10 Hobbies That Make Your KIDS SMARTER!

10 Hobbies that Make your Kids Smarter!

Amazon Fire 7 (7th generation) Kids Edition Review

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This Amazon Fire 7 (7th generation) Kids Edition review is coming from an exclusive Apple product user. My first thought when purchasing a tablet wasn’t going with a platform that was based off an Android. I’ve had my fair share of experiences with PC’s in the past, even building some from just an empty tower. However, from 2009 to present time I transition as most of the world did to Mac. From an iPod, iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air…I have them all. So when I was offered the opportunity to review the Fire 7, I thought it was a great chance to see what another product was all about. My oldest son was given my old iPad Mini two years ago and we were in the market to upgrade his tablet. It was great to see that the fire was offered in a kid’s edition that came with a lot of perks. When my son was using the iPad, we had to purchase a strong and sturdy case which cost us an additional $60. We also have purchased kid friendly apps that cost us an additional $100+ over the course of the two years. Fire_04

When the fire arrived, it was already set up from the time we opened the box. We were sent two, which was perfect so both my kid’s will have their own. To set the two fire’s apart we choose a blue and yellow case. The case is foamy and keeps the fire safe from being dropped. The 2-year worry free guarantee puts any parent at ease. My iPad mini included a 1-year warranty with the ability to purchase an additional 2-year warranty that even if my iPad would break would cost $99 to replace under limited circumstances. So seeing that Amazon will back their product and replace it “no questions asked” is awesome.

Fire_03I found that the differences between the Fire and an iPad Mini was adjusting to the Apps and location of them. The Fire has room for additional storage, which the iPad doesn’t unless you upgrade to iCloud storage at a monthly cost. The front and rear camera is so clear on the Fire that I almost want to borrow it from my son for my pictures, lol. The fire kid’s edition also includes a year of “FreeTime Unlimited,” which gives you access to 15,000 popular apps and games, videos, books, and educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney. This is amazing, as you can download so many apps for free! This within itself is worth purchasing a fire. Another plus that you are limited to do with an iPad is the parental controls. The ability to limit what my sons watch and play is important. I’m able to adjust just about every app including youTube, so that my kids are restricted from accessing specific material.

All and all, I was surprised how much I favored the fire to the iPad mini. This may be the start back to a PC family ;p

You can purchase the Amazon fire kid’s edition here!

SAVE $50 today when you purchase two Amazon Fire Kids Edition Tablet by using promo code: KIDS2PACK

Pros:

  • easy to set parental controls
  • Kid-Proof Spongy Case
  • 2-year no questions asked worry free guarantee!
  • HD display
  • Micro SD Slot up to 256 GB
  • Quad Core
  • Dual-Band Wifi
  • Front & Rear Camera

Cons:

  • Learning a new platform
  • Organizing Apps

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Baby Mum-Mum Rice Rusks Review

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I was excited when Baby Mum-Mum reached out to Pray Run Live Love because their baby rice rusks were next on my list while shopping for the boys. We are always looking for different snacks, especially ones that offer a healthier alternative. If you’ve followed my blog for awhile you know that when I first introduced solids into Baby Baby’s diet, I made all his food. I really enjoyed knowing everything that went into his body. Of course over time and “grandma” visits, his diet isn’t always restricted to what I can make. So doing research and purchasing items that reflect a good diet is what I strive to do.BabyMumMum2

Now that I’ve begun the same process of making food for Little Little, I’m starting to introduce more healthier pre made snacks into his diet as well. We love Baby Mum-Mum Rice Rusks! Not only does Baby Baby eat them with peanut butter, Little little enjoys them too on their own. This past month I started adding snacks to his diet that he can feed himself with.  I was sent four flavors: original, original “fruit juice sweetened, no salt added,” banana, and carrot. Little Little liked all of them but favored “carrot” the most. The packaging is great and allows us to throw a few 2-pack mum-mums in the diaper bag for out ‘n’ about snacks. I could have seen Baby Baby really loving these snacks when we first introduced him to solids. They are lightly flavored and practically weightless. Since they quickly disolve while in your mouth, I’m not worried about the boys choking or eating too much. They are perfect for teething and introducing solid foods. I recommend Baby Mum-Mum to any child 3 and under.

