Monday, October 20, 2014

Bullet Train Safe Wallet!

I have finally stepped into the world of smart phones. I had to update I chose to go with the IPhone hubby got me the 5S. Cool little phone I don't do much other than make calls and text on it but its cool none the less. The biggest down fall for me is its size. This thing is huge compared to my little Samsung phone that I have had for the last 6 years.  I am always looking for a ways to make my day to day life more simple. I want less stuff in my purse. I have looked at tones of different phone cases since I got the new phone. Its hard to find the perfect case. I wanted to be able to put my id and debit card in the case with my phone and eliminate my wallet one less thing to juggle with two kids. I actually checked out a few cases that had this feature. The downfall to those is my cards were visible for all the world to see.
Then I stumbled on the Bullet Train Safe Wallet that hides your cards. You can find it HERE.  The case sells for $59.99 with free U.S. shipping. They come in some nifty colors: red, black, blue, orange, white, purple and pink.The Bullet Train company sent me a Blue one free of charge to review for you. Its a cool idea for a phone case. It holds 5 credit cards or 15 business cards. I have my id my debit card and a folded up $20 bill stuffed into it. The folded up bill makes it a little hard to slip my card in and out when I need it but I am old fashioned and I like having cash, I did discover that putting the cash against the back then putting my cards on top seems to work the best. I love that my cards are tucked away hidden from prying eyes. There is also a secret hiding spot on the inside of the case that will fit a bill if you fold it up small, but you have to take the phone out of the case to get to it.

The case seems to be fairly well made. I have not been brave enough to throw it down stairs or drop it on the concrete so I cant attest to its ability to protect from drops but it should do a decent job.  It fits my phone very snug it was kind of hard to so put on my phone, took a little work to get it on. It has a slight raised edge around the screen to help protect  the screen from drops. Its made of a hard plastic type material. I would like to see it have a slim silicone inner lining to help give it more protection from drops and bangs.  The case is slick so it slides in and out of your pocket easily almost too easily, I do wish it had a little silicone on may be the corners so that it doesn't come out of my pocket so easily.

The case is actually quite slim its about as thick as a sharpie marker. It makes for less junk in my purse and when I am headed to the park with the kids I can just stuff it in my pocket and I have everything that I need. The speaker sound seem to be the same as it is with the case off. The camera and flash both work well. The only down fall I found is the car charger my husband bought me will not plug in with the Safe wallet on my phone there is a piece of plastic on the charger that does not allow it to plug in all the way. How ever my regular wall charger that came with my IPhone fits with out a problem. So I bought one of those handy USB chargers that you can change the cord on and I just plug the cord that came with my phone into it works quite well. I might look for another cord that will work with it so I can just leave one in the car. Other than that small issue its a very handy little case. I love the slim design It looks good and holds everything that I need to make a quick run to the grocery store.

slightly thicker than my lens cap

Disclosure: I received this product free of charge in order to perform this review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ark Therapeutic Pencil Grip Sampler Pack

With both girls in school now writing has become a big deal. Hotrod Princess holds her pencil too close to the end. Snoopy is a lefty like me and is working on keeping her fingers in the correct position all the time.  I found a great company Ark Therapeutic that sent me one of there Sampler Pencil Grip Packs to try out for this review.  Pencil grip Sampler Pack sells for about $21.99 you can Click HERE to find it on there site or If you like to shop Amazon you can click HERE. The pack comes with 13 grips. It is perfect if you are hunting for a grip that works for your child. It has a little of everything.
there is two grips missing from this photo
1 Butter Grip- the round design promotes an open web space and helps prevent hyperextension
1 The Pencil Grip- a classic grip that guides the fingers into place
1 Jumbo Grip- its a larger version of the The Pencil Grip for additional support up to the second knuckle
1 Crossover Grip- the same design as The Pencil Grip, but with wings to prevent the thumb and pointer finger from crossing over each other.
1 Pinch Grip- similar to the Crossover Grip, but with a miniature version of the "wings" for less restraint
1 Grotto Grip- similar to the Crossover Grip, but made out of a firmer material with an extra lip to keep the middle finger in place.
3 Writing Claws- 1 small, 1 medium, 1 large- three sleeves that guide the pointer finger, middle finger, and thumb into the correct tripod grasp
1 Foam Grip- a cushioned grip for those who may grip the pencil too tightly or need a fatter pencil
1 Ridged Foam grip- similar to the Foam Grip, but with a slightly bigger diameter and ribs for extra tactile input
1 Triangle Grip- a triangular Design that provides a tactile cue for correct finger placement
1 Short Triangle Grip- similar to the Triangle Grip, but half the length and slightly bigger in diameter

