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Why and Whale

Why and Whale is a monthly subscription package featuring handpicked apparel, toys, books and more for little trendsetters ages 6 months-6 years. According to their website, each box contains: two apparel items and three accessories/activities OR an apparel item, a large accessory, book and activities OR a large toy/game, book, plus modern room decor OR another variation valued over $59 per box as their list of over 200 brands grows!

Unboxing

Why and Whale Subscription Box
My son couldn’t contain his excitement to open his surprise package!

My 3.5-year-old LOVES getting packages. He comes with me to get the mail every single day and he always asks, “I wonder if there will be any packages for me?” When we opened our mailbox and found that there was a Why and Whale box, he couldn’t contain his excitement. I give him a lot of credit as he patiently waited for me to get my camera and tidy the living room before giving him the go-ahead to open it up

Oogi

Why and Whale Subscription Box
This was my son’s favorite item, which is why I’m listing it first!

This was definitely the hit of the box. My son wanted to figure out where he could stick this guy. We had some good conversations about smooth surfaces versus the carpet, the couch and his little brother. He stuck on the mirror and supervised my son brushing his teeth and getting ready for bed. It’s the perfect size for us to pack on an airplane and stick him to the airplane window, the video screen and who knows what else?

Quut Ringo Game

Why and Whale
My son was very interested to see how this game worked.

We decided this would make a good bath toy and that’s where it currently lives. We’ve come up with all kinds of game involving tossing the rings onto the floating ball and tossing the ball into the floating rings. We also like to spin the rings and roll the ball.

Thinksport Sunscreen

Why and Whale box
I love the size of this sunscreen because it fits into my diaper bag easily.

I’m all about the mineral sunscreen now that I’m a Mom. We haven’t tried this brand yet, so I’m curious about it. I like that it’s in stick form because it’s less messy. Plus, my 3-year-old loves applying his own sunscreen before I apply it, so I think he’ll get a kick out of it.

House of Jude Poncho

Why and Whale box
Right after I took this photo, my son starting spinning around the room!

My son thought the poncho was really fun! He kept wanting to spin around and he also pretended it was a cape. He actually wore it to/from swim class an hour after he opened it. It’s super soft and the perfect weight.

GroVia Zippered Wetbag

Grovia wet bag
This wet bag is great for swim suits while traveling.

My son is potty trained, but we do have accidents. I’m going to keep this bag in my diaper bag to put any soiled clothing so the rest of my bag won’t smell. It’s also good for transporting swim suits from the pool or beach.

Parasol Baby Wipes

Why and Whale
I’ve been wanting to try these wipes for awhile on my baby!

I love travel sized packs of wipes. I brought these in my carry on suitcase to Hawaii recently and I really like the feel of them. They aren’t too thin so I don’t need very many wipes to get the job done.

Why and Whale Review

Why and Whale box
I think the Why and Whale box is a winner!

I was really impressed with the assortment of items in this surprise pack. There was stuff for my preschooler and stuff that I’d find handy in my everyday Mom life. I’m not sure how much use we’ll get out of the poncho in the long-run. I’m especially excited to try the baby wipes and sunscreen as I’m always looking for the best brands. And the wet bag is going to come in handy for beach days so I can just throw the wet swimsuits and clothing in there and the rest of my diaper bag will stay dry.

Giveaway

Head over to my Instagram August 8-10, 2017 to enter to win a Why and Whale Surprise Pack. Must follow @marcieinmommyland and @whyandwhale to qualify.

Why and Whale Monthly Surprise Pack Unboxing

Why and Whale sent me a complimentary surprise pack for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Turtles have been a big deal in our house because of Disney’s Moana. My son goes crazy for the turtle at the beginning of the movie. In an early scene, Moana sees a small turtle trying to get to the ocean and helps him. In turn, the ocean gives her the Heart of Te Fiti. This starts the whole movie.

May 23rd is World Turtle DayThe day was created as an annual observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world. I’m sure Moana would be celebrating World Turtle Day!

Lassig Turtle Mini Duffel

Lassig Wildlife Mini Duffel Backpack

One of my favorite turtle-themed travel products right now is Lassig’s Wildlife Mini Duffel Backpack. Thanks to the large interior compartment, everything finds its place. There is plenty of room for snacks and toy cars in the additional zip compartment and for a water bottle in the integrated compartment. The wide straps make it easy to carry and enable it to be individually adapted to the child’s height. A chest strap provides extra stability.

