Monday, November 28, 2016

Dead Sea Mud Mask Review

Product review of an All-Natural Dead Sea Mud Mask by Maple Holistics

Looking for a great mud mask?

I recently had a great opportunity to try a mud mask for the first time! Maple Holistics has the "Dead Sea Facial Mud Mask", and let me try it for the last week. The results? Amazing!

I have weird skin

I have odd skin - it's sensitive, it's combination oily/dry, and I have a slight case of acne. So some masks just don't work for me. I also have noticed, with age, that those pesky little lines are really starting to form around my eyes and mouth.
But the Dead Sea Mask is hypoallergenic, and full of great minerals that help moisturize and exfoliate. It naturally firms and tones your skin, and helps increase your collagen levels (which means, less lines and wrinkles!).

Aromatherapy with essential oils

The Dead Sea Mud Mask contains natural mud (that's really from the Dead Sea!) as well as a few Essential Oils - Lavender, Clary Sage, German Chamomile, and Green Myrtle. All of these help with relaxation, stress-reduction, inflammation, and oily-skin. 
As a mother, I don't always have time to pamper myself. Actually, I never have time! As much as i would love to soak in the bathtub with a glass of wine, it doesn't happen often. 
But this mud mask, is literally like spending time at the spa! Well, your face will feel that way. It's soothing and cool, but feels invigorating and energizing at the same time! It smells great, unlike some masks that immediately turn you off when applicated.
It doesn't take long to dry-maybe ten minutes. And washes away with ease.
Product review of an All-Natural Dead Sea Mud Mask by Maple Holistics

Final result?

With the first use, I could tell a difference with my facial skin. It was automatically smoother to touch. While I had the mask on my face, I could feel it tightening my skin, which lasted long after washing off. 
Now, after about a week of use, I can certainly tell a difference! My skin feels stronger, and is certainly a lot more clear of pimples and blackheads. it's noticeably brighter, and I have noticed some of the fine lines around my mouth and eyes fading. I've always had a problem with dark circles and "bags" under my eyes, and this product has really redefined that area, without damaging such a sensitive spot.
I believe the Dead Sea Mud mask is the perfect gift for that Mom friend, best friend, or anyone you know that would want to take a few minutes to pamper themselves (including yourself).
Maple Holistics also has a wide variety of all natural cosmetics, hair and skin care products, including shampoos, conditioners, lotions and serums. All animal-cruelty free!
You may even want to check out their (one of a very few) new, non-natural Purple Shampoo, that a lot of people enjoy!
They also have free samples you can try!
I really like this product, and highly recommend it! it's probably the best facial mask I've ever tried, and now, I can safely say I'm a lifetime fan!

And of course, many thanks to Maple Holistics for reaching out and letting me try such a great product! I'm hooked!
Product review of an All-Natural Dead Sea Mud Mask by Maple Holistics

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Traveling With A Newborn? 5 Feeding Tips

5 feeding tips for traveling with a newborn

Traveling with a Newborn?
The holidays are upon us! For most families, this means travel. And if you have a newborn in tow, this can sometimes be a more lengthy (and difficult) process. 
The Honest Company, reminded me of the trips we took with my son, while he was a newborn. It isn't easy, but here's a few things I learned along the way. 
Also, check out these great resources from The Honest Company that can help you, be it breast or bottle, with great products to help you feed your baby! Supplements, boosters for your supply, nipple creams, bibs...they have it all!
But when preparing for Thanksgiving or Christmas vacations, consider these tips that I used, for those long trips in the car...

Plan extra time for feedings

I exclusively breastfed my son, but this applies to everything - breast, bottle, or tube. You have to allow a certain amount of time for feedings. it's important to know your baby's routine, and plan accordingly. If they feed for an hour (every hour!), and the drive will be at least two hours long, then you have an idea of a timeframe.
Plan to strike out early. My son cluster fed like clockwork-so we left an hour early, and after the first session, he would be good until we reached our destination. 

