Getting Your Vehicle Winter Ready

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FRAMFresh #CollectiveBias

Getting Your Vehicle Winter Ready - Winter Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

Summer is sadly coming to a close, and if you're like us, you put a lot of miles on your vehicle this season. Whether it was driving to visit relatives, a day at the beach, or even a long weekend at the cottage, our family was always on the go this summer

As the calendar starts to move away from summer, it is time to start thinking about what lies ahead. I don't know about you, but we live in an area that typically gets a decent amount of cold, ice and snow over the winter. With that winter weather, comes winter driving. The cold weather wreaks havoc on the roads, significantly affecting driving conditions and as a result, testing the limits of your vehicle's abilities. 

While safety is an important consideration all year long, there are certainly some extra precautions specific to the colder weather. Make sure your vehicle is up to the challenge with this winter vehicle maintenance checklist.

Getting Your Vehicle Winter Ready - Winter Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

Winter Vehicle Maintenance Checklist


▢  Swap out your tires. 
Winter tires improve driving safety by providing better traction in snow, slush and icy conditions. Check for wear before installing and check tire air pressure frequently, as it decreases in cold weather. 

▢  Check your brakes. 
With the slippery road conditions that winter brings, being able to stop quickly is even more important than usual.

▢  Top up your fluids. 
This includes oil, antifreeze and windshield washer fluid. Carry extra in your vehicle, just to be safe.

▢  Inspect all lights and bulbs. 
Having properly working head lights, tail lights and brake lights is important, especially at times when visibility is reduced due to snowy conditions.

▢  Inspect your wiper blades. 
Ice and snow can easily damage the blades, so it may be best to install a new pair at the start of the season. Think about switching to winter blades - they are heavier and push snow and ice more easily.

▢  Keep it clean, inside and out. 
The salt, sand and chemicals used on the roads can have a big impact on your vehicle. Washing your vehicle during the winter is very important to ward off rust caused by the salt and chemicals. Having the proper interior floor mats will also help keep the inside of your car free from moisture, debris and chemical residues that you track in.

▢  Stay fuelled up.  
You never know when the winter weather will hit, and the last thing you want to do is run out of gas on a snowy day.

▢  Create a winter emergency kit. 
A well stocked kit can be a lifesaver if you find yourself stranded. Items to include are jumper cables, flares, an ice scraper, flashlights with extra batteries, blankets and extra clothing, hats and gloves, first aid materials, snacks and water. Make sure to store your kit in an easily accessible place. 

▢  Change your air filters. 
It is important to change both your engine and cabin air filters to improve airflow and prevent dust, dirt and allergens from entering both the engine and cabin. Dirty cabin air filters can even reduce the efficiency of your vehicle’s defrost and heating system, the last thing you want during the cold months of winter. It is recommended to change your engine and cabin air filters at the same time, annually or every 24,000km*. (*Please consult you vehicle's manual for specific requirements.) 

Now you can protect your family and improve your driving comfort with a FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter. Made with a special media that includes carbon and Arm & Hammer® baking soda, the FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter prevents up to 98% of dirt, dust and allergens from entering your vehicle. Clean filters mean a more efficient vehicle, and a more comfortable you. 


Getting Your Vehicle Winter Ready - Winter Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

With precious cargo in tow, keeping the air inside our vehicle is extremely important. With the help of the installation instructions found inside the box, my husband and I were able to tackle the FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter in as little as 15 minutes. First, we opened the glove box and removed the contents. We located the glove box stops on each side of the glove box and removed them by twisting from the inside and pulling out. The glove box dampener cord on the right side of the glove box was then removed, allowing the glove box to swim down to the floor. We unlatched and removed the cabin filter cover and removed the dirty filter. We were definitely due for a change, it was pretty nasty! We inserted the new FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter and then replaced and relatched the filter cover. After putting the glove box back into position, we reinstalled the dampener cord to the right side of the glove box and then partially closed it to reinstall the two glove box stops. After replacing the contents and closing the door, my husband even said, "Wow, that was surprisingly easy!" I foresee many more at-home cabin air filter changes in our future. 

Getting Your Vehicle Winter Ready - Winter Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filters and FRAM engine air filters can be found in the automotive department at your local Canadian Tire. Not sure if your vehicle has a cabin air filter, or are unsure of the model specific to your vehicle? Be sure to ask a staff member at the Canadian Tire automotive desk. 

