5 Tips on Doing a YouTube Unboxing Video with a Toddler

I was sent a new subscription box from NostalgicCandyClub.com and thought it would be fun to do a video review with my two-year-old. I went into things very optimistically because I figure all kids love candy, this should be easy! Big surprise- Nothing is ever easy!

So here’s a few tips I learned the hard way:

1) Give them a lift – Get them a booster seat, or a pillow, or anything that makes them a little taller. After getting all my camera angles perfect (or so I thought) I had the toddler sit down and just the top of his head was showing.

Unboxing video with toddler

2) Prepare and research firstRead over everything before you start, and practice what you want to say. That way you are familiar with the product and able to remember what you are saying when things start going weird. Nothing ever goes the way you think as soon as a toddler is involved.

nostalgic-candy-club
The info card I should have read and studied ahead of time!

3) Just expect nothing to go as expected.They may suddenly decide to not participate, refuse to do anything they’re asked, or say something weird. Be ready to just roll with it.

4) Photograph everything ahead of time and repackage. – Once your toddler gets ahold of things, they never look the same. I was left with a pile of trash and candy at the end and did not get any photos. This is all that’s left:

candy-wrappers

5) Get rid of the toddler. – Ha! Just Kidding. Sort of. Basically, make sure you can do a good review solo and then engage your unpredictable sidekick with a few questions along the way.

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So here’s our attempt at unboxing video. Things did not really go the way I had planned. I was expecting “candy from the past 50 years” as mentioned on their website, but the stuff in the box was from about 100 years ago and I had no idea what most of it was. Also, 100 years ago they had very questionable taste in candy. If I had checked everything out ahead of time I’d have waited for my grandma to visit and done the unboxing with her!

 

The Time I Unintentionally Made Poop Emoji Cupcakes

I’ve been doing little sampling parties lately, and each time I try to have fun with a new theme or activity. When I got the chance to sample and share Miss Jones Baking Co. organic cake mix and frosting through MomsMeet.com, I got some crazy idea to try doing fancy frosting. I thought it would be fun to engage everyone with the product by letting them try out decorative frosting tips.

toddler and frosting
Nice display Mom…I’m about to ram it with my cars OK?

Am I a baker? No. Do I even know how to use a frosting bag? No. Did I go ahead and order a fancy 32 piece cake decorating set off Amazon? You bet I did!

I also went all out with a giant pan for 48 mini muffins. One box of mix says it will make 48 muffins, but I actually had a little extra! And I made sure I filled each tin at least halfway. The instructions say they may not rise as much as some brands since they leave out all the artificial ingredients, but mine puffed up nicely.

wonder-bakerThe icing instructions say to heat it for 5-10 seconds first for regular spreading. I needed it a little smoother to squirt out of the bag, so with the vanilla I heated it for ten seconds, then ten more and it was perfect. As I was trying to figure out how to get into the bag, my friend Bridget had a brilliant suggestion to put the bag over a cup. Apparently, she’s seen this done before!

frosting-coverMy vanilla icing attempts looked pretty decent as long as you take into account I’m making it up as I go along. Bolstered by this instant success, I popped the chocolate in the microwave for a straight 20 seconds.

And that’s when things got weird.

Heating it for 20 seconds was too much and it got really melted and just oozed out of the bag. We tried popping it in the freezer to harden it up a bit but every attempt looked like a little turd on top on a muffin. And then someone shouted “it looks like a poop emoji!” And that’s when I realized I’d stumbled upon some Pinterest level poop if I just stuck a couple eyes on each one.

poop emoji cupcake

Everyone enjoyed the muffins and getting up close and personal with the frosting experience. I stashed the few cupcakes that were left in the fridge and the next morning the chocolate icing had hardened up and was like a big Hershey kiss on top! Delicious! As a side note – you do not need to refrigerate any leftover frosting because it is dairy-free.

icing-cupcakes

I don’t think I have a future in cake decorating, but I did feel like I learned enough to take on some Pinterest board cupcakes.

*As usual, any link to Amazon is an affiliate link!*

Moms are tired, Part 2. This time, it’s organic

envigor-8When Khroma Herbal Products contacted me to sample a product, they sent a few suggestions like diaper cream and an immunity support tincture. Things I could certainly use. However, one look at the website and I was like, “Give me the ENERGY STUFF!”

In my previous Moms are Tired post, I reviewed V-8’s answer to our sleepless nights and non-stop toddler chasing. I’ve never really been a fan of energy drinks (unless you mix them with vodka), and energy pills make me feel weird and jittery, so the idea of trying an all-natural tincture appealed to me.

