Verizon Spring Forward:  What’s Hot Event

What do you think when you hear “Verizon”?  For me, it used to be, of course, “cell phones”.  Then, last week, I went to the Verizon Spring Forward: What’s Hot event, and oh my.  They are seriously more than cell phones!  Wanna hear about the other awesomesauce devices and accessories they carry?  That’s a rhetorical question:  of course you do!
If you follow me on Twitter at all, you’ve probably seen my dance party pics.  One of the devices we learned about at the #VerizonSpring event was the UE Mini Boom.  I got one to take home and, you guys?  We are IN LOVE!  It’s so easy to set up (just power on, hit the Bluetooth button, and select the device on your smartphone), and we can use it everywhere!  I take it upstairs to the kids’ rooms, we used it outside while gardening, and we turned it on for some lovely dinnertime tunes.  Mr. TFT is already planning a purchase of a second one, because you can link two together to get stereo sound.  Yeehaw!  (Oh, and bonus: you can answer your phone while it’s connected for music and use it as a speakerphone.  Mama’s life just got easier!)
Another device we learned about was the Moto 360, and I. Am. In. Love.  This is such a cool watch (and I’m pretty sure Mr. TFT will be getting one for Father’s Day, because I’m far too excited about it to not buy one).  It is an Android Wear device, which means that lots of the fun things you can go with your Android phone, you can now do with your smartwatch.  You can, “Ok Google.”  You can download an app to control your smart thermostat.  Need to send or receive hangouts messages?  Go for it.  Got an urgent email?  Check it.  Want to monitor your heart rate?  Done. The list goes on!  It also comes with a handy charging dock, thought the battery will last all day, and is IP 67 certified (dust and water-resistant).  I actually kinda want one for myself…
These were my faves, and the ones I could see REALLY making parenting easier, but here are some highlights of other devices/accessories we were shown:

  • Kate Spade back-up battery: Ok, so we didn’t learn much about this one, but I thought it was really cute, and it opened my mind to the possibilities of having something other than the plain black backup I borrow sometimes from Mr. TFT.
  • Garmin VivoFit:  This fitness tracker is battery operated (so no charging required), and the battery lasts over a year.  It also tells you when you’re inactive, although if your children are like mine, you already have inactivity monitors in your life.
  • FitBit Flex:  What I liked most about this fitness tracker was that it tracks your sleep modes!  I’m not sure that I need to see a daily reminder of the crappy quality of sleep, but maybe it will bolster my “Mama needs bi-weekly massages” argument?  For those of you who are fashion minded, you can also get Tory Burch covers for this.  Snazzy.
  • Belkin Netcam HD:  If we didn’t already have another very similar system, I would have been very interested in this.  It’s a video security cam, which has a lot of the same features as systems like the DropCam.  So, it has two-way communication, cloud storage for recorded videos, night vision, etc.  This would make a handy video baby monitor system, if you’re looking for one. 
  • WeMo Switch:  You can plug this into a light (or, it can also be used on a surge protector to control multiple!) and turn your lights on and off via your smartphone.  I can think of so many possibilities for this, from the handy (not breaking my neck making it from the door to the lightswitch carrying a sleeping child when I forget to leave a light on before leaving the house) to the fun (mess with your kids at sleepovers, y’all)!
If you need your life to get a little easier, I seriously encourage you high tech your life a little with some of these devices.  Verizon even has Smart Stores, set up according to lifestyle, where you can test these things out!  Yeah buddy!

LILLEbaby Meets tokidoki & Has Trendy Little Baby Carriers

By now, I’m sure many of you have heard about the amazing collaboration between LILLEbaby and tokidoki. You can get your very own limited edition prints of the Complete All Seasons (standard size) and Carry On (toddler size) at  If they sell out there or, since the mad rush seems to be breaking the internet, you can also find them at the participating retailers listed below. You may want to put on your speedy typing fingers–they’re going to go fast!

