May 31, 2012

PottyCover - Your Public Restroom Savior

Nobody likes a public restroom.  That's pretty much a fact - even more so when you are toting around little kids who have neither the concept nor the height to perform "the hover" and avoid the unspeakable germs and who even knows what else that lurks on public toilets.

Even using the paper seat covers that some places provide, our kids were still exposed to the toilet when their legs would drag along the edges and nine out of ten times the paper covers would rip mid-use.

We're getting grossed out just thinking about it! We truly thought there was no better answer out there than the paper and pray method. That is until we found PottyCover .

PottyCover is obviously a seat cover but what makes it about a thousand times better than those economy paper covers is that it has 2 layers - 1 fabric and one a plastic liner to provide a waterproof barrier between your child and that nasty toilet.

We love that PottyCover has a large front flap that drapes down over the front of the toilet to keep your child's legs and clothes from touching the toilet.  It also has longer side flaps since little kids almost always hold onto the sides of the toilet to keep their balance.

Each PottyCover comes individually wrapped and folds up to a very compact little size so you can keep several in your bag without taking up much space at all.  You can find them in packs of 6 on Amazon for $5.99 right here: Purchase PottyCover

Trust us, you'll be singing their praise the next time you encounter an off the charts disgusting public restroom in your travels!


May 29, 2012

sugarSNAP - My bag is no longer a black hole

Before having kids several of us were serious handbag connoisseurs.  Sure, they make cute diaper bags these days - you can't go anywhere without spotting a Petunia Pickle Bottom.   But let's be honest - there is nothing like your pre-baby handbags.

Most of us put those gorgeous bags aside in the name of functionality and bought the diaper bags with lots of pockets thinking they would help us stay organized. For the most part, they didn't.  Just because they had lots of pockets didn't mean that they kept us organized.  In fact, all those unlabeled pockets had us searching even longer for the items we were looking for!

If we calculated the amount of time spent searching for keys, pacifiers, hand sanitizer and diaper cream we'd probably cry at the result.  So when we were introduced to sugarSNAP files by celebrity baby trend expert Rachel Florio it was like our handbag prayers had been answered. 

sugarSNAP files are a brilliant set of zip up mesh files that attach together with a sturdy ring system.   Their purpose is to organize your endless stuff so you can forget about it and enjoy your time with your kids.

There are different files for:

Lotions + Potions  for sunscreen, hand sanitizer, baby lotion
Me + Mine for mom essentials like spare cash, gum, a pen, keys, chapstick, advil
Diapers + Wipes  for your changing essentials, we added a swim diaper for Summer too
Shirts + Socks for that spare change of clothes you KNOW your child will need.
Snacks + Supplies for teethers, little toys (we put a Doodle Pro in) , granola bars, fruit leathers

You get the idea - a place for everything and no more sifting through your bag for your keys while clutching a crying baby or searching for your "panic button" toys while your kids loudly entertain the rest of the restaurant when eating out.

We are now so organized that those diaper bags have been relegated to our closets and we broke out those super cute handbags we carried before our lives were taken over by our children.

We love that we can also swap our handbags from day to day as we choose and never worry about forgetting to transfer over items because  who hasn't found themselves in the dreaded  diaper but no wipes scenario? 

sugarSNAP files are without question the most helpful to mom product we have come across so far and you know we see a lot of baby and kid related products every day!

Our friends Tarah and Stacy over at sugarSNAP have given us a special discount to share with you so you can take control of your bag.  Just enter Mommytesters2012 at checkout and you will get 20% off your own set right here: Purchase sugarSNAP Filess

We're also excited to tell you that soon the ladies over at sugarSNAP will be releasing their Car-Go system soon.  Car-Go gives everything you might want to keep in your car trunk a home in a similar fashion to their handbag file system- we can't wait!

May 28, 2012

Aqueduck - A Brilliant Toddler Must Have

We told you about the Aqueduck before but if you missed our review then here it is along with a great giveaway including the Aqudeuck and other great products courtesy of Mompact.com

If you have a toddler or have even taken care of one for a day, then you are familiar with the struggles of hand washing.  First of all,  they don't particularly love doing it and have to be reminded constantly.  Second, even with the aid of a step stool you often wind up having to lift them up just to be able to get their hands under the water.  The bottom line is it's uncomfortable for all parties involved.

Aqueduck in Aqua Color
Enter the Aqueduck by Peachy, a forehead smacking "Why on Earth didn't I think of this!!" mom-invented product.  It consists of a duck bill shaped faucet extender that slips right on over your faucet and allows the flow of water to reach much closer to where your child is positioned.  It completely eliminates the need to perform the over-the-sink-hover that we are all too familiar with.

We did the 3 second install of the Aqueduck while our toddler tester was at school.  All you do is smush the sides of the aqua colored part in a bit and slip it over the faucet of your sink.  The aqua (or pink) part is silicone like and stretches to fit securely and stay on.   The only instance in which this could be difficult is if you have really awkwardly shaped faucet.

Upon arrival at home and being forced to wash her hands before eating a snack we heard "Mom, look at what I got!  It's just for me!" She was so excited that it was one of the first times we didn't have to lecture her about rubbing the soap in and rinsing thoroughly.