We have spent the last couple weeks testing out the different grips looking for something that works
well for each of the girls. If you are looking for the right pencil grip the Ark therapeutic Sampler Grip Pack is the way to go. It gave us a large selection to try with out having to reorder again and again. Snoopy has taken to the Crossover Grip she likes it better than the Grotto Grip because it is made of a softer material and is more comfortable, she has a tendency to hold her pencil too tight.  Hotrod Princess has used them all and still has not settled on any one grip. She does seem to grab the The Pencil Grip a little more than the others.                                                                                
Right now I am keeping them all in a jar on my desk so they have the opportunity to try out different ones and find what works best for them. I sent the small Writing Claw over to one of my nieces she is 3 and learning to write and has a hard time remembering how to place her fingers on the pencil. It is the perfect size for her little fingers and seems to be working well for her.
this photo is from the Ark Therapeutic site
I loaned ours to my niece to try out and forgot
to snap a picture.
Disclaimer I received a free sample of this product to try out for this review. All opinions are my own or that of my kids. Photos may not be copied with out my permission. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Eco at Heart™ Premium Jumbo Stainless Steel Drinking Straw 5pk and giveaway

Thanks to Eco at Heart who sent me a pack of there new jumbo stainless steel drinking straws I got to try something new this week. I have to say they are very cool I have reviewed glass straws in the past and I like them for my self but I don't care for them for the kids so much the girls have managed to break a couple of them. I have looked around for a reusable alternative and now I have found one Eco at Heart makes a stainless steel drinking straw. We have banged them around dropped them and they still look great. I love that the kids can break them and the premium jumbo size is great for smoothies.  They come in a couple sizes but I love the Premium Jumbo size the best. They sell on amazon for $14.97 and you get a pack of 5 and it includes a cleaning brush. Click HERE to find them on amazon. Or you can keep reading and Enter the LUCK OF THE DRAW giveaway hosted by Eco at Heart. They are giving away two $50 gift cards for the most "liked" Instagram post that uses the Eco at Heart logo and the hash tag #ecoatheart the more creative the better. they are randomly giving away one set of there straws to 25 individual people who register for the competition by filling out your name and email and by following there Instagram page @ecoheart
The contest will run for 10 Days, and will start on 9/23/2014. Eco at Heart will announce the winner via email and take care of the shipping. Please note that this giveaway is for USA residents only. So follow the link and enter to win. 
Please note one entry per person, the winners will be notified by email and will have 3 days to respond with their shipping details or they will re-draw if required.

Disclosure: I received a free sample to try out for this review. All opinions are my own or that of my kids.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Children's Claritin & KaBOOM!!

Parents! Vote Now to Help Kids Have More Fun - One Playspace at a Time
As parents, we spend a lot of time discovering creative ways to nurture our children's curiosity. Luckily, being outdoors provides the perfect landscape, fueling young imaginations and creating endless possibilities for exploration, discovery and creativity. Children's Claritin hopes to inspire parents to create innovative play spaces in their backyards, and communities.
Children's Claritin also believes in the benefits of outdoor activity for children, and wants to help children get the most out of every day! They're teaming up with KaBOOM!, a national non-profit, to help bring innovative playspaces to communities in need and you can help! By voting, you can help them pick the four community organizations that will receive Imagination Playground™. What's Imagination Playground™? See imagination at play - watch last year's winner enjoying Imagination Playground™.
Be sure to visit where you can place your vote and gather playspace inspirations for creating your own backyard playspace.  
While visiting the Children's Claritin & KaBOOM! Facebook page, you can also:
  • Learn more about the twelve organizations you can vote for receiving Imagination Playground™
  • Download coupon offers
  • Locate a playspace near you
Vote now and help us pick the four community organizations that will receive Imagination Playground™. You can vote one time per day through 9/26/14. Click here for voting rules.

Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept 14-20, 2014)

In case you haven't heard yet this week is Child Passenger Safety Week. Being the daughter of a retired police Captain car safety is one of my top priorities. I have heard countless stories for seat belts and Child safety seats saving lives. I have also heard stories of child safety seats not being installed correctly and children getting hurt and even had a close friend almost die and end up with a broken neck at the age of 2 because she was not secured in a Child safety seat.  The girls were extended rear facing baby's, they stayed rear facing tell they were just over 2 years old. My oldest stayed in her 5pt harness tell she was at it is limits and has just now transitioned to a booster. In honor of Child Passenger Safety Week the good people at Safety 1st has put together some child passenger safety tips that I would like to share with everyone just in case you need to brush up on your safety seat tips.  I would also like to remind everyone that National seat check Saturday is September 20th so if you haven't had your child's car seat checked recently the 20th is a great day to stop by a CPST and be sure it's still installed correctly.

Car Seat Safety Tips
By the experts at Safety 1st

Importance of Rear Facing
In March of 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated their car seat recommendations advising that children should remain rear facing until the age of two.  According to a study in the Journal of Injury Prevention children under the age of two are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in the event of a car crash if they are rear facing. When a child is rear facing their head, neck and spine are better supported and in the event of an accident, crash forces are distributed over the child’s entire body.

Typically the center rear seat is the safest place for a car seat, and never install a car seat in the front seat.  If your car does not have a latch connector for the middle seat, you can use the middle seat belt to properly secure the base.  When installing, make sure the base of the car seat moves no more than an inch from side to side. An easy way to test this is to hold at the belt path.

Car Seat Expiration
Car seats do have an expiration date, it is recommended that car seats be replaced every 5-8 years, or immediately after a crash.  The reason for an expiration date is because plastic can warp and materials can fray, which can make car seats not as effective in the event of a crash.  Additionally car seat technology and state and federal car seat regulations change over time.  Important warning labels may wear out and instruction books may get lost, which can lead to improper use of the car seat.

Safeguard the Car
Childproof the inside of the car and eliminate projectiles.  Anything in the car that is not secured is a possible projectile – even a child’s toy, or a water bottle. In a crash, objects take on greater weight due to crash forces.

Child Passenger Safety Week (September 14-20, 2014)
National Seat Check Saturday (September 20, 2014) 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fit Made Fun Day

Frog Jump
Hey everyone this past Saturday Sept 6th I partnered with LeapFrog and CLIF Kid to host a Fit Made Fun Party. We invited some family and friends over to get there kids moving and playing. We got the opportunity to try out the New LeapBand by LeapFrog and had some great snacks provided CLIF Kid. I set up the LeapBands the night before to be sure they were charged and ready to go. I downloaded the 60 minutes in motion cards and some other great activities for the kids. I think the 60 minutes in motion cards were the favorite of the day. They kids has a blast it was a race to see who could finish first. Some of the parents even joined in the fun. Rock and Role and the Frog Jump were by far the favorite of the day.

one of the first friends to arrive
she couldn't wait to check it out.
The LeapBand is a cool interactive activity tracker designed just for kids to encourage active play and healthy habits with cute customizable pet pals. You can program it for school time and bed time so they are not allowed to play during those times. Kids have to do activities to earn points to unlock fun and new rewards. Kids can even track their progress on the energy bar. Parents can set up 50 different challenges to get their kids active. The LeapBand comes in three colors, blue, pink, green.  They are water resistant and have a rechargeable battery. There is also a Pethathlon App that you can get for smart phones and tablets and the LeapPad ultra. The LeapBand sells for about $ 39.99. You can get at several different places including walmart. You can also click HERE to get it from LeapFrog. My only complaint is the band is kind of stiff and might be a little tight on a bigger kids wrist. The color on the screen is great and the pets are super cute. The activities are a blast and I love that I can set it so they cant play with it during school time. The kids would like it to be a bit louder they had a hard time hearing it when there was more than one of them around.

After all that moving and wiggling the kids were hungry and were ready for a snack. Our snack was provided by CLIF Kid. We received CLIF KID ZBar Protein in chocolate chip, peanut butter chocolate and Chocolate Mint. Each bar has 5g of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Sugar content ranges from 8 to 9 grams per bar so they are lower in sugar content than some of the other brands we have tried. They are also made with organic whole grains. The kids loved these things and they made a great healthy snack. My girls are not much for granola type bars they usually choose carrots over them so I was surprised at how much they enjoyed these. The other kids seemed to enjoy them and even took some of the left overs home.
I know they are good but take the wrapper
off first please!

Disclosure: I received these products free of charge in order to host this party. It was sponsored by LeapFrog LeapBand, CLIF KID, and BSM media.