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Boon SNUG Spout

Sometime in the recent past, we made the jump from sippy cups to 'big kid' cups with both Truman and Cecelia. This means that the chances of cleaning up a gigantic mess of milk at the table are about 100% for each meal, but I figured it was time to push them towards independence and all of the clean-up that entails.

But that still leaves sweet Porter drinking (safely) from a sippy cup, so when a Boon representative contacted me to review these sweet new lids, I said, 'YES.' Because I'm a little obsessed with Boon products in general with their sleek aesthetics and awesomely bright colors. And also because we have more straggler cups that are missing lids in this house than we have lonely tupperware containers. Which is saying a LOT because our tupperware storage situation is seriously maddening.

(pretty new lids = not maddening)
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The Boon SNUG Spout is a universal silicone lid that can slip over any cup you have, instantly converting the most forgotten cup into a fun new sippy cup. It works with any cup that is 2.5" to 3.75" which basically means all of our eleventy hundred cups in the 'kids cabinet'. The lids are dishwasher safe and are really easy to rinse off under the faucet, which is key. Because, seriously, Porter has to be one of the messiest eaters and drinkers ever, as evident by the fact that his Boon lid was completely smeared with random food after two seconds of use.

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I wasn't sure if it would be easy to pull the flexible lids onto various cups, but once they arrived Cecelia and I gave them a try right away. You definitely have to pay attention while you are stretching the lid down over the cup but it's not difficult or anything. I found that sometimes air will get trapped under the lids and it will make the sippy spout tilt inward, but it's an easy fix to pull it back out (and apparently they still work correctly even if tilted a bit). They really did fit over nearly every one of our loner cups that I found, especially the ridiculous amount of 'Take-n-Toss' cups that we have acquired over the years. Since Cecelia is completely obsessed with sippy cups, I was curious if she would approve of these. And she definitely does! No surprise, she requests the pink or purple lid.

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Porter does not care (although he can now say 'orange' and it's the cutest), and he was enthralled with touching every single one of the cups I photographed. And he gladly tested the most important part of a sippy cup: does it spill or leak? I found that it does NOT leak in my highly objective data testing. Score!

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So I'm a fan (and more importantly, the kids are fans) of these lids. You can find them at Target stores or Target.com online, and if you are looking for a way to make those random cups without lids work for their money, here you go!

(Looks nice on my Boon Grass, too!)
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Stride Rite's Sneaker + Boot (Snoot)

It's a balmy three degrees here as I write this, with snow covering the ground, and bitter windchills that boast sub-zero horribleness. And yet, my children are Wisconsin kids through and through, hardly minding the awful winter months, always wanting to play outside (possibly just to get the hot cocoa we almost always have after a stint outdoors).

So it's safe to say we are experiencing 'winter boot weather' around these parts. When a representative from Stride Rite contacted me to see if I'd like to review a new pair of winter boots that are also like sneakers (hence the 'snoot' descriptor), I said ABSOLUTELY. My biggest guy, Truman, was wearing snow boots that were easily 2 sizes too small for him at the beginning of winter, so I knew he would be the chosen child for these new boots.

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Let me tell you a bit about these boots, in my own words. They come in baby sizes and go up through 'preschool sizes', maxing out at size 13.5. Truman can wear a 13.5 through a 1.5 so I got the largest size and it fits him really well. You can also select a standard width or a wider version, which is a nice option to have. I selected the cobalt color and really am so pleased with this boot, plus they are machine washable so when they get filthy from constant use I can try to revive them the 'real' way.

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They are calling it a Made2Play Sneaker Boot, and Truman will wear these to school every single day in the winter. They also pack their tennis shoes and change out of their boots when in the classroom, but then for recess they put on their snow pants and boots (along with a million other winter gear items) and play outside in the snow. Ah, Wisconsin kids, you are so much heartier than my upbringing in Missouri!