Getting Your Vehicle Winter Ready - Winter Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

Whether its winter, summer, spring or fall, maintaining your vehicle is extremely important to not only protect yourself and prolong the life of your vehicle, but also to keep your family and others on the road safe and sound. 


What trips did you take with your family this summer? How do you get your vehicle winter ready? Check out these additional tips and tricks for changing your air filter. 


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What I'm Reading: Ghosts From Our Past

Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally and Figuratively   by Erin Gilbert & Abby L. Yates, with Andrew Shaffer

Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally and Figuratively


by Erin Gilbert & Abby L. Yates, with Andrew Shaffer


"As seen in the Sony Pictures 2016 film Ghostbusters, [Ghosts from Our Past is] the ultimate guide to identifying, understanding, and engaging with any paranormal activity that plagues you."

Andrew Shaffer is the New York Times bestselling author of the essential survival guide "How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters". He is a member of the American Society for Psychical Research and the Horror Writers Association. 

Having not seen the new Ghostbusters movie with the all-female cast, at first I did not get that the book was intended to be a humourous look at the paranormal through the eyes of two fictional characters from the movie. To me, Erin and Abby were two scientists from Michigan, as described in the book. (Insert laughing at me here.) It wasn't until I did a little research on the authors that I realized Erin and Abby are actual characters in the movie, played by Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, respectively. Call me dense, or just a sucker for believing that it was someone's real job to hunt ghosts. Thank you reality television. 

I really wanted to like this book because I find ghost stories and the paranormal so fascinating, but unfortunately, it fell flat for me. While it was a quick read, and at some points interesting, it wasn't always an easy read. At times it hurt my head and the scientific info was hard to process. This is coming from someone with a scientific background, but also one that despises physics and has tried to erase those awful high school and university memories from her brain. 

The verdict: If you are fascinated by the paranormal, are a Ghostbusters fan or are just looking for a book that can be read in a few short days, be sure to check out 'Ghosts From Our Past'. If you're not into any of the above, skip it.

I think I'll go watch the new Ghostbusters movie now...

To & Fro rating:  1/2 out of 5 stars


Do you believe in ghosts? What books have you read lately?


PAST READS:
March  |  April  |  May  |  June  |  July


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are 100% my own. 

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Lessons From My 5 Month Old

Last week, Morley turned 5 months old. It's crazy how fast time flies around here.

Life with a 5 month old is exciting. She is constantly learning new things, copying what we're doing and developing a little, somewhat sassy, personality of her own. Yet, at the same time, it is exhausting. Nothing is safe. And I mean, nothing. Rolling to get from point A to point B, hands flying everywhere and everything in the mouth. Exhausting.

In the few short months since baby girl entered the world she has taught us so much. These are her lessons.

Lessons from My 5 Month Old

Side note. Before we continue, can we just stop and stare at that picture for a minute? I know I might be slightly biased, but is that not the cutest?! Of the 20+ photos I took that day, this was the only one where some part of her body was not moving. I tell ya, this girl cannot sit still. We're in trouble. 

Anyways, back to it.

Never did I ever think that a 5 month old could/would/should...

Lunge like a predator when she's hungry.

Eat so much.

Fart so loud.

Love the water so much she cries when she gets out.

Have a cell phone addiction.

Talk your ear off.

Cry with her eyes closed.

Have so. much. stuff.

Be so interested in watching baseball and hockey, but have zero interest in cartoons.

Have serious FOMO (a.k.a. fear of missing out).

Have more clothes than mom and dad combined.

Replicate "the [unimpressed] look" her dad is so well known for.

Get SO excited when she sees her dad that her whole body shakes.

Sleep in weirder positions than her mom.

Be the perfect combination of her mom and dad.

Lessons from My 5 Month Old

Ok, that picture may be the cutest too. Talk about cuteness overload in one post.

Melt my heart.


What have you learned this month?



More lessons from my daughter: 10 Things I've Learned as a New Mom  |  Lessons From My 3 Month Old


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Fresh Peach Crisp Recipe

Do you want to hear a sad story?

My sister has a 'birch sensitivity'. A what? Ya, exactly. It means that she reacts to fruit in the Rosacae family, or more simply, she can't eat cherries, apples or peaches. Her mouth gets all itchy and its not pleasant.

Bummer, right?

Well, good thing I still can still eat all of the cherries, apples and peaches I want. (Sorry, Kenz.) And that's why today, I'm sharing one of my favourite summer dessert recipes, a Fresh Peach Crisp.

