Saturday, September 28, 2013

The BIG One with Aden + Anais! {Review + Giveaway}




Its our The BIG One! First birthday event, and we're celebrating Open Hand's Sweetie Pie and Buddy Doo's first birthdays with Aden + Anais!


I fell in love with Aden + Anais and their muslin swaddles when I had to borrow a friend's when Buddy Doo was a newborn.  I remember drooling over all of their gorgeous products online and spending a good hour arguing with myself over which I wanted more.  Even though we bought some and still use the swaddles regularly, Buddy Doo has outgrown the 'swaddling' usage from them. Never fear! Aden + Anais also makes sleeping bags out of their super soft and breathable muslin - in sizes small, medium, large, and extra large so one is sure to fit your little sleepy head!


Muslin is fantastic for babies and toddlers for its wonderfully breathable properties.  While many know that common risks for SIDS include placing newborn baby on their bellies and loose blankets in the crib, most don't know that overheating is also a big culprit.  Muslin greatly reduces the risk of overheating and keeps your little one cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  Plus, it has this magical way of getting softer with every wash.  That's right, no more worries of the fabric getting scratchy and irritating their skin over time.  Since its worn, the sleep sack eliminates loose blankets for a safer sleep; plus, the sleep sack keeps them warm and cozy without the risk of the 'blanket' being tossed off.


For our review, we received the large.  Its a little small for Buddy Doo, but that's completely my fault.  He's super tall and it seems I should have went with the extra large!  He does fit it fine for now, but I don't see him being able to last past another growth spurt. I just can't get over the 'Up, Up, & Away! collection! I wanted to keep it relatively gender neutral since we do plan on having another some day, and I love this collection so much I may even do the next nursery's them around it.


Something that caught my eye was how the zipper's end was wrapped over in fabric.  I sew quite a bit for Buddy Doo and the house, and I would have never thought to do this!  This is such a neat thing because it protects their skin from the zipper's irritation.  Considering it seems like Buddy Doo has a constant teething rash under his neck I'm sure he extremely appreciates this thoughtfulness.  It unzips upward for ease with those pesky nighttime diaper changes.  One of my favorite features is that there's a good three inches of fabric after the zipper to kind of keep the feet 'tucked' in nice and warm during diaper changes.  I do wish there was something like a snap or a hook (with fabric underneath for baby's skin) at the top to keep the zipper from completely unzipping, though.  We don't do too many nighttime changes anymore, but its not easy trying to get the zipper back through the other side in the dark. It hasn't really been that much of an issue and certainly not a deal-breaker, but it would be really helpful to have.

Overall, I love this sleeping bag.  It transforms the luxury and silky softness of the muslin swaddles into the older baby and toddler world.  The designs are to die for gorgeous and I'm slightly jealous of how comfy Buddy Doo seems to be in it. We use it many times a week and its not even showing any signs of wear. Its been through a good thirty washes already and the colors look brand new and the muslin is incredibly softer. Buddy Doo has woken with a leak or two and even when I didn't get a chance to wash it right away, there wasn't a stain or stench in sight.  Aden + Anais are known for their quality products and fabrics...the sleep sack is no exception!

Sweet Pie reviewed the Bamboo Sleeping bag! Here's the review of the Tranquility Leafy print:

 At the end of a long day, everyone is exhausted, little one's and mommy & daddy alike. In our home, routine is key to everyone settling down well at night. We always start with a nice bath...sometimes they even get bubbles ;-) Then we move onto story time, some songs & prayers. After tha,t and the kids are all in their cozy pajamas, the boys cover up with their favorite blankies. This is where things are a little different for Sweet Pea. With her being so little still, we don't like to put a thick, big blanket in bed with her. She has her tiny blankie to sleep with, but its more of a cuddle thing.

  For Sweet Pea's special day, aden + anais was kind enough to send us one of their sleeping bags. We received the Tranquility Leafy Bamboo Sleeping Bag and it is gorgeous! The pink and cream colored bag , with a feminine leaf print is perfect for our girl. I love everything about the look of this bag, even the sweet pink trim.