A Much Better Way
Baby Sweet Pea’s
Basic Baby Shop
Blossoming Mama
Castle Rock a My Baby
Cloud 9 Baby
Dearest Diapers
Figgy Fuzz
Fluff Envy
Go Baby Go Shop
Heart Hugs
Heavenly Hold 
Hippie Baby
Itsy Bitsy Bums 
Kelly’s Closet
Kissed By The Moon
Lil Tulips
Maison Drake
Nature Baby Outfitter
Planet Bambini SOLD OUT
Simple Cloth
Simply Carried  
Sweet Cheeks Baby
Wee Sprout

Keep Calm and Carry On

Today’s post concludes the Week of #LILLElove with a review of the newest LÍLLÉbaby carrier, the Carry On.
The Carry On is made of the same ultra-breathable, moisture-wicking mesh as the Airflow which, if you read my review earlier this week, you already know is seriously cool. (See what I did there?)  Since Thing 2 still fits fairly well in the standard sized  LÍLLÉbaby, I use the Carry On primarily for Thing 1, and he loves it.  

To give you some size reference here, Thing 1 is 4.5 years old, 38 lbs, and about 38″.  Mr. TFT (wearing him here) is 6’2″.  As you can see, Thing 1 fits quite nicely in the Carry On, with good knee to knee coverage and back support up to his shoulders.  You can even pull the hood over his head, were he to fall asleep.  

I will say that I frequently carried Thing 1 in our Complete Organic with no issues, but putting him in the Carry On made a world of difference.  The body of the carrier has a wider footprint with padding on the legs, and the shoulder straps and waist belt are also wider, all of which help distribute the weight better.  It truly makes for a more comfortable experience for both mom and little one.  

A few other convenient features are: 

  • Lumbar support:  The Carry on comes with the same amazing lumbar support as the other LÍLLÉbaby carriers
  • Three position (Front, Back, Hip) ergonomic carrying for children up to 60 lbs
  • Three-Way Straps, allowing for maximum adjustability (fantastic when you have parents with two very different frames!)
  • Pockets: There is a large zippered storage pocket, as well as an easy to reach pocket for storing the hood and other essentials.

Of course, the Carry On works wonderfully for Thing 2 as well and, since I have it, I use it when I am out and about with only her.  Toothless the Night Fury says it is just a tad too roomy for a newborn…(Yes, the dragon wearing was heavily influenced by Thing 1.)

One of my favorite things I can do now that I have both an Airflow and a Carry On (dare I say that I am doubly cool?), I can also comfortably tandem wear, which comes in handy on those days when nobody is listening, Daddy is working late, Mama is losing her mind, and each kid comes walking up with a carrier asking to be worn.

Looking Forward to Verizon Spring Forward: What’s Hot?

So.  Many of you know that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a fashion maven–a fact I was reminded of this morning when I took Thing 2 to school in her dress for Easter Bunny pics, only to see just about every other little girl wearing leggings and tunics (that’s another story)–but we are a fairly high tech family (and by that, I mean Mr. TFT is high tech and the rest of us stand next to him hoping we look cool too), so I’m really excited about tomorrow.

You see, I was invited to attend the Verizon Spring Forward: What’s Hot? event tomorrow.  We’ll be learning about this season’s fun, hot tech, accessories and apps.  Some of the devices we’ll be learning about are: UE Mini Boom Wireless Speaker, Flip 2 Portable Wireless Speaker, Belkin Netcam (HD) Camera with Night Vision, FitBit, and WeMo Switch.

I’m personally very excited to learn about the UE Mini Boom and the Flip 2.  In fact, I was just telling Mr. TFT that we need a good way to play our music upstairs in the kids’ rooms (dragon tea parties are way cooler when there’s music) and outside while we’re working and playing in the yard.  Dance parties everywhere!

My fitness coach (ok, I don’t really have one of those, but it sounds nice, right?) would love for me to get a FitBit to increase motivation and negate the lies I tell myself about calories burned.  I’m really thinking that I’ll leave tomorrow’s event at least 5 lbs skinnier just from learning about the FitBit!

