Category: review

Baby Bloom Blog Event: Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect Review


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco.  All opinions are my own and as always I only write about products I would personally recommend to a friend.  Thanks so much to Graco for the opportunity to review this jogging stroller and car seat.


Graco‘s latest development in jogging strollers is the super easy to use FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect.  The name is more complicated than operating this stroller, I promise.  True to its name, the jogger folds and unfolds in one step in one second.  Amazing.  If you’ve tried to manhandle your share of bulky strollers, you know this is a big deal.

The jogger is compatible with all Graco Click Connect car seats for those new babies who aren’t ready to use the 5 or 3 point harness in the seat.   Once kiddos are bigger, the seat has multiple reclining positions to make sure your wee one is always comfortable.  The Bear tried it out on a jog with Daddy, and the ride is super smooth.  


The snack tray removes completely so you can clean it well.  Y’all know those things get NASTY fast and are so hard to clean when you can’t remove them.


When you fold the jogger (in one step, in one second) it automatically locks and stands and stores upright.  As you can see it is much less bulky than some competitors and is a great option for families with small cargo spaces or storage issues.


Favorite Features: the double cupholders, smart phone cradle, and reflectors for night time and early morning safety.  What can I say, I’m a details kind of girl.  Our previous jogging stroller did not have any of these features, and the cupholder and phone thing was an issue for me.  If there is an emergency, I don’t want to have to dig through the basket under the stroller to find my phone.  
Least Favorite Feature: the air filled tires.  They provide a smoother ride than hard tires, but can also go flat requiring more maintenance.

This jogger is a winner for me because of the cost vs. value.  The jogger retails for $179, and the complete travel system retails for $299.  A quality jogging stroller for less than $200 is a frugal deal in my book.  Competitive brands retail for at least double that.  
This post is part of my Baby Bloom Blog Event series.  Check out the other Baby Bloom posts here.  

Graco’s NEW jogger is the ultimate crossover stroller, combining all the comfort and convenience features of a traditional stroller (FastAction Fold and Click Connect Technology) with performance and maneuverability of an all-terrain jogger.
As an added bonus, Graco’s innovative one-second, one-hand FastAction™ fold automatically locks & is self-standing.
This post is sponsored by the Graco.

**Thanks to Julie Harding Photography for the use of photos from the Dallas Graco Party.

Rodan + Fields Skin Care Review ~ the REDEFINE Regimen for Anti-Aging

Skin care is a struggle for me.  I have never been big on washing my face or really taking care of my skin in general.  Yes, I know that’s bad.  I hear your judgmental tone and I completely agree.  Now that I’m heading into my (gulp) mid 30s, I’ve come to the realization that I should probably start taking better care of myself.  Little wrinkles are popping up along with their BFFs  the age spots, and I don’t like it one bit.  That’s why when my friend Jennifer asked if I’d be interested in reviewing the Rodan + Fields Skin Care line she sells, I jumped on the opportunity.  When she asked me what my skin care needs were, I was a little lost (seriously, you can ask her).  My skin is dry all of a sudden after being super oily in my teens and combination in my 20s.  It could be a combo of winter air, pregnancy, or just that whole fabulous aging phenomenon.
She sent me most of the Anti-Age line to try, which has recently been rebranded as the REDEFINE line.  I tried the Daily Cleansing Mask, Pore Minimizing Toner, Triple Defense Treatment, Overnight Restorative Cream, the Lip Renewing Serum, and the Night Renewing Serum.  My favorite products are the Triple Defense Treatment which serves as a day time moisturizer with SPF 30, and the Overnight Restorative Cream.  I have never found a drugstore moisturizer that works for my skin.  Every product I’ve ever tried is soaks up in a minute and my skin feels dry all over again.  Both of these products feel fabulous and my skin still feels great 12 hours later.  I did not love the Daily Cleansing Mask as much.  As I mentioned before, I hate washing my face.  I don’t know why, I just do.  The Daily Cleansing Mask works well and leaves my skin feeling awesome.  My issue with it is that you can use it around the eye area, so I first have to wash off my eye makeup, then wash my face.  Petty, I know.  Other than that I love the entire line.
If anti-aging is not your first concern right now, Rodan +Fields offers 3 other lines you can try: REVERSE (works to undo sun damage, lighten, and brighten)UNBLEMISH (for acne and post-acne damage), and SOOTHE (for sensitive, irritated skin).  For more information about Rodan +Fields Skin Care, please check out Jennifer’s R+F site and Facebook page.
Overall Review
Positives: easy to use with clear instructions for each product (so helpful for skin care dummies like me), quality products that truly work better than the competition, variety of products to fit all skin care needs, easily accessible through internet ordering, helps out other ladies through their direct sales program
Negatives: the cost – this is not a frugal skin care line
If you are interested in trying any of the Rodan + Fields Skin Care products, head over to Jennifer’s website and check them out.  The REDEFINE anti-aging regimen is $193, or you can buy products individually.
My sister and I were discussing the cost issue because she has heard great things about the line and has been wanting to try it as well.  We decided it is worth it to buy the moisturizer I love because every time I spend $15-20 on a drugstore product that doesn’t work, it could have gone towards this product that actually does.
Don’t forget to enter the Rodan + Fields giveaway here at Bare Feet on the Dashboard.  Just click the pic below.  The giveaway ends 3/17/2013.

