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 Greatest Shower of All

bathroom selfie in a towelI showered today! And why is that a monumentous occasion? Because I wanted to take a shower and I did! I didn’t have to ask anyone to cover for me, or wait until 9PM! I even shaved! That’s a lot of exclamations! But you get the point, this is exciting stuff.

As a mom, you often feel like your basic human rights have been taken away. You no longer eat, sleep or shower on the your own schedule. So today, a tiny piece of freedom has been handed back to me. Something I used to take for granted. The option to shower when I please, as long as I can keep the kid entertained for at least 15 minutes. It was glorious.

It’s a big day we’ve slowly been working up to. Today was the first time I didn’t get out three times to check on him while dripping water all over the floor. Next time I’m going to get crazy and try to shave AND wash my hair! Whoah!

Things are looking up over here. It does get better. You do get your normal life back, piece by tiny piece. And I’ve never appreciated those tiny pieces so much!

P.S. – I contemplated titling this “the golden shower moment” but probably don’t need that kind of traffic 😂

Trying Out OneZeeMe for Personalized Toddler Style

When Keelan was born, I recall going through onesies like crazy that first year. Of course I had to have a special one for every holiday, every season and every age. So I love the idea of this new subscription box from OneZeeMe.com, where you get personalized onsies sent every month. They sent me a cool box to check out and review, and provided my son with his new favorite shirt.

And it’s not just onesies! I was excited to see they also included t-shirts. To get started I filled out a short survey to find out my child’s age, name, gender and special interests. They then tailor the box to be special for each child by using their name, age and interests on the clothing. They also include holiday and seasonal themes as well.

We got a box with two onesies and two t-shirts and I’m happy to say, the sizing is great. Everything fit! I’ve found kid’s sizing to be all over the place, and often onesies will run too short, but these were perfect. My son was really excited as soon as he saw his name on the sparkly “Super Keelan” shirt and had to put it on right away.

I brought the box out with me to a “mommy and me” type shoot hoping to get pics of all of them, but he only wanted to wear Super Keelan the whole time! We did get some great pics in that shirt at least, taken by Sharm Fassbender Photography:

This is the sort of thing I’d love to have gotten as a gift! As a thrifty parent I mostly go for $10 Target shirts and bargain 3 packs of onesies, but even then, when you break down the cost (a four item month-to-month subscription box is $50) it’s just over $10 an item so that’s pretty good for personalized clothing. They also have 3, 6 and 12 month options, and a 10% off code for your first purchase: 10PERCENTOFF.

I really liked the box and think it would make a great baby shower gift. Babies got to gave their onesies! Might as well be stylish about it.

 

The Spontaneous Disney World Family Adventure

first time disney buttonWhile other families plan months in advance, we’ve always been a little more on the side of “winging it.” So when at 5PM on a Thursday night my husband tells me, “You know what, I think I DO want to go with you guys and I’d like to do Disney tomorrow,” I leapt at the chance for a new family adventure.

This is an idea I had pitched on Monday. I was planning a trip to visit my mom in Sarasota and thought it would be fun to break up the long drive with a stop at Disney’s Magic Kindgom. Sean said he was going to stay home so I made alternate plans to stop at Dinosaur World instead. Much less planning involved for that adventure. So when he decided at the last minute to change plans, I leapt into action researching the best ticket options and reading a few “Disney with toddlers” type articles to get an idea of what to expect. I was super excited to be bringing Keelan to Disney for the very first time! Of course, he would spend the whole trip trying to thwart my plans to document the trip with happy family photos.

As Florida residents, we were eligible for the Discover Disney ticket, which was a great value at 4 days for $179. (Just one day was $109!) We could go back and use it anytime, for any park until June 24, 2018. I purchased the tickets online and they were ready for pick-up at the window the next morning. Keelan isn’t three yet, so he was free, which was one of the things pushing us to do Disney now, before his birthday in April.

We woke up early Friday morning, tossed clothes into a suitcase and got on the road. By the time we’d dropped the dogs off, gotten food and stopped to pee, it was noon before we arrived at Disney. We figured if we stayed for fireworks, that would be a full nine hours of family fun at the “happiest place on Earth.”

welcome to disneyWe parked on the villains side, took a short ride on the tram and then hopped on the monorail that brought us to the ticket area. Keelan got a “First Time at Disney” button on check-in and the ticket counter person asked me if I had scheduled our fast passes yet. A blank stare from me made it obvious we had not. She let me know about the app and how fast passes work. You can schedule three rides at the start and then one ride after another after that. This is something people can do a month or more in advance! You can also use it for character photos and restaurant reservations. It had been 20 years since my last Disney trip, so this was all new to me.