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PROS:

  • lightweight
  • no mess
  • several flavors
  • naturally sweetened
  • made free of all 10 common allegies
  • individually wrapped 2-packs

 

CONS:

  • quick to snap apart

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CozyPhones Review

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CozyPhones – great quality, design, and material!

Baby Baby and I came across CozyPhones just a few weeks ago. I’m glad we did, especially for comfortable quiet time listening. He loves to watch his iPad and play games however, sometimes a little too loud…lol! So, when we decided to try out the Green Froggy CozyPhones and they worked, I was thrilled. CozyPhones are headphones but in a headband design. They come in a variety of colors, fabrics, and designs for adults and children. The soft material make them easy to wear without any hassle of putting anything in your ears. The cord is braided, which keeps it from tangling and is 52″ long. The speakers are thin and produce amazing sound, I’m not sure how much quality you need for “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” hahaha but it’s there. The speakers also can be removed when it comes time to wash the headband! Overall, we are fans of CozyPhones and can’t wait to get some more styles soon!

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Baby Baby relaxing with his CozyPhones =)

Pros: 

  • Easy slip on headwear
  • Soft comfortable material
  • cord is braided, making it soft and durable
  • Fun prints & designs for adults & children
  • It’s quiet! lol…no need to listen to “Finger Family” on repeat ;p
  • Washable & durable, just remove speakers prior to washing!

Cons:

  • It’s a pro yet a con, the long cord…any cord is caution with a toddler. Just stay present during use.

 

You can learn more and order CozyPhones on their website:

http://www.cozyphones.com

Raising My Children to be Socially Aware


With the tragic events that have occurred over the last few weeks across the United States as a Mother to young children I ask myself, “how should I raise my children in today’s society?”

Of course, there has always been tragic events throughout history. I remember as a child the Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles. I grew up about 45 miles south of LA and the impact still traveled across the United States in a series of events. I was only 7 years old but I was scared. We couldn’t venture outside and I stayed home from school for a week. A child to a young Mother we never spoke about what was going on around us, her goal was just to keep my sisters and I safe. I can’t help but think how it would have been better to speak about the event. At 7 many wouldn’t think a child would understand but I knew the difference between black and white, it was enough to open a conversation.

Over the course of my childhood, I started to analyze and break apart how I picked up on current events. Most issues were discussed during school, church, and with friends. Information was delivered so much more differently then it is now and with the growth of technology I can’t help but think how much will get to my kids before I do. So I compiled some concepts to how I plan to raise my children to be socially aware and have the skills to address whatever issue is going on. While it may be a difficult task to monitor what’s going on in the community, giving a child the tools to develop a social conscious of their own will help them throughout their life.

  1. Faith – This is a solid concept that everyone may not agree with but one that my children will grow up with. Everything happens as planned. There are no accidents, yet a bigger picture we are yet to see. I believe if their foundation is built in faith, they will understand why things are the way they are.
  2. Diversity – Promoting diversity from the toys my children play with to the value of understanding different cultures. I want my children to gain perspective so that they can take in everything with an open mind.
  3. Privilege – Addressing privilege is vital in growth. I want my children to have a grasp of our history and understand why there are differences between specific groups. Teaching my children what privileges they may have or not have is important early on. This will allow them to understand issues that arise in our community at an early age and how they should address them.
  4. Volunteerism – Teaching my children the value of serving our community. This can be within our church community, at school, and possibly a local shelter. I want my sons to know what it’s like to be selfless. I believe by having them give their time to those that need it will let them witness why specific issues create conflict or exist in our world.
  5. Open Discussion – As my children get older, I want them to be able to come to me about anything they have questions about. Whether a news article or something they don’t agree with at school. Being able to be open is what family is all about.