Comfort is key

Because we chose travel by car, I tried making things as comfortable as possible for me, and my newborn baby. Snuggly blankets, a neck pillow for Mom, space arranged in the back seat for optimal room (avoiding claustrophobia) - whatever it takes to ensure you and your child will be comfy during these stops. Traveling is hard on babies, and the easier you can make it on your baby (and yourself!), the better. And if traveling by automobile, remember you can sometimes...

Get Out Of The Car

We are lucky enough to live right on the Georgia/Florida border. So we never encounter snow! But if you are able to on a nice weather day, consider parking at a rest stop with a nice picnic area, and vacate the car. It will help you to refresh yourself and stretch your legs. And give your baby a different environment for a short change. My son was always a very active eater, and enjoyed looking around until the "milk sleep" took over. Plus, being outside the car for a bit should help you, and your partner, from loathing the car ride to the cousins who just have to live 3 hours away. Something to keep in mind while packing up for the trip, though...

Make A List Of Supplies, And Check Twice

Lists are super handy for all the little details. make sure you have everything you will need for feedings, and at least one extra item (if possible) on hand. Be it bottle, nipples, nursing covers, breast pads, gas drops...make sure that you have backups of anything that can get dirty, or can't immediately be re-used without proper cleaning. You may not find yourself stopped at a place that will have access to water and soap (that you will feel comfortable using your baby items with), and you don't want to add more time to your trip (spent washing things).
Pack just enough (not everything!) of the necessities that will get you to your destination, which at that point you can sterilize and clean. Because when baby needs to eat-baby needs to eat! And you'll want to get back on the road ASAP. 
But in the grand scheme of everything, always remember...

Take It Easy

Traveling is hard on anyone, including being stuck in a car for a few hours. Especially hard on newborn babies. The less stress you endure with the preparation, and execution of your trip, the better the ride will be for your child. Children feed off their surrounding energy - if you are calm and collected, it will rub off on them! So relax as much as possible, take moments to stretch your legs and smell the roses (or, at least, fresh air as opposed to the little tree freshener hanging from the rearview mirror), and make life easier on yourself by not rushing. The ride will be a lot more enjoyable for you, and baby!
Check out the feeding resources page on The Honest Company's site for some awesome products that can help you nourish your little one, and as always, be safe while traveling this holiday season! And many thanks to The Honest Company, for inspiring this conversation amongst mothers! it's important that we, as a collective, support each other with our experiences!

If you're looking for more holiday posts, check out this linkup as well!

5 Feeding Tips For Traveling With A Newborn

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Day In The Life Of A Stay AT Home Mom

Ever wonder what a Stay At Home Mom does all day?

Ever wonder what a Stay At Home Mom does all day?

Yes, I'm a stay at home mom. I'm super excited to be doing this collaboration with Luz, an awesome Mommy blogger I recently connected with. Recently, we got together and decided to write about our experiences- as a Stay AT Home Mom...and, A Working Mother! 
Today, I will be answering her questions below about my life and experience, and if you check out her blog, you will be able to read her responses to my questions! I'm naturally intrigued by Mother's who are able to work a full time job-in, or outside the home. This was a lot of fun for me to write!

Question 1: Why Did I Choose To Be A Stay At Home Mom? (Or was it even a choice?)

Wish I could say my decision was more strategically planned, but however, it wasn't that complex. I worked in the beginning of my pregnancy, until morning sickness nearly had me hospitalized and on bed rest. Then, due to my husband traveling abroad for school, I moved in with my family, waiting his return. We had our son a month after my husband came back, and then it was Full-Time Mommy Mode! So between barely handling horrible pregnancy symptoms, and moving (twice), I just never went back to work. And honestly, never thought that much about it.
Until I became bombarded with questions, like, "When are you going back to work? Six weeks? Eight weeks?"
Once I considered what "working" would require; leaving my newborn with a babysitter the majority of the day, subjecting myself to pumping breastmilk and the hassle of bags/bottle/plastic nipples, and the general cost of childcare. I decided that everything would be more beneficial to my child's well being, and my personal finances, if I remained at home. My husband more than take's care of us, and I don't have to worry about what my baby is doing/feeling/needing. It made sense at the time, and we've been doing it ever since.

