Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Baby Bjorn One Review!

As a mom and blogger, testing and trying out baby and kid products is something I do not only for myself and my kids but for other moms and dads to learn from as well.  One of my absolute favorite baby products and one of the items I consider a necessity for moms and dads alike is a baby carrier. Unlike a stroller, a baby carrier allows you to carry the baby close to you, hands free and without the hassle of pushing, loading and unloading a bulky stroller. With that said, the abundance of baby carriers on the market can be quite overwhelming.  There are countless varieties, prices ranges, name brands and styles available but one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a baby carrier is comfort.  If it’s not comfortable, you are not going to want to wear it, period.  Some look comfortable and are quite affordable but, after time, they leave you with back pain and discomfort even after your stop using it.
With my first baby almost five years ago, I tried 5 different types of carriers and was finally satisfied with the last one I purchased.  I tried the Chicco, the Infantino, the Moby Wrap, the Baby Bjorn Original and the Ergo Carrier.  Out of all 5, the only one I used on a regular basis that did not cause any back pain was the Ergo Carrier. Although it had a price tag of over $100, it was well worth it because it helped me get around and get things done while my baby was with me the entire time. One of the biggest drawbacks of the original Ergo, however, is that baby can only face in, not out. That was a bit of a disappointment and something I hoped would change after time.  Lucky for me, Ergo has released a new version, the Ergo 360, which allows for a front facing carry position.  Stay tuned for my review of Ergobaby's 360 coming in a few weeks and see how it compares to the Baby Bjorn One!  
Well, back to our current product review, the Baby Bjorn One! So, fast forward 5 years and here I am the mommy of a beautiful little babe once again!  This time, I wanted to find the perfect carrier, if that is at all  possible.  I wanted a comprehensive carrier that provided proper back support, storage areas for my keys, cell phone and cash, sturdy fabric and the ability to carry my little on my chest or my back facing forwards or backwards.  To my surprise, in October of this year, Baby Bjorn released the Baby Bjorn One.  This is said to be the best of the best when it comes to carriers so I had to give it a shot.
From day one, this carrier shocked me.  I took it out of the package and could not believe the difference between this one and previous Bjorn models.  It had SO many features that other carriers didn’t and it was definitely much sturdier and well-built in comparison to past Baby Bjorn models.
Before trying it on, I decided to look over the instruction manual that comes with it and see all it can do.  In short, what sets this carrier apart from others and previous Bjorn models?  For starters, the clips on this carrier are very sturdy and give you the assurance that your child is securely clipped in.  You can clearly hear the sound when the buckles are properly clipped together.
Another feature I love is, not only the option for front facing carry but the accommodations you can make to make baby more comfortable when facing forward.  The Baby Bjorn One has two zippers, one on each size, to allow for better leg positioning when baby is facing forward on your chest.

The straps are another favorite feature on this carrier for me.  The shoulder and back straps are thick and padded to prevent soreness or pain from the weight of the baby.  The strap that goes across the lower back when carrying baby on your chest is thick, easy to buckle and provides ample support to prevent the awful lower back pain that many carriers can cause.

Some of the parameters for use with the Baby Born are as follows:
  • Newborn must be at least 20.5 inches long and weigh at least 7 1/2 pounds.
  • Can be used until your toddler is 39 inches tall and 33 pounds.
  • Baby should be at least 5 months old before carried facing outwards on your chest.
  • Baby should be at least 12 months old to be carried on your back.
  • Baby Bjorn One is completely machine washable.
  • Comes with a thorough user manual that demonstrates how to put it on and adjust it to any size child and any type of carry.
When I received this carrier, I couldn’t wait to use it.  The day I received it I started using it and carried my little man around in it all around the local mall for almost 2 hours.  We happened to go when it was nap time and he slept like a baby in it the entire time.  I never had problems with him slumping over or slipping out of it.  I also did not experience any back pain, which really surprised me.
After my he woke up, I decided to try the front facing carry and the back carry as well.  I read the directions and it was an easy transition to make, even without taking it off.  I was able to transition the carrier from the front to the back on my own, without any help from my husband.  With other carriers, this is impossible to do.  Carrying on my back was very comfortable and felt like a back pack.  The straps are very thick and did not strain my upper back or shoulders at all.  My baby preferred the front facing carry since he loves to see the  world and I was surprised at how comfortable he seemed.  My only concern is that he is still sort of dangling in there instead of being in a seated position as is recommended by physicians.  The dangling is something that doctors have suggested causes hip displasia in babies and I was hoping of a little better design in this one compared to other Bjorn carriers.  
After I wore it, I passed the Baby Bjorn One over to my husband to see how well it fit a bigger build on a man.  I was surprised that it fit him quite well and he did not mind wearing it at all. Definitely a WIN! ;)
So, if you’re in the market for a carrier, I suggest you give the Baby Bjorn One a shot.  It is a marked improvement from previous Baby Bjorn models and the bells and whistles on it (buckles, straps and adjustments) are pretty awesome. Although the front carry position is still not my ideal, It’s easily one of the most versatile of all carriers on the market for now.  We'll see how my opinion changes when I give the Erobaby 360 a shot! 
1) It is the only Baby Bjorn that allows for back carry.
2) It can be used with newborns without needing to purchase an additional newborn insert.
3) It can be used well into the toddler years.
4)  Has zippers at the bottom to make baby more comfortable when transitioning from rear facing to front facing carry.
5) It’s easy to put on and transition without help from anyone else.

