Category: Reviews

North Aware Smart Parka Review – A Kickstarter Scam

I’m not one to write negative reviews. It brings me joy to share things I love with people. This review gives me no joy at all.

In a way, I’m embarrassed to write about this because I feel like I got totally chumped.

The first time I heard about North Aware was in March 2016, when I was scrolling through my Facebook feed. The headline jumped out at me – “Smart Parka, Raises over $1 Million on Kickstarter with 22 days to go.”

Interest piqued, I clicked on the link and I saw mockups of winter coats, for both men and women, set to be delivered in September or October 2016.

Looks pretty awesome. NOT!

“Perfect timing for the winter,” I thought. “I’ll get a great product for a great price,” I thought. “All the other Kickstarter backers who came before me couldn’t be wrong,” I thought.

I bought two Smart Parkas – one for me and one for my husband.

Well, September rolled around. No Coat. Then October. Then November. Then December.

I mean, we were already halfway through winter at this point.

Finally, in the last week of January, the package arrived.

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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Non-Toxic Toys

This post contains affiliate links. You can read about my disclosure policy here.

Over the years, I have done a lot of research into the best non-toxic toy companies for babies and toddlers. I have also had the opportunity to accumulate toys from most of the brands featured.

Several factors that I use to evaluate safe non-toxic toy brands include, among other things, whether the toy company is reputable, has a proven safety track record, uses non-toxic finishes and materials, or is based in the USA. (Note that I did not disqualify a company solely because their toys might be produced in another country.)

I have broken down my list into companies that focus primarily on wooden toys versus other safe materials.

Non-toxic wooden toy brands:
Other non-toxic toy brands:

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Google Home Review: My Home Just Got a Lot Smarter

This is a sponsored post. Nonetheless, this review is 100% my honest opinion and, to the best of my ability, an unbiased review. You can read about my disclosure policy here

Google Home Review - Full ShotI am a pretty typical 30’s something mom. Which is to say, I try to keep up with the times and the latest gadgets but implementing new technology into my life is usually directly correlated with ease vs. benefit.

The concern with getting any new tech gadget for me is whether or not it will really be used in my daily life. Luckily, the Google Home was incredibly easy to get started. All I had to do was install the Google Home app on my phone to set up the wifi and some other basic settings.

The first thing I connected was my Pandora account so that I could stream music into our home. The second thing I did was have a dance party with the kids. The music was rich and clear and we had a blast.

Now, we always have music playing (especially in the mornings to get us started) and, of course, random dance parties thrown in. 🙂

Besides streaming music, my second favorite feature is its ability to translate things into Mandarin Chinese. I’m trying my best, but truthfully failing, to raise Max and Alexa bilingual. Max now loves to run up to our Google Home and shout “OK, Google! How do you say [most random thing] in Chinese?” The translations are accurate and come out in the tone of a native speaker.

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Holiday Gift Idea: Best Superhero Cape

Holiday Gift Ideas - Superhero Costume

Being a superhero should not be only relegated to Halloween. Max loves being a superhero 365 days out of the year – with or without a cape.

Since he is at the perfect age for imaginative play and playing dress-up, I previously purchased some superhero capes for him off Amazon. But, the material was thin and the quality wasn’t great.

I went looking for a high quality cape that would be able to withstand his rough and tumble play.

That’s when I found ApplesauceLLC by Sarah Moos on Etsy. She makes the most awesome superhero capes I’ve come across. (I especially love the superhero comic lining option.) I reached out to Sarah who generously sent me this cape and matching accessories for review.

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Bookroo Review – October 2016

bookroo-subsciption-box-review-october-2016-books

Check out my giveaway and coupon code for $10 off your first box at the end of the review!

I am proud to say that I am turning my kids into total book nerds. Literally the first and only word that Alexa can say is “buh” when she picks up a book and throws it at us. My husband and I read multiple books to them daily and it is our favorite way to unwind as a family for the night. Reading to them also guarantees a snuggle from Max so I might have ulterior motives as well.

That’s why when I found out about Bookroo, I had to try it out because this service is right up our alley!

What it is:

Bookroo is a subscription-based book service that sends a box every month filled with either three board books (for children ranging from ages 0-2.5 years old) or two hardcover picture books (geared towards children ranging from ~2.5-6 years old.)

Bookroo prides itself on finding “hidden gems” as opposed to sending classics. However, if you happen to own the book that is sent, all you have to do is take a picture of you gifting the book to someone else and Bookroo will give you $5 off your next box.

I chose the hardcover option and received the October box. As you will see, it is Halloween-themed!

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