Anyway, the boots are really neat because they have two separate straps at the base of the foot and also at the top of the boot. So snow pants or regular pants easily fit inside of the boot to keep the sneaky snow off socks---a constant battle with other kids boots in the winter. You can also roll the top part of the boot down and fold it over to make it more like a sneaker, and the sole does seem pretty low profile and not super clunky like a boot. Folding down the flexible top also means you can pack these into smaller spaces (i.e. a backpack) easier, which is always a big plus in my book.

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It's water resistant and really warm, lined with a fleece material that Truman seems to enjoy. Because they are insulated they are certainly much warmer than a puny little snow boot, which is probably our number one priority in shoe choice this time of year--score one for a warm, water resistant boot.

Here is a cute little video Stride Rite made showing the snoot:


Truman happily wears these nearly non-stop right now and so far we haven't had any wet sock incidents, even when sledding and making snow angels and climbing on top of giant snow piles at school. I would show you a few pictures of our fun in the snow but the day I snapped these pictures it was less than zero degrees outside, so no. But actually, Truman is wearing his snow boots in this authentic 'snow experience' video of him sledding down the hill, so there you go. Boots in action, and we approve of their warmth and comfort!

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If Cecelia didn't already get a new pair of snow boots, I'd buy her a pair, too. And sweet Porter just doesn't fully embrace playing outside in frigid temps just yet, so I think I can get by on the crappy hand-me-downs he wears for a bit longer.

#Scout Box | Savvy Sassy Moms

I haven't gone into a lot of detail about my affiliation with Savvy Sassy Moms as one of their twenty-five product scouts, but it's high time for a proper discussion! SSM is an online style magazine for moms and being a product scout for them means I get to test out and review a lot of baby/kid/mom gear. I'll always be honest with my reviews, I did apply for this position, and it's not paid---but it should be a lot of fun to try out new products and share it with you readers. Some of the reviews will be on this site and sometimes I'll post on my main blog, but I like to reserve true product reviews for over here....unless the post involves a giveaway for the readers, then I'm all about it living on the main blog. I've just always categorized the product information this way, and I try to only include links into my posts if I really love the product.

Enough business talk, let's discuss the first fun package I received from Savvy Sassy Moms!

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Right before we left for Colorado in July, I received this awesome package from Savvy Sassy Moms with the theme of 'Back to School.' Some of these products I've seen and used before and some were brand new to me, all equally exciting to open and try:
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1. Smarty Pants Vitamins: we have always used the Target Up&Up version of kids' vitamins, just the chewable kind, nothing too special. So when I received these 'Kids Complete' version, I knew the kids would totally go nuts for a GUMMY vitamin coated in 'sparkly sugar' (as per Cecelia). Then I actually read the label and realized these things are not sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, or preservatives. There are 5g of sugar per serving which isn't horrible, and apparently this is the only gummy multivitamin on the market that has Omega 3s and Vitamin D3. Sounds good to me!

The kids are obsessed with these, seriously. I only give them one per morning instead of the recommended 4 per serving, but they have effectively replaced our previous Up&Up multivitamins. Truman and Cecelia request their 'dummies' each morning and have no idea that it's not one giant fruit snack...or at least, no clue that it's one with good stuff in it and without so much bad stuff. ;)

2. Hello Kids' Toothpaste:
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Truman and Cecelia are toothpaste freaks, meaning they get obsessive about picking out the type of toothpaste they want in the store. I hadn't heard of this kind before but wow, it's pretty awesome. They sent two small tubes for adults and I really do love it for me, and then three of the big tubes for the kids. We keep the bubble gum (PINK PINK PINK--Cecelia) flavor in our downstairs bathroom with those toothbrushes for the morning rounds. Then upstairs we have the blue raspberry flavor for the nighttime routine, and the green apple is stored away for the next time we run out. The paste is white, not a fake color, and it's another product without artificial sweeteners or flavors, and without preservatives. The packaging is totally adorable and it tastes good, which is excellent except it totally entices my three year old to suck the toothpaste off her brush even more than she normally does. I will totally buy these again once we run out and I'd love to try their mouthwash next.

