Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dancin' & Dishes: Nuby Easy Clean Soap Dispensing Bottle Brush with Suction Base {a&n Product Review}

As we mentioned in our last Nuby post, our family has a nightly tradition of dance parties after dinner... because what better way to let out all that energy before settling down for our bath and bedtime routine!?  While the kiddos get their wiggles out in the living room, I'm often found jamming to the same music in the kitchen, while cleaning up from dinner and washing down dishes, one of my least favorite chores to do. Luckily, Nuby's Easy Clean Soap Dispensing Bottle Brush with Suction Base is one tool I've learned to love when it comes to doing something I hate!

The strong suction base of the brush is really, by far, much better than other stand-up bottle brushes we've had experience with.  It really is that strong and keeps the brush upright and away from germs at all times, whereas other brushes are often flimsy and fall over almost every time I do the dishes.  I also love the structured and strong bristles of this brush, much different than the sponge type bottle brushes we've used in the past.  It is engineered with two different types of bristles, to ensure thorough cleaning, even on irregular surfaces.  Before, our brushes would last only a few weeks to a month at the most, and the Nuby Easy Clean Brush is going on month #3 for us with no issues and looks as good as the day I received it!  Plus, with no sponge-like material, I feel comfortable knowing there's no leftover food, germs or whatever else the kitchen sink holds, sitting and making the brush so nasty like most sponge related cleaning products do.  This brush is totally good for my germaphobe soul, and as always with Nuby products, is BPA Free!

The main highlight of the Nuby Easy Clean Brush is the one touch, simple push button to dispense the perfect amount of soap, rather than creating a huge, dripping mess of dish soap all over your counter (like time and time before).  I will say, I've had a difficult time using the push to dispense the button seamlessly, but after a few pumps with my thumb, it does the job.  I've never been any good at these types of devices, no matter what the kitchen tool... maybe it's just me!?  Either way, this brush is still top quality over the others and I would still choose to dabble a bit of soap over the top of the brush quickly to do the job just as well.  We also use larger size bottles and cups for the kids, now that Acelyn is a little older, so fitting in a tiny space is never an issue, but because of the sturdiness of the bottle, it does run a bit large and may be more difficult to squeeze into smaller spaces.  For me, the bristle strength, sturdy base, and soft textured handle to allow for a comfortable grip are a better trade off for those small imperfections!  

The Easy Clean Soap Dispensing Bottle Brush with Suction Base can be found at these retailers: 

I love knowing that the Nuby Easy Clean Brush makes my dish-doing chore quick and painless, with plenty of time left to enjoy our nightly dance parties with my babies! 

Nuby sent these products to review, but did not compensate me to write this post.  All opinions and thoughts are of my own.  

You can find Nuby and all of their great products by following their social media sites here:

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Road Trippin' 2017

We took our first road trip as a family of four this past month, to one of our best friends weddings in Tempe, Arizona!  While we were there, we made a fun family trip out of the weekend, visiting Legoland Discovery Center and the Phoenix Zoo, where the kids had a blast with a weekend packed full of fun!

The drive down started off a little stressful, as we planned to leave right around Acelyn's morning nap time.  Instead of falling asleep like she always does in the car, she definitely screamed for about 20 minutes straight.  Finally, she let up and passed out, and slept for a good hour and a half.  We stopped for lunch and once we got back on the road, both kiddos took another nap until we basically entered Phoenix, which was perfect timing!

We had little time from arriving to get ourselves together and ready for rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. After watching the guys practice their roles for rehearsal, we headed over to The Minder Binder for dinner.  We hung out and ate on the outdoor patio which was so nice with the gorgeous weather, and Nolan was in heaven because there was a DJ so he could listen to all his jams.  We sipped on drinks (Nolan felt special with his Shirley Temple) and caught up with our friends, and the kids hung out and played around outside.  Dinner was yummy and we called it an early night around 8:30, knowing we had a big day ahead.

The next morning, we hit up some continental breakfast at the hotel, which Nolan thought was the best thing ever!  He absolutely loved everything about hotel life and is asking all the time when we are staying in a hotel again.  After breakfast, we got ourselves together and headed over to Legoland Discovery Center!  Acelyn took advantage of walking as many places as she could, and her favorite was running the halls of the hotel!

Nolan was super excited once we pulled in and he saw the Lego logo.. he knew we were here!  We didn't waste any time and got there just a little after opening, and started off the morning being greeted by some kid-sized Lego people, which even Acelyn loved!  We went right to the first ride, Kingdom Quest, as we entered, which is similar to the Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters at Disney.  Nolan was totally into it and shot at everything he could with Daddy in the front seat, while Acelyn and I hung out in the back.  She did great on the ride and even got excited with some happy screaming and clapping at certain parts.  We ended the ride and moved our way into Miniland, where there are tons and tons of Legos built into cities, landmarks, sports arenas... it's amazing.  Nolan loved pointing out his favorites, like the construction zones, the fire trucks, the sports arena and the rock band.  

Acelyn loved the Duplo Farm, where she carried around huge lego blocks and brought them back and forth, numerous times.  Both kids also loved the cow, who moo'd off and on, and Acelyn gave him lots of hugs.  We rode another ride, called Merlin's Apprentice, and Nolan loved that this was something just for big boys.  He rode with Daddy first and then a little later in the morning with Mommy, and had a blast going up and down as we each pedaled our butts off.  

We saw a cool space exhibit with rocketships and a control panel that Nolan loved playing with.  Acelyn just liked running around the room like a crazy girl, and they both pretended to be astronauts. After, Nolan and Daddy built their own Lego car to test and race down the track.  Nolan liked the racing more than the building, and they had a successful car 3/5 times they raced it down the ramps!

