Lace up your running shoes and prepare to sprint! With Summer's warm weather and plush outdoor surroundings, it's time to move Mama's exercise routine outdoors, and there's no better way to do it than with a jogging stroller. When Baby Jogger told us the company was preparing to introduce a new stroller that can convert from a jogger to a four-wheel stroller to a bike trailer, we couldn't wait to get our hands on it. The eye-catching Baby Jogger Pod chasis ($500) is equipped to handle three separate kits to make the transitions: a jogging kit ($60), a stroller kit ($80), and a trailer kit ($40). The company sent us all three kits to try on a beautiful Summer weekend, and while biking wasn't in the plans, the other two kits were put to the test. Here's how they fared.
Note: I've updated this review to reflect Fresco's most current line of towels. Please click through to read my thoughts on the new line!
I've been admiring the colorful designs from Fresco Towels for a while now. The towels are available for purchase through the company's website and major retailers like Anthropologie. The designs are so fresh and unusual — I'm hard-pressed to think of anything on the market that has a similar look.
Fresco Towels is based in Los Angeles and produces bath, beach, and hand towels, as well as terry bags, pillows, and other products that are all created by a family of artisans. Made with long-staple, Turkish cotton, all the products are prewashed, preshrunk, and feature designs inspired by fashion, architecture, and nature.
Fresco sent over some products for review, and two editors excitedly snapped up the pretty towels to try out. See what they thought of the towels and terry bag.
If you've read any of my past candle reviews, you probably know that as much as I'm a candle fanatic, I'm also quite picky about what I light up in my home. The latest candle to come under my scrutiny is Tocca's Bianca Candle ($38). I've had good experiences with the luxury brand's beauty products in the past, but had never tried Tocca home fragrances.
To begin, let's just say that Bianca had me at hello. The 10.6-oz. candle is elegantly packaged in a Tiffany-blue box with the brand's chic, gilded logo. The candle itself arrives in a luxe, milk-white glass vessel, which suits any interior and can be reused with tea lights or even as a small vase. In other words, the packaging is perfection.
Now, on to the scent . . . Bianca's primary notes are of green tea, lemon, and a dash of sugar. It smells herbal with a subtle sweetness, but it's not overwhelming or heavy. It has a truly beautiful fragrance that's light, airy, and transitional. It's perfect year-round, for daytime and evening occasions, but I see myself mostly pairing with a long bath, a cup of tea, a good book, and maybe a glass of red wine.
The candle has a 60-hour approximate burning time, which ranks up there with the best of them. Anything burning over 40 hours gets a high five from me. As single wick candles tend to do, if at the end this one burns too deeply, it'll be a perfect contender to be salvaged in such a beautiful jar. But mind you, this one's made of paraffin wax, so it's not as eco-friendly as its soy-wax counterparts. As for the price, this one is no bargain; I do have some favorites that clock in around $15-$30. But the scent is elegant and understated, so it's a foolproof alternative to pricier Dipytque candles, which cost an arm and a leg at $60.
You can check out a range of Tocca's other scents at Sephora, if you want to sniff before you buy! I'm excited to try more Tocca scents; I think I may be on my way to finding my favorite!
I've long been a fan of Benefit Eyecon ($30), because it really does a good job of de-puffing and brightening up under eyes. Now though, it's being discontinued and Benefit is premiering a totally different set of skin care. The new line, B.right, has its own eye cream called It's Potent ($32). Since I have a jar of both creams, I decided to compare and see how the new product measures up. So should you be worried about finding a replacement for Eyecon? No, and here's why.
If I were to ask you, "Are you proud of your kitchen?" I would venture to guess that most of you would respond, "No." Considering that the average age of the American home in 35 years, many of you have may inherited an old kitchen with laminate floor tile and countertops or dingy, dated cabinetry that doesn't look exactly as you'd wish.
With home prices down 30 to 50 percent, most consumers are only buying what we need and can afford, but unfortunately, a kitchen renovation is not the most budget-friendly of expenses. The cost to replace your cabinets and countertops stands somewhere between $4,000 and $20,000, depending on whether you purchase stock supplies or have a custom kitchen built. To reface your cabinets, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $6,000. And painting your cabinets will cost you around $200, but as anyone who has tried this will tell you, the paint will inevitably peel if you don't strip, sand, and prime beforehand — a lengthy process.
