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Archive for posts tagged with ‘Reviews’

Getting UNREAL

Thoughtfully penned on October 13th, 2012 and generally concerning Good Eats, Reviews

As most of you know, at the beginning of this year our family made some significant changes to the way we eat. One of the things that had to go (much to the dismay of our children) was candy. When you are avoiding high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors, it’s hard to pick up candy at the grocery.

When I was presented with the opportunity to try Unreal candies, I was intrigued. Unreal has made it their mission to “unjunk” junk food. Their mission statement says, “We believe that all junk food can be made differently, with better ingredients, without the junk, with great taste, and at the same price.”

Unreal makes candy with real cane sugar, real milk, more cacao, and more protein and fiber; and WITHOUT corn syrup, artificial preservatives, hydrogenated fats, and artificial colors or flavors.

But how does it compare to the “real” stuff?

As the host for an in-home party, I was able to put my guests to the test…the taste test. (My kids loved this part). Everyone took a blind taste of “real” thing and then a taste of the Unreal thing. Unreal definitely held its own, and even surpassed the “original” in a lot of cases.

Because of the higher amount of cacao, the Unreal chocolate has a darker chocolate taste (where the usual grocery store fare is milk chocolate). That was really the main difference noted by the taste testers. You can definitely taste the real ingredients in Unreal. One big difference was the size of the peanut in the candy coated chocolate with peanuts. The “original” has a peanut “chip” where Unreal has an actual, whole peanut. Definitely better!

Overall, Unreal got great reviews. Everyone said they would definitely pick it up in stores (it’s available at many national and regional retailers). I enjoyed the opportunity to share better junk food with my family and friends. And I am thankful that I now have an option to give my children a treat that is easily accessible and doesn’t contain HFCS and artificial colors!

And now for the disclaimer…I received product to review and share with my friends and family as well as monetary compensation for my participation in this campaign. The money did not have any bearing on the words I wrote. This stuff really is tasty and better for you (although, still junk food). I just have to make sure you now I was paid. But, whatever, you need to try it.

Her very own comfy chair

Thoughtfully penned on February 25th, 2010 and generally concerning Reviews, S

Baby girl has a variety of places where she can sleep relax and enjoy the scenery – a swing, a baby papasan chair, a bouncy seat, a pack ‘n play, her carseat – and at different times in her short life has made use of each one. A couple of weeks ago we added another “special seat” to her bounty, and it has become her very own comfy chair.

This is the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, a seat designed to go from day to night as a play seat, rocker, and sleeper (it meets all industry standards for bassinets). And we use it for all three. Baby girl’s chair travels with her wherever she is in the house – during the day it generally resides in the living room (where we spend most of our time) and travels to the kitchen or my bedroom as necessary, during the night it sits beside her crib and cradles her as she sleeps. We have pretty much put all of our other baby equipment away for now.

There are several things that I (and apparently baby girl) really like about this seat:
~ It is elevated which makes it much easier to get her in and out of and also limits how the older kids can get to her (I don’t have to worry about Boo climbing in on top of her). It is also the perfect height to rock from the couch or bed (although I haven’t used it as a bedside sleeper).
~ The design of the seat is inclined and kind of sling-like. It cradles her and keeps her from slumping like she does in the bouncy seat and swing, but the incline allows her to look around more than she can in the pack ‘n play. I think this seat would have been great for Boo, too, since he had to sleep at an incline to help with his reflux.
~ It doesn’t take batteries. This is one of those weird things, but I like that, one, we don’t have to worry about having a certain type of batteries on hand, and, two, that there isn’t an annoying hum or click coming through the monitor from her room all night long.
~ It is very portable. The swing and bouncy seat are bulky and clunky to move around while holding an infant in one arm. The Rock ‘n Play Sleeper is lightweight and easy to move around. It will slide along the carpet or is light enough to carry easily, and it is narrow enough to fit through doors with no problems. It also folds to make it suitable for travel.
~ It was easy to assemble. Assembly requires no tools, and I was able to put it together by myself in just a matter of minutes.

There are a couple of potential cons – If you have a baby who needs the vibrations in a bouncy seat or papasan chair to soothe them, this seat would not be a good choice since the manual rocking motion is the only motion it offers. Also, it is designed for newborns and infants up to 25 pounds or until the child is able to pull up or sit unassisted, so it doesn’t have quite as much age/weight range as some other baby products.

Matt and I were concerned initially about the stability of the sleeper since Boo has a tendency to hang on things and try to climb into seats with baby girl; however, we haven’t had any issues with tipping even when Boo has tried to get to baby. The biggest downside I’ve found is that it is light enough for Little and Boo to move it around; for the first few days I never knew where in the room baby girl would be if I left the room for a minute.

Overall, I think the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper is a really good product. I would not consider it a “necessity” for baby, but it is definitely a great seat to have around.

Thank you to MomSelect and Fisher Price for the chance to review this product.

Disclaimer: Fisher Price provided me one Rock ‘n Play Sleeper free of charge as part of a product review program through MomSelect. The opinions expressed in this post are purely my own.