Mommy Essentials

Goodness on the Go

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[Disclosure: This post is sponsored by GoGo squeeZ]

GoGo Squeez

Earlier this month the girls and I took a field trip up to The Grove in Los Angeles to visit the Goodness Machine by GoGo squeeZ.

What exactly is a Goodness Machine you ask? Mamas, let me tell you, it was a sight to behold!

Designed by a former NASA engineer, the pop-up Goodness Machine was a GIANT GoGo squeeZ applesauce pouch that deployed GoGo squeeZ applesauce pouches into the air which then parachuted down into the hands of kids waiting to #CatchtheGoGo.

My girls’ eyes were as big as the Goodness Machine when they saw the set-up and couldn’t wait to try it so we waited our turn to step onto the bright turquoise and white striped bullseye rug to catch some goodness on the go

emmagogosqueez

The girls ran up, pressed the button and waited, watching the GoGo squeeZ’s “even kids can open it themselves” helicopter top, and WHOOSH! out it flew, into the air, the  parachute deployed as it flew down with the little ones hoping to catch it.

pressing button

The wind made it an extra fun challenge, as you never knew exactly which way the GoGo was going to fly! We got to take a few tries and had some successful catches of the GoGo!

Below are two favorite photos of my  girls and our two friends that joined us that day. (Photo credit shout out to my talented friend Jolie Loeb who you can find here and here.)

girlsup

girlsdive

Such a fun day!

Thank you GoGo squeeeZ for inviting us to attend your darling event!

About GoGo squeeZ

Realizing moms everywhere want healthy snacks for their kids they can grab and go, GoGo squeeZ created healthy applesauce pouches that are the first squeezable, re-sealable, 100% fruit pouch on the market.  Essentially, the perfect addition to diaper bags and purses everywhere.

Offering a ton of different yummy flavors to keep your little ones happy, all pouches are 100% natural, Kosher, BPA-free, gluten-free, vegan, and are non-GMO certified.

Now that’s what I call an AWESOMEsauce that makes any mom feel good.

Click here to shop online or find out where to buy at a store near you.

 www.gogosqueez.com

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My Favorite Pregnancy Apps

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Fun-Pregnancy-Apps

Today I want to talk about my favorite pregnancy apps!  When I was pregnant with my first 7 years ago, I don’t think I downloaded one pregnancy app.  Not one!  By the time I was pregnant with my son 4.5 years ago, I think I graduated to downloading a “contractions counter” app. Nothing fancy.  Now there are TONS of pregnancy apps out there, and I want to share a few of my top picks.

My Pregnancy Today/Baby Center – This helpful app tracks your pregnancy week-by-week, gives you nutrition tips, specialized tips for mamas, and also gives detailed explanations about what’s going on with your baby on a weekly basis. Plus, a kick tracker, contraction timer, tips for creating your baby registry, and a cool feature – a “browse” products section, where you can search for baby products by brand name and reviews.

Sprout – This is one of my favorite apps because it shows your baby’s progress in 3D images (which I think is really cool!).  It also gives weekly overviews, has an “organizer” tab (a place to type questions for your next doctor’s visits, weight tracker  – my least favorite feature, lol! – kick counter, a place for your to-do lists, etc.), and a place to journal.

MyBabyBeat – Okay, this is a pretty cool app that my mom told me about!!  It’s a fairly new app that allows you to try and find your baby’s heartbeat with your iPhone.  Confused?  Read the app’s description…

“All you need to do is take your iPhone out of its case, make sure your headset does not have an embedded microphone, switch to airplane mode, set the iPhone volume to the maximum level, and start listening to your baby!”

Disclaimer – this is absolutely not a medical app!  I am obviously not a doctor, and I recommend that you ask your doctor, if you’re worried about trying this app.  And obviously, if you can’t find your baby’s heartbeat with your phone, that’s not a definite medical indication that anything is wrong!  This is purely for fun…not to stress pregnant mamas more.

I will tell you…now that I’m 20 weeks (where is the time going???), I can actually pick up my baby’s heartbeat sometimes with this app.  And, it’s magical! The app walks you through instructions, and also lets you listen to a sample mom’s heartbeat, as well as a sample baby’s heartbeat, so you know what you’re looking for.  You can also read more FAQs here (just scroll down on the page).

Photofy – This is such a fun photo editing app!  I’m kind of obsessed.  I know there are a lot of photo editing apps out there, but I love the baby and pregnancy “stickers” and frames with this one…especially the adorable stickers that help you count your pregnancy weeks with the size of the baby (i.e. the baby is the size of a tomato, sweet potato, etc.).  Super cute.

WebMD Pregnancy – This app is great because it shows a 3D image per week, what you can expect at your next doctor’s appointment, tips of the day, a symptom tracker (heartburn, anyone???), all sorts of pertinent checklists to keep you organized, and a place to journal…just to name a few.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting – A classic book, and now a classic app! I use this one on a weekly basis, too.  You have your weekly report on how baby is doing and developing, a video explaining each week, a place to read different week-related pregnancy articles, access to community “bulletin boards” and forums, and a place to journal.