**I was not paid for this review and all opinions are my own.  I did receive the products free of charge for the purpose of review.

A Graco Safety Party and Review of the NEW Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 Car Seat

 Recently I had the pleasure of attending a Graco Safety preview party for a brand new car seat, The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40.  At the party we learned a ton about car seat safety and the AAP guidelines, and about this new car seat.  I was so excited to receive one of the car seats to review for you.  The Click Connect 40 is different from our old Graco SnugRide 30 for a variety of reasons, the biggest being that it can safely hold kids up to 40 pounds and 2 years old in a rear facing position.  The SnugRide 30 only goes up to 30 pounds, and has much less leg room.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids stay rear facing until they reach age 2, and the Graco Safety campaign hopes to help parents reach that goal.  Will the Click Connect 40 really hold a big toddler comfortably?  We’ll find out.

 The Click Connect 40 has 8 different seat settings from comlete recline for newborns to sitting up for big toddlers.

 For The Bear to try it out we shifted to position 8 and put up the kickplate to protect the car.

The seat comes in 2 colors, Moonstruck and Mena.  We received a Moonstruck seat, the more gender neutral of the two.  Mena is beautiful, but has lovely pink swirls that aren’t little boy approved.  You can see a glimpse of the Mena design above, modeled by our demo doll from the Graco Safety Party.

 Here is the car seat set up for a newborn.  It looks so squishy and padded, even more than the newborn pad I had to by when the Bear was new.  I can’t wait to put Mini Bear in the seat in the spring!

 The newborn pad snaps out easily, and the seat quickly adjusted to fit our tall toddler.  Really, it took about 2 seconds..

 We installed it in the car using our latch system.  It seemed odd that the base hung off the edge of the seat by several inches, but that could just be our Honda Pilot.  It still seemed secure.  Please excuse my messy car.  True Life: I’m a Blogger.

 The kick plate is genius, in my opinion.  

 The major downfall of rear facing car seats is the loss of leg room in the front seat.  This is a small price to pay for our kids to be 5x safer than front facing.

Quick Facts:
Price: $219.99 at Babies”R”Us
Available: Online and in stores at Babies”R”Us
Colors: Mena™ and Moonstruck™ fashions
 4 – 40 pound weight limit— a full 2 years
 Base adjusts with 8 recline positions for most leg room of
any rear-facing car seat for baby comfort
 The Simply Safe Adjust™ harness systems allows parents to
adjust the harness and headrest with just one hand to fit
their baby’s height as their baby grows, all without having
to rethread the harness for extra convenience.
 Click Connect™ attachment which allows parents to
easily transition their babies from the car seat to the
stroller through a simple, but secure, one-step “click.”

