5.     Snack Keeper: This cup is PERFECT for children who are at the finger food and snack age. Zane loves to feed himself but also loves tipping over his bowls (and this mama does not love constantly cleaning my floor). It has a special flexible opening at the top that keeps the snacks in, but lets your minis stick their hands in to grab out the snacks! I decided to add some Puffies into the loot bags so that they could start enjoying their bowls asap! I also added in a plastic spoon as a little bonus so that the parents could use the bowl for other things as well. Click here to find out more!

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Make sure if you pick these up, you get an extra one for your mini because they won’t want to let them go once they see it (the struggle is real when you pick out great loot bags lol!)

Don't forget you can get 15% off of site wide at at Elfe.com using the code ZANE15. It's only valid until March 23, 2018 (certain restrictions apply)!

 

Baby Bundles from The Children's Place!

Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and The Children’s Place and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Leaving the house with a baby is tough... and such a long process. Between picking out an outfit, the diaper changes, the spitting up and then getting myself ready, it's often a full day affair. I'm all about finding ways to speed it up so that we're on time and still smiling by the time we get to the car. The Children's Place came to the rescue by launching their incredible Baby Bundles! They've created a one-stop shop where you can find perfectly coordinated outfits and multi-packs to help speed up the getting ready process so you can enjoy more time with your mini! You no longer need to worry about finding coordinating outfits or about not having enough of a certain item... Baby Bundles from The Children's Place have it all and they include affordable, stylish and PERFECT items for every baby :). 

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Zane is starting to stand and wobble around so we've now added a new closet staple to his wardrobe: socks with grips on the bottom! But let's be honest... baby socks are going to get lost, so you can never have too many! We picked up this great Baby Bundle: Baby Boys Athletic Stripe Midi Sock 12-Pack

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With spring just around the corner, I can't get enough of the bright and beautiful colours at The Children's Place and we ordered a pack of the Baby Zoo Party Pants. With Zoo animals, stripes and elephants, these pants can be paired with a basic plain Tshirt and worn every day!

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There's nothing I love more than babies and rompers so I NEEDED to get my hands on this Baby Bundle. It's called the Camo Rockstar Faux-Layer Top Romper And Pants 3-Piece Playwear Set and I am OBSESSED.

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The sizes go from newborn to 24 months so if you have an expecting mama friend, look no further for the perfect baby shower gift! Head over to The Children's Place to see what all the excitement is about :)

Puzzles, Educational Games and More from Mudpuppy!

Zane may have said Dada first but he WILL spell mom first if I can help it LOL. In all seriousness, I grew up loving to read, spell and always excelled in school, so I’m taking a proactive approach on teaching Zane the basics and Mudpuppy is definitely the place to start! Their selection of puzzles, activities and books makes it a one stop shop for everything for kids of all ages (they even have an awesome feature on their website in the product categories where you can filter the results by age… this was SUPER helpful).

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Their Wooden Magnetic Sets were a total hit with Zane. There are a few different ones available on their website – they have letters, numbers, shapes and even farm animals! The one pictured is the My Day Wooden Magnetic Shapes and includes the weather, shapes, clothes and animals! These are meant for kids 3yrs+ so if you buy them for your younger baby, make sure they are supervised because some of the pieces are small.

We also tried 2 of their puzzels. The first puzzle we tried out was great for Zane to start playing with now! We chose the Transportation puzzle from the My First Puzzle Pairs collection. The puzzels are colourful, easy to put together, and each one is made of only 2 pieces! The second puzzle we tried was from their 4 in a Box Puzzle Set Collection and since my little man loves animals, we chose the Animals of the World puzzle! The box includes a 4 piece, 6 piece, 9 piece and 12 piece puzzle. You can win your own 4 in a Box Puzzle Set Collection on my Instagram page! Head over there to enter :)

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Finally, we got their Opposites Board Book – which features bright images, textures and fold out pages! Each page of the book features 2 opposites (such as tall – short and hard-soft) side by side. Zane is at a total touchy-feely stage right now so the textures, colors and simple words are so great.

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Click here to visit Mudpuppy and see what else they have to offer!

The Baby Proofing Must Have Product

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt... and it's every parent's nightmare that their little munchkin will injure themselves while exploring. The littlest thing can become such a danger to curious little hands and the more your minis move... the more they'll explore and the more trouble they'll get in! I recently got to try out the Bily Contoured Top Metal Superyard (available at Babies R Us) and I'm now adding it to my list of Must Have Baby Items. This 3-in-1 Superyard can easily transform from a playard to a gate enclosure and can even be used a barrier between rooms! It has a swinging door that can be opened with one hand, it swings shut on it's own and it has a built-in stay open feature. You can even purchase extensions separately if you need it to be larger.