3. Plum Kids Organic Jammy Sammy
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I just found out that Truman CAN bring peanut butter to school, which is huge because we are big PB fans over here. But you know who loves these little pre-packaged PBJs the most? Porter. He seriously at almost every one of the five in this box, and only let me try a little nibble. We both approve and they make excellent traveling snacks, since I did bring them with me on the plane for our Colorado trip.

4. Annie's Organic Cheddar Bunnies and 5. Plum Organic Mashups
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We are big fans of cheddar bunnies, they are delicious and I frequently steal the children's bunnies when I'm starving and need a salty snack. I like that they are made from real cheese and again, no artificial flavors or preservatives. We don't keep these in the house too often because they are usually gone in no time and are totally dangerous for all three kids. The Plum Organic mashups are also great for portability and for having no added sugar. Porter and Cecelia liked these a TON and I have to get more for them since they blew through the four pack in record time. Sometimes when I feel like I need to jam more fruits and veggies into my carbohydrate loving children, a squeeze pouch is my preferred method because it's just so darn easy and convenient. Bonus that these are organic and healthy.

6.  French Toast Uniforms
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See Truman's polo up there? Ignore Porter's near-meltdown face and Cecelia's adorable pink cowboy boots, because Truman's shirt is from French Toast and it's nice and thick. He doesn't need to wear a school uniform but I was able to pick out a few things for the kids with my coupon that work well for them. This long sleeved polo is one of those that looks like two separate shirts but it's all-in-one, and it's surprisingly thick and seems to be made well.
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I also got him this plain lime green polo and kind of love how adorable he looks in it. Although he'd wear a cotton tee shirt and mesh shorts every day, I am totally partial to a polo and chino pants. Gigantic feet and new size 1 tennis shoes not included.

Oh, Cecelia got something from French Toast, too:
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Those capri leggings are totally her style and seem very comfortable, fitting well for my string bean (no small feat). I cannot get over the inexpensive price of the French Toast items because the quality seems fantastic!

7. Mabel's Labels
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I received a combo pack from Mabel's Labels, which includes two of those adorable little metal tags, 16 stickers that can go inside of shoes, 50 Tag Mates that stick on clothing, and 40 custom name stickers. I had to restrain myself from labeling every.single.school.supply for Truman's first day of school, but I'm happy to have a ton of these for future use. Really into the clothing stickers the most, for things like art smocks and jackets. These would have been great for the daycare years when I labeled all of his 'extra' clothes I'd send to Lori's, too.

Oh, and one more product I received through Savvy Sassy Moms, that wasn't in the Scout Box: Trumpette toddler socks for Porter!
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I love Trumpette and my obsession started back when Truman was a baby, and my mom began buying all of the infant boy versions of Trumpette socks for him. Then came Cecelia and holy smokes, baby GIRL socks are even more addicting! Porter had all of Truman's hand-me-downs until this box came at the correct time for my growing boy. I didn't know they made toddler socks but Porter rocks these all of the time. They look too small in the picture but I promise they aren't. I like that they have tiny skids on the bottom to keep him from sliding all over the place when he's standing on our hard wood. Also, the fake tennis shoe look is freaking adorable. Trumpette socks are one of my favorite gifts for newborn babies and now that I know they make other things besides socks, I might be stuck in a black hole looking at their website. Oops.

That's it for my first SSM box! I'm a fan of it all so far, pretty easy to please, I guess.

Maxi Cosi: Bohemian Red Pria 70

Porter is ten months old now and seriously seems to weigh as much as Cecelia at nearly three years old. The infant carrier we've used for all three kids (Graco SnugRide 35) was slowly turning my legs into bruise factories, my arms would scream in defiance and my back eventually said, 'this is freaking stupid, get the kid a convertible car seat already.' I mean, sure---if Porter actually fell asleep in his infant carrier that would be GREAT but it hasn't happened....ever? Remember: he was a newborn that despised his car seat like nothing I've witnessed before and eventually around three months he started to accept this seat, just barely.

But switching a baby from the infant seat to a convertible kind of feels like a big deal, right? The convenience of placing the already-strapped in baby at the door as I open it for the other kids was really nice. Lori would always have Porter strapped in and ready to go in his seat at daycare pick up. And I definitely liked how cozy it was in the winter months with the sun hood and a blanket and semi-protected from the elements as we'd expose ourselves to the Wisconsin winter momentarily.