When we go on trips, my 3-year-old likes to pack his own carry-on bag. It gives him some responsibility. And he loves to carry his backpack on our day trips, too. He likes knowing he has snacks and toys available where ever we go.

Lassig Turtle Mini Duffel
My son especially appreciated the chest strap so he didn’t worry about the mini duffel backpack falling off his shoulders.

We recently took his backpack on a walk around our neighborhood to visit 3 parks. He packed his truck, a few rocks, and a snack in his backpack. He eagerly put it on and clipped the strap around his chest. After filling up his water bottle,  he decided to carry it on his wrist. We were out for a couple of hours and he carried everything by himself. That’s a win!

All materials used to manufacture Lassig bags are free of PVC, AZO, phthalates, nickel and cadmium. If turtles aren’t your favorite, it also comes in Birdie, Elephant or Rhino. A portion of all proceeds from Lassig’s Wildlife Collection support the Momella Foundation and two of their conservation projects: the Big Cat Guardians and the Sparkling Elephant Project, which aim to enhance creativity while educating and creating awareness for endangered wildlife species throughout Tanzania.

Lassig Turtle Water Bottle
This drinking bottle features a bendable straw (plus an extra one) and a handy clip to attach the bottle to just about anything.

Lassig’s Drinking Bottle Wildlife Turtle

I’m also loving Lassig’s Drinking Bottle Wildlife Turtle. It works really well with the backpack. We always bring an empty water bottle to the airport and fill it up when we get there. Featuring fun bright colors and design, this clear plastic bottle is the perfect size for little hands. It has a bendable straw that is integrated in the leak-proof lid and can be removed any time for cleaning. Additionally, a spare straw is also included in the set. Most importantly, all parts are dishwasher safe for easy clean up.

Lassig Drinking Bottle
After a long morning of playing in the sunshine, my son just wanted to sip some cold water from his Lassig drinking bottle.

My son is able to hold the bottle easily. He loves that we can clip it on anything. He has attached the water bottle to several places on his backpack just to try it out. I’m a fan of products that encourage creativity like this!

I’m really excited to bring both the mini duffel and the drinking bottle with us on our upcoming trip to Hawaii. They will be perfect for carrying snacks and toys on the flight. And they will be amazing at the beach!

World Turtle Day with Lassig

I received these products for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

LEGO Duplo Little Plane Review

Owen was very excited to open and assemble this LEGO Duplo Little Plane and accessories

LEGO Duplo sent us a Little Plane to test out. My 2.5 year-old son Owen was so excited to open it up once he saw it was an airplane! He’s very into airplanes right now. We opened the box and he dumped out all the pieces. Without any instructions, we were easily able to build the airplane and control tower. Owen loved that the pilot could sit down or stand up in the plane while he ran around “flying” the plane. He was also a fan of the control tower and kept saying “get ready for takeout,” which is from one of his favorite books.

He also played with the plane in our sand table and seemed to enjoy pouring sand inside and having the plane fly the load around and then dump it back in the sand table.  I love it when toys encourage children to play with them in different ways! I mean, who says an airplane can’t also be a dump truck?

Once we switched our sand table into our water table, it also became a water toy. That’s the great thing about LEGO Duplo toys: they are waterproof and can easily be rinsed off when dirty. The water table instantly became an “Airplane Wash” as opposed to the ever popular Car Wash.

LEGO Duplo Little Plane Review

Owen flying his plane on a daring mission to China (according to him)

After we saw the Blue Angels perform at Seafair in Seattle a few weeks ago, this airplane became an honorary Blue Angel. Owen likes to tell me where the airplane is going. Lately, popular destinations have included Hawaii, California and China. I really like that he’s able to tell me all the steps the plane is taking: People getting on board, plane is on the runway, plane takes off and is flying to its destination, and then finally lands at the airport.

I think eventually, we will make a LEGO Duplo table by adding a baseplate to an old nightstand. I think the radio tower and fuel can would get more play time if they were secured to a table. Right now, they usually sit on our train table. Overall, my son really enjoys this LEGO Duplo Little Plane and we look forward to stepping our foot into (and hopefully not on top of!) the LEGO Duplo world!

LEGO Duplo review

LEGO sent us this product for review purposes.