So what's the alternative? Luckily there's a new product on the market for refinishing wood, melamine, laminate, and a number of cabinet surfaces that doesn't require sanding, stripping, or priming! Better yet, it'll cost you as little as $80. Find out what it is when you read more!
How do you compliment a donkey? "Hey, nice a**!" When Bugaboo announced its first foray into the world of double strollers, the news was met with cheers and a collective sigh of relief from mamas who are already fans of the Dutch company’s popular pushchairs. But when they saw the side-by-side style, when so many other companies are shifting to a rumble seat style, many worried about the unwieldiness of such a large-looking pram.
Well, after spending an afternoon pushing the stroller in its many forms, Bugaboo flew me there to test out the Donkey, I’m here to say that the innovative stroller (it easily converts from a single to a double with three quick clicks) is narrower than it looks, moves just as smoothly as its older siblings, and maintains the company’s signature design features throughout.
Keep reading to see the features of the new Donkey, what I liked best, and how much it will cost you when it makes its debut in April!
Every now and then a product crosses my desk that makes me smile just thinking about it. When Laffy Laffalot ($20) arrived last week, I didn't think much of it. A plastic toy that laughs is no big deal. Then I took out the literature, popped in the batteries, and watched as my kids burst into laughter.
The toy, designed by Steve Islava, a professional firefighter and paramedic in Orange County, CA, was created to distract tots suffering from injuries and trauma and help bring normalcy to their lives. Through 20 recorded laughs, and the ability to add four more, tots can benefit from the medicine of laughter, which releases endorphins throughout the body. Understanding the stress families experience when battling childhood illnesses, $3 from the sale of each toy benefits the National Children’s Cancer Society.
Who is this product designed for? Really, the Laffy can be used by anyone. My 1-year-old can't get enough of it (he's worn through the batteries twice already), and I've seen the most serious grown-ups crack a smile when they play with him.
What sets it apart? Plenty of toys include a laugh here or there in their programming, but I've never seen another toy with the sole purpose of making kids laugh. With 20 prerecorded sounds — ranging from a gurgling baby to a jolly giggle — the creators have every chuckle, cackle, and guffaw covered. Plus, with four custom buttons, kids can record their own laughter for additional fun.
To see what could be better and if I would buy it, read more
This Timi and Leslie Charlie diaper bag is my favorite bag! It was about $150, but it was an excellent gift from my husband and so well worth it. I had gone through so many diaper bags with my first child and I was never happy. I got it when my second child was about 1 1/2. Now she is 3-years-old and it's still going strong. It has survived lots of spills and being dragged just about everywhere! It's a very stylish bag!
Run like the wind. Any mama who's visited a park in the past two years knows the balance bike craze is showing no signs of slowing down. The bikes, long a teaching tool for lil ones overseas, have reshaped the way American tykes have learned to ride a two-wheeler.
The latest to join the lineup on the bike rack is YBike ($80), a plastic version of the bike that is designed for the younger tots. With a unique motorcycle-like design, including an extended front fork angle, and available in four bright colors, the bike is sure to catch kids' eyes. The company sent over a fun orange version for us to test. Keep reading to see what I thought.
Who is this product designed for? Though the instructions that came with the bike state that it is designed for tots ages 2-5, it seems better suited for younger ones, probably 2-4 that are ready to move beyond the tricycle.
What sets it apart? The lightweight, injection molded plastic makes for a light bike that can easily be transported to various locations. With two closely aligned rear wheels, the bike is more stable than traditional walking bikes, and it can stand independently, a real plus for teaching lil ones to turn and stop. It can also be used both in and outdoors, making it great for enthusiastic kids who insist on riding their bikes at all times.
What could be better? We found the steering column, and wheels, to be a bit stiff, slowing the biking experience. While this is great for a new rider, more experienced ones may find it discouraging. The plastic wheels also make for a louder, less smooth ride than their rubber, pressurized cousins.
How long did my child ride it? Though my son is used to a metal bike at school, he was very comfortable on the YBike and rode it for a half hour straight.
Would I buy it? If I were buying a gift for a 2-year-old, I would buy this bike in a second! For older tots, who are closer to riding a two-wheel bike, I would seek out a balance bike with rubber tires and only two wheels for an easier transition to a pedal bike.