[review] snoozeshade plus deluxe

11 Jun

If you have young children, you undoubtedly understand the preciousness of a baby’s nap. It’s amazing how much effort can go into getting a little one to fall asleep, the desperation that follows when kids refuse to sleep and the rage that unleashes itself when someone or something interrupts their sleep. This rollercoaster of emotions is bad enough at home, but mix it with travel, jet lag or unfamiliar settings and you have a perfect storm.

One product I’ve really loved lately that’s helped Baby Joe preserve those delicate naps on the go is the SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe. It’s bought her priceless hours of sleep and extended more stroller naps than I can count.

SnoozeShade Deluxe Plus
{No, that’s not me in the photo, but thank you if the thought even crossed your mind.}

Made from breathable mesh fabric, the SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe has a flexible elastic edge allowing for a “one size fits all” fit. It provides great sun protection as well as a shelter from wind and insects. It also creates a darker sleep environment for little ones to nap in, blocking out light and visual interruptions.

In general, Baby Joe has slept relatively well in her strollers (UppaBaby Vista and G-Luxe), but I’ve noticed she consistently sleeps longer if we have the SnoozeShade up. The first time we used was during a day trip to Disneyland and she slept a full hour longer than usual. Priceless.

snoozeshade closeup
{Happiest Place on Earth = wherever my baby’s sleeping!}

My favorite SnoozeShade feature: the zippered, dual panel window covering the front with a “snooze mode” and a “lookout mode”.

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The “snooze mode” occurs when both mesh panels are closed, blocking 97.5% of UV rays. I find this particularly comforting as I tend to worry about the amount of sun that manages to shine down on Baby Joe despite the large UppaBaby canopies. For “lookout mode”, the top panel is unzipped (bottom still attached) and stuffed into a convenient built in pocket right under the window. The single mesh panel still filters 80% of UV rays and has a wider weave so your baby can see through.

Baby Joe also prefers a third, unadvertised mode called “I’M AWAKE AND WANT TO SEE EXACTLY WHAT’S GOING ON OUT THERE” in which we unzip both panels so there’s essentially a large hole. It’s nice that the SnoozeShade still provides sun protection on the sides and bottom of the stroller with both panels unzipped. Better than just the stroller canopy alone.

A Plus Deluxe mum green dress cropped
{Once again, not me — but I’m flattered.}

It’s easy to secure the Snooze Shade to a stroller frame. There are several elastic tabs around the edge of the fabric, each with an impressive stretching ability and each with two snaps to tailor a best fit for your stroller.

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The SnoozeShade fits our Vista better than the G-Luxe, but it definitely works on both. I wish there was a way to secure the bottom elastic edge around something else other than her feet to cover up her legs, but I’ve yet to figure out that out. Also the Snooze Shade can only be used on strollers with canopy to hold its shape, but most strollers have them these days.

snoozeshade in sydney
{The SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe pays a visit to the Sydney Opera House}

I love that it’s light and folds up small. I always keep it in our stroller basket or the trunk of our car, and absolutely love it for travel. It was especially useful during our trip to New Zealand and Australia (more on that soon!). Overall, I’m very pleased with the SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe and would highly recommend it if you’re looking for some stroller sun protection or assistance with naps on the go.

No compensation was received for this post, though a SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe was provided by Prince Lionheart for purposes of this review.  All opinions are my own. 

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New Zealand, here we come!

15 Apr

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We are headed to New Zealand and Australia! Taking a small blog hiatus. Will be back in a few weeks with lots to report, see you then!

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interview with michelle of 3onthego

10 Apr

In preparing for our first international trip as a family of three, it’s been invaluable to get advice from seasoned family travelers. One of those amazing resources was an interview we did with Michelle from the travel blog 3onthego. She’s been to an incredible number of places with her 2 year old son Jake and it’s inspiring to hear how she does it all!

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What international trips have you taken with your little one?
Jake has covered a good portion of the globe in a fairly short amount of time. His first trip was to the Riviera Maya in Mexico at 3 months old. We took him to Greece at 4 months – to Athens, a tiny island called Folegandros and Naxos – right at the end of my maternity leave. Then Mexico again just as he was learning to stand, (pulling himself up on the loungechairs!) around 9 months. We visited Tulum, Solomon Bay and Isla Holbox. For his first birthday we took him to Spain – Barcelona, Mallorca and Madrid – and he fell ill with a high fever on that trip. A reaction to his one year MMR shot, which was a real drag. We made up for it that summer when he was 18 months and we roadtripped through Puglia and Calabria. At 21 months we jetted off to Tokyo, Sapporo (for the Sapporo Snow Festival!) and Niseko. We traveled through Slovenia (to Lake Bled, Piran, Goriska Brda) Istria (Rovinj and its neighboring hilltowns) and Mali Losinj last August when he was a little over 2 years old, then did Copenhagen and Prague for the New Year (complete with New Year’s eve fireworks at Copenhagen’s famed Tivoli Gardens.) Annnnd we’re headed to Geneva/Zermatt/Florence and Rome in a few days! Switzerland will be the 10th country he’s visited.

