Category Archives: Baby Gear

MommyCon Vancouver

MommyCon came to Canada! I was so blessed to be able to attend with a media pass. Affiliate links used.

I only live a measly 1-1.5 hours-ish away depending on traffic…but that’s a different story for another post 😉 I hadn’t been to Vancouver in over 15 years so this was a a good excuse to go. The Pinnacle Hotel was very nice and the staff was AMAZING and everyone was so helpful. They were happy to help us find places to eat even though they had a restaurant two feet away from the lobby.

The vendors were spread out in two different rooms, with the MommyCon Shoppe in the lobby between them. They had the fun toys that were previewed on the MommyCon facebook page, and lots of other fun stuff. I bought Abel the teether that looks and smells like an ice-cream cone from SweeTooth Baby Teethers. My kids are all fighting over who gets to sniff it, and Abel only likes the cone end and the kids are trying to make him hold it correctly…it’s pretty entertaining.

The vendors were all great and ready to chat. I FINALLY got to meet Allana who works for Diono, I’ve corresponded with her a few different times being a CPST, so that was great. I networked with a few different great brands and hopefully a few giveaways will be coming up soon. Re-play gave me a replacement valve for a sippy cup I was having issues with, and they gave out samples for posting a selfie with their SnapChat filter. Britax had two little stations up, so I checked out their newest version of the B-ready and it was the same length as my Keenz give or take a few. Nested Designs had a bunch of great products, I bought a sleep sack for Abel, it has openings on the bottom so it will last years longer. I’m going to need 500 more. They also had blankets and sleep suits, it was hard to walk away. I also got some samples of reusable squeeze pouches called the Squeasy that are leak proof, and they are a one way valve so you get every drop! I’ll post a review on those soon.

Grovia came to Vancouver with some exclusive diapers and I was excited to get one, but they sold out in under an hour with a huge line up. Unfortunately I was unable to score one for me and two for a friend like we had planned, so I bought three Grovia O.N.E. diapers because they might actually last baby all night…we will see. Tula had some reps there, and they had a cute new robot blanket. I also got to finally see the ‘Free to grow’ carrier, it came out right when Abel was almost fitting the standard so I decided not to get one. There was a booth with beautiful handwoven baby wraps, made in Canada. West of the 4th Weaving is the brand, if you love handwovens you need to check them out. I also saw Evenflo, a mama who makes finger print jewelry (I need to find my info on her, it was amazing), there was a great cloth diaper booth that showed all the different brands and styles. SO MANY different booths I can’t even list all the awesomeness.

Other than fighting for elevators to get around because we had the Keenz (MommyCon did email that having strollers would make it harder..I was warned) the venue was not too crowded. I’m not sure if it’s because it was in Canada, or if it was because everything was really spread out on different floors. I went to the cloth diaper 101 class with Cotton Babies, that was cool to meet the creator. She had lots of great info and I bet she convinced everyone to cloth. Most of my stash is BumGenius because they work and are super easy to use. I would have done a few more classes, but I was too busy talking to other moms and vendors!

The giveaways at the end are always so fun! They had strollers, car seats, cloth diapers, tula blankets, and more! Brie had so many that were only one number off, I still can’t believe she didn’t win!

After the giveaways were over they gave out all the extra goodie bags…that was a zoo! In my picture below you can see the media gift bag on the left and the regular on the right. This years seemed a lot smaller than last year and I’m thinking that’s because it was in Canada and less things could be brought over. I’m excited for the diaper changer clutch from Diono! Abel got to try Mango baby food for the first time thanks to the goodie bag, and he ate the whole pouch! He’s never done that before 🙂 MommyCon gets an A++ from me and I hope they come to Seattle again, because there are no toll roads for me to get there! I would have taken more pictures, but handling an almost 9 month old baby and a phone that wants to die every hour is hard! HUGE HUGE HUGE shout out to Kate who answered all my emailed questions…I have severe mom brain and may have asked things twice..she didn’t block me! Hope to see you all next year! ITSAMOMLIFE17 will still get you $5 any general admission ticket in 2017 for MommyCon.