How much easier would it be to spy on your kids with the Belkin Netcam?  I mean, seriously.  HD and Night Vision?  No more parties up in THAT crib!  Get back in bed!  Your kids don’t want me to learn about this one and share my knowledge.  But I will.  Oh yes, I will.

The WeMo Switch is actually a fairly intriguing concept.  Imagine how much simpler your life would be if you could turn off the lights in your house using your smartphone once you finally wrangle all the children into the minivan and realize that you left every light in the house on after searching for junior’s favorite green sock.  Or, turn the lights on when you get home after dark so you don’t trip, break your leg, AND wake the sleeping child on your way to the light switch.  For those of you with older kids: Imagine the fun you could have at sleepovers, all from the comfort of your own bed.  Wait until the scary stories start, then get out your smartphone and play with the lights.  This one is going to be fun!

Joking aside, If you guys have questions about any of these devices (or related topics), post them here, and I’ll try to get answers for you!  

Feelin’ Cool in the  LÍLLÉbaby Airflow

So, it’s no secret that I love to wear my kids or that my carrier of choice is LÍLLÉbaby.  Now, I also live in Texas and, as much as SSC’s are my favorite, It. Gets. Hot. We’ve survived summers in the past with our Complete Organic (including my 2 mile hike for the Postpartum Progress Climb Out of the Darkness last summer carrying a 3.5 year old Thing 1), and it wasn’t terrible, but there was definitely some sweaty Mama and kiddo involved.

Enter the Airflow.  The Airflow is made entirely of a soft, breathable mesh (not just a panel–the WHOLE carrier body), and it’s amazing how much cooler it is.  Our first trial was on a shopping trip to IKEA.  Now, if you’ve ever been to IKEA, you know that getting out in under 2 hours is nearly impossible.  This time, we were there for about 4 hours.  I wore Thing 2 in the Airflow pretty much the whole time.  She even stayed cool enough that she napped for about half the time, which is amazing considering she and I are both hot-natured.  The best part?  When she got down, neither of us was sweaty! 


Back view of Front Toddler Carry (hood in)


Back view of Back Carry (hood out)

As you can see from the photos, Thing 2 (21 months, 29 lbs, approximately 32″) still has good knee to knee coverage and back support.  In both photos, the extra support is folded down, but it can easily be clipped up for extra head/neck/back support when needed.  

After testing this in many other settings and for varying lengths of time (including family walks outdoors), I can honestly say the IKEA no sweat incident was not just a fluke.  Now, I’m sure that when it’s 100+ degrees outside (as it so often is in the summer in Texas), we’ll have a little sweat, but I also know that the magic Airflow mesh will keep us much cooler than we’d otherwise be!

Here are some highlights of the new, redesigned LÍLLÉbaby Complete Airflow:

  • 3D breathable moisture-wicking mesh for maximum ventilation and allowing both parent and little one to stay cool
  • 6 ergonomic carrying positions with no need for an infant insert: front fetal, front infant, front outward, front toddler, hip, and back
  • Lumbar support
  • NEW Two-Way Straps enable carrier to be worn “backpack style” or with straps crossed in the back.  Dual-adjustment buckles simplify breastfeeding and strap adjustment on the go
  • Removable hood
  • Extra tall, extendable torso (provides extra neck and head support for younger little ones and extra back support for older kiddos
  • Pockets (yay!)

The Airflow is currently available in 4 colors: Champagne, Charcoal/Berry, Black, and Grey/Silver.  For those of you with older kids, check out the new Carry On, which is made of the same breathable mesh as the Airflow.  And look for a review of the Carry On later this week.


You don’t LILLE?! Let me share!


Sweet snuggles

Also, if you haven’t yet, don’t forget to enter to win a LÍLLÉbaby doll carrier here.

Pure Food From Pure Spoon

A couple of weeks ago, as I was wandering the produce department of Whole Foods with Thing 1 and Thing 2, the kids spotted a sample table.  Begging ensued, and I figured “Why not?” since it was, after all, the produce department.  (Free samples totally count toward the daily fruit and veggie allotment, you guys–I read it on the internet.)