Question 2: When Do You Ever have "Me" Time? When do you ever rest?

Very, very sporadically! Because my husband is usually out of the house, I am #1 for the baby. As well as running an entire household. It is, literally, a full-time job. Since my child requires a certain amount of care and attention, I must juggle household chores around his schedule. I honestly wish naps were longer!
But the very end of the day, once he's in bed for (at least) a few hours, I am able to find my "me" time. That's when I write, or relax, even catch up on what else I didn't accomplish that day.
"Me time" is important for a SAHM, even if it's very short lived 

Question 3: What is your everyday routine like?

Mornings are spent getting breakfast out of the way, and my husband out the door. Then, I bounce between morning chores and entertaining my 16 month old. Nap time is when (if I don't sleep with him, which isn't often) I am able to handle most tasks on the computer. Along with blogging, I admin a cloth diaper b/s/t group, and take requires more time than one would think. 
The afternoon is full of either finishing up housework, keeping the baby doing something, or completing a few outside errands. After dinner is done, and I get the baby to sleep, I can finally have some time for my husband, and myself. It takes a lot to keep a household running smoothly.

Question 4: Do You Wish You Could Work Out Of The Home?

I've had my fair share of positions outside home, before children. And while I enjoyed them, I'm not exactly itching to go back. Yes, I sometimes crave adult interaction, and lothe children's songs on repeat. But in the grand scheme of things, I feel that it's better for my baby that I stay at home. I feel it's better for his development, education, and our finances. If I worked, a good amount of my earnings would be going to childcare. Not to mention the anxiety I would put myself through worrying about my child; Is he happy? Is he ok? Does he miss me? And I would be missing out on so much! My son is only this age for so long. I don't want to miss a thing. The office isn't going away.

Question 5: Do you plan on being a SAHM until your son goes to school? Or what is the plan?

I'm not making any plans for the future. Because plans can change. And even when my son is in school, I want to be active in his education. PTA, after-school activities, sports-all those things are important, and I want to be there for every part of it. And it's too soon to try to figure how how to coordinate my work schedule and his school schedule. So if the opportunity arises that I can return to work, then I may take it, but it will really depend on what's going on at the time.
So, now you know more about my life as a Stay At Home Mom. Want to see what questions I asked my friend Luz, at Adventures With Nico, about being a Working Mom? Go to her blog here and read all about it!
Ever wonder what a Stay At Home Mom does all day?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Custom Christmas Invitations

Customized Invitations for your next party! Perfect for Christmas!

Looking for a Custom Christmas Invitation?

With the holidays approaching, our first real Christmas party as a family is on the agenda. Yes, it's a little early to be thinking about it now - but I plan ahead. While planning ahead, I did stop at a few stores and put some serious thought into my paper invitations. I ultimately decided that custom Christmas invitations were a must!
Usually I never do paper invitations. I didn't even do them for my wedding! Mostly because I can't ever decide on a design. This year I tried going out of my comfort zone, but nothing in the Hallmark section really caught my eye.

Acres A Bloom

Looking to the internet, I actually came across this Instagram feed and found Acres A Bloom - Custom designs for all your party or announcement needs! Wedding, Baby, Graduation, Birthday, and yes-Christmas parties!
This was the flair and originality I was missing in my store bought cards!
I contacted Rebekah (who is super awesome!) and let her know my ideas. She sent me an email to continue with the project, and the order form to select design colors and scheme. It was super easy to navigate! I  wanted to allow her a lot of creative control, since I (of course) can't ever fully commit to a design when given a lot of options. The result? Awesomeness!
Invitation Proof

Custom cards are the ultimate way to go!

I now am a solid believer that for any special occasion, if you can make it your own somehow, that you should definitely go for it!
And while it might only be an invitation, it's also the first impression your guests will get of how the atmosphere, and mood, of your party will be! This design spoke to me as being "Festive", "Warm", and "Merry!" 
But hey, isn't that how Christmas is supposed to be? Plus, no one will ever be able to say they "used that pack of cards for last year's party." 
Acres A Bloom offers designs for all occasions, including Baby Announcements, Graduation/Birthday parties, Weddings, and all Holidays! I wanted something very simple - but her designs can be as elaborate as the occasion calls for! They are all truly beautiful! 