And yet, the bulk and awkwardness of hauling a 21 pound baby in the thing was worse than losing the convenience of the carrier. Around 9-10 months we also switched Truman to a convertible, but peanut Cecelia stayed in the infant seat until around a year I believe.

A representative from Maxi Cosi contacted me about reviewing one of their car seats a few months ago, and I jumped at the chance since we needed a convertible for Porter anyway. I picked their Pria 70 in their new limited edition Bohemian Red pattern, since I love bold colors and this particular car seat got good ratings online.

Isn't she lovely?
Maxi Cosi Pria 70 car seat

Our garage and it's chipping paint is my nemesis right now, pay no attention to that. Pretty car seat!
Maxi Cosi Pria 70 car seat

The first thing I noticed when the car seat arrived is that the cover is incredibly soft and I haven't attempted to remove it, but apparently it's quite easy to clean. The seat pad unsnaps and comes off from the frame without having to mess with the straps and without removing the seat from the car. This will be helpful when I get enough energy/get disgusted enough to actually wash our car seat covers. Nate originally installed it and kept the infant insert and strap pads, but I took both of those off once I had our little model try out the seat. I read through the manual and it didn't specify when you should remove the infant insert but I figured he's plenty big, since the seat seemed to fit him better without it. The seat can be used rear facing from nine pounds up to forty pounds, then forward faces until seventy pounds.

With the insert and the pad covers.
Maxi Cosi Pria 70 car seat

Maxi Cosi Pria 70 car seat

I love that this seat has a cupholder and wish our other convertibles did, too. The straps seem very secure and I've only twisted the straps by his butt a few times now (highly annoying). The clasp across the chest is easy to release and the one between his legs is really simple to maneuver, too. I think the straps and clasps are really important in a car seat not just for safety but for functionality, since Lord knows we do and undo car seat straps a million times a year as moms. I like that the Pria 70 has the side impact protection at Porter's head, although it seems like the side pads sort of obstruct his view of his siblings and out the window. He doesn't seem to mind and when he slept in this seat for our road trip, he seemed quite comfy with those pads acting as tiny pillows for his giant head. Our Britax has the side head protection pads too, so it's not really any different than Cecelia having 'horse blinders' either;)

Maxi Cosi Pria 70 car seat

Maxi Cosi Pria 70 car seat

Insert and pad covers removed, everyone is happier!
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Nate says this was really easy to install rear facing and it took maybe five minutes one morning before our road trip to St. Louis. The seat seems to be slightly wider than our Britax, which is fine since we do have room in the mini-van for three seats in our middle row. It's not gigantic or anything so I'm sure it would be fine in a sedan, too but it does seem kind of wide. I was worried that this Pria 70 rear facing would take up too much space behind the passenger seat but it's actually fine, even with a pretty steep reclined angle. I still have lots of leg room in the front seat when Nate is driving so we don't have to rearrange all of the car seats just yet.

Regarding car seat arrangements in a mini van (a popular question, one that I know I stressed over for many months before Porter was born): We *could* easily put Truman in his booster seat in the very back row, remove a seat from our middle row, and put Cecelia forward facing in a convertible and Porter rear facing in a convertible in the middle row. Removing a seat from the middle row would make it easier to get back into the third row, but we can also access it by pulling one of the seats forward. We did this sometimes when Porter's infant seat base was in the van, since the entire seat can slide forward and sort of collapse down while the person climbs in the back. Now that we have the convertible on the middle side seat, I don't know if it will be as easy to pull the seat forward to let people into the very back. Lots of variations on how to fit three car seats in a mini-van, and I'm sure it will change as our kids grow! I just really like having all of them together in the middle right now, so I can pass back drinks or snacks or whatever. But someday we will use that third row for something other than a gigantic trunk space, but that part doesn't suck either.