At first I was overwhelmed. I’d never seen so many strollers in one place. I was hit in the foot by a stroller five times (twice by my own husband) before I got the hang of navigating the packed walkways. And every area has designated stroller parking. If you don’t park in the right spot, your stroller will be relocated by Disney employees (a.k.a. cast members) to the closest open spot. I thought it was pretty funny to be circling the area trying to find a good “parking spot.” We weren’t in the park ten minutes before Keelan spotted toys and ended up with a five pack of cars. This actually worked out well because that kept him entertained throughout the day.

Stop taking my picture mom!
Stop taking my picture mom!

We were greeted by a parade of dancing characters and floats as soon as we got through the gates. Little did I know that was the only time we’d be seeing many of those mascot type characters. When I was little, the Disney characters roamed the park, taking pics with people. Now they stand in designated areas with people waiting in line for photos. The lines are quite long, but you can use a fast pass on photos as well. I wasn’t about to give up a valuable pass on getting a photo, since Keelan would barely let me take any pictures of him. He tried to humor me at one point by pulling the plastic cover of his stroller over his face and yelling “Cheeeeeese!”

toddler in strollerWe caught onto the fast pass thing pretty quickly, and learned they are the best thing ever! You basically skip the whole line and go right to the front, as long as you arrive in your designated hour window. We didn’t wait more than 10 minutes for any ride. This was crucial to the trip’s success, because any longer than that is impossible with an impatient toddler. As soon as we completed check-in on a ride, I’d scroll through the app and set up our next ride.

We hit everything we could that was toddler size. Our first ride was Dumbo and immediately after getting off, Keelan tried to run back on wanting to ride again. His absolute favorite thing was the Haunted Mansion, or as he calls it, “the very scary castle.” It seems he has inherited my love of all things Halloween. I’m looking forward to when he grows a few inches and we can start riding the roller coasters!

We rode, we ate, we bought a lot of kid stuff and finally made it to time for fireworks. They have a new display called Happily Ever After where they project a light show onto the castle and match the fireworks to that, and then at one point Tinkerbell flies out from the top of the castle over the audience. It was a pretty amazing show! Keelan was cheering and clapping and loving every minute of it, and so were we.

After the fireworks, it was time to go home. We put Keelan back in the stroller and he was asleep in about 30 seconds and slept all the way to the car. We had quite a magical Disney day! Can’t wait to go back and try out the other three parks soon.

sleepy-baby

 

It’s a Desk, It’s a Chair, It’s a 3-D Puzzle!

wooden school deskThe little nerd in me is loving this school desk by Print2D3D. I would have been so excited to get this when I was a kid! My son Keelan is more into cars and mud, but I’m hoping he will grow into the “playing school” thing and enjoy learning as much as I do. I figure a good start is his very own personalized desk with chalkboard top.

The desk arrived with all the pieces flat. I was anticipating struggling with a drill (mostly struggling with finding, then charging up the drill) but hallelujah, everything just slides together! It’s a 3-D desk and chair puzzle! I was impressed that the pieces were constructed from a nice solid wood. No flimsy particle board here. The company specializes in building thoughtfully crafted kids furniture, and it shows. This stuff is built to last.

Desk from Print 2D3D unassembled

My son couldn’t wait to help me put it together so we both grabbed our tools and got to work.

There’s a handy sheet with instructions, but really it’s so easy you can pretty much see how it all goes together.

Everything slides together without much effort, and I used the hammer to secure a few stubborn pieces. They include a little wooden block so you can bang on the pieces without denting the actual desk. Keelan helped make sure everything was well hammered.

toddler hammering

My son was sitting in it seconds after assembly and asking for chalk. You can get the desk with a natural wood finish on top, but I thought the chalkboard option would be more fun. The personalized name is also optional.

toddler sitting at desk

The desk is a great piece for home schooling or just playing. If I could make any improvements, I’d want a lid that lifts up with storage inside. Although that would probably detract from the easy sliding assembly. It does have a little nook under the backside of the desk that’s perfect for storing school supplies and chalk.

KIDS2D3D just recently released the desk and is currently offering a 40% promotion, just follow the link to get it.

Regular price for natural wood top is $137.95 and chalkboard top is $145.95 (free shipping)

And of course right after assembling it, Keelan was already asking to take it apart and put it back together again, which you can actually do! The entire thing disassembles back to flat for easy storage.

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Disclaimer: Product was sent free for review, but all opinions are my own. Article also includes Amazon affiliate links.