Does the Bear fit comfortably?  Yes, he does.  At 16 months old he is weighs about 30 pounds and is about 31 inches tall (it is difficult to get an accurate measurement on a wiggly toddler).

Check out that leg room.  

Is the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 a good buy?  In my opinion, yes.  I love the idea of  using one seat from 0-2 that is safe and gives my babe this much leg room.  You can find the car seat exclusively at Babies R Us.  
The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 – the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.

The Great Cloth Diaper Trials – 11 Brands Tried and Tested

  When we made the decision to use cloth diapers, I had no idea where to start.  I started reading every blog and website I could find that had information to help me.  I entered lots of diaper giveaways and won a few.  I asked the few friends I knew who had tried cloth.  There are so many options out there, and it was hard to know where to start.
Here the Bear is modeling his SoftBums Hot Diggity Dog Diaper.  Does it have wiener dogs on it?  Why yes, yes it does.


My Favorite Baby Products – The Woombie Review

I’ve written about swaddling before, and how it worked wonders for Fisher’s sleep habits.  By the time he was about 11 weeks old he could fight his way out of every swaddle blanket and velcro swaddle we could find.  I was visiting a semi-local cloth diaper shop (our closest one at 30 minutes away), The Nappy Shoppe, when I spied the Woombie.  I asked an employee about the product and she raved about it.  I purchased an original Woombie in the orange “paprika” color in the Big Baby size (14-19 lbs) for about $27.  It was wonderful.  The original Woombie zips right up the front and swaddles baby in a comfy cotton sleep sack that even our little Houdini couldn’t escape.

We loved the Woombie so much that I wrote to the company and asked to do a review of the Convertible Woombie.  They kindly sent us a Convertible Woombie to try, and we love it even more.  It is light enough for Dallas weather, but adds a layer of light warmth for our sweet boy.  

We used it with his arms tucked in until he started rolling on his sides in the crib.  To help him sleep safely we unsnapped the arm holes and released his little arms to freedom.  We were nervous that transitioning to arms out sleeping would be difficult, but it really wasn’t.  He self soothes by sucking on his little fingers and naps like a champ.  

Why do we love it so much?  It is easy to use, you just zip it up. If your babe falls asleep you can even get him/her in without waking them up.  Amazing.  They can’t fight their way out of it, and the soft cocoon soothes their startle reflexes and helps them sleep longer and better.

 Even though the Woombie keeps him snug, there is still room for movement.  

Woombie has a ton of great products, for babes from 3 pounds and up.  Next on my shopping list are the Ultra Sleeper, the Eco Baby Donut, and the brand new Mod’Sleeper.  The only negatives I’ve found with Woombie products are the prices.  As a frugal girl and consignment/garage sale addict I have trouble shelling out close to $30 bucks for a baby item.  I know, I’m cheap.  However, when you find a product that really is above and beyond the competition, it is worth the money.  Obviously I think Woombie products are worth it, or I wouldn’t be sharing them with you.  

Woombies are available online at the Woombie website, Amazon, lots of mom and pop baby stores, and right now on Zulily for only $17.99 instead of the normal $27.99.  Woohoo!  Just search “Woombie” on Zulily and all the options left will pop up.  I’m thinking about stocking up for baby showers and future wee ones.

**All opinions are strictly my own.  I am in no way affiliated with the Woombie company, and was not compensated for my opinions other than being given a product to review.