We also couldn't believe that Nolan voluntarily wanted to go in the Play Place by himself, which is a huge deal since he usually has a hard time separating from us, especially in a new environment.  He happily went off and played, but it was short lived, because they kicked all the kids out when they had to "close for cleaning" after a kid had some sort of accident.  We definitely didn't go back after that, but I was so proud that he willingly went on his own and enjoyed himself!  After the play place, we hit the Kingdom Quest ride once more before leaving.  Legoland was a great morning activity for us and I'm glad both kids had a good time!

Since Legoland was in the Arizona Mills mall, we took a walk around and found a Merry Go Round that I for sure wanted to take Acelyn on for her first time, and of course, Nolan was game.  Jason sat out, so I rode with the kiddos and they loved it! Acelyn had a huge smile on her face the second it started going around and up and down, and Nolan was excited to sit on the bunny he chose!  We walked around a bit longer, and decided to eat lunch at Rainforest Cafe.  This was the icing on the cake to the kids and their fun afternoon, and they loved pointing out all the animals.  Nolan liked the monkeys most, which sat behind us a bit, and Acelyn was obsessed with the elephants that were directly behind our table.  The food was actually pretty good, and we ended our fun morning out with some epic naps back at the hotel.

Jason headed out earlier to meet up with the wedding party, and I got the kids ready to go once they woke up from their naps.  We met up with Jess and Diane, and made our way over to The Tempe Mission Palms before the ceremony.  All the guys and the groom, Erik, were hanging in the lobby, so we joined them, where Acelyn got some quality Uncle Brock and Daddy time, and Nolan talked to well, basically everyone he could.  He showed us he was ready to party (sorry kid, not for another couple of years, ha!) and we snapped some quick family pictures before the ceremony began.  

We took our seats, and Nolan was so excited for the wedding to begin.  He was so anxious for "Uncle Erik's party", and we had been coaching him on what would happen, step by step.  Both kids were great for the ceremony until Nolan blurted out in the deadest of silence, "My penis hurts!", which is his cue that he has to go potty.  Me and Jess looked at each other, dying with laughter inside, as I quickly handed Acelyn off to her and ran Nolan to the nearest bathroom so he could pee.  We came back with, hopefully, little interruption... and were just in time for vows and the announcement of Mr. and Mrs. Erik Hornaday!  

Cocktail hour was held outside and was so gorgeous, enjoying the weather and sipping on some drinks, catching up with friends.  Nolan and Acelyn ran all over the place in the courtyard, and when it was time to head over to the reception hall, Nolan couldn't WAIT because he knew this was the good part- party time!

The wedding party made their grand entrances and Acelyn was all about clapping everyone in, she was SO excited and wouldn't stop clapping like a maniac!  The arrival of the bride and groom couldn't have been more fitting for them- basketball!  The whole party went straight into dancing, and Nolan finalllllly could let loose and do his dancing THANG.  And. He. DID.  All night!  This kid was a dancing machine, and he loved the attention.  During dinner, he thought it would be extra special to share his french fries with Erik and Julia, so he made sure to go right up and give them each a fry from his plate.  That was his contribution as a gift, I suppose.  Haha!  Erik and Julia's first dance was nothing short of amazing, and had us all shocked and cracking up!

We had the best time, enjoying good friends, yummy drinks, having fun in the Photo Booth and danced the night away.  Acelyn even danced her little heart out, and when she was tuckered out at 10PM, she slept in the Ergo, while Mommy, Daddy and Nolan continued!  Nolan lasted until about 11PM, when we headed back to the hotel and everyone crashed.  We had the best time celebrating our good friends and are so happy for Erik and Julia!  Congrats again, guys, we love you!!

The next morning was Acelyn's actual birthday, so we snuggled her with tons of kisses and hugs for her turing ONE!  We had another quick breakfast at the hotel before checking out and making our way over to the Phoenix Zoo, where we spent the morning celebrating her birthday.  I was surprised at how much she enjoyed her time there, and of course, Nolan thought everything was awesome, too. We saw so many animals but I really didn't take too many pictures, because we were so caught up in enjoying everything, plus chasing the kids around wasn't an easy balance!  We did manage to capture some flamingoes, which Acelyn was quick to point out, "BIRD!" as she's familiar with them all over her room. 

We went through a side-attraction of a walk of different birds, where Acelyn liked the Macaw best (probably because it was the easiest to see) and Nolan drove a cool Jeep.  We saw tortoises, alligators, zebras and camels, and saw a few smaller monkeys as we passed through, even though we missed the best time to get into the Monkey Exhibit and didn't have time to wait in the 30+ min. line to enter.  Nolan was happy enough to see the spider monkeys, and that's all he talked about the rest of the day!

The other thing he loved and talked a bunch about was the Farm part of the zoo, where the kids saw horses and goats, and even got to milk a pretend cow!  Nolan, of course, loved the tractors, and we basically had to drag him away from this part of the zoo- it was hands down his favorite!

We made our way to the elephants and giraffes, and made a stop at the orangutans where there was one right up close to the glass.  Nolan spent some time chatting it up and really getting a detailed look at it, which was so cool!  We grabbed tickets for the Safari Train, since Nolan had been asking all morning to ride it.  We had a quick lunch while we waited for our departure time, right in front of the giraffes, and the kids loved eating next to the animals and feeding the wild birds.  

After the Safari Train, it was already way past nap time, so we said Goodbye to the zoo, packed up the car and headed on the drive back home.  The kids did well and napped right away as we started our drive, but were definitely ready to be out of the car about 40 minutes away from home.  Overall, we had a great little mini family getaway, and loved experiencing a new place as a family of four, celebrating Acelyn turning one with a big day at the zoo, and of course, had the best time celebrating Erik and Julia's wedding!