You can also get free weekly printables by joining the Acres A Bloom mailing list!
Check out the website for more information and quotes, and don't forget to visit Acres A Bloom's Facebook and Instagram page for more beautiful designs and photos! I want to give Rebekah a huge Thanks for working with me! These invitations have given my little Christmas party the flair it needed!
Customized Invitations for your next party! Perfect for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Harem Pants by Cherry Brick Road Review

Use Cloth Diapers? You'll LOVE these harem style leggings for winter!

Harem Pants Review - Cherry Brick Road

Do You Use Cloth Diapers? 

If you do, now that Winter is near, you either will understand the struggle, or you already do. Finding the perfect fit with pants and cloth, can be a little difficult. Usually, the clothes you buy have to be at least a size larger than normal, and while pants may fit around the diaper, they can be long in the legs (or too big in the waist).  But, never fear - you have options! One of those options; enter, Harem Pants.

What are Harem Pants?

In case you don't know, harem pants are these nifty leggings, kinda like "baby yoga pants" that are designed to be worn with cloth diapers. Specially designed to allow room in all the right places, to accommodate the diaper, but still be comfortable! 
I recently connected with Cherry Brick Road and had the opportunity to give a special friend a few pairs of their harem pants to try, and we are in Love!

About the pants...

All of Cherry Brick Road's harem pants are made with 100% Cotton. The material has been pre-shrunk (so no worries with the laundry!). The fold-over waist band and cuffs allow the pants to grow with your baby for the months to come.  They are nice and warm in cooler weather, perfect for wearing during fall and winter.

The prints and available colors are so trendy right now, and I love the flair they exude! The stitching is high-quality. Compared to other brands, you really can't beat the price, as far as cloth-compatible baby pants go.

Sizes for certain prints go from Newborn to 24 months! And the great thing is, even if you are a little off with size, they will grow with the baby for quite a while!
Introducing Cooper

Our model loves his!

Our Model Cooper here, is only a few weeks old in these shots, but these 3 month size pants will last him the majority of the winter with his cloth. Cooper's mother says he loves getting dressed and had no problem putting these on!!
Wearing the Tribal Harem Pants

Cherry Brick Road also has a lot of other great products; Single/Reversible Bibdanas, and Top-knot Headbands!

Wearing the White Harem Pants with Triangles

Visit Cherry Brick Road!

Be sure to check out their site, Instagram, and Facebook page!  These harem pants are highly recommended for keeping your little warm while he wears his cloth diapers!
Use cloth diapers? You'll LOVE these harem style leggings for winter

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Life After Marriage

Life Changes After You Say Your Vows

We pretend it doesn't, but it really does. And it's not a bad thing - but just a part of life.

My husband and I have shared many wonderful things, throughout the course of our marriage. And if you asked us a short time after we did it, we probably both would have answered,
"No, everything's pretty much the same!"

But that's not entirely true

Some things will change. Once you've become comfortable, you naturally drop your guard. Then you begin noticing things; Like used Q-tips on the bathroom sink (which makes absolutely no sense, when the trash can is right there!). And that make you never get around to those midnight walks on the beach. Some times you just really want your spouse to just go away...for like, an hour, so you can watch Grey's Anatomy in peace.

It's all natural, and there's nothing wrong with it.

With that level of comfort and realization, you can find a sliver lining. You're learning more about your partner, and yourself. And still finding ways to connect, and be your own person, at the same time.

But if you think being married is all about romantic candlelit dinners every night, a spouse who never has a bodily function, and remaining in complete agreeance on every subject (never fighting); sorry to burst your bubble, but that's just not it how it works.

Husband's are gross. And slobs. And they will argue with you over stupid things. You aren't going to be drowning in Romance. And even if you did spend every waking moment together, either one or the both of you will want to scream. 

But your marriage will survive!

And it can be made to be stronger - just remember that reality isn't a Disney movie, and sometimes - marriage is hard. And annoying. And totally worth it.

