3 Reasons I love KiwiCrate (KoalaCrate)

Kiwi Crate Family Brands >>

Roey, do you want to read: NO!

Do you want to eat a snack: NO!

Do you want the ipad? NO!

How bout some chocolate milk? NOOO!!!

::drops to floor and begins rolling::

Do you want to go back outside? NO!!!

How about some arts and crafts box?

::Up like a bullet from the floor::

“YESS!!! Arts And Craps Box! Arts and Craps Box!”

Out comes the handy KoalaCrate Box…

Hands-on Activities from Kiwi Crate

KoalaCrate is the 3-4 year old age version of KiwiCrate (pictured above for ages 4-8), a monthly subscription box for kids. There’s another box for older kids too. Each box comes with instructions for “the adult assistant” as well as a mini magazine based on the monthly theme, and all the tools needed to complete a few really great theme-based activities. (Themes we’ve done are: Transportation, Music, Garden, Colors, Bugs.)

This is my favorite activity set for Ro by far and here’s why:

  1. Rohan LOVES it

Really, that could be the end of my list, because if something makes your kid this happy, you kinda automatically love it, dont you? The “Arts and Craps Box” is Roey’s favorite. I bought it for a rainy day distraction, and it really is something that lasts all month long.


  1. It’s Educational Fun

I’m all about kids learning through play. Roey learned all his numbers, colors, letters, animals, etc.. through playing and reading.  The Koala Crate teaches him so much just through stories, songs/poems, games, and art.  (If he reminds me that yellow and blue makes green one more time…I may lose it)

  1. It’s Everlasting.

The quality of the projects we make are really high. They last, and because of how it’s made, I can re-use and re-purpose some of the parts in age-appropriate ways to use with Kaya. We try to put the booklet and pieces back in each box, but that doesn’t always happen. Every now and then I’ll see Ro “reading” one of the old booklets on his own.

Creativity kits for kids!

Bonus Reasons why I love it:

  • It’s a behavior modification tool on the low
  • It’s gender neutral
  • It’s science and art skewed
  • It’s an easy, no brainer for me, with everything included #noguesswork #easybutton
  • It’s well made, no random cheap, sharp plastic bits
  • It helps me to be more creative with the games I play w/ the kids

I was not sure about what subscription box to get for Roey, but we are Highlights fans and I just knew this would be a good fit for him. As he gets older we’ll transition to KiwiCrate and then to Tinker. He’ll grow with the brand and Kaya will follow right behind him.

Do your kids have any subscription boxes?

Have you tried Kiwi Crate?

(This is NOT a sponsored post, I just am a fan….and if you buy through my links I may get some pennies.)


Estee Lauder Double Wear For the Win

Remember when I had that bra fitting and they told me to always try bras on in store before I buy…..and then in the next breath told me they don’t carry my bra size in the store….?
I told you many moons ago that I’m not that girl. I dont wear a full face of makeup…hardly ever really. I do however, love a tinted moisturizer sometimes. I ran out of my old standard that I’ve mentioned here before, and have been going barefaced to work, or sometimes just a lil powder. It was easy and I’m lazy so I didn’t look for an alternative…. but I didn’t feel as polished/professional at work without it on. I jumped at the opportunity to try out Estee Lauder’s Double Wear line at Macy’s.
Gotta be honest, I was nervous when I saw only a few darker shades. I was like “oh lawd I’m gunna look like I’m doin kabuki theater” but it wasn’t bad at all.
My makeup artist, Lana, used the full coverage foundation on me, and matched me up pretty well, which is my issue with foundations. I never feel like it really matches me 100% and I feel like I’m in a mask.
Luckily that didn’t happen with this. It was applied with a gentle hand (thanks Lana) and it matched pretty well. What I also liked is that it felt kinda….satiny to the touch. I didn’t want to buy right away, so I kept it on while I walked around the mall and ran errands.
About 6 hours later, I go back and my face is looking good, and no where near as greasy as it usually is. (Apparently this stuff stays put for up to 15 hours.)
I’m like “Lana I love this stuff. I’ll take a bottle.”
She’s like… “oh….about that…..”
“We actually don’t have that shade available for purchase.”
Are you kidding me?!
BUT, they had the light foundation, which was likened to a tinted moisturizer and was available in my color. #win
I didn’t want to take of my makeup to try it out so I waited until the next day to test it out.
Sooooo happy the full coverage foundation wasn’t available cuz the light foundation is absolutely perfect for me.
I’m comfortable applying it, and though it doesn’t feel as satiny as the full coverage, my skin looks and feels nice :) #wholepoint. Have you tried Double Wear from Estee Lauder yet? You can
Are you a full coverage or a tinted moisturizer kinda girl?