When we found out we were pregnant with Baby #2, one of my first thoughts was how to make sure to have special one-on-one time with our toddler. I started combing the Internet to see what activities other parents did to make sure their toddler transitioned well. One of the things that kept coming up was reading books. I’m a fan of children’s books and our toddler Owen has quite the collection already. Many parents had told me that they always did story time with their toddler when they were feeding their baby. I thought that was a fabulous idea!

I ran across Bookroo when I was looking for new books. Bookroo is company that offers Board Book subscriptions for children ages 0-2 and Picture Book subscriptions for children ages 2-6. You can either get 3 board books or 2 picture books each month, depending on which one you sign up for.  These subscriptions come in recycled (and recyclable) packaging. I chose the Board Book subscription because I like how durable they are and they will be good to read with Owen and the new Baby.

Bookroo subscription for babies and toddlers

Owen grabbed the first two books and unwrapped them before I had a chance to take a photo. This is the last book in the box

When our box arrived, Owen was so excited that the mailman brought him a package! He insisted we open it immediately! As soon as we opened the cardboard box, he saw that he had 3 wrapped packages inside tied up with a string. He exclaimed, “Presents!” I helped him pull the string so he could pick up the presents. He took his time opening each one and got excited when he saw that they were books!

Of course, we had to read them right away. The books that came in our box were Tatyana Feeney’s Little Owl’s Orange Scarf, Cocorette’s Snap! Snap! Guess the Animal, and Il Sung Na’s A Book of Babies. Owen is 2.5 years old and he LOVED each of these books! He’s at an age where he likes to repeat the lines of the book back to me and these board books had the perfect amount of narrative so he could do this successfully. One of them was a lift-the-flap book and even though there wasn’t much of a story, he thought it was hilarious to see the animals behind the flaps!

Bookroo Board Book Subscription

These were the books included in our Board Book subscription

I really appreciated that they were books that we not only didn’t already have, but I hadn’t heard of them before. It’s always fun to be exposed to new authors and titles. In the past, I’ve found a lot of children’s books with really poor story lines. With Bookroo, the stories are good and the pictures are adorable! It’s actually one of their goals to find “hidden gems” that families don’t already own and are not easily found online or in stores. Their books are extensively reviewed by a panel of 12 families attending Stanford University and their combined 22 kids!

This Bookroo subscription is great for families with toddlers/preschoolers because they will understand that they will get a new package each month full of presents. For families with babies, it’s still fun to see what you’ll get because you don’t choose the books. And opening up wrapped gifts is fun for people of all ages!

Bookroo Subscription Box

Bookroo sent us a board book box for review purposes.

If you’d like to try out Bookroo, use my code: MARCHE for $10 off!

My family visits Vancouver somewhat frequently. We usually stay near Robson Street in a one-bedroom suite. This time, however, I wanted to check out a different hotel to see what’s out there. I chose the Sheraton Wall Centre for it’s convenient location and ratings on Trip Advisor.

I was traveling with my Mom and my toddler, Owen. We got a room with 2 double beds and I shared a bed with Owen. Since Owen goes to sleep early and wakes up early, we spent a lot of time in the room. Here’s what we liked and didn’t like about the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel in Vancouver, BC:

Pros of the Sheraton Wall Centre:

  • The location is fabulous! Just a few blocks from Robson Street, where there are lots of shops and restaurants.
  • The elevators are super fast! Probably the fastest elevators we’ve ever experienced in Vancouver.
  • The staff is friendly and helpful.
  • There is a Starbucks on-site.
  • There are blackout curtains, which is essential when traveling with a toddler.
  • The room was very spacious.
  • Free wi-fi in the room was a lifesaver.
  • The room felt very clean.
  • The bed linens have 2 weights of blankets, so it’s easy to get comfortable.
  • Our room was right next to the elevator, but we couldn’t hear anything.
  • The gift shop had diaper cream, which saved us a trip to the drug store!
  • The hotel restaurant had boosters and highchairs.

Cons of the Sheraton Wall Centre:

  • The walls are really thin. We could hear an extensive/explosive argument from the family next to us, showers running upstairs, and guests shouting in the hallway.
  • The parking garage is tricky to find at first.
  • I was surprised at the limited toiletry items provided (no shower cap, q-tips, etc.)
  • The bathroom door has a large glass cutout, so it lights up the room when someone turns on the light in the middle of the night.
  • Not all the power outlets seemed to work.
  • We couldn’t seem to get standard TV channels. I’m not sure if my toddler hit something on the remote, but it kept saying it was unavailable.
  • The pool was hidden away and didn’t