 

Keenz 7s Stroller Wagon- You need one!

    Wagon was purchased by me! Affiliate links included in this post.

If you haven’t heard of the Keenz 7s Stroller Wagon yet, you’re about to! This is a full size double stroller with the practicality of a wagon. Currently it comes in three great colors: Grey/black, purple/navy, or green/tan. Some of my favorite features are: two harnesses to keep kids safe, a removable canopy with roll down privacy shades, cargo basket with shoe storage, parent organizer, push and pull handles, and an easy fold! Optional accessories include: Rain Cover, color coordinating Cooler Bag that fits the cargo storage perfectly, Cup Holder, mosquito net, beach wheels (roll over sand effortlessly), wind cover, and hopefully the cool seat padding set that is only available in Korea will be here soon! For a limited time if you order from keenz.us the cooler and cup holder are free with the wagon, but delivery time on average is 5-6 business days. Amazon prime is something to consider if you need it fast!

The assembly was easy other than a stumble over the part where the manual shows you to put the rear axle on backwards, once it was all put together I realized it wasn’t working right and flipped it. I was told they are re-doing the manual. I made a video time-lapse of the assembly HERE, a video of the fold HERE, and a fun trailer of clips of the videos HERE where you can see my daughter pushing it through the mall easily with my husband assisting at steering.

The best part about the Keenz is that it pushes amazing! I am somewhat of a stroller snob and this meets my expectations. If I had to compare it to a stroller I’d say its one step above a city select double. I can get up curbs easily, I prefer to walk to the front and lift that handle to pop it up the curb and then go back to the rear and lift that end, I don’t want to jolt the baby since he’s only 8 months. (Recommended age is 12 months to 5 years of age, the wagon can hold 110 lbs total). We took it to our local community days at a park, and it rolls effortlessly over grass. My husband offered to push for a while and I declined because I wasn’t strained at all! I rolled the privacy shades down, and unzipped a portion of the canopy for air flow so my son could sleep. People left and right were asking me where I got my wagon, and I loved showing off the great features. My baby looked like a real VIP during his nap. I would never leave my child unattended as the harness not being used could be a strangulation hazard. I would love to see a panel that zipped over them when not in use in the future.

Let’s talk fold! If I take the large wheels off I can stow it behind my third row if I have a kid back there hold it secure for opening and closing the hatch. If the kids are not with me I can leave the wheels on and slide in with one seat stowed. You do have to remove the canopy for folding, but the canopy supports screw down into the frame, that’s one of my favorite features! Plus the canopy storage bag has snaps so you can attach it to your handle. Full fold video is down below.

Accessorizing! I added a Dot & Dot parent console (review) to the push handle bar, a Bag Nation backpack diaper bag (review) to the pull handle. The Keenz manual says not to hang things from the handle and that the cargo basket can hold 10 lbs, so I use the attached stroller clips on the backpack to keep the bag attached, and it’s the perfect length to have the weight on the basket. Win win! The reason I love this bag so much is because the wipes case is easy access and since the wagon is easily wipe-able, it’s a match made in heaven. The cooler still fits in the cargo area as well. If you choose to use shopping hooks the Dot & Dot console linked above comes with some as well. For extra storage I added the Skip Hop Grab and Go Saddle Bag its perfect for their extras! I have a Brica Deluxe Snack Pod (not pictured) that I can attach as well in the inside that fits a sippy and snack cup, or two sippys/bottles. You just pressure mount it over the covered hinge part. I ordered a rechargeable fan for hot days, and tablet mount (not pictured) for my toddler if I ever need to contain him somewhere he can’t play. The fan is still in transit, but the mount so far has held up to my 3 year old’s use on his crib. (Yes he’s in a crib right now while family is staying in his room..he gets tablet time when I need sleep lol).