Dove Silky Hair Dare (Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Review)

dove pure care dry oil

Wow I feel like I have not done a product review in 100 years. I was given the opportunity to try the Dove Pure Care Dry Oil range and I like it so far. To be 100% honest I only used the three pieces together ( the shampoo conditioner and oil) on my hair twice but I used the products separately many times. Mainly, I used the conditioner for co washing a whole lot…. it’s almost done.

The first thing that I noticed about this was that it had macadamia nut oil and I got scared. I am super allergic to most tree nuts including macadamias and I was like uh uh, I’m not going to have to whip out my EpiPen to do a product review no way no how! I went to Dr. Google M.D.’s website and read about it and saw that if you can touch nuts without an allergic reaction then touching the nut oils would not be a problem.

So I braved myself up and tried it and I like it! It’s not the best shampoo or the worst shampoo I’ve ever tried, but it smells great and works well. My hair didn’t feel over-cleaned, but it did suds up a lot (which I know some people love, but I don’t) and my hair/scalp felt nice and clean. It wouldn’t be my go-to shampoo, but I will use it up versus tossing it or giving it away.

The conditioner is thick, goes in easily, smooths on quickly and gives a lot of slip (which I love) and the smell is almost intoxicating man. I love it and it’s hard to describe but its like sweet without being cloying and somehow… natural. It smells like it should be a baby’s body wash from a high end all-natural brand. lol Oh, and my fave part is the smell lasts a long time.

I used the conditioner regularly (post-shampooing), as a co-wash (in lieu of shampooing) and as a deep conditioner (left on clean dry hair for hours w/ and w/o heat) and with all 3 types of uses I got quick slip, and easy rinsing. My hair was left feeling soft, moisturized and smelling really good.

The oil which is the third step in the range is my favorite part.  I think I have used it every day or almost every day since I received the product. It goes on easily and smoothly and then once it’s in, your hair feels soft not weighed down and greasy. It’s not tacky like castor oil can be. It’s hard to describe but the way they say dry oil…. when I was looking at that name I was like what the hell are they talking about… but now I kind of understand. It doesn’t leave a greasy residue it’s kind of an almost light/dry feeling (if that makes sense).

I would recommend the shampoo for people with oily hair and oily scalps, or people that love sudsy shampoos. I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who’s used to all-natural, non sudsing shampoos. The conditioner I would recommend to anyone of all hair types. I would also recommend the oil to anyone with dry hair, or who currently uses coconut oil.

I’ve mentioned my deep love for coconut oil here many, many times. But since trying this oil, I’ve been using it exclusively (over my moisturizer after a wash, and on dry hair ends at night) and no complaints whatsoever. It has coconut oil in it too, so maybe that’s why I’m loving it so much.

The oil is also great for slicking hair back without needing to use a gel. I finally have a ponytail (ponynub) again, and was able to smooth my hair down easily with the oil and very little effort!

short natural hair ponytail

Have you tried a new line that you’re loving (or not loving) lately?

Will you take the Dove Silky Hair Dare?

Dove Hair is daring women everywhere to try Dove Pure Care Dry Oil, risk-free now through December 31, 2014*

Share your silky results at #silkyhairdaresweeps for a chance to win** $20,000 in prizes up for grabs

Visit Dove.com for more information

**No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The Dove Silky Hair Dare Sweepstakes is sponsored by Conopco, Inc., d/b/a Unilever. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 & older. Begins 12:00 p.m. ET on 9/25/14 and ends 12:00 p.m. ET on 11/20/14. For Official Rules, visit http://www.dove.us/Products/Hair/Advanced-Hair-Series/rules.aspx


*If you are not completely satisfied with the Dove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Dry Oil system, Dove will refund your purchase (from 9/21 – 12/31). Visit hairmoneyback.com for details

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Bevel is Changing the Shaving Game

  bevel shaving kit

Bevel is changing the shaving game for coarse-haired men and I am so excited! … for my dad…

I remember from a very young age my dad having exactly 4 million razors in an oversized mug. I think he’d use them once or twice then they would somehow fail him and go into the mug never to be used again. I later learned that he was searching for “the one.” He wanted a razor that was going to give him perfect results and not have him end up with bumps later.