Fresh Peach Crisp Recipe

In Ontario, our peaches come from the Niagara region, an area typically known for their grapes and, more importantly, wine.

This fresh peach crisp recipe is similar to my recipe for the perfect strawberry rhubarb crisp, but with fresh peaches instead.

Fresh Peach Crisp Recipe

Fresh Peach Crisp


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups + 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 6 cups fresh, ripe peaches, sliced
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup rolled oats

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Slice the peaches (see below for tips). 
  3. In large bowl, combine white sugar, 3 tbsp all purpose flour and peaches, and mix well. Place the mixture in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, butter and oats until crumbly. Spread mixture evenly on top of the rhubarb and strawberry mixture.
  5. Bake in oven for 45 minutes, or until crisp and lightly browned. 
Fresh Peach Crisp Recipe

I recommend putting the baking dish on a baking sheet while baking, just incase the crisp bubbles over and onto the bottom of your oven. Messy!

I will admit, this recipe is by no means healthy. But crisp shouldn't be. Instead, it is a refreshing summer treat that takes advantage of the abundance of fresh, local produce. While peaches are delicious in pies, cobblers, crisps and as preserves, along they also make the perfect afternoon snack - one medium-size peach contains 37 calories and is a source of Vitamin C.

How to Slice a Peach
For this recipe, the peaches should be ripe, but not overly soft. Similar to slicing an avocado, using a paring know, start at the stem end of the fruit and cut through to the pit. Run the knife all the way around the fruit, keeping the blade against the pit, finishing where you started. Holding the fruit in your hands, gently give each half of the peach a twist in opposite directions and pull apart. The pit should remain in one side of the peach. Using your thumb, pop out the pit. Cut into thin slices. 


Fresh Peach Crisp Recipe

Look at me over here, just upping my crisp game.

What is your favourite local produce? And your favourite recipe to make with it?


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Tips for Flying with an Infant

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SuperAbsorbent #CollectiveBias


Tips for Flying with an Infant

Traveling with a baby may be stressful and also intimidating. But, at the same time it is a great opportunity to create life long memories with your children. 

At just over 3 months old, Morley took her first plane ride. While it was a 'quick' 4 hour flight west to Edmonton, Alberta, flying with her in tow still made us a bit nervous. Having never flown with her before, we didn’t know what we were in for. We knew the trip had the potential to be a bumpy journey. It was all new.

Tips for Flying with an Infant

Are you traveling on an airplane with an infant? Check out these tips to help avoid turbulence along your journey. 

Tips for Flying with an Infant


Time it right.
If possible, book your flight around baby’s schedule. For example, if they usually nap in the morning, then a morning flight would be ideal for you. Also be sure to play it safe when it comes to arriving at the airport, adding a bit of time onto your journey.

Know your airline.
Individual airlines have individual regulations when it comes to traveling with young children. For example, baggage allowance and gate checking strollers, car seats, etc.If you are unsure of the rules for your particular airline, be sure to call their Help Centre for clarification in advance of your trip. 

Tips for Flying with an Infant

Pack smart.
Make sure you have plenty of wipes, diapers, snacks and extra clothing for the flight, or in case of a delay. Choose a bag that allows you to be as hands free and comfortable as possible (such as a cross-body or backpack), with easy access to pockets.

Be sure to check the FAA regulations on formula, milk, snacks (especially fruit and vegetables) before you travel. Regulations will differ depending on your destination. 

Whether we're on a flight or a trip to the grocery store, Huggies Little Snugglers Plus (only available at Costco) are never too far away. These diapers come in three sizes - newborn, 1 and 2 - and are designed to help keep baby’s skin clean and healthy, with Leak Lock® for up to 12 hour protection

Tips for Flying with an Infant

Dress smart.
Planes are often cooler, so make sure babe is either dressed in layers, or you have a light sweater handy. If you are breast feeding, make sure to wear a top that is feeding-friendly. A scarf or light sweater would also serve as a feeding cover and/or a pillow for your lap. 

Carry baby.
Instead of carrying baby on your hip to board and deplane, go hands free and strap them into a carrier. If they are able to be positioned front facing, they will enjoy watching everyone and everything around them.

Entertainment.
You know your baby better than anyone, so how do you think they’ll react on the plane? If they’re always on the move, keeping them settled in a seat for x amount of hours can be tricky. Bring an activity that is new to them, such as a colouring book, to help keep them engaged for longer, or pack only a few toys that you know your baby loves rather than an entire assortment.