Skip Hop Saddle Bag

 

Another thing worth mentioning is that this is certified as a stroller. Keenz is working to make sure you are not denied entry into Disney because of their “no wagon” rule. Also this Stroller wagon is JPMA certified. More that on that HERE from Keenz.

It feels great to have found something perfect for football practice/games, trips to the beach, farmers market, everything! I have an umbrella stroller, and jogger, so I am completely set! Plus, I don’t feel weird if my 3 year old wants to walk, this is perfect for one or two kids. I’ve even seen moms with picture of three kiddos comfortable in this.

 

 

Elastic topped pocket inside cargo basket^

 

Shoe storage, mesh bottom so dirt/sand can fall out ^

 

Cooler in cargo basket ^

 

Cargo basket stored ^

 

Sample can of baby formula to show size, very roomy cooler^

 

close up of cargo basket

 

Folding is actually even faster if I’m not doing it so you can see how!

 

I loved this stroller wagon so much, find my fan group on facebook! Keenz Queenz, there just might be a giveaway happening. Lots of hacks to make the Keenz even cooler!

 

 

 

 

Can’t Wait for Mommy-Con Vancouver!

It’s just over a month until it is Mommy-Con time again! This year I have a “new” baby who will be almost 9 months and it will be his first trip to Canada.

Last year I had so much fun and came away with a trunk load of goodies between my friend and I! You can check out my overview of Seattle’s event here.

One of things I’m looking forward to most is finding new things to check out! I’m always looking for something new and exciting for the blog, and to tell my friends about. I also can’t wait to try Abel in ALL THE BABY CARRIERS! (Drool emoji). I just ordered a Keenz 7S stroller wagon and I think it will be great not only for a blog review, but to stash all our stuff at Mommy-Con. There isn’t room to really push a stroller around, but the 7S should be easy for us to spot tucked away in a corner for easy access. (Bring a carrier/sling/wrap…you won’t regret it!)

I’ll be packing in as many classes/sessions as I can, the schedule was just posted here. Last year the social media one was very helpful to me. I also bought a VIP ticket for Friday’s ‘Not your Momma’s Baby Shower’ event, I have  never attended a VIP one before so I am pretty happy.

I will also be posting a give-away for two general admission tickets that can be used at any 2017 Mommy-Con! So make sure you are following my Facebook page!

Grab your ticket now at Mommy-con.com and use ITSAMOMLIFE17 to save $5 off your general admission ticket, if you happen to win one from my giveaway you can sell the one you bought or bring a friend! The Vancouver discussion page is here. Hope to see you there! Now… what baby carrier to bring?

Leave a comment and let me know what you are looking forward to, or what class/session you would make sure to attend!

3 Pack Baby Swaddle Wrap For Better Sleep For Boys & Girls. Large Cozy Muslin Cotton Blankets For Receiving & Nursing

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I received this adorable muslin swaddle blanket set from Pretty Baby last month just in time to get ready for baby! I was provided the set free for the sole purpose of this post, and the links are affiliate links 🙂

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We got the 3pc set with robots, elephants, and cars/planes. I shared the love and gave one to my friends 2 year old, and the other one will be going to my friends newborn, shhhh don’t tell 🙂 We kept the elephant one so that will be the majority of my photos! They have a few set options available, and singles so you can get exactly what you need or a perfect baby shower gift. This girl set is so cute! One has owls! 

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These cotton blankets are generously sized at 47″x47″ & are eco-friendly made free from harmful dyes and chemicals. They are also made from 100% biodegradable materials, are machine washable, and wont scratch baby! They also come in gift ready packaging, and are individually tied up in a silk ribbon bow (at least my set was!)

Abel is only 11 days old and so far the uses I have found were:

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Changing surface for my lap,

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cozy swaddle, but I’m still working on my technique!

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Photo back drop..but he had better ideas..

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Spit up protection for the bouncer…

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I’ve also used to cover the car seat from wind!

These are not just great for babies! Even toddlers enjoy these for snuggles and play!

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I am very happy with the size and quality of these swaddles! And you can’t beat a baby product that can be used for so many purposes and remain budget friendly!!