I recently wrote a post on 5 Changes You'll Experience After Marriage, that goes a little more in depth on this topic, but before I send you to read that - just remember this: The Hollywood Love Story always ends once the credits roll. Your own love story is a thousand times better. You get the real thing. And as disappointing/irritating/suffocating married life can be sometimes... the reality is so much better than what the Big Screen will show you.

What's something you discovered about marriage that you didn't expect?

Monday, November 7, 2016

I'm sick of politics...

Can it just be over?

I'm totally done with politics now.

With official election day a mere hours away as I write this, can I just say; I'm done. So f-ing done.

Don't get me wrong...

It is important. And groundbreaking considering the candidates running. History in the making.
But as exciting as it is, it's also; anxious, annoying, frustrating, complicated, and overwhelming!

This last year has been hectic with the upcoming election

And how could it not? This time, many voters who skipped out on the last few elections are voting again - not to mention a new generation of first-time voters, casting their ballots.

But it's all we've been hearing about, at an ever increasing rate.

It's blown up over every aspect of radio, television, social media, even every day conversation.

You can't hardly go to the grocery store without a newspaper/magazine article staring you in the face. A conversation (even argument?) overheard the next aisle over. It's inescapable!

But I did my part

I researched where each candidate stood. I thought about my own viewpoints, and carefully selected a candidate I most identified with. If you follow me on facebook, I even did a short live video encouraging others to do the same. I don't care what your political affiliation is - it really only matters that you use the voice you have, to make a difference.

But as the official time for open polls nears, it's really starting to get to me!

I'm not saying this isn't extremely important...but is anyone else just ready for this to be over with?

The last straw...

I expect to be inundated with the scandals, propaganda, and praises through all the media outlets, and even from friends/family, and my Facebook feed. But when even scrolling through my feeds, or trying to watch Netflix, the current election is always present. Like an ex-boyfriend that DM's late at night when you're least expecting it (and really don't want to be bothered). I honestly wanted to pull my hair out earlier tonight, when a member of the Cloth Diaper Buy/Sell/trade group I help admin, posted another political meme. "Is nothing sacred!?"

I'll be honest guys. 

At this point, whatever happens, happens. If you voted early like me, you've done your part. If you are voting on Nov. 8th, you'll then do your own. It only matters that you make the choice you are comfortable with. But I'll be glad when the anxiety, frustration, and overwhelming media attention coming from the television, internet, and next door neighbors, are done. Family and friends have been divided and broken over this. 

Luckily, it's almost over. And life can get back to being a little different...but somewhat normal.

Monday, October 31, 2016

October Update

So, incase you were wondering what's been going on lately, like why I haven't been posting as often - Things have been very hectic down here!

I've had a lot of Halloween-y stuff planned for the blog, but here it is the 31st, and none have been accomplished. But this month has been super busy - planing the launch (and move!) of this blog on my own domain, coming soon, and making sure my son has alots of fun with the Fall Festivities taking place around the area.

I'm the kind of person that doesn't like to start projects unless I can absolutely finish them, within a reasonable time frame. if I feel like I can't-I simply don't even start them.

Which leads me to procrastination, which I recently did write about on Wisdom.Ninja, a site I will be contributing to occasionally, and you can read the full article here on why I feel like procrastination has made me into a better mother.

Just because I'm putting off the mountain of housework I need to complete before I start packing for our move to a new city, or I'm not even going to consider tackling the daunting task of moving to my own new website; don't necessarily mean I'm resting on my laurels. The times you don't see me so much on social media, is because I'm spending that time with my child, learning new things. Making memories with Bruce at a Trunk-or-Treat is a little more important than organizing the hall closet as well.

It's important not to let the To-Do Lists and anxiety, over chores and errands (and even hobbies and goals) get in the way of being a parent. And sometimes you have to just put it all off for a while, and play with your child. The bonding experience and memories are so much more important than a pile of laundry on the floor.

But - I am getting back into the swing of things, so in the meantime, check out this post, and I will have more coming soon, and (eventually) the launch of a new site!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Finding Pride In Your Birth Story

How does one cope with shameful comments directed at their choice of child-birthing methods?