Our Modified Aqueduck
Since we can never just let things be the way they are and because our toddler tester fell so in love with the Aqueduck we decided to use some googly eyes and add to his personality.  We just purchased them in a craft store and hot glued them on.  

The Aqueduck really is a wonderfully thought out and practical solution to an age old problem.  If the Aqueduck itself wasn't enough, Peachy  also gives you a little temporary tattoo of their cute little mascot.  We decided to use it as a reward after a week of remembering to wash hands without any parental reminders.  Our little Toddler Tester just earned hers and is all too excited about it.

Pink Aqueduck with tattoo
The Aqueduck comes in Aqua, Pink and for parents who are concerned about making all their sinks look like the kids took over a nicely camouflaged  silver color.  We only wish they were installed in every public restroom - maybe one day!

You can purchase the Aqueduck for the very reasonable price of $12.99 from Peachy right here: Purchase the Aqueduck 

And even better you can win an Aqueduck along with some other great products below




a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 25, 2012

Let's Go To The Farmers' Market

We've got a little Saturday morning ritual. We take some of the kid testers out to breakfast as a group and then we all go to the local farmers market to pick up fresh strawberries, avocados, pastas and flowers.  We love that we get super fresh local and organic food there and our kids love the buzz and excitement of an open air market.

lets go to the farmers market review kids farmers marketWhile it's fun for all, sometimes it feels like herding sheep trying to keep them together while we pick the best produce.  We were browsing the shelves of our favorite local toy store Geppetto's when we discovered Let's Go to the Farmers' Market and it has become an adorable tool to up the educational value of our local farmers' market and keep our kids busy so we can get our shopping done.

Let's Go to the Farmers' Market consists of:

- 1 super cute reusable tote that packs up into a little strawberry (obviously a highlight)
-a book about farming, the seasons of different foods and how to pick the best produce
-activity cards for things to conduct scavenger hunts for things like various root vegetables, items that start with a certain letter, citrus fruits etc
-a pad for shopping lists to write items on and check them off

lets go to the farmers market review kids farmers marketAll kids love manning a list and being in charge of it so the pad was a winner from the start.  Our little ones enjoyed having their own special missions from the activity cards while shopping and they provided an excellent distraction from bickering, strawberry squishing and just generally running amok.

We mommies in turn were able to grab the things we needed while following along in the pursuit of finding 4 different types of potatoes.  We even got our kids to help carry some of the lighter items using their new found "magic" strawberry.

Let's Go to the Farmers' Market retails for $14.99 and makes a fantastic gift to teach kids about healthy eating. If you live in San Diego you can find it at your local Geppetto's.  If not it's available on Amazon.com right here: Let's Go to the Farmers' Market

May 24, 2012

Safe Sippy 2 - Ditch the Plastic

Safe Sippy 2 review, safe zippy review
Have you ever actually drank from one of those plastic sippy cups?  We had been buying BPA free from the start but if you go ahead and take a swig of your little one's BPA free water cup you can probably taste a nasty, plastic taste.

You can imagine how grossed out and mommy shamed we were when we discovered this.   We were hesitant to buy those expensive stainless steel sippy cups since most of them don't offer a variety of stages in which they can be used....not any more! 

The Safe Sippy 2 from Kid Basix is the only stainless steel sippy we have come across to offer multi stage use.

When your child is younger you can use it as a sippy cup with the leak proof sippy valve.  The detachable orange double handle makes it easy to hold for tiny tots and the dust cap keeps that spout from coming in contact with all the fun dirt and germs that make their way into your diaper bag or handbag.  

When your baby gets a little older you can switch to the straw adapter and it functions like a regular straw cup.  You can also remove the handles if you like -but our kids wanted to keep them on.  The colorful sleeve keeps your child's hands from getting chilly since the stainless steel does a fabulous job of keeping cold drinks extra super cold!

We love that the Safe Sippy 2 will last years because of its sturdy construction and adaptable capabilities, we also think the $14.95 retail price is very fair given the length of use and peace of mind it provides us knowing our kids won't be drinking plastic tainted beverages any longer.

Kid Basix sent us a Safe Sippy 2 to test out and our toddler tester fell so in love with it that we had to order more.  These cups have become our "one and only" for our kids and should be for yours too! You can get your own Safe Sippy 2 here: Safe Sippy 2


May 23, 2012

Bambino Toy Bags - Buh-Bye Plastic Baggies

bambino toy bags, mesh toy bags, eco friendly storage bags, kids toy storage Do your kids gravitate towards toys that have tons of pieces?  Ours sure do!  So what's the best way to store those toys that have lots of small pieces but are often on the go?

We used to default to reclosable plastic bags but hated all the waste created when after a couple of outings they developed holes and wound up in the garbage -not to mention their plasticy chemical smell.  Then we found Bambino Toy Bags and now we will be kissing our plastic baggies goodbye forever!


bambino toy bags, mesh toy bags, eco friendly storage bags, kids toy storageBambino Toy Bags are high quality mesh bags with sturdy zipper closures, laminated cotton ends and a little carrying handle.

