Archive for the ‘Sponsored’ Category

OXO Tot and Toddler Feeding (A Review)

Friday, August 14th, 2015

I have long loved the OXO brand, my mom bought OXO and I even remember the Good Grips line coming out in the 90s. Besides the (Did you know that the founder came up with the good grips line after noticing the trouble his arthritic wife had with regular kitchen implements), OXO has long been known for quality. The OXO Tot line is no exception.

OXO tot divided plate review

The plate has a center hole for dip! Truman is a master dipper.

I was asked to review a “staycation” set of products, and since, aside from a few weekend trips, we had no major summer plans; it worked out perfectly. The products included the OXO tot grape cutter, Roll Up Bib, the divided plate and the Sit Right potty seat. I didn’t test the potty seat because we aren’t quite there yet, but it looks like a nice one. Much better than the random Dora one Spencer picked out a few years ago.

Truman love love loves the grape slicer. He wanted to use it and I said no because 1 1/2 and blades isn’t a great combo. I let Spencer try it out though; “works great. Nice slicing action,” was his enthusiastic, yet taciturn review. He claims sliced grapes taste better too. He might be right. I am normally not the biggest fan of single use kitchen items (I’m with Alton on this one), but this one really is great at what it does. Knocked out a whole serving of grapes significantly faster than slicing them with a knife. You can do two at a time, also. Cherry tomatoes worked pretty well, but there was some smooshing of the super ripe ones. The OXO tot grape slicer would make a super uniform fresh salsa, too.

OXO tot grape slicer

OXO tot grape slicer

The OXO tot divided plate is a nice little plate. It is super cute (priorities!), has a non-skid bottom and is divided to suggest the proper portion sizes of protein, grain and fruits/veggies. I think those proper portion sizes can be best left to personal preference so one could also say that the plate is divided in to big, medium, medium, tiny round dip section! Built in dip is genius. Truman loves dipping and the center spot helps keep it a little more… contained. I also like that the rim on the edge helps guide Truman as he navigates this new crazy world of silverware.

OXO tot divided plate

To be honest, Truman isn’t the biggest fan of bibs. He will tolerate one for about 30 seconds and then rip it off, even from the very beginning at 6 months. We mostly just take of his shirt for wet/staining foods. It’s not always pretty, but it works. That said, Truman left this bib on for almost 15 minutes. New world record goes to team OXO tot! I think he liked the pocket. He kept trying to stick food in there on purpose. It washes up great and still looks brand new after more then a few attempts/uses. It rolls-up and secures for travel (hence the Roll Up(TM) Bib name) so I think this will stay in the car for when we get caught out and forced to let him eat in cute clothes.

OXO tot roll up bib

Bib status: ON!

Overall, I am quite pleased with my introduction to the OXO tot line (did you know the company was named OXO because it is the same backwards/forwards/up&down? I am a veritable font of OXO trivia). High quality, I love the green and white color scheme, the packaging is amazingly easy to open, Truman is a fan. All important things. I will definitely be checking out their line of sippy and straw cups as the next stop on my seemingly never-ending quest for the perfect toddler cup.

OXO tot toddler eating


Disclosure: I was provided products by OXO tot for review, but I was not compensated for this post.

Oh Crap! A potty training book review

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

I promised myself early on in this blogging adventure, that I would keep Spencer’s potty training off the internet. And except for some vague-booking and uuugghhh underpants like sub-tweeting, I succeeded. Good thing too. I could have filled books about that nightmare. I swore I wouldn’t have the same issues with Truman (still keeping his potty problems off the net, though).

I didn’t really have a plan except not what I did the other time (or failed to do. Let’s just say winging it didn’t work). Right when I was just thinking that maybe we should maybe start thinking about attempting potty training with kiddo #2 (heh), an offer to review Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right came along. Enormously long title to type non-withstanding, I said yes. Quickly.

Oh Crap! Potty Training

Oh Crap! Potty Training is a fantastic little potty training book. And trust me I have read more than quite a few.  Author Jamie Glowacki sets forth a straightforward potty training plan, with the initial focus being on consistency and commitment (from the parent.) There is also a myths and misconceptions section and I learned some things there. I totally believed that girls were easier to potty train than boys, but it isn’t true. I KNOW lots of people with girls and those girls were potty trained way earlier than Spencer so it must be true, right? Wrong. My dad used to say it best: the plural of anecdote is not fact*.

Potty training books tend to fall in a few categories, like myer-briggs for baby butts. This one is a BCNPBlock method, going Commando, No pull-ups, Little Potties. (As opposed to bootcamp methods or training pants methods or… I don’t know. I just wanted to make an acronym.) If you don’t want a naked baby butt running around your house, this might not be the book for you.

I am definitely giving it a shot though. Oh Crap! Potty Training mentions 20-30 months as the ideal age, so I have a few months to go before we start.  I’ll let you know how it goes! The book makes it seem possible and mostly not terrifying. Mostly.