Every mother has a birth story for each of her children.

Some of us have had Cesarean Sections. Some VBAC's. Some mother's gave birth naturally. About half of us, more than likely used some type of pain medication, while the other half didn't.

No one way is any better than the other.

But one thing I've noticed in the melee of the Mommy Wars - shaming birthing methods.

As long as you were able to deliver your child (or children, for my friend's with multiples), does it really matter how you did it?

I always had the fantasy of relaxing at home to have my water break unexpectedly (just like the movies!) and everyone around me to go in a happy panic. My husband would start spinning around in circles while my Mom helps me get into the car, and with a happy glow I'm announced into the maternity ward via wheelchair as doves fly around and a band kicks in; the doctor's and nursing staff are bustling about as my baby makes his grand appearance, his Father holding him triumphantly dressed in OR scrubs and crying...

Yeah, a little far fetched. And ultimately, entirely unrealistic and nothing even close to what really happened. I had to be induced at 41 weeks because little man was not planning on coming out, which was OB recommended. No doves, and I thought being wheeled upstairs was a little silly when I had already walked all over town the last week, trying to induce labor. My husband did run around in circles once my water broke...but didn't wear scrubs or gloves.

They say always make a birth plan, but even my midwife and Doctor explained that, "9 times out of 10 if you make one, it won't actually be used." Because anything can happen! And as much as we sometimes plan that perfect birth, it doesn't always work out to our expectations...and that's ok.

What's not ok, is criticism towards mothers for how they chose (or ended up having to quickly decide) to give birth.

I'm seen some pretty negative memes, posts, and articles bashing Mothers who had C-Sections ("Taking the easy way out"), those who needed an epidural ("Artificial pain-management is NOT natural"), and even against those who chose to have their child in, God forbid, a hospital ("Just a place for Slice & Dice...not a baby")!

It doesn't matter how you do it-giving birth is a difficult thing to do. But no one way is any superior to another! Every birth has different circumstances surrounding it, and whether you're pro-this or anti-that, in the long as someone has a healthy baby, what's the issue?

Does it really do any good to condemn the mother who had to have an emergency cesarean because the baby went breach? It's definitely not easy having your abdomen cut open, or trying to hold your baby with stitches.

Is it really helpful when you correct someone of their birthing terminology? Most mother's refer to their non-cesarean birth as 'natural'...meaning they pushed their baby out their Vajay-jay...maybe they did need an epidural (remember, contractions hurt like a SOB) but how necessary is it to argue semantics?

Would it be anything other than shaming, to criticize someone for going to a hospital to have their child, rather than climbing into their bathtub? Some mothers have very legitimate reasons for choosing their local hospital, with all the technological advances modern medicine has to offer, over the garden tub or blow-up pool in the living room.

Your decision on how to deliver your child is yours, and yours alone. I'm not shaming anyone who has chosen any of these methods, but it honestly really burns me up to see the "one-up" game played here. What's the goal here? Great, you had an all-natural delivery without anyone present but a Doula, in your bathtub of Gold Flakes, with a choir singing in the background, sans any medication other than angel kisses - with absolutely no labor pains. Do you want a medal? You had a healthy child, that should be enough. Just leave the mommies who delivered differently than you alone.

Offering advice to an expectant mother who is exploring options is one thing, but when you're commenting on one birth plan being "superior" to another, it's a whole other ballpark.

Every pregnancy is an unique as the Mother who is having it.

And we should all be proud of the fact we birthed life into this world-regardless of how we chose to do it. Really, no matter what they try to say; only you can devalue your birth story. No one else can. You are the only one who can take negative comments, and turn into something that disappoints you. Or, you can laugh, and say, "Yes-I had a cesarean. I fell in love with blissful epidurals. And my L&D staff was amazeballs!"

So what do you do when someone criticizes your birth plan?
Take a deep breath and remember: it is (or was) ultimately up to you. Until you have emergency procedures taking over (hopefully not!), however you wish to have your baby is, pretty much, just your decision. So if you feel that epidurals, bath tubs, hospital rooms, whatever, is the best thing; consult with your Doctor (or Doula) and make the best choice. Take anyone else's opinion with a big grain of salt.

