Tis the (Cold & Flu) season to be sneezin.. but seriously, nobody wants to share germs

Are you looking for a safe and effective way to boost your kiddos immune system during Cold & Flu Season? A.Vogel Echinaforce® Junior Echinacea Tabs is a clinically proven safe and effective cold and flu prevention and treatment remedy for children ages 2+.

Echinaforce® Junior can be taken daily to help to boost and maintain an immune system that remains on alert, or at the first sign of infection to relieve the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections (common cold and flu) and shorten their duration.

I have been giving Echinaforce® Junior to my daughters since the beginning of October (along with practicing good hand washing!), and so far they’ve been able to fight off the rampant germs that have been circulating. They have no issues taking the tablets, as they are easily chewable, and don’t taste like medicine.

Earlier this month, Daddy came down with a gross cold, and he tried to accuse the kids of getting him sick – but they had NO SYMPTOMS! Even though he was sneezing and coughing all over the place (seriously Dude, just because we’re family doesn’t mean we want to share your germs – so gross!), they remained healthy, and haven’t had to miss any days of school or daycare.

(New research shows that Echinaforce® Junior reduces cold and flu symptoms, duration and complication risk by 65% and cuts the need for antibiotics by 76%!)

With so many holiday parties and visits with family & friends on the calendar, I’m happy to have something in my arsenal to keep the germs at bay, and hopefully make it through the season without being taken down by illness!

 

Munchkin BRICA Extending Metal Gate:
Available exclusively for Babies R Us for $59.99

When I heard I was going to be reviewing a safety gate that was safe to use at the top of stairs, I was very excited to possibly install it at either my parents or sisters home (both have staircases that aren’t blocked off, a constant issue when we visit).
Unfortunately the mounting pieces were too wide to fit into the doorway at my sisters place (without having to remove the existing door stops, in place from a previous door), and then have to repair/repaint the door jamb. If it were my own home, I definitely would have made the necessary alterations to the doorway, for it to work.
Evernote Camera Roll 20150724 233834 (1)The bannister posts at my parents home also had an issue accommodating the generously sized mounting pieces. I would have needed to make modifications to the bannister first, by drilling and securing additional pieces of lumber, to create a larger surface area suitable for mounting the pieces. Again, if it were my own home I probably would have made the necessary alterations, but as it was not my place, I decided against it.
I found that in both situations, it would be beneficial if the mounting pieces were a bit slimmer / more compact. Never the less, that meant that I could swap out the gate I currently had installed at my own home, to try out this new Munchkin BRICA Extending Metal Gate (and very glad that I did! Their loss = my gain).
The gates width adjustment pieces were very straightforward and easy to assemble. There aren’t a lot of finicky pieces to be screwed on, so it has a nice clean look without visible adjustment holes & hardware, when everything is in place.
pTRUCA1-20570611_alternate3_dtIt is very easy to open and close with one hand, which is super convenient when you have a little one on your hip. The gate can swing in both directions, or be locked to only open one way (especially important for top of stairs, and to not to open outwards into small hallways).
I love that it has built in tilting mechanisms, so there isn’t additional pressure on the walls. The last gate I had was much more difficult to open and close, and one of the mounts was starting to come loose from all the additional pressure that was applied (another reason this safety gate upgrade was so welcome).
I didn’t do the final mounting of the gate myself, but my husband said he found it took a bit more time to decipher the instructions (as diagrams only), rather than if they also included written directions.
FullSizeRenderThe quick release setting is a big bonus, as it makes it possible to easily remove the gate when you choose to. It feels very sturdy, and I would be very comfortable with this gate installed at the top of a stairway, but for now it keeps my crazy toddler out of my little kitchen while I’m cooking 😉

Munchkin BRICA Extending Metal Gate: The barricade for the baby brigade.

pTRUCA1-20570611_alternate2_dtThe Extending Metal safety gate by Munchkin has no unsightly adjustment holes along the bars, and is equipped with a unique tilting spring mechanism to reduce stress on walls every time it’s used. The spring mechanism allows the gate to tilt open or close, which minimizes pressure applied on walls. Handy quick-release settings allow for quick and easy removal when needed, too. Safe for use anywhere in the home (especially in the stairway), this hardware-mounted baby gate stands 29″ tall and fits openings 28″-40″ wide.

Munchkin Safety Warning

Use only with locking mechanism securely engaged.

Never use with a child able to climb over or dislodge gate or enclosure.

To prevent serious injury or death, securely install gate or enclosure and use according to manufacturer’s instructions.

 

Reviewed by real-life mommy Leslie & her adorable 8 month old daugher Reggie


IMG_5411When Catherine messaged me about reviewing the Born Free Bottle Genius by Summer Infant, I jumped at the chance!  I had heard of these magical-baby-formula-making-devices from my neighbour who was also expecting last Summer.  Her eyes lit up when she spoke of this machine…I was green with envy…alas, this legendary machine was only available in the States. So my jealousy quickly faded, but I knew that I would have to have one of these machines one day!