How have you dealt with jet lag during your trip and after?
Jet lag is just one of those things – like death and taxes. We do follow a few rules to try to minimize the impact. We always take an overnight flight so that Jake can catch a few hours sleep, make sure to stay hydrated throughout our travels and take a quick nap when we arrive at our destination. It usually only takes a couple of nights to get on the new schedule. Readjusting once we return home is more challenging.

Tips for a successful flight?
When he was a baby, walking up and down the aisles (for hours and hours) kept him mellow and happy. Now that he’s a bit older, we stock up on games and movies for the iPad. If we’re lucky, he’ll nod off to sleep after a viewing and a half of “Frozen.”

Any specific products (diapers, wipes, food, etc.) that you prefer to bring from home vs buy abroad?
We are big foodies and I think we’ve passed down the foodie gene to Jake – he loves to try everything. he couldn’t get enough of the salmon roe in Japan, steamed clams in Croatia and caperberrries in Puglia. So we never bring food from home. Though I do bring our Mustela wipes, 2 cases of diapers and a bottle of children’s Advil just in case.

What were some of Jake’s favorite experiences abroad?  And yours?
We’ve had a lot of fun times, especially in the past year or so as Jake gets older and can participate in more activities. He loved running around Tivoli Gardens and riding on the back of my husband’s bicycle in Copenhagen. He loved the Christmas markets in Prague and everything that went on in the big town square. The Sapporo Snow Festival was a real blast – going down ice slides, bouncing around on a snowmobile-pulled raft, watching ski jumpers do tricks in the air. He’s a real champ when it comes to travel. Last summer on our first day in Ljubljana he hiked to the top of the castle and stayed up until midnight dancing in the streets to the live music. He also hiked to many a beach (some almost 30 minutes away) in Mali Losinj to reach the very best, most pristine coves on the island.

Do you have a favorite international destination you’d like to return to?
There are so many new places to explore, but I would be up for a repeat trip to Japan, Spain, Italy or Croatia any day.

Is there any particular place you hope to visit with Jake one day?
We would love to take him on safari in South Africa once he’s old enough for the game drives.

What inspired you to start a blog?
I’ve always kept meticulously detailed notes on trips we’ve taken, so whenever friends would travel to a place we’d been before, they would reach out to me for advice on the best places to eat, drink, stay, etc.  After returning from a trip to Japan in early 2013, I felt inspired to start writing about our experiences and sharing our stories, photos and tips with a broader audience. Travel has always been a part of our lives, and I wanted to show how that doesn’t have to stop when you have kids.

Thanks for sharing with us, Michelle!

* * *

Also, reminder that our Buckle Toy Bizzy giveaway ends tomorrow night. Make sure you enter here for a chance to win!

 

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gift ideas for little travelers

8 Apr

Some fun gift ideas for the little jetsetters in your life…

gifts for little travelers

1 – Kids Travel Activity Bag – An adorable drawstring bag filled with eco-friendly activities like a blank wooden peg family, wooden memory game, blank journal and colored pencils. The Little Blue Birdie Etsy shop features several different types of kits chock full of ideas.

2 – iPad cover and stand – Because what Apple device hasn’t suffered abuse in the hands of a kid? Made of thick, shock-absorbing silicone, this cover also converts to a stand for those long plane rides.

3 – Sunglasses – These Babiators offer 100% UVA and UVB proection, are made of BPA free rubber and come with an amazing Lost & Found guarantee — if they’re lost or broken within a year of purchase, Babiators will send you a free replacement pair. Hard to beat that!

4 – Ring O’ Links – Perfect for infants. Babies love playing with and chewing on these textured links. They also are extremely handy for clipping toys and other loose items onto strollers, car seats, high chairs, etc.

5 – Little Kid Luggage – If you have a child that’s old enough to wheel his/her own luggage, I’m jealous! These darling Skip Hop kid-sized suitcases have retractable handles and a strap for parents to easily sling over shoulders.

6 – Reusable Airport-themed Stickers – Genius. These come with two 6.25″ x 18.75″ airplane/runway themes and 80+ reusable stickers (genius!) for endless decorating possibilities.

7 – Kid’s Hydration Pack – A great gift for children old enough to carry and drink out of a Camelbak. These are great for long theme park, hiking or general travel days where many a water bottle would need to be toted and refilled.

8 – Travel Hat – I just got this for Baby Joe’s adventure down under and can already tell this will be the perfect travel hat. It’s lightweight, breathable (mesh and polyester), UPF 50+ resistant, moisture wicking and wide brimmed. We’ll definitely be using it at home as well!

 

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