What we found at the table was Pure Spoon, an organic “from seed to spoon” baby food, made locally in Austin, TX.  Thing 1 mostly eyed the selection dubiously (because he’s 4, and there was nothing chicken nugget shaped…), but Thing 2 tried EVERY SINGLE FLAVOR.  I’m not joking.  She even tried to climb out of the cart to get to the table for more.  The proprietor of Pure Spoon, Alyson Eberle, gave us a couple of containers to take home and try out.

Aside from the fact that Thing 2 really seemed to enjoy the taste, I was really impressed with what I found in researching the company a bit more.  Here are some highlights:

  • Over a pound of Certified Organic fresh fruit and veggies in each container
  • 100% pure and free from preservatives, additives, color, etc.
  • Ingredients are steamed, rather than boiled, to lock in nutrition and flavor
  • Food is pasteurized with High-Pressure Pasteurization to avoid chemicals or nutrient depleting high heat
  • Recipes are created with the help of a licensed pediatric dietician
  • Buy an ounce, give an ounce – For every ounce of Pure Spoon purchased, the company donates an ounce of organic food to feed American children

Now those are some values and practices I can get behind.  If you live in Texas, Oklahoma, or Louisiana, check out your Whole Foods now for some of this yumminess.  It’s marketed as a baby food puree, but it totally gets 4 thumbs up (an an exuberant toddler clap) from me and Thing 2!

A Week of #LILLElove


Over the course of the next week, I’m going to be highlighting a little something LILLE every day.  Today, to celebrate leaping past 500 Facebook fans and 1000 Twitter followers, I’m going to share a #littleLILLElove with you guys.  Now through next Friday, you can enter to win a LÍLLÉbaby® doll carrier for the wee ones in your lives. 

There’s nothing quite as beautiful as imaginative play, and what do kids love to do more in play than imitate?  Thing 1 and Thing 2 both love our doll carrier (in fact, I’m going to have to buy a second one soon, because they argue about who gets to wear it and for how long and, since Thing 2 doesn’t have a huge vocabulary yet, this results in much shrieking).  The LÍLLÉbaby® doll carrier lets kids nurture their stuffed animals and dolls just like Mom and Dad do for them.  I’m all for encouraging a little nurturing!

Free Range

It’s 3:45 am on a Saturday, and I’ve been up for an hour with Thing 1, who is just so excited about going to visit Grandma and Grandpa on the farm that he can hardly stand it.  He just requested that I go ahead and put his suitcase in the car.  And wake him back up as soon as there is daylight.

I could easily be annoyed with these pre-dawn antics, but instead, I’m oddly delighted.  I love that my little boy gets excited for these trips like nothing else.  This is not an expensive trip to some theme park or toy store–it costs nothing more than the gas money to get there.  The glamour of the farm is playing in the dirt, building things with Grandpa, and chasing Grandma’s “roombug” (Roomba) around the house.  In short:  imagination and family.  And it’s refreshing and heartwarming that a little boy who can, admittedly, get a bit wrapped up in the consumerist society we live in still finds such joy in these simple things.

So, to my parents I say: Thank you for giving my son the innocent joy and wonder of the free range.  And I look forward to his sister discovering the same.

#miniSPbdaybash Day 3!


I’m thrilled to be helping out with Day 3 of #miniSPbdaybash, and today’s prizes are pretty darn fabulous!  You all know I’m a huge fan of LILLEbaby (see some high points here, and keep an eye open for a review of the new, redesigned Complete Airflow, coming soon!). 

In addition to a beautiful new LILLE, this prize package includes Chompy Chic Chewelry and AppleCheeks cloth diapers.  We don’t need more cloth diapers (I know, I know…that’s blasphemy, and I’ve heard great things about AppleCheeks), but I am seriously digging the babywearing accessories at Chompy Chic. Why am I just now learning that this is a thing?!  Gah!

Anyway, without further ado (but with a great big Happy Birthday shout out to #miniSP, enter here to win!