I am going to end this with a quiz:

What do I regret most about this blog post?

A. Showing up in search results for “naked baby butt”

B. Not figuring out a way to naturally work “Spoiler Alert: Babies Poop” in to this post.


D. All of the above

E. A and B but not C

F. B and C but not A

G. None of the Above

H. I forget what eight was for

*I’m sure this is a really quote and my dad didn’t make it up. He was a master of the slightly off quotation.

Disclosure: I received this book for review and no other compensation. So I used an amazon affiliate link up there. PAYBACK. Make me some pennies blogpost! Heh. Also the answer to the quiz is E but mostly B

Big Tractors with Casey and Friends (Books and Toy Giveaway)

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

My husband is a country boy at heart, trapped in a city boy’s life. He spent his summers as a boy traveling from California to Iowa to spend time with his grandparents. During this time, he started collecting toy tractors and a lifelong hobby was born. We’ve always watched from the edges of farm life; taking Spencer to the World Ag Expo in Tularie, California, visiting a family member’s working farm in Northern California, and encouraging a love of farm toys of all sort.

I was absolutely delighted when I was offered the new series, Casey & Friends to review. We received Big Tractors (with Casey & Friends) book and a Case Magnum 370 CVT model by ERTL. When we opened the box, Spencer was super excited. Actually that’s a huge understatement. He was only minimally understanding about my need to take photos before ripping the package open.


Spencer reads at a 1st/2nd grade level and he could read it pretty well; stumbling over a few words like precision. He decided to read it himself while I was opening the Case tractor toy and made it most of the way through on his own. A preschooler and up would definitely be interested in having the book read to them.


From the publisher:

Big Tractors with Casey & Friends shows how the biggest, most powerful tractors handle the demanding jobs of pulling and powering on the farm. Find out how Big Red and Sammy – the biggest tractors on the farm – use their powerful muscles to work in the field with the rest of the team. Learn about the science of farming and discover how advanced technology makes Big Red and Sammy special.

Other titles in the series include: A Year on the Farm with Casey & Friends (available now), Combines with Casey & Friends (coming in June 2015) and Planters and Cultivators with Casey & Friends (coming in Sept 2015).  We will be adding more titles to our collection for sure.


I asked Spencer what he liked best about the book set and he answered the toy tractor. I should have been more specific. I asked him again but this time was smart enough to ask what he liked best about the book itself (literal child is literal) and he said he liked the facts and that it wasn’t just a story and that it used real photos of tractors instead of only drawings and he thought it was super cool that the tractor was red. When he finished reading it the first time he said “I liked this book. I’ll put it on the shelf with the bug book.” That is just about the highest praise Spencer can give. I really like that they highlighted the words in the glossary yellow where they appeared in the text. Well, I also like that there was a glossary.


The toy tractor is super cool too. We had to take it out of the packaging when my husband wasn’t looking because he’s a new-in-the-box sort of guy. Both kids enjoy playing with it. The labeling clearly states 3+, but it is hard to keep Truman away from toys with wheels. It’s sturdy and fun to roll around. There was even some pretend lego farming the other day.


Would you like to own your very Casey & Friends book + toy set? Just leave a comment on this post. If you need inspiration for your comment, tell me your very favorite farm animal.



Giveaway open to US mailing addresses only, one comment per person. Winner will be selected randomly by me on 5/31. Prize will be shipped by providing company.

Disclosure: I was provided the book and toy to review, no other compensation was received.


COOLIT makes dinner time easier!

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Have you ever finished making dinner, plated the whole thing, corralled everyone to the table in record time, actually had a still hot meal and looked over at your baby and realized everything was too hot for the baby to eat? It’s a nightmare. Then you have to get up and find some fruit or crackers and hope to pacify the baby until the food is safe. Or – what I invariably used to do – cut the pieces of the meal smaller and smaller, hoping that by exposing more and more of the food to air, the food will cool more quickly.

Nothing works. Truman is always annoyed.

Enter COOLIT – an ingenious food cooling dish designed to save time for busy parents.

COOLIT  COOLIT is a blue dish that you keep in the freezer (or put it in at least 3 hours before you need it) and then you put hot food on the dish, stir a few times and it is cooled to perfect eating temperature in just a minute.

COOLIT pasta

I tried it out with all sorts of things: pasta, oatmeal, more pasta, smoked gouda mac and cheese (sometimes I get creative!) even our St Patrick’s Day feast of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes.

COOLIT St Paddys


A COOLIT would make a great gift for the mom-who-has-everything shower or a care package for busy working parent about to head back to work.  COOLIT was developed by parents for parents and is a powerhouse time saver at mealtime.

Disclosure: I was provided a COOLIT to review for this post. No other compensation was received.

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