African American hair is super curly, and when growing back after shaving it curls and sometimes causes ingrown hair bumps and other irritations and annoyances. I know we girls can get these razor bumps too, when shaving the bikini area, but men have to deal with this drama in a much more noticeable area.

My ex would try every single lotion and potion he could get his hands on to avoid the bumpy face and neck. I went into his linen closet one day and saw all kinds of products for women’s skin and we had a lovely fight until he told me what it was for. I knew he would buy every new razor and every new men’s facial cream as soon as it would come out. Do you notice how razors now have like 700 blades on them? Crazy. (I bet my ex owns one like that, LOL.)

I remember daddy slathering on Barbasol (yes… he’s old) and trying out a new razor, fancier looking than the last. It would end up in the mug too. He would even go get professional shaves from ancient looking men who, to my young eyes, moved in s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n. Those professional shaves were the only shaving experiences he wouldn’t complain about. Too bad that back in the day they weren’t in the budget to do on a regular basis.

Bevel has a new range of products to help men like my dad and ex get clearer, smoother skin in 4 weeks. They’ve developed a shaving system specifically for people with coarse, curly hair. The kit includes a razor, blades, brush, priming oil, shaving cream and restoring balm and Bevel’s products were clinically tested to reduce and prevent razor bumps and irritation.

Once I found out about this I knew I just had to have Daddy try it out.

dad with bevel kit

Daddy’s “Unboxing” Video:

Dad Tries Bevel:



Smooth… like a gravy sandwich:



In short: He loved it. He only tried the cream and the razor/blades but he’s a fan. He thought the cream was great (maybe he’s found his Barbasol replacement!) and liked the quality of the razor itself saying that it felt well-made. (It was heavy too.) Since that day he’s tried the restoring balm and said it felt “fancy.” So I guess that’s a good thing! The Bevel razor is not goin’ into the mug!

smooth cat dad

Do you have any products where you’re searching for “the one”?

Use Promo Code OKDANI20 for a great 20% discount off the first month at Bevel!!

More Bang For My Diaper-Buying Buck

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well beginnings diaper review well-beginnings-logo-610x305

We were not flush with cash growing up, but we always had what we needed. My family was always great with money. Spending more on the things they valued, and saving everywhere they could. My mom always taught me to get the most bang for my buck, save, “pay” myself first, but not be such a penny-pincher that you didn’t enjoy what money could buy.

Now that they’ve moved up in financial standing, my mom is all “oh Dan, we must buy it…we’re LOSING money not buying it….” LOL…. but I digress…

I’m grateful for the financial lessons I was taught growing up, both by observation, and implicit lessons. I’m now able to balance John’s different way of viewing money and spending, and I know my children will learn to be good and balanced with money too. Being smart with our money leads us to be more open to trying different brands of products and happily we tend to find new fave brands that are often cheaper than our old faves!

You guys already know, I’ve got one lil poop monster and another mini poop monster on the way. I’m working at home, heavily pregnant, pinching our pennies, and my time is limited. Everything I can do to get more bang for my buck is essential. I’m open to all.


well beginnings diaper image


The Well Beginnings diapers are one of the “bang for buck” products I use. Easy to pick up at the Walgreens around the corner, and easy on my wallet and budget too.

More importantly, they work well, stay dry on Roey’s butt after pee, and holds up well overnight. I used to use them when Roey was younger and my only gripe was that they weren’t as soft and snuggly as other brands. But now that Roey’s bigger I’m not concerned with the softness as much. They’re soft enough, surprisingly thin yet hold a good amount without being soaky.  My fave part is they fit him well and he’s a mover and a shaker and they hold up!

I’m glad I’ve got another brand of diaper in my arsenal of “go-to” brands. Good thing I was open to finding one that was more bang for my buck!

Have you discovered any new brands you like recently?

well beginnings diaper review