Tips for Flying with an Infant

Play it safe.
Each person reacts differently to the change in air pressure, and the same goes for infants. As a precaution, breast feed, bottle feed or have a pacifier on hand during assent and descent to help relieve any pain.

Ask for help.
Not only are flight attendants there to help you throughout the flight, they love babies!  

Ignore the dirty looks.
The majority of people on a plane love seeing babies, and are very accommodating and understanding. But, there is always one or two that give the dirty looks, regardless if your child makes a peep or not. Don’t let it get to you! You’re there to have fun, don’t let anyone ruin that.

Enjoy making memories!
Sit back, relax and enjoy making memories with your family and sparking the travel bug within your babe.

In the end, we had absolutely nothing to worry about. Morley was a flying pro, and we can’t wait to take her on more airplane adventures and share our love of travel with her as she grows.

Tips for Flying with an Infant


Don't forget to check out the awesome diaper savings at Costco - From 9/1 to 9/25, Huggies Little Snugglers Plus (sizes 1 & 2) are $37.49, or $31.49 after the $6 discount & Little Movers Plus (Size 3, 4, 5, & 6) are $42.99, $36.99 after $6 discount and Free shipping (this offer valid 9/1 –to 9/25), with free shipping when purchased online at Costco.com. Starting in August, Little Snugglers Plus will also be available in size Newborn starting at $29.99 in select warehouses and online. What a great value for a quality product!


Do you have any tips for traveling with infants?

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Favourite Animal Children's Books

At 5 months old, baby girl has started to take a real interest in reading books. Whether it is the bright colours, the rhyming or being able to chew on them, story time has quickly become one of our favourite activities.

Favourite Animal Children's Books

We all know that reading with baby is crucial for their development, but in a sea of children's books, how do we choose the best? According to Scholastic, by 6 months of age, books should be chosen to satisfy a child's endless amount of curiosity. This includes bright pictures of interesting objects, rhyming text, reliable rhythm, activity books to encourage exploration and board books that can take a bit of a beating from chewing, pulling and tossing. As baby gets older, its important to incorporate more educational benefits including counting, ABCs, colours and shapes.

In my somewhat biased opinion, animal-related children's books are the best books to read. Here is a list of our favourites and why we love them so much.

Favourite Animal Children's Books

Favourite Animal Children's Books 


(from left to right in above photo)

Good Night, Gorilla 
The perfect bedtime story! While this story has few words, the illustrations are bright and bold, encouraging observation. 
*board book

Brown Bear & Friends Board Book Gift Set 
Made up of three books (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?Polar Bear, Polar Bear,What Do You Hear?; and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?), this set explores rhyming, colours and animals. 
*board book

My Heart Is Like a Zoo 
Through the use of common animals found at a zoo, this cute book explores colours, shapers, counting and feelings. For older children, there are several craft ideas on Pinterest that can accompany this book.
*board book

Little Blue Truck 
While the main character in this book is a little blue truck, he has many farm animal friends that help him along his journey. This book encourages children to explore different sounds, from trucks to animal noises, and shares the power of friendship and helping others. This is one of Morley's favourite books to read with her dad!
*board book

The Pout-Pout Fish 
In this feel good story, bright ocean colors and playful rhyme come together to share with children that its possible to turn that frown upside down. 
*board book

Way Up in the Arctic
Prance and dance through the Arctic as you will learn all about the animal families that call this environment home. Set to the tune of Over in the Meadow, this interactive book makes it fun to sing along and count from one to ten with polar bears, belugas and more. Gorgeous illustrations supplement a fun blend of counting rhyme and natural history story. This book tops my list of favourites!
*hard cover

Giraffes Can't Dance 
I won't lie, thanks to my postpartum hormones, this book made me cry. The animals are so mean to the giraffe in the beginning! But, I do like this book because it is a feel good story and has a good message behind it.
*board book

If You Give a Moose a Muffin 
This book is great for older children because it is just a silly story with some great illustrations.
*hard cover

This book is interactive for children, with the opportunity to turn flaps to reveal pop-up surprises on every page. Children will learn the power of friendship and helping others as Oscar's friends help him search for the goldfish. 
*board book

In the same series as Oscar Otter and the Goldfish, this book is interactive for children as they try to solve who splashed Polly polar bear with the help of her friends. Not to mention, it features most of mom's favourite Arctic animals!
*hard cover

Hooray for Fish! 
This book takes you under the sea where cheerful Little Fish greets a variety of fish friends of all shapes, sizes and colours.  This book is filled with bright colours and silly rhymes, and is the perfect book to encourage observation of colours and shapes. 
*board book

You Are My Baby: Woodland 
This book is actually a little book nestles inside a bigger one. Children can help turn the pages to match the baby to their parents, and learn all about woodland animals. 
*board book


Ok, so I have a confession to make. These may be MY favourite animal children's books. None the less, they are still great books that I recommend checking out for your little one.