1)  The baby still hangs in the front facing position instead of being in a seated position as recommended.
2) At almost $200, it can seem very expensive, especially when compared to other carriers on the market.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Latchy Catchy: Door Safety Never Looked So Good!

When I saw the Latchy Catchy, my first thought was,  "This is genius!  And yet so simple! The minute I knew mine was on its way, I couldn't wait to try it. Now I'm sold and will be ordering a few more for myself and my mommy friends too.

The Latchy Catchy is made from durable designer fabric with a stretchy elastic strap on each side.   The straps wrap around each side of the door knob and the fabric serves as a barrier between the door and lock. The thick fabric keeps the door closed without letting it lock.  The colors and patter available are endless and there are even organic options.

So, what is the Latchy Catchy you ask & how can it work for you? It's a multi-use little tool for moms that also serves as a safety device for your doors.  It's a genius way to make getting around the house and in & out of rooms much easier! It allows you to open and close any door inside your home silently, without the door slamming, the door knob clicking or the lock catching. It also prevents the door from locking so your little ones don't end up locking themselves inside a bedroom or bathroom by mistake!  It's ideal for moms and dads with little ones that may be light sleepers and wake up to the slightest of sounds.  It's also perfect to have on doors as you're walking through the house with your hands full.  When you have a baby, a load of laundry and a phone in your hands, it's not easy to grab and twist a door knob as you'd think. The Latchy Catchy makes it easy and it looks good too!

Even after the kids are grown, the Latchy, Catchy is cute and functional to keep on your doors. Use them on bedroom, office or library doors or even pass them along to the kids going to college.  The patterns are super cute and blend well with the colorful schemes in a dorm room.

Get yours at for only $9.95.   Be sure Don't to like Latchy Catchy on Facebook for updates, sales and coupon codes and follow them on Instagram for awesome giveaways!

Disclaimer: I received this product free in exchange for my review but, as always, my opinions are honest and my own.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Loving My Blendtec Smoothies!

After having my Oster blender for over 13 years, I finally gave in to the hubby's request for a bigger, better (and more expensive) blender and am SO happy I did!  After repeated trips to Costco and seeing the demonstrations, we finally decided to bite the bullet and buy the Blendtec.  The demonstration that I was sold on was the delicious ice cream the salesman made for us using avocado, agave, protein powder and milk!  It was SO good, so fresh and so healthy.  Plus,  having a baby that is just starting solids, I figured the possibilities are endless with that machine! It even grinds quinoa and rice down to a fine powder.  

We got it home and made our first smoothie almost immediately.  Since that day (a little over 2 weeks ago), we have used it at least once a day, if not more.  It is nothing short of amazing.  Below are a few of the recipes we have tried so far. If you're in the  market for a juicer, blender or baby food machine, I highly suggest the Blendtec.  I haven't been compensated in any way for this review. I am just really happy with the machine and think the price compared to all it can do it totally fair!  We paid $299 for it on sale at Costco and it comes with a 7 year warranty, not to mention Costco's excellent return policy.  Initially, my husband wanted the Vitamix but I just could  not justify spending $500 on a blender.  Three hundred is a lot but more doable and made for a great Father's Day gift :)

So, check out some of the recipes below and, if you'd like more, check out the Blendtec Recipes online too! Options are endless! And some of the sauces you can make, such as chimichurri, pico de gallo, and many others are amazing!

Strawberry & Spinach Protein Smoothie
-1/2 scoop of protein
-1 vanilla (or any flavor you like!) Carbmaster yogurt
-5-7 frozen strawberries
-a handful of spinach
-1/2 cup of water
-1 cup of ice
Add in all of the ingredients with the ice & frozen strawberries on top (last), hit smoothie button & that's it!

Mango Vanilla Soft Serve
-1 cup frozen mango
-1 cup ice
-1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
-1 vanilla Carbmaster yogurt
-1 handful of spinach
-1/4 cup milk
Drop all of the ingredients in the blender, hit the ice cream button & that's it!