On a side note, I also used the What to Expect When You’re Expecting Fertility Tracking app before I got pregnant, and found it very helpful.

Full Term – This app is mainly meant to help you time contractions (but is also a “kick” counter, too).  Obviously I haven’t used it yet (still too early!), but I’ll give it a go once the the time comes.

And, this isn’t an app, but it is just too darn cute not to share!  It’s a little video cartoon clip of a baby growing in their mama’s tummy.  I saw it floating around on Facebook, watched it and loved it so much, I let my kiddos watch it.  And, they want to watch it over and over and over again.  It’s one of the cutest pregnancy sequence clips I’ve seen that I think is pretty kid-friendly.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Do you have a favorite pregnancy app?  If so, please share below!

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Local Love: Oh Yes It’s Ladies Night…

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Moms’ Night Out is sacred.  And, my husband knows it!  I love my mama friends, and so look forward to a night out once in awhile.  It’s the best, isn’t it??  Today, I’d like to share some fun Moms Night Out ideas in OC, and would love to hear yours!

ideas for moms night out oc

Fondue Anyone?

Just recently, my MOMS Club made reservations at The Melting Pot, one of my favorite fondue restaurants.

I was so jealous I couldn’t go (mama duty called for a meeting at school), but what a great idea!  I love The Melting Pot in Irvine…perfect for specialty cocktails, cheese and chocolate parties, or the complete two-hour, full course fondue feast.  A great way to unwind with your girlfriends, and so yummy!

Cineopolis – Movies and Cocktails

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I love, love, love the Cineopolis movie theater.

They have them in several locations, but my favorite is in Laguna Niguel.  You pick your movie in advance, pick your seats in advance (make sure to coordinate with your friends!), and go enjoy your movie in big, plush, reclining seats, complete with cocktail and food service during the movie.  Last time, I had a Lemon Drop and sweet potato fries (could there be anything better?!), and it was a-mazing. Love this place!

Bowling Party

Bowling, beers, laser lights, and music.  This is a great and casual way to have a fun night out with your mama friends.  Check out these local bowling places, and look at their websites for any special upcoming events or theme nights.

Bowlmor in Tustin
Lucky Strike
Irvine Lanes
Saddleback Lanes
Tavern + Bowl in Costa Mesa
Tustin Lanes

Paint Night

My MOMS Club just scheduled a “Paint Night” on the calendar, and I am SO excited to go! (And yes, I have an awesome MOMS Club who loves to plan a MNO each month!).  I’m sure you’ve heard of this –  you get to learn to paint something gorgeous (and somewhat professional looking!), and have a cocktail while you’re doing it.  Yes and yes.

Check out paintnite.com – since there are events all over the county in different locations, look up what work best for you and your friends.  And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a great artist to participate – all levels are welcome!

Another Tiny Oranges’ favorite is local artist, Timree, who has locations in Newport Beach and Tustin. If you have enough ladies, you can also book a private party.

Comedy Club

What a great way to unwind and enjoy an evening of laughter with friends.  Check out the Irvine Improv, and look for any upcoming shows that catch your fancy.  Also be on the lookout for great deals on sites like Groupon and Living Social – there always seems to be some pretty cool comedy events and discounts available.

Dust off your Roller Skates

What about going old school?  I’ve never been, but I think it would be so fun to have a Mom’s Night Out at a skate rink for something different.  (I’m picturing 80s night, mamas.)  Check out Holiday Skate Center in Orange – it looks like they have lots of fun themed events.

Still need some inspiration?  How about…

– Using Open Table to find an awesome (and available) restaurant for dinner (or just cocktails!), and make quick and easy reservations for you and your mama friends.

– In a book club?  Or want to start one?  This is a really fun, chill way to enjoy a girl’s night in…best part is you can show up in your yoga pants.  Rotate houses among your group, or meet at a coffee shop.

– If you’re okay with an earlier evening (and let’s be honest – sometimes, 5:30 sounds A-okay to start the “night” out), pick a place for Happy Hour.  Great prices and an early start.

– Manis and pedis are always good.  Doesn’t matter the time of day or evening!

And, what about a Mom’s Morning Out?

If it’s not feasible to go out during the evening, why not plan a weekend Mom’s Morning Out?  Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling…

– Pick a fun place for a champagne brunch.  Don’t you remember enjoying these before kids?  Just make sure to Uber or have your hubby come pick you up, if needed!

– Pick a beach city (think Laguna, Newport, Corona del Mar, Huntington, etc.),  meet up with your girlfriends, and stroll through all the cute little shops.  Have a nice cup of coffee or stop by at a little restaurant that looks good.

– How about taking a fitness or yoga class together, go for a walk or jog along the beach, or take a beautiful hike.

– Want to indulge a little?  Book a treatment at a day spa.  After your facial or massage, enjoy the amenities of the spa and make a whole morning of it with your mama friends.  Doesn’t that sound like bliss?

Where are some of your favorite places to have a mom’s night (or morning!) out?  Does anyone have a favorite karaoke place?

Share below, so we can accumulate a great go-to list!