 

Car Seat Safe Blanket Tutorial


I’m sorry if my photos are rotated wrong I’m having some issues.

 

I found this car seat blanket tutorial online, and the idea is there, but it isn’t safe to use in a car seat. Her tutorial would be awesome in a swing or stroller! Just not safe in a car seat. I am a proud Child Passenger Safety Technician so I had to make that clear! Now obviously this blanket is still a parental choice, but if used correctly I feel it’s a good option 🙂

I used one yard of hedgehog flannel, one yard of the inner pattern (not sure what to call that?) and I bought the crib size pre-packaged batting because I couldn’t wait in line again for the cutting counter.

I was planning to make a few more of these so I didn’t take many pictures as this was my 1st one, so follow her tutorial until you get to the part where you make the spots for straps if you need lots of pics. I’m still going to type out everything here, but I won’t have as many great pics!

Pre wash your fabrics! One shrunk more than the other in the dryer so I’m glad I did!

First step is to lay out your fabrics with the two face sides of the fabric touching and make sure its all smoothed out, I cut the edge off my longer one to make sure same size. Then fold into quarters. Once it’s all folded I cut along the free edges (do not cut the folded edges!) making the free edge rounded as shown in the picture below.

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When unfolded it will look like this (below) keep the prints touching and don’t separate. Take your batting and lay on top of whatever side you want and pin it all together, then trim the batting to match the flannel.

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Batting side down, sew along the edges leaving whatever corner you want the hood to be unsewn about 4″ down on each side. Once sewn, reach in the opening and flip the fabrics right side out. Then Sew along the outside again to give it a nice edge 🙂 (please see the other tutorial..I’m not very good at this haha)

Fold the fabric in half lining up the sides of the “hood corner” with the fabric you want on the inside facing out. Sew a line a few inches down as shown where the opening starts. If you feel it’s too far down just make sure you close up any openings left.

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Cut right above your sewn line and do a zigzag stitch to reinforce the raw edges. You can then flip it right side out and you have a hood!

Now  here is where I change the tutorial. I laid my blanket out flat and centered my hood, since I use 1 yard of fabric the hood is going to be slightly off center so that you can have one side that tucks in first and a long side to tuck over everything.

So centered below the hood decide where you want your opening. I  laid it in my car seat to eyeball where I would want the hood to be and where the opening should be. For my Cybex Aton 2  I decided opening should be about seven across the top and 12 inches down. I then took my fabric cutter and cut out a  rectangle. You can save your flannel scraps and make that into a burp cloth!

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So around the edges of your new rectangle opening with a straight stitch and then go over the raw edges with a zigzag to finish it or if you have a surger this would be a great time to use it!

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Once you’re done with your opening for the car seat you’re done!

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ADORABLE Muslin Swaddle Blankets (2pk)- Seben Baby

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This post contains affiliate links, and the product was provided at a discount for the sole purpose of this review.

I adore these blankets! They are so cute and perfect for a boy or girl! I love owls and I am glad both blankets feature an owl in a tree with a cute animal underneath, I’m partial to the giraffe one. I am having a boy in 6 weeks and can’t wait to use these.

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They are large at 47″x47″ and perfect for swaddling. I love that they are pre-washed so I wasn’t worried about shrinking when I put them in the dryer. They fluffed up a bit after being already pretty fluffy out of the bag. The bag they come in is perfect for gift giving, I love when things come in nice packaging that doesn’t make it look cheap. I washed these with an entire load of blankets/muslin to make sure they wouldn’t get any snags and they came out perfectly.

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I would recommend these to anyone! Muslin blankets are my favorite because they keep baby cozy without over heating and they have so many uses from a nursing cover, to a clean spot to play on the floor. I borrowed my neighbors baby for a picture in one, and I’m glad I have 6 weeks to practice swaddling because I need to get it more snug around the face! Isn’t she adorable though?

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Version 2 of the Snug Cam Baby Wifi Monitor Has Landed!