Overall, I want my children to know as much as they can before they begin to dissect a situation. Raising socially aware children is one of the most important priorities a parent should have in order to take on what world issues we will face tomorrow. The more children are aware of justice, equality and fairness, the better they will be able to help build a good community.

 

 

Hello Third Trimester! 

I’m two weeks into the third trimester of my 2nd pregnancy! Woohoo!

28 weeks pregnant! Photo by: http://herewithyouphotography.com

28 weeks pregnant! Photo by: http://herewithyouphotography.com

There’s been a few similarities in this pregnancy that I experienced as I did with Baby Baby but, more recently there’s been a few differences. I’m thinking it’s because I’m on a different schedule this pregnancy and always running around. Little Little is a lot more active during the day and loves to stretch out! Whereas Baby Baby was active late nights and rested his feet on my ribs. It’s exciting yet painful however, I’ll learn to adjust for 10 more weeks. Lol.

29 weeks pregnant! Look at that belly!

29 weeks pregnant! Look at that belly!

I’m down to an appointment every two weeks now that I’m in the third trimester. I really feel like this pregnancy has flown by which has it’s ups and downs. While, I love being pregnant and enjoy feeling whole. Getting to the waddle stage is tough and even more frustrating with a toddler. At my 30 week appointment everything looked good though. Little Little’s BPM was a solid 140 <3 He’s on the smaller side and is expected to be between 6-7 lbs at birth. Which my doctor wasn’t concerned since Baby Baby weighed 7.6 lbs at birth. As for me, I weighed in at 118 and have gained a  healthy 15 lbs. I’m expected to pick up another 10 lbs the next few weeks which, I’m sure will come easy ;p All and all, as long as Little Little and I are looking good that’s all that matters.

 

My little Doctor's Appointment sidekick! He's the best when it's Mommy getting the shots ;p

My little Doctor’s Appointment sidekick! He’s the best when it’s Mommy getting the shots ;p

I’ve accomplished a lot this pregnancy when it comes to being prepared. It’s nice that we kept a lot around from Baby Baby and the only large additions have been things we need in double. Of course, the first on the list was a double BOB! hahaha. It worked out great since the new model was released this year =D My main goal before Little Little arrives is just to be organized and have all I need easily in reach. I’m nervous and excited to take on being a Mom of 2! More or less, a Mommy to a toddler and a newborn! =)

Half Birthday – Baby Baby 2.5!!

Happy Half Birthday to my Best Friend!

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2 and 1/2 years of love, joy and precious adventures. I find myself memorized every day on how blessed I am to be your Mommy. God knew exactly what he was doing when he made you. I love you so much, this you will always know =)

Happy Easter!

 

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from our family to yours! We had an eventful Easter weekend consisting of church services, running, egg coloring, egg hunts and family dinners. Spring is such a special time of year for us and spending it with each other is a blessing. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

Tanaka Farms – Strawberry Tours

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Ready for picking!

This morning Baby Baby and I ventured over to Tanaka Farms during their Open House to do some strawberry picking. It was a gorgeous day and they had some perks if you went during their Open House; fresh veggies, tastings, wagon rides. Tanaka Farms has been around for decades and at their current location in the heart of Irvine since 1998, over the past few years they’ve become known for their “Pumpkin Patch.” Which is great during the Fall however they’re open all year long. With a variety of fruits and veggies the farm offers, I was excited for strawberry season. Growing up in Irvine… you kind of have to be. As a kid we had strawberry fields that lined, “Jeffrey Rd” just past the 5 to Irvine Blvd and spread out as wide as to the El Toro Air Base (Sand Canyon.) Amongst orange trees and windbreaking eucalyptus trees this was Irvine. One of the first things I did when I got my license was drive along a side road known as “Trabuco Rd” with my windows down to smell all the fresh strawberries. Those fields don’t exist any longer, a Great Park replaced the air base and homes now are where those rows of strawberries once laid. Today’s adventure to Tanaka Farms smelled like being a kid in a once very green green city!