Baby Bliss – The Operation Cloth Diaper Review & Giveaway

Today I’m bringing you a review and giveaway from The Operation Etsy Shop, run by cloth diapering WAHM Sara.  She was kind enough to send me one of her Bunzuke AI2 diapers and Convertabunz insert/prefolds to review.  We are obviously brand new to the world of cloth diapers, and are trying to figure out what kind of diaper fits our needs best.  We have several gdiapers and big brand pocket diapers and AI2s, but this was my first WAHM diaper.  I’m hooked.  The quality and customer service are fabulous, and her selection of fabrics are fun and unique.  She even has a dark denim diaper on her Etsy site right now.  Wouldn’t you rather pay $12 for a denim diaper your baby can use from birth to potty training instead of buying those lame disposable “jean” diapers that just go in the trash?  I would.

Please look at the belly on this kid.  Isn’t he the cutest?
The Operation has a You Tube channel with tons of informational videos on cloth diapering in general and Sara’s diapers in particular.  Here is one that explains the Convertabunz insert/prefolds.  

 From Sara:

I started making diapers for my daughter when she was 3 months old and became hooked! I still make each diaper as if I was making it just for her. The materials are prewashed and sewn using a size 9 ballpoint needle and polyester thread. Each snap is hand applied using a Kam snap press and tested for proper function. Every seam is checked and every loose thread snipped. I don’t sell a diaper that I wouldn’t buy myself! Bunzuke cloth diapers are designed to be used as a pocket diaper or all in two diaper. Here are some Bunzuke stats:

Style: Pocket (see photo) / AI2 ( 2 back snap sockets, 3” apart)

Size: One size fits most (8lbs-35lbs), snap down rise

Materials: Inner – polyester microchamois
Middle – PUL (waterproof polyurethane laminate), 
Outer – cotton woven

Measurements: 10 ½” long rise on smallest snap setting 
13” long relaxed
18” long fully stretched
~5 ½” at narrowest width

Prices: Bunzuke diaper shell (as listed) $12.00 and up
Bunzuke diaper with Convertabunz TM 1.0 Snapping Prefold and Insert $18.00 and up
(choose the $6.00 prefold/insert listing when purchasing a diaper)

 Right now Fisher weighs 10 pounds 4 ounces, and the AI2 is fitting on the smallest setting.  It fits snuggly, but doesn’t squeeze his chub.  I use the Convertabunz as an insert, and it was so absorbent that no moisture touched the diaper itself and it could be used again.  Jed was nervous the first time we used it, but now trusts in the power of the cloth diaper.

We have mainly used disposables and gdiapers up to this point, so I will use those for comparison.  We are gradually making the switch to all cloth and learning as we go. The diaper fits better than the gdiaper and is more absorbent.  It was easy to fit and the liner snaps in quickly.   
Positives: No leaks, super cute design, supports a WAHM, high quality materials, comfy for baby, easy to use after you get used to them, dries quickly, fits well at 10 pounds, great customer service, great price
Negatives: can’t get it at the grocery store, bulky fluffy butt
The positives far out weigh the negatives, which are common to all cloth diapers.  

 The Operation has a ton of designs listed, most for $12, or $18 with an insert included.  That is far cheaper than a lot of major cloth diaper brands.  I’m excited to buy more diapers from The Operation at $18 that will last through the next several years and not contribute to landfill waste, instead of a box of ‘sposies for the same price that will last 4 days.

 This boy wants to roll over so badly!
Sara is generously giving away a 50% off coupon to anything in her shop.  That is up to a $15 value. Want to go shopping for some very affordable cloth diapers?  It is easy to win.  All you have to do is leave a comment for each entry.  
Mandatory Entry: Like The Operation Facebook Page.  (1 entry)
Bonus Entries: 
Leave a comment on her FB page saying that I sent you.  (1)
Leave a comment or like your favorite diaper on FB and/or Etsy.  (1 each)
Share this giveaway on FB and Twitter.  (1 each)
Add The Operation Etsy Shop to your favorites. (1)
Follow me through GFC, Twitter, FB, email, or RSS. (1)
Don’t forget to add your bonus entries if you posted the event button early.
This giveaway will end Sunday, July 17th at 11:59 pm.  The winner will be chosen by a random number generator.  I received a cloth diaper to review but was not in any way compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.