Favourite Animal Children's Books

Check out the other baby products that I've been loving lately: 1 month  |  2 months  |  4 months

More lessons from parenting: 10 Things I've Learned as a New Mom  |  Lessons From My 3 Month Old  |  Baby Product Fails



What are your favourite animal children's books to read to your babies? Did you have any favourite growing up?


*Please note, this post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you. Purchasing through these links allows To & Fro to grow and support other bloggers and companies we love. Thank you!

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Tex Mex Quinoa Salad in a Jar

Can I let you in on a little secret? I love salads. Like, LOVE salads. No matter how full I am, I always have room for salad. We call it the "salad pocket".

I mean, I guess there could be worse things that I could love to eat.

The whole salad-in-a-jar thing is a genius invention for salad lovers, such as myself. All you need is one 32 oz mason jar with a lid. Dressing goes on the bottom, yummy ingredients are in the middle and leafy greens are on the top. Everything stays separate and dressing-free until you toss it together in a bowl.  No more messy containers or the chance for your salad dressing to leak all over your work or lunch bag. (Because let's be honest, it's happened to the best of us.) Most importantly, no more soggy salads. Genius.

This healthy and simple Tex Mex Quinoa Salad-in-a-Jar recipe is no exception to my love of salads. I promise you, it will reinvent the way you look at lunch. 

Tex Mex Quinoa Salad-in-a-Jar Recipe

Tex Mex Quinoa Salad-in-a-Jar



INGREDIENTS

For the quinoa:
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper 

For the dressing:
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp chia seeds

For the salad:
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp jalapeño, diced (optional)
  • 6 small whole grape of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup greens (romaine, arugula and/or baby spinach)


DIRECTIONS
  1. Make the quinoa: In a pot, sauté onions in olive oil in medium heat until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add water, quinoa, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Add dressing ingredients in a bowl and combine. Add 1/2 cup cooked quinoa to bowl and toss with dressing until well combined. Add to bottom of large mason jar.
  3. Layer the remaining salad ingredients in the mason jar, in the following order: corn, beans, tomatoes and greens. Pack the greens in to get as much as possible in the jar.
  4. Put a lid on the jar (like this reusable plastic mason jar lid) and refrigerate. Salad stays fresh approximately 4 to 5 days.
Tex Mex Quinoa Salad in a Jar Recipe

Do you enjoy salads? What is your favourite? 

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Life is Better at the Lake

As my American teacher friends and their kids are gearing up to go back to school in the coming days, and my Canadian friends aren't far behind, I'm sitting here like, "Not to brag, but I don't have to go back to work... until March." Thank you maternity leave.

I've absolutely loved having the summer off. The only issue? Its been so bloody hot in my neck of the woods that summer has seemed to pass us by without being able to enjoy it. Instead, we've been confined to our teeny apartment because it is far too hot to take the babe outside. Lets just say, we've started going a little stir crazy. 

Last weekend we escaped the city for my parents' house on Lake Huron. While we were able to escape the confinement of our apartment, we could not escape the heat. 

I could talk your ear off about this place, but instead, I'll let the photos do the talking. 

Life is Better at the Lake
Life is Better at the Lake
Life is Better at the Lake

Did I mention that this is where we got married three years ago? The perfect setting for the perfect day, if you ask me.

Life is Better at the Lake
Life is Better at the Lake
Life is Better at the Lake
Life is Better at the Lake
Life is Better at the Lake

The water level is extremely high this year, washing out what was once a nice sandy beach. The lack of sand to set up shop mixed with the sweltering heat doesn't make the best beach day when you have a little one. So instead, we settled for Morley's new kiddy pool. I think this kid was a mermaid in a previous life. There is no fear. She LOVES the water, and that makes this water lovin' mama very very happy.

Life is Better at the Lake

Yes, those are measuring spoons she's planning with. Sometimes you have to improvise. And if I've learned anything from this whole parenting thing, its the simple things, like kitchen measuring spoons and tissue paper, that make baby happy.

It's true what they say, life is better at the lake. Especially when you get to see your daughter enjoy it just as much as you do.