Fresh Veggies =)

Fresh veggies =)

Once we arrived we entered through the market stand and was given a bag which was soon filled with fresh veggies. Baby Baby ran in as he remembered the farm from October…straight for a haystack and tractor he went. The strawberry tour was $10 and children 2 & under were free, the $10 included a carton to put your strawberries in while you pick them, you’re allowed to keep the strawberries you pick as long as the lid closes when you leave! While waiting for the strawberry tour wagon we sampled some juices and veggies. The wagon ride was great. We ventured through the farm and our guide shared with us the different veggies and fruits planted around us. It wasn’t long before you could smell the strawberries and soon see them…rows and rows of them =). The best! We were given about 20 minutes to go and pick our strawberries. The best part, you can eat strawberries while you’re picking strawberries. Baby Baby took full advantage of this! I loved it.

Strawberry picker or taste tester??

Strawberry picker or taste tester??

When we were given our 5 minute warning to head back to the wagon, I took advantage of some photo ops. How could I not??!! The fields were beautiful and Baby Baby was having the time of his life. A wagon ride back to the market area and the tour was complete. We still stuck around for a little bit and enjoyed the gorgeous morning out in the sun. A few more wild boy jumps off of the haystacks and a water break then we called it a day at the farm. A nap was definitely in the works ;p All and all, the strawberry tour was a fun adventure I got to share with Baby Baby. I’m looking forward to him growing up with the Spring smell of strawberries.

The juicy strawberries we picked! yum!

The juicy strawberries we picked! yum!

Christmas 2015

We were all on the Nice List!

We were all on the Nice List!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Our Christmas started out bright and early Friday morning. Mav made reservations early November for Christmas Breakfast at the Plaza Inn inside Disneyland. I was a little nervous to be heading to the Parks on Christmas but, having reservations worked out in our favor. If you make reservations inside either Park around the time they open you are able to enter through a “special line” on the side. This saved us time by skipping the main lines and also let us run around a non crowded Main Street USA on Christmas Morning!!! How cool is that?? We’re such disnerds it’s not even funny ;p

Christmas Morning at the Parks!

Christmas Morning at the Parks!

Plaza Inn is another buffet style resturant at the Parks that feature dinning with Disney characters. As you eat, different characters come up and say, “hi.” It’s fun and adds to the experience. After breakfast, we decided to jump on a few rides before we headed out (and it got busy.) We made it on Dumbo and King Arthur’s Carrousel!

 

Such a happy boy!!

Such a happy boy!!

We arrived home around 10:30 AM and was wondering if Baby Baby was going to nap or not….nope, no nap! So, as I made sure the video was rolling. Mav took Baby Baby in our room until I gave him the “okay.” Baby Baby ran out and around the corner; his face was priceless when he saw the presents! All our handwork had paid off =)

I really was so nervous to get Baby Baby more toys, especially with a late November Birthday. There’s a few after Baby Baby opened them I set aside. Is it bad that I want to ration them out over the next few weeks? lol. I guess it keeps for busy Mommy <3

Just a few of my favorite things....Santa and Mav did well ;p

Just a few of my favorite things….Santa and Mav did well ;p

I on the other hand is all about less is more. A few years ago when I refocused my life, I started wanting more adventures versus things. As somethings are important; a safe car, a roof over your head, etc. If someone asks me what I want as a gift; I want to explore, trips, a nice lunch…. memories I can keep forever. So with that said….Mav was spot on with his “main” gift choice for me this Christmas and that is he paid my entry fee for The Tinkerbell Half-Marathon! I can’t wait to experience the run! I was so happy I cried yeah, total nerd moment! I guess my Valentine’s gift to the boys will be a section in the chEAR Squad ;p hahaha.

Mav’s and Baby Baby’s First California Christmas was amazing! The day started out great, a perfect late morning playtime, and in the evening we grilled some steaks! I love my little family =) 2015 has been such a fun year…I can’t wait for us to take on 2016!