They are so cute that our kids were eager to use them to store their tiny treasures  and durable enough to handle the constant dropping, tossing, and aggressive opening that tends to happen when little fingers are involved. 

We used one of the bags they sent us to pack up some toys to take to a pool party and it was great to be able to shake them off after use, toss them in the bag while still a little damp and not worry about them growing mold since the mesh allows them to finish drying.

We've got oodles of the amazing play food from Plan Toys (highly recommended) and we never have enough places in our Kid Tester toy kitchen to store it all.  We used Bambino Toy Bags to hold the overflow from the kitchen and these bags had no problem supporting the heavy weight of it.

We mentioned that these bags are a more Eco-friendly approach to using plastic baggies.  They are also  Phtalate free, made in the USA and machine washable...which just may be our favorite thing about them!  At 12.5" square they are generously sized to hold a ton of toys and come in sets of three (green or pink) for $19.99

You can purchase them directly here: Bambino Toy Bags

Just for our readers Bambino Toy Bags is giving free shipping (yippee!) with your order when you use the code FREESHIP at checkout. 

May 21, 2012

Modular Construction Toys

We are constantly on the hunt for new and interesting finds so when we spotted Modular Construction Toys and were sent the 3D Race Track Kit   and the Modular Cars Set to review our Kid Testers were pretty excited.  Gone are the days of being confined by rectangular bricks and track sets that only offer a few setup options.  Modular Construction Toys offers lots of different permutations to maximize creativity and challenge your little one's brain.

One lesson we have learned the hard way over the years is that before you present a construction style toy like this to an eager group of kids is that if time allows you should do an adult dry run to make sure that a degree in engineering is not required to put it together.  We find that this lets you discover any fatal flaws or missing parts beforehand.

So we did just that and following the instructions for a simple setup it went together in about 5 minutes including putting on the decal stickers.

What makes Modular Construction Toys different from some other construction toys we have seen in the past are its patented connectors.  While other brands force you to snap pieces together with lots of pressure and finger pinching these come with flexible plastic connectors that glide into the track pieces easily but stay put.  A 6 year old can easily put them together but a 4 year old will need some help the first few times.

Overall the track pieces are lightweight yet durable and very flexible.  At first we were worried they would be flimsy but actually they bend to accommodate kids who do not play very gently with their toys (we don't know any of those) but won't just shatter or break easily.

Beyond the tracks, the Modular Cars Set offers 8 cars that can be mixed and matched to your child's liking and they assemble every aspect of them from the wheels up.  We like that these also allow far more creativity and building permutations compared to other race track or building sets.

Our kids played with these for quite a while and were more than a bit miffed when they were told it was time to put them away for the night.  We mommies like that they are made in Israel under very stringent manufacturing standards and can't wait for the Summer 2012 release of the fortresses, castles and characters all of which are fully compatible with the racetracks.

The  3D Race Track Kit and the Modular Cars Set retail for $49.99 and $19.99 respectively - you can find them at Toys R Us and Amazon.com here: 3D Race Track Kit, Modular Cars Set

To be kept in the loop about future products you can follow Modular toys on Facebook here: Modular Construction Toys


May 17, 2012

Safari Ltd Toys - Small but Mighty!

You know you are doing something right when your toddler can identify a wombat, a platypus and a tapir without hesitation. Impressive right?  While we would love to steal the credit for these acts of animal genius we have to give credit where it is due.

About a year ago we picked up a few of Safari Ltd's TOOBs and our kids fell in love with them.  Their miniature collectible figurines are just the right size for small people to examine, line up, ask questions about and take absolutely everywhere. 

They come in a huge variety of animals and themes to suit any child's obsession of the moment or long term interests.  Some of our favorites are the Rainforest TOOB, Land Down Under TOOB, and Farm Mega TOOB.

Our kids play with them at home, in the car and they make fantastic restaurant entertainment toys.  We love that while they are playing they are learning all about the different animals, where they live and asking questions about what they eat.  At about $11 a tube we don't mind indulging them in new ones to bring on a trip or as a reward for a great report at a parent teacher conference. 
We were excited when the folks at Safari Ltd. let us know about their new Safariology collection of products like the Life Cycle items.  They are similar in size to the figurines from their TOOBs but they take learning to the next level and illustrate the various stages of life for sea turtles, green bean plants, monarch butterflies, frogs and honey bees.

Safari Ltd sent us the Life Cycle of a Green Bean Plant set to test out with our kids and their timing could not have been more perfect.  We had just planted seeds for a window garden and had tenacious preschoolers wanting to know what was happening with their newly planted beans.

The Safari Ltd set was a fantastic tool to explain to our kids what was going on underneath the soil during those agonizing days of waiting.  We talked about the different stages the bean plant would go through and they were able to have touchable, realistic visuals for the planted seed, germination, a seedling and a mature plant. Not to mention they have now added the word germination to their ever growing vocabularies!

We think the TOOBs and Life Cycle sets make awesome under the radar teaching tools to keep your child's brain active throughout the Summer as well as the rest of the year.  You can find them on Safari Ltd.'s site for $8.99 here: Safariology Life Cycle
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