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We have a really oddly shaped stair case with a flat piece of metal on one side and holes between our steps so baby proofing our stairs seemed like mission impossible, until we tried out the Bily Contoured Top Metal Superyard. I love that it matches with my decor (so many of the gates are white), I love that it's super sturdy and metal, and I LOVE that is was simple to install. If you're looking for a gate for an oddly shaped stair case, a sturdy playard, or a barrier to block off certain rooms in your home that won't be an eye sore, I have to recommend the Bily Contoured Top Metal Superyard! You can't always baby proof every room... and you won't have to with this product! Just install the Superyard and you can literally block off any door way to any room in your home! You can find more information about this product on the Babies R Us website by clicking here.

Zane wasn't too happy that he couldn't play on the steps anymore, but I am thrilled to have peace of mind that he is safe. Now on to baby-proofing the rest of my home!

 Easily opening door with an automatic swing shut system and a built-in stay open mechanism that can be activated.

Easily opening door with an automatic swing shut system and a built-in stay open mechanism that can be activated.

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My 3 Tips for Finding the Right Baby Bottle

The search for the right bottle for a new baby can be a long one. Every baby is so different and even as they grow, their preferences can change overnight. There are so many bottles on the market all promising to do different things, so I'm going to share with you what I looked for and why I'm recommending the Baby Brezza Bottle (they are sold at Buy Buy Baby and at Walmart).

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1. Find a bottle that is EASY to clean with as few parts as possible - Many of the bottles out there, specifically the one's designed for anti-colic, have 3, 4 even 5 different parts. No one wants to be taking apart a 5 piece bottle to clean multiple times a day. The Baby Brezza Bottle, for example, is an anti-colic bottle with only 2 parts and a TruFlo Vent System to minimize colic and discomfort from gas so there is no need to give up function for simplicity. You can have it all in a bottle with Baby Brezza!

2. Find a bottle that mimics the shape of the breast and nipple for an easy transition in feeding - Whether you are breast feeding, formula feeding or both, any bottle that closely resembles the natural breast will make your feeding journey easier. It means your mini will inhale less air while drinking and will have an easier time switching back and forth from bottle to breast. The Baby Brezza Bottle has an ultra wide mouth and a breast-like nipple which will help avoid nipple confusion!

3. Make sure the bottle you ultimately choose is easy to hold, both for you and your mini - the shape and weight of a bottle is so important. You will be using bottles for the first year, if not longer of your baby's life, and the ultimate goal will be to teach your baby to feed themselves. A bottle that is too heavy, too thin, too wide or an awkward shape will not only be a nuisance for you, but will make it difficult for your baby to learn to be self-dependent! The Baby Brezza Bottle has an ergonomic design that is easy to hold and it is super light weight making it great for every stage of feeding!

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We loved that the Baby Brezza Bottle was easy clean with only 2 parts, was light weight and easy to hold, and that the shape mimicked the natural breast so Zane hasn't had to deal with extra gas from air intake. The cute sayings on the bottom were just a bonus!! 

These bottles are sold at Buy Buy Baby and Walmart.

This 2-in-1 Travel and Play Tent Will Save Your Summer!

So you're on a beach or in a park and your mini wants to take a nap, play with toys, or just roll around. What do you do? I often felt like the bucket seat or stroller was often too hot - and if I covered it with a blanket to shield my mini from the sun, it literally became a sauna. I recently had the chance to try out a product that I WISH I would have known about in the summer when Zane was younger, but I'm thankful that I got to discover before we have another baby!

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The bblüv 2 in 1 Travel and Play Tent is a portable tent that folds up into a small carrying bag and can be brought ANYWHERE. It fits in the bottom of your stroller, can be carried over your shoulder and even fits in a suitcase! It opens up to full size on it's own and is large enough for your baby to comfortably play and relax in. 

Some of my fave features: 

1 - It's SUPER light weight and easily folds up to be carried anywhere
2 - It has an anti-UV coating (SPF 50+) to protect your mini's skin from UVA and UVB rays from the sun
3 - It has a mosquito net that can fold down to keep out the bugs!
4 - The canopy helps to not only protects baby’s skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, but also from wind and sand
5 - It easily wipes clean so you never need to worry about putting down at the park, beach or anywhere outside

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You can visit the bblüv website to read more about this must have travel item!