Banana Soft Serve
-Frozen bananas cut in quarters
Simply drop them in the Blendtec, select Speed 7 & blend until smooth!
(Add any other frozen fruits to make combinations such as banana strawberry, banana blueberry, etc)

Watermelon Smoothie
-4 cups of watermelon
-2 cups of frozen strawberries
-1 cup of water
-1 cup of ice
-1 tablespoon Chia seeds
Add in all of the ingredients with the ice & frozen strawberries on top (last), hit smoothie button & that's it!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Baby Food 101: Part 1

When it came time to start solids with my little one, I knew I was going to do the same thing I did with my first baby.  I was going to make his food and feed him homemade little meals just like the rest of the family eats.  Sure, it's easier to buy the store bought food in the little glass jars or the popular pouches, but something about those doesn't sit well with me.  I did buy a few of the jars of baby food to have on hand for emergencies (since they have a much longer shelf life than homemade food so they're excellent for emergency kits) but I only plan to use those if I have absolutely have to.  I did the same with my oldest (5 years ago) while working full time and then some so I know it's possible to do it again.  

For some, making baby food at home can be intimidating but, in reality, it's very simple. In the beginning, you start off with the basic veggies (i.e., carrots, squash, sweet potato, peas, green beans) and you build up from there.  Eventually you introduce proteins such as egg, chicken, red mean, etc and fruits as well.  With my daughter, I waited until she was almost a year old and had tried virtually every vegetable and protein before I introduced fruit.  Why you ask?  Because fruit is sweet and the taste is very appetizing when compared to carrots, peas or green beans. Many moms I've talked to have found that, after introducing fruits, their kids no longer like the veggies and refuse to eat them.  So, I waited on the fruits with my oldest and it worked out well. She LOVES fruit but LOVES her veggies just as much and will still eat them plain, steamed, raw and any other way I serve them at almost 6 years old.  

So, back to the topic of actually making your own baby food.  When starting solids, some start with rice or oatmeal cereal and others start with veggies. I started with the veggies because the rice and oatmeal cereal can be a little difficult for little bellies to digest and, depending on the baby, it can constipate them as well.  You can also add a little bit of the fortified oatmeal cereal (or rice cereal if you prefer) to your veggies to give them some extra nutrients and DHA.  My favorite oatmeal cereal and the only one I buy for my babies is the Happy Bellies.  It's organic and includes plenty of extras such as DHA, Choline and probiotics to promote a healthy digestive system. It's sold at Whole Foods and Target but you can also get it online at sites such as  

When you decide to start veggies, go to the store and buy a few of each of the following:  carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, bag of frozen peas, bag of frozen green beans and avocados.  These are all easy vegetables to start with and easy ones to make at home with a basic blender as well.  Sure a Blendtech or Vitamix will make things MUCH easier but you can get by with a basic blender as well.  There are baby food making machines out there too (such as Baby Bullet and Beaba Babycook) but I am not a fan of those.  The jars they come with are small and you can't make a large quantity in them if you choose to plan ahead and freeze the food (which is fine & just as healthy).  The baby food making machines can also cost upwards of $150 so using a basic blender will save you some money too!  

For storing your homemade baby foods, you have plenty of options.  Below are some ways moms I know have stored their homemade baby food:

  • Small plastic Tupperware type containers
  • Ice cube trays
  • Baby food storage trays sold separately matching machines (from Baby Bullet & Beaba)
  • Baby food storage containers (OXO & Cuisinart make great ones)
  • Empty, washed & sterilized glass baby food jars
  • Small Gladware containers (disposable type of plastic storage containers)

 My favorite way to store my homemade baby food and the least expensive way is empty baby food jars. I bought 50 of them for $3.00 from a local mom that was getting rid of them and it is plenty for me to store the food I make and have enough to last me about a month. That is about how long I keep frozen baby food for but I have kept it up to 3 months in the past.  When I defrost it, I do so by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight and, by morning, it's ready to eat.  It's tastes just as good as it did when I prepared it and baby loves it the same :) If I make the baby food and end up having a lot more than expected left over, I either put it in ice cube trays or in larger containers.  I don't like the ice cube trays much because you can take the food with you as you can when it's pre-packaged in small, sealed containers but they are a good option if you stay home a lot and feed baby at home.  

So, if you have a little one that is almost ready for solids, give homemade baby food a shot!  It's not very difficult and the recipes are basic enough that anyone can make it. It's as simple as peeling a vegetable, boiling it, dicing it & putting it in the blender!  I'll be posting some of my baby food recipes on here shortly so follow the blog to get updates on when a new post is up!! Thanks for visiting!