CC is happy that I'm taking so many pictures this morning.
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All in all, I'm impressed with the Pria 70 in the Bohemian Red pattern. It's a stylish car seat but it's also sturdy and functional for Porter. The Bohemian Red collection is in both the Pria 70 and their infant seat, the Mico AP---both found on Amazon here.

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Boon SUDS Bottle Washer

A representative from Boon asked me if I wanted to do a review for a new feeding product of theirs, and I admit I'm kind of a sucker for all things Boon anyway (i.e. our Craigslist high chair, new bottle warmer and grass). Plus I wash enough bottles now with my refused-to-nurse-past-six-months baby that I figured a bottle washer would be a great product for us to add to the arsenal of baby feeding stuff. My poor long handled scrubber has seen better days and probably needs to be replaced anyway.

The SUDS bottle washer is pretty cool in that you just add soapy water to the bowl, press the bottle down on the stick, and water squirts up through it as the brush cleans and spins inside of the bottle. I totally did not understand how it worked by just looking at the product, so this video helped, but mostly I just had to try it once to get the concept.
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I love how the bottle washer matches the rest of our lime green Boon products on our counter and I do approve of how clean it gets our bottles. The only complaint I have is that it can't clean the nipples and the bottle rings/attachment piece so I still have to scrub those by hand anyway. I think that the bottle washer will be nice to use for other glasses that I'd normally wash by hand, too. Apparently Boon knows that a lot of customers use their Grass and Lawn products as a wine drying rack, because how hilarious is this wine glass they sent to go along with the theme of using their stuff beyond the bottle years? I enjoy connecting the little kid years to wine consumption, big fan of that concept over here, obviously.

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You can find the SUDS washer at Target in stores and online and it's BPA, PVC and Phthalate-Free. I like ours and it adds to our Boon collection nicely. 

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Maxi-Cosi: Bohemian Blue Collection

My first true 'review' post on my review site! How exciting!!

When a PR rep for Maxi-Cosi and Quinny strollers contacted me about working with them, I gladly accepted the opportunity to test out new baby products. Who doesn't want a new/fun stroller in their garage? I am always open to reviewing products that I will actually use and I'm sure a lot of my readers could use a stroller, too.

I received one of Maxi-Cosi's popular 'Kaia' strollers, one that is a part of their new Bohemian Blue Collection. They say the collection was inspired by handmade items and I truly love the colors and fun design!
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When the box arrived, Cecelia immediately wanted to open it up and go for a walk. We actually had to wait a few days to find the time for a walk but made it happen while my mom visits!

Mom set it up with the 'help' of the big kids while I nursed Porter inside. She said it was really easy to assemble and didn't seem to take too much time, since the kids were also coloring on the Maxi-Cosi box and having a grand old time creating a rocket ship.

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Both Truman and Cecelia *needed* to ride in the stroller immediately. I had to check the weight limits and the stroller does go up to 50 pounds, so Truman is good at his 43 right now. We quickly figured out how to raise the seat back, how to work the brakes, unlock the front wheels, and fold it up for storage. It stands on it's own once folded which is really nice to saves space in the garage. Both kids were obsessed with riding AND pushing the stroller and I find it really easy to push whenever I get my turn at that task. Any stroller that folds up easily, pushes without great effort, and looks pretty automatically wins in my book. The colors of the Bohemian Blue Collection are gorgeous and I love the patterns they chose.

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I think I will probably use this mostly for Porter at this point although Cecelia likes to call it *her* stroller, too. The Kaia does come with an infant car seat adapter but it needs to be Maxi-Cosi's seat, of course. Come to think of it, maybe I should ask Maxi-Cosi to test out their Mico AP infant seat. If it somehow made Porter stop screaming I would absolutely shout it from the rooftops!! ;) Otherwise the instructions say to wait until 6 months without a car seat---but I wanted to try it out for my boy now (REBEL!) so I just reclined the seat all the way back and made sure the straps were nice and snug. He seemed to love it during our quick test drive for the baby.
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All in all, the stroller is a big hit over here. Especially with this one.
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The Bohemian Blue Collection is available on this Kaia stroller, their Pria 70 convertible car seat, and their Mico AP infant seat.


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