Don't forget to follow our summer adventures on Instagram (@toandfro21)!

If you like this, you may also like: Cottage Life

How are you spending the last few weeks of summer? How do you beat the heat?


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Baby Product Fails

I've shared those baby products that I've been loving lately, and now, I think it's only fair that I also share the ones that didn't make the cut. We'll call them the baby product 'fails'.

I really wanted to love each and every one of these products, because well, they're designed to make life easier with a busy, hungry and growing babe. Sadly, that was not the case. Here's why...

5 Baby Products I Wouldn't Recommend

5 Baby Products I Wouldn't Recommend


1. Summer Infant Baby Touch 3.5" WiFi Video Monitor & Internet Viewing System
I have to admit, with a $300(ish) price tag, I was a little hesitant about this product before even leaving the store. The fancy thing about this monitor is that you can hook it up to wifi, download an app on your phone (Apple and Android compatible) and view it remotely. While the thought of my husband checking the monitor on his phone at work initially creeped me out, it also intrigued me. Technology has come a long way since we were little. From the moment we took it out of the box, we had issues with this monitor. At first hook up, the screen was not as clear as we would have liked it.  Then came trying to hook it up to our wifi network. Since it needs a secure internet connection, we spent time on the phone with both Summer and our internet provider trying to reconfigure our router. After all that, the app we had to download onto our phones didn't work. And despite returning the monitor, to this day our home internet just isn't the same.

Reason for fail: was not able to hook up to wifi properly + messed up home wifi connection


2. Baby Einstein Neighbourhood Friends Activity Jumper
When buying a jumper for Morley, I originally opted for this one because we have a Baby Einstein play mat that she loves. My husband barely had the jumper together and one of the attachments (intended for baby to grab) broke off. For a product that cost around $150(ish), that was pretty disappointing and definitely not something that I would want to give my baby to play with.

Reason for fail: not safe for baby!


3. The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer
While it sounds like a great idea, having a bottle warmer takes up prime kitchen counter real estate. I found that when I did use this particular bottle warmer, it wasn't consistent in heating the milk, and definitely did not evenly heat the milk. The outside of the bottle was always extremely hot to the touch, and the milk inside, not so much. Before giving the bottle to baby, I would always run it under cold water to cool down the nipple so it didn't burn baby's mouth. Extremely counter-productive if you ask me. Turns out, good old-fashioned warm water from the tap is one of the best ways to warm up a bottle to the perfect temperature, for both you and baby's liking.

Reason for fail: takes up counter space + uneven heating


4. Philips AVENT 6 oz Breast Milk Storage Bags (25 count)
I use the AVENT breast pump, pacifier and natural bottles, so I thought I would also try the AVENT breast milk storage bags. This product was a huge disappointment, and thanks to those postpartum hormones, made me extremely upset. Why? They spoiled my milk. In the first few weeks I had an over supply and was able to freeze a few days' worth of breast milk for Morley. Less than two months later when I went to use the milk, I noticed it smelt funny. All bags had spoiled and I was heart broken. I had followed the storage instructions to a tee so this didn't happen. The funny thing is, I was warned from a relative that certain brands will cause spoilage. I guess I just didn't want to believe it because I've had such success with other AVENT products. Hard lesson learned.

Reason for fail: spoiled breast milk


5. KidCo PeaPod
When we decided to go and visit my sister in Edmonton this summer, I started researching baby sleeping options. We knew that we didn't want to bring the pack and play because it meant just one more thing that we would have to check at the airport, and the potential for it to get lost or damaged. The reviews for the KidCo PeaPod were positive and aside from its intended use outdoors, many moms said they also used it as a travel bed option. With its UV protection qualities, I thought we could also use it at the beach this summer. I'm so glad that a friend in Edmonton lent us their pack and play instead, because if we had attempted to use PeaPod as a bed, no sleep would have taken place. It was her own personal tent and Morley was not a fan of being closed in.

Reason for fail: baby did not like being closed in


I should throw out a disclaimer - just because these products didn't work to our satisfaction, doesn't mean they won't fit the needs of your family. Except the jumper, because that's just unsafe. And the milk bags, because they will cause you to cry over spoiled milk.

There are some great products out there that we absolutely love! Check out the ones that I've been loving lately: 1 month  |  2 months  |  4 months

More lessons from parenting: 10 Things I've Learned as a New Mom  |  Lessons From My 3 Month Old


What are some of your favourite baby products? Which ones didn't make the cut?

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