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I received this product for the sole purpose of this review, all thoughts are my own and were not compensated! Blog post includes affiliate links, there is no cost for you, but any purchase helps this blog grow!

The Snug Baby Monitor v2 – WiFi Video Camera with Audio for iPhone/Samsung has landed here in the Castro house! I am excited because now I can have two rooms monitored in one single app! I was finally able to kick the handheld monitor to the curb! Now V1 of the monitor was great, but V2 has a crisper image that stays on the color setting longer. I love the wide angle of picture and everything about it! My favorite feature is probably the talk back feature so I can tell my kid to be good or lay down 😉 Ok I’ll be honest it gets used the most to yell upstairs that dinner is ready. Also, this is password protected!

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Spray Pal for Cloth Diapers- Review

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This post contains affiliate links, the cost is the same for you, but helps this blog grow.

Life. Changing. I am so glad I decided to grab Spray Pal – Cloth Diaper Sprayer Splatter Shield off Amazon! I no longer dread the toddler poo diapers. Plus, I am able to get them so much cleaner so there is way less smell happening! The Spray Pal is also good for those pee diapers! I like to rinse all my diapers off before tossing in the pail if I have time.

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The Spray Pal folds flat for storage. You can purchase it in a combo kit if you want a wet bag that fits perfectly. Or you can toss it in a large one if you already own one! My wet bag is large enough I can fit my dirty diapers on the bottom of the bag and just set this on top of them. Just give it a good rinse if needed first. If you don’t already have a diaper sprayer or are new to cloth diapering they have a kit that includes a diaper sprayer as well.

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Now, the Spray Pal is great! But for me it had a bit of a learning curve to completely contain the splatter. My diaper sprayer is actually a home-made set up with a bidet handle, and it can be hard to ease into a full spray gently. The first couple times I got excited and got a speck of poo on my wall, but I quickly figured out proper angles for spraying and it has been easy-going since!

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Love the illustrations!

My toilet is funky shaped and shallow so I use it with the lid down, and wedge the Spray Pal into the seat for a secure fit. If I am doing more than one diaper I have not needed to remove the Spray Pal to put a new diaper in, I simply remove the first diaper and wring it out (I’m too lazy to use the flatten and squeeze feature if more than one diaper), toss it in the wet bag and stick a new diaper under the clip. But you can totally follow the directions and keep your hands clean! After 5 kids I have personally given up most of the time 🙂 I love anti-bacterial soap!  ***ETA: I started doing my diapers individually as needed, and I’m loving the squeeze feature to wring the diapers out!! My hands don’t get wet at all! Of course I still wash 😉

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I really don’t know what I would do with out this..I probably wouldn’t happily stocking up on fluff for baby boy due in 3 months! This gets 5 stars from me! It’s durable, easy to use, and easy to store! This post was not sponsored by Spray-Pal, but stay tuned for a sponsored give-away!

 

NOT MY VIDEO! But here is the video that convinced me I needed one!! I was going to make one, but figured my kid would end up dropping the phone into the toilet with my luck 😉

Buttons Diapers Hanging Wet/Dry Bag- Review


This hanging wet/dry bag from Buttons Diapers has been a great addition to my cloth diapering routine! I can fit 12+ one size diapers with inserts comfortably, or I can store my spray pal easily inside.

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Not only is the pattern cute (they have girly as well!), but it works great as well! I have had no leaks from diapers left in there for a few days. I do wring my diapers out before tossing them in. The two handles are perfect for hanging off a door knob, or my current solution is hanging on the towel rack off a baby hanger.

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Another great use for this wet/dry bag would be overnight outings with baby! If you had smaller diapers than one size fully un-snapped you could fit more than 12 diapers easily! This would also be great for swim suits after a beach/pool trip!

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Overall this wet bag gets 5/5 stars from me!

Check it out here! They also sell diapers!

I was provided a sample of this product for the sole purpose of providing my honest and unbiased feedback in this post. No compensation was received.