Fast forward a few months, my baby girl is in my arms and I am diligently preparing her formula with her big brother at my feet…sterilize bottles, boil water, let it cool, pour water into sterilized bottles, measure out the formula, shake the bottle, warm the bottle, feed the babe and repeat.  So many steps and random formula powder dustings on the floor and counter due to mommy and daddy’s sleepy hands (Big brother likely had a dusting of formula powder on the top of his head too).

When the Bottle Genius joined the family last month, Reggie was 8 months old.  When it crossed the threshold into our home, it was like a ray of light and a promise of a new day in bottle preparation.
At first I was taken aback by the size of the box… I wondered is this just another appliance taking up precious real estate on our countertops?  Our small Toronto home has a small kitchen with 7 appliances already taking up residence on the small counter…four of them already baby related!

IMG_5632But when I unpacked the Bottle Genius I was pleasantly surprised by its modern design and the amount of counter space it actually occupied
(ie. Minimal counter space! It’s smaller than my single serve coffee maker! Oh and wait, we actually gained some counter space now that the Bottle Genius was here, we no longer need the bottle warmer or the can of formula or the pitcher of boiled water on the counter! This definitely was a plus!)

So for 2 days (okay, maybe 3 days) I stared at it every morning  while preparing my morning coffee with my single serve coffee maker…Right I have to reserve some time today to set it up…okay…I’ll do that today…so easy to say, but when you have 2 little ones it’s not so easy to action.

Finally at dinner one night, while the boy was eating all his vegetables (I wish) and watching a Lego tutorial on YouTube (please don’t judge me) and the baby girl was content in her play pen, I picked up the Instruction manual. IMG_5416  First thought, I need to hunker down and read this 15 page booklet of words…for me, reading anything lately has become too much of a commitment, so the task was daunting.  What a pleasant surprise when I flipped open the manual and found a QR code directing me to a video on how to use the Bottle Genius.  I watched the video that night after the kids went down. I will admit it was a bit intimidating. Click this, wash this, and add hydrogen peroxide!  But really, practically everything requires those steps and after multiple views (yup I glazed over a few sections of the video but luckily I could just repeat it!) and referring to the manual, in retrospect, the set up was a breeze.  All the info was easy to find and detailed which impressed me.  Since that night we have been using the bottle genius exclusively for all bottle prep.

IMG_5637

I would definitely recommend the Bottle Genius, especially for new parents who are exclusively bottle-feeding their babies.  The thought of having this machine during the newborn stage, on my bedside table, and waking up to feed my baby at the press of a button in the middle of the night is, well, genius.  I wish I had this for both my kids when they were babies.  To the parents expecting a baby right now and plan to bottle feed YOU MUST BUY THIS and tell all your friends!

www.newbornfree.com/products/bottle-preparation/bottle-genius

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to try out Lulujo’s Turkish Towels, as I had never used a Turkish style towel before, and had no idea what to expect.

Well, these luxuriously large and lightweight Lulujo Turkish Towels are now my favourite towels to use after my shower! I haven’t had the opportunity to use them at the pool, the lake or the beach yet, but I already know they are going to be awesome to take on outings as well. Bring on summer!!

Here are just a few reasons I find them to be much nicer to use than our regular terry cloth bath or beach towels:

They are 100% cotton, super absorbant, and generously sized.. yet still feel so light and airy. They look like they wouldn’t be able to hold much water, but they really do. They even manage to dry my thick mane of hair (which is not an easy feat in itself), and I admit I was doubtful about at first.

imageThe thin material feels very soft on your face, and can get right in to the small spots.. like your eye corners and ear creases. I would be very comfortable using these towels on a new baby, and I’m sure they could even be used as a swaddle or a light blanket if you’re travelling and in a pinch ( Lulujo has amazing cotton muslin swaddlers, and bamboo muslin swaddlers, and I would highly recommend you check out those beauties.. Don’t have a baby? Then try one on yourself.. They double as a nice and fashionable scarf 😉 Seriously though, they are so soft you’ll wish you were a baby that needed to be wrapped!).

These Lulujo Turkish Towels do a great job drying/polishing up my glasses after my shower, unlike terry cloth towels which leave them all streaky and just not nice to look through. Normally I have to separately dry my glasses with spray cleaner and an eyeglass polish cloth, but with these Lukujo Turkish Towels I can just dry them with the hem of my lovely ‘towel wrap dress’ when I need to get ready quickly. They kind of remind me of an oversized version of a favourite tea towel.. You know, the one that dries copious amounts of glassware, leaving them all sparkling like it’s nobody’s business 😉

I find these towels hold much more securely, and stay on better than my other bath towels do. They also don’t feel heavy on my head, or like they would slip off while I’m running around getting ready in a hurry.