Everything Khroma sells is organic, vegan, ethically sourced and eco-friendly. I gave the Envigor-8 a try. I like to research my products a little and found it humorous that this is also the same name of a popular male enhancement product. So, just to be clear, their product is an energy booster, not a penis booster.

According the their site, Envigor-8 is “The world’s most effective organic energy supplement.” I often wonder about how you substantiate a claim like this. Like, maybe I should start calling my blog “The world’s most amazing mom blog” and see if it catches on.

OK, back to the review – I gave it a try with the help of my handy assistant. He also wanted to try it but I said Nooooooooo. lol

I started with just a dropper full to make sure it didn’t make me jittery and then worked my way up to the recommended 3 dropper fulls. The taste is weird and herbal at first, but after a few tries I actually really started to like the unique flavor. I did not get a sudden burst of energy, but more like a little sustained boost. After a few days of use, I started to look forward a little afternoon treat and pick-me-up. No jitters, no heart racing, no crash. I actually liked it so much that I will probably buy myself a bottle when this runs out.

I had a few questions for them while writing the review. Their answers are in red:

1) For the dosage of 3 dropper fulls, is that supposed to be a full dropper? Or half? It only sucks up a little each time so I wasn’t really clear on what a dropper full was
The amount that is sucked up from one squeeze is considered one dropper full. It will usually be about half full. 
2) Is it best to take it in the morning? Or if you like drinking coffee in the morning, should you wait until the afternoon?
I would suggest taking it in the afternoon if you drink coffee in the morning. 
3) Should you only take it once a day? Or wait a certain number of hours before taking again?
I like to take it one in the morning and one in the afternoon, personally. You can take more if you want to. The dose is fairly small and the ingredients aren’t dangerous so taking too much isn’t a concern
4) Did you guys know there was an Envigor8 that is a male sex enhancement supplement? That’s the first thing that pops up when searching the name. Just wondering if you have run into any  confusion with that, lol
Ha! I didn’t know that!
5) Is there anything people should be concerned about when taking this supplement? Like avoiding caffeinated drinks or anything like that.
Not really. It is fine to take with caffeinated beverages and doesn’t have any serious interactions
6) It has a very unique taste. At first it was weird, but then it really grew on me. Is there added flavor, or is that the natural taste
I love the taste too! That is the natural taste of the herbs 
 INGREDIENTS: Organic Yerba Mate, Organic Eleuthro Root, Organic Panax Ginseng, Organic Peppermint, Organic Ginkgo Biloba, Organic Ashwagandha, Organic Guayusa, Organic Licorice Root

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The Secret’s Out – Moms are Tired

Mom tired is a different kind of tired. We exist in a state of high functioning exhaustion. I am just now getting used to being able to have a good night’s sleep again and wake up at a decent time. Sleep is a wonderful thing and I have never appreciated it so much in my life.

But sometimes you don’t get good sleep and you still have to chase a toddler all over the place while putting on your happy face and be Excited about Everything! And that’s when we need some help.

img_4271Marketing people are catching on and targeting tired moms. I recently got these free samples of the new V8 Energy drink through BzzAgent.com. I really liked them! They are light and refreshing and it’s not a jolt of energy but it does seem to have a little kick to it. So I went and did my promo duty by posting a photo on my Instagram. Then I figured I’d click the hashtags and see what other people were posting. It was all mom’s posting about refueling to keep up with the kids!

So they are on to us…and at least looking to help. I can’t stop thinking of mixing it with vodka though, lol.

So what do you guys do or what have you tried to get through that afternoon (sometimes all day) slump?

Star Wars Mac & Cheese Makes Forks Easy

As a first time mom, I am learning as I go. I had no smaller siblings, so I know nothing about babies and kids. I wanted to start doing little reviews of products and things I found useful. So here’s my first thing:

mac

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner, Star Wars style!

ok, so yes I bought it because it was Star Wars mac & cheese, but I came to find out it was actually really useful! The little shapes make it so much easier for my two-year-old son to pick the pieces up using a fork (or spork) and that means he eats more of his meal and less lands in his lap/on floor/in hair.

It cooks fast, but gets pretty hot. If your toddler is anything like mine, than anything over room temperature is deemed “too hot.” So I cook it up, dump it in a bowl and then stick it in the freezer. Stir a couple times and it is good to go. Or if  you are in a hurry, make it a little thick and toss in an ice cube for a quick cool down.

PS – if they don’t eat it all, it is also a tasty adult snack as well. I find that a plus in any toddler meal.