 Not only is the bag so sweet in style, it is amazingly comfy! Well..I mean, it feels great & I think if they made one big enough for me to try out, I would consider it to be extremely worthy of sleeping in. Sweet Pea was lucky enough to get the opportunity to sleep in this fabulous sleeping bag, and she loves it! After I put her in it, she rubs it the whole time she nurses before falling asleep, it is so precious!



 The bamboo sleeping bag is the perfect thickness to keep Sweet Pea warm, without being too hot. When paired with her jammies, she is the perfect temp for these cooler fall nights, with no fear of a blanket over her face or kicking off the covers. We adore of Sleep Bag from aden + anais, and can't wait to try out more of their products in the future.



Buy it: You can purchase sleeping bags from the classic, bamboo, cozy, cozy plus, and organic collections at Aden + Anais.

Connect: Follow Aden + Anais on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on future promotions, new collections, and giveaways!

WIN IT: One lucky reader of Buddy Doo's and Open Hand's will win a sleeping bag from the classic collection of winner's choice!! Which one would you choose?? Open to US legal residents 18 years of age and older.  Ends 10/19 at 12:00PM EST. All entries will be verified.  Good luck!!






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Friday, September 27, 2013

The BIG One with KidCo! {Review & Giveaway}


Its our The BIG One! First birthday event, and we're celebrating Open Hand's Sweetie Pie and Buddy Doo's first birthdays with Kidco!



Safety gates are one of those items you don't really think of until you actually need one.  Even then, you think its more of a luxury and something you can easily do without....I mean, if you're a stay-at-home-mom you're with your little one all the time anyway, right?  If your little one is in daycare, then they aren't even home unless they are with you too.  Especially when you have only one child; its easy to be deceived into thinking you can be everywhere your child is without problem......until you catch your little one climbing your stairs while you put on your shoes, see them dash across to the other side of the room before your bum hits the seat cushion, or find out they have an unquenchable curiosity for the kitchen that you can never seem to keep them out of.  Heck, sometimes it would just be nice to be able to be in the kitchen without your shadow tagging along at your heels.  Its okay though, dinner has been saved: say hello to Kidco's automatic close gateway G1100!
I'm going to be completely honest with you:  I know this is going to sound foolish, but like I've said before I really do not like buying things online or even in boxes.  I've found that everyone has different judgments when it comes to products and so its hard to truly gauge someone's review on a product online when you haven't even met them, don't know how they view quality, and don't understand their lifestyles and how they've used the product. Well, Buddy Doo is pretty rough on everything and coming from someone who is very skeptical when it comes to purchases anywhere, trust me when you say you will love this gate.  You will love Kidco. Did I say that you would love this gate already?! We have a couple of their products (like the bath tub organizer.  Its pretty much amazing, just saying.) and you really can't go wrong with them!

The Auto Close Gateway G1100 is the extra hand you've always needed.  Its the saving grace us renters have been searching for as it provides the same sturdy setup as the hardware mounted safety gates without any damage to the walls or doorways.  It installs quickly and easily (whether using extensions or not), and my favorite part: it has a two way door!  No more having to worry about moving baby or any other object that may have stumbled in the way of the door.  Its unique dual magnet design guarantees the gate locks every time, so no more worrying about closing it behind you OR locking it securely.  If you're bringing in groceries or simply would like to leave it open for in-and-out traffic, the hold open feature suspends the auto-close function and secures it in an open position.  To close it back, just simply push it!  Even if its with your foot while you're stumbling, yet determined to bring in every single grocery bag in just one trip. -wink-
Make sure you measure where you are placing the safety gate before purchasing! You may need to purchase one or two extensions as well to ensure it fits.  We had to use the two extra extensions so set-up took a little longer for us than it will for most.  It also took a lot longer because Buddy Doo is very hands-on as my very adorable little 'helper'; it should only take a couple to few minutes though without a 'helper'. Set up is as simple as sliding all the pieces together.  Really, that's it!  We didn't need any tools which is great because who can ever really remember where you left that screwdriver at anyways?  The hardest part for me was tightening the spindles from the gate to the wall.  My fingers are rather fragile because of all the gashes with my psoriasis, so it did take a little oomph! to get them tight enough for my peace of mind.