And if you've already had your children, and that Sanctimonious Mommy is trying to bring you down because she thinks you "Didn't have an (insert whatever alternative method of birth here)", then try to remember this: their "opinions" really don't mean anything. Don't let their negative thoughts or words, ruin the memories you have with your children. They are yours, just as the decision was.

Don't let anyone tell you your birth, no matter how it was accomplished, is anything less than amazing.

Monday, October 3, 2016

KidloLand App Review & Giveaway

This review is in exchange for a free app paid for by the app company. The opinions expressed are entirely my own and aren't swayed by the compensation of the free app.

Sometimes, when you need to distract your little one in any way possible, you have to turn to your phone.

I'm not one to leave any electronic devices with my 15 month old. For one, screen time isn't good for them at such a young age. Two, I don't need him downloading more seasons of Grey's Anatomy on my Google Play account (it's on Netflix!) or sending random selfies of his nostrils to anyone. And then lastly, do you know how expensive a good smartphone is? He already got away with dropping my Samsung on concrete, let's not push our luck with anything more than a small scratch in the corner of the glass.

But for those moments, like waiting at the Doctor's office, where he needs to be quietly distracted, it can be a lifesaver. So for the few apps that I do have for him, when I don't feel like burning data on Youtube, I make sure they are at least educational. Then I don't have to feel too bad about letting my toddler play with my phone.
When KidloLand reached out to have me review their new app, I thought it would be a good experience for the both of us. Bruce has a new app to play with for a few minutes at a time, and I can listen to different nursery songs that I haven't heard renditions of before.

The app is more than just nursery rhymes. There's songs and games about numbers, the alphabet, colors, shapes, animals, dinosaurs, and a LOT more! And the songs do have the lyrics across the screen. Which I know, doesn't do much for him now. But it's early steps towards recognizing his letters, and then much later down the road, reading.

The app is incredibly interactive as well. Granted, his swiping and tapping skills aren't very good yet (he mostly chews on the edges of the phone and drools if the content has him bored) so he needs Mommy's help. I oblige, because again - I don't want 100 selfies of his eyeball - but within each song and game, there's actually so much you can click on, even I wasn't entirely bored with it.

For example; "Old MacDonald" is set on a farm (Duh) and the scene opens with the barn itself. You click different areas of the barn to open scenes, with dancing and singing animals, who each do their own cute and quirky thing when also clicked. Each song had different interactive features that kept Bruce locked in. And if something isn't entirely interesting to him, he's immediately bored and moves on to other means of destruction, like hiding the coffee table coasters. What's awesome is that Old Macdonald has other entrepreneurial endeavors, like a Zoo & Aquarium, so we don't too easily get burned out on the same, familiar rhymes.

If I allowed him, he'd probably spend all day with my phone playing with this app. Since I don't let him use it but for a few minutes at a time, there's so many songs that he couldn't possibly get bored of them all. So I believe this is something we will end up using for years (which when it is time to learn reading, the phonics portion of the app will be really handy!).

Best things about this app? No data or wifi needed once you've downloaded the songs you want, and no ads! None!

There's over 300 stories, rhymes and songs, and more than 200 games and activities. So trust me, with all the different renditions of your favorite songs, plus original content, you won't get bored either.  With a subscription, you are able to receive new content as it's updated to the app. There's two subscription options: Monthly or Yearly. But if you aren't ready to just dive in with a subscription, there's a free trial (but not all songs and games are accessible.)

You can downloads the app via iOS here, or on Google Play Store and Amazon.

Now for the fun part...

KidloLand is allowing us to do our first International Giveaway! There are 3 opportunities to win a free three-month subscription! So yes, even if you aren't in the USA, you have the opportunity to try this great app out!

Enter below: Entries will be collected and a winner randomly picked via RaffleCopter. Bookmark this page, as it will end in two weeks ( Oct 18th)! May the odds ever be in your favor!

Have you tried the KidloLand App? Let me know below!