They take up far less space in my washing machine, my linen closet, and in a bag if you were to travel with one. Living in a condo makes me really appreciate anything that saves on space and that makes things more efficient(Approximately 8 Lulujo Turkish Towels would take up the same amount of space as 1 of my regular terry cloth beach towels. Hello!!).

imageI think they would be amazing towels to take along on trips. They can be folded or rolled very compactly, and they don’t get all heavy and awkward like a soaked beach towel does. They dry very quickly, even if they need to be hung up folded over into two layers thick to save space (I’m thinking cottage deck rail or fence by the pool, with a bunch of bodies splashing around that need drying). I would also be willing to wager that it would be much easier for children to reuse the same towel repeatedly throughout the day. These Lulujo Turkish Towels are more likely to dry out in the time between dips in the water, while most other towels remain too damp to use for much longer.

They are easy to fold, hold and to manage the material.. I think they could easily be used for splinting, to close a diastasis after childbirth. Bonus!

Well, I think I could probably go on for far too long imagining uses for these versatile, efficient (and oh yeah, they look good too!), luxuriously large cotton towels.. Come to think of it, I bet they would tie nicely as a sarong or a cape or something else wonderful 😉

imageBottom line? I’m getting a few more of these beautiful Lulujo Turkish Towels so my family can use them as well.. I don’t want to share the two I have. One for me, and one my hair 😉

Oh, and Lulujo is a company founded by a Canadian mother. LOVE!!!

** Sign up with Promo Code: mommyconnectMTO to save 30% OFF starter packages!

Want to cloth diaper your baby, but can’t wrap your head around the idea of actually washing the dirty diaper laundry yourself? Have you considered a cloth diaper service?

Introducing: Wonderwear Modern Cloth Diaper Service – Delivering unlimited cloth diapers weekly to homes in the GTA & surrounding areas!!

Here are a few tidbits of information on this little masked Superhero in the squeaky clean cloth diaper and freshly pressed cape.. Ok, you’re not really going to have a Superbaby swooshing up to your door with your delivery, but wouldn’t that be adorable?

twitter-profile-imageOk, I’m jumping down from my soap box now, but seriously there really are a lot of good reasons to consider a cloth diaper service vs. going the disposable route. Oh, and here’s one more reason for you! Wonderwear is a local business run by two families. They service the GTA and surrounding areas, with laundering facilities in both Concord and Oakville. Supporting a local small business AND the super cute super hero in a diaper and a cape?? How can you not love it ^_^

Check out their website at www.wonderwear.ca 

 

munchkin_09-nursing4_1461_pickI’m a big fan of the Munchkin brand.  I love their colourful products and durability, not to mention price too!  When my son was born 4 years ago, I stocked up on quite a few Munchkin products including the formula dispenser, bottle brushes and an array of bath toys! Now that my daughter has arrived I find myself collecting more Munchkin products in my cart when shopping my local baby store.  

When Catherine at Mommy Connections Midtown Toronto asked me to review the Munchkin Latch Bottle, I was more than willing!  We have been supplementing with formula since she was born three months ago and I am still trying to find the perfect bottle for her.  She spits up quite frequently after feeds and is quite gassy. 

When I first received the Latch bottle I was quite intrigued by its appearance.  The packaging was quite easy to manage and it wasn’t outrageous.  Usually I find bottles over-packaged with so much to discard.  The information on the box was sufficient and big enough to read.  I particularly liked how the French translation wasn’t left to the bottom of the box.  When I went online to get more information on the bottle, the website was so organized and modern.  Love the Munchkin brand for this!


43544_1When I removed the bottle from the packaging, it was great to see that there were only a few parts.  We currently use a bottle brand that requires a lot of pulling apart and putting together of the valve, and little nooks and crannies to clean, which leaves cleaning and preparing bottles time-consuming and bothersome.

The size of the nipple on the Latch bottle is perfect and the accordion style is great which means it stretches like a breast allowing for my little one to latch correctly.   At first glance of the valve, I was concerned that spillage would occur when preparing the bottle, but it was flawless.  No spillage whatsoever.  So genius to have the valve at the bottom of the bottle! 

When I presented the bottle to my little one she latched on immediately.  She’s fidgety too when she eats, she’s nosey and always looking around, so the accordion feature on the nipple really allowed for her to keep with the feed without interruption.  Once she was done her feed, I found she was less gassy than usual and her spit up was minimal.   Of course, cleaning was a cinch! 

munchkin_10-baby_1620All in all, I had a great experience feeding my daughter with this bottle and would definitely recommend this bottle to a new mom.  I also will be purchasing more Latch bottles by Munchkin for my little one.  I give it a BUY!  

Leslie & Reggie (Mom & Baby participants)   

Munchkin

 

To learn more, visit www.latchbottles.com

Save 20% off LATCH Bottles today at Babies R Us!

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