What I really like about the gate is how it is actually set up to account for mismatched measuring parts for the top of the gate and the bottom.  This allots for crown molding, staggered set-up between walls, etc, and is ideal for our lopsided house.  One of the most frustrating parts of our rental house is that whoever built it did NOT measure anything correctly, so its almost all off by and inch or three in absolutely any direction.  The same part that helps make this possible is also the same part that makes cleaning the floors around it difficult.  While I do frown on that, since its the only down side about the safety gate from set up to use I can certainly live with it.  I clean the gate regularly anyway since Buddy Doo seems to always have something on his fingers, so its not really that much more of an effort to hand clean the floors along the gate too.


Heavy duty steel construction
Non-toxic powder coat paint
Basic gate width: 29”-37” (includes two extensions)
Gate Height: 29.5”
Installed Height: 29.5″
Color: White
Optional Extensions: G4100 for openings up to 47.5″
Extension Placement Guide
Size of Opening Extensions Needed
31.5″ – 37″ Included with gate
37″ – 42.5″ 1-G4100
42.5″ – 47.5″ 2-G4100
- See more at: http://www.kidco.com/products-page/pressure-mount-gates/g1100/#sthash.76E7iFCJ.dpuf
Heavy duty steel construction
Non-toxic powder coat paint
Basic gate width: 29”-37” (includes two extensions)
Gate Height: 29.5”
Installed Height: 29.5″
Color: White
Optional Extensions: G4100 for openings up to 47.5″
Extension Placement Guide
Size of Opening Extensions Needed
31.5″ – 37″ Included with gate
37″ – 42.5″ 1-G4100
42.5″ – 47.5″ 2-G4100
- See more at: http://www.kidco.com/products-page/pressure-mount-gates/g1100/#sthash.76E7iFCJ.dpuf
As with any gate, picking the right one for your needs is very important.  We needed one primarily for our kitchen because Buddy Doo is too curious about the cleaning products and oven for his own good.  He's rough on things and likes to dance on things that are his height, so we needed something with a strong construction instead of thin plastic or wood and wouldn't budge (which is harder to find in a pressure mounted gate than you would think!).  Not only that, we needed something we wouldn't be afraid of him gnawing on since he is a teething toddler.  To make it even more difficult, we needed something to fit a 47.5" doorframe which seemed impossible before Kidco!  Thankfully, we found it all with our Auto Close Gateway G1100 and I couldn't be more impressed with how its held up.  Not only does it have a heavy duty steel construction, but the non-toxic powder coat paint is both safe for Buddy Doo and super easy to clean which is great since it is a kitchen gate after all.  It includes two extensions for a basic gate width of 29"-37", but there's also the option to purchase one or two additional extensions to extend the gate up to 47.5"!


I've already bought another Auto Close Gateway G1100!  We needed one for our front door hallway and after our experience with Kidco's safety gates compared to different brands, I wanted to save myself the headache, frustration, and undue stress and continue my safety gate loyalty with them! 


Oh, and the absolute #1 reason why you need an Automatic-Close Safety Gate? So you won't teach your little ones bad habits of climbing over things!  They look to you for guidance and to learn new things.  If they see you climbing over the gates that don't have a 'doorway' then they will learn to climb over the gates, out of the crib, etc! That sort of defeats the purpose of the safety gate in the first place, right?

Buy: You can purchase safety gates, bath safety products, natural feeding products, and MORE at Kidco's website here!

Connect: Follow Kidco on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on future promotions, new products, and chances to win!

WIN: One VERY lucky reader of Buddy Doo's is going to an automatic-close safety gate of their own!!! Enter in Giveaway Tools below.  Open to US citizens only, 18 years of age or older.  ALL entries will be verified, and you can't win unless you complete the entry so please don't waste your time or ours! GOOD LUCK :)