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Oogaa! Safe and fun mealtime for kids

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Disclosure: Complimentary products provided to facilitate this review. OogaaGiveaway3

When I find an awesome new product, I feel it is my mommy-duty to share, which is why I am thrilled to share Oogaa with you today, and ****GIVEAWAY ALERT****** ->We have some of their products to giveaway so make sure to enter below!

Oogaa coupon code!

We are also so excited to provide you with a Oogaa coupon code “OOGAATINY” to get 25% off their products through January 1, 2015.  Thank YOU, Oogaa!!

I heard about this line of microwave safe dishes for kids through a friend that received a plate and a bowl in her Citrus Lane box.

What mom or dad wouldn’t want a safe alternative to plastic or melamine??

I received and tested out Oogaa’s silicone bowls, divided plates and the super fun train and plane spoons and loved them from the minute I opened the box. Vibrant colors and adorable prints of the 4 Oogaa animals that were sure to entertain my toddler.

The high quality silicone is a safe, durable and environmentally responsible material that’s odorless, tasteless, microwave safe, dishwasher safe, sterilizer safe, heat resistant, fling proof and all-round excellent.

Now that’s a product I can feel good about exposing my children to!

Microwave safe dishes for kids

The selling point for me on this one was MICROWAVE safe.  Meaning: reheat and serve on the SAME plate.  It’s a foreign concept for us.

There are also a lot of advantages to serving your kids’ meals on divided plates.  It helps you teach kids about healthy portions and a balanced meal.  And, if yours is like mine, food isn’t cross-contaminated (the horror).  Plus, its size fits perfectly even on a small high chair tray.  Win-win.

A lot of melamine and other plates are simply too large and do not fit.  So yay for Oogaa for thinking about this in their design!

oogaa high chair

They are also skid-proof on our counter, which is a HUGE plus if I don’t have time to throw a placemat down (but their placemats are super cute too).

My 2 year old was a little old for the spoons, but they would have been so fun when he was starting to learn to use a spoon. The price-point on these is fantastic too!  The range in price for the products is $8.99 for the bowls and $16.99 for the mealtime set.

It would be a great gift for a new mom, holiday gift or for a little one’s first birthday.  I’m a sucker for a practical gift – especially for the mamma with more than one kid.

Gavin

HOORAY – it’s a tiny giveaway!

And…you too could be the winner of this Oogaa Prize Pack to include the following products: 2 Mealtime sets, 2 Plates, 2 Bowls and 2 Placemats!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Levana Keera Digital Baby Video Monitor

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 Disclosure: Complimentary Levana Keera Baby Video Monitor provided to facilitate firsthand review and Amazon links are affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own! I love our new amazing monitor!

Levana Keera Baby Video Monitor Review

Baby number three is well on it’s way and we will have a 6 year gap between our middle daughter and our newborn.  Needless to say, we are a little out of the loop on our baby gear game!  So when Levana reached out asking if we’d be interested in reviewing their Levana Keera Baby Video Monitor, it was a a HECK YEAH!

I did not have a video monitor when my first two daughters were infants, and I have to say just having one in my home is giving me a sense of comfort.

I’m a little nervous about the juggling act I am about to enter with three kids and knowing that I’ll be able to look after the baby while it is sleeping, while still being a hands-on-mom with my older two is giving me a little more confidence.

We set up our Levana Keera Monitor last night (correction, my husband set it up because he is my tech-support) but it took him under 10 mins and he said I could have EASILY done it on my own.  (That means set up is SIMPLE.)

We positioned one of the cameras on the top of the armoire to get a good view of the crib, because as an infant I will be mostly watching a sleeping baby, right?  (Fingers crossed we don’t get a colicky one this time around!)

We were impressed by how easily we could change the view on the camera with the pan/tilt and zoom functions, all by the touch screen of the video monitor.

We placed the other camera on a shelf in the room which will come in handy when the baby is a little older and our girls are playing with him/her to keep an eye on things.

What I love:

*It has night vision so you can watch your baby sleep in a dark room from up to 12 feet away

*It includes 2 cameras which can span the entire room

*The cameras easily pan/tilt + zoom from the video monitor touch screen

*It has a 24 hour battery life with a battery saving PEEP mode (meaning it goes into sleep mode when there is no sound coming from the nursery, once your baby makes a “peep” the camera and monitor activate so you can see what is happening)

*It has 2-way communication- you can talk to your baby and let them know Mommy’s coming, OR you can communicate with your hubs to let him know you really need some help with a major blowout.  Can you please come into the nursery NOW!?!

*It plays lullabies

*It can record video and snap photos

Our daughters are really enjoying playing with the new monitor system, standing in front of the camera and talking to each other- kinda like playing with walkie talkies on steroids!

Click here to watch their quick You Tube video of the Keera.

Good news if you are in the market:

The November promo price will be: $219.99 $179.99

And from Black Friday – Cyber Monday for: $219.99 $149.99 ($70 off!)

As I’m sitting here at my desk typing I realize how much I’ll be using this monitor right here in this seat in a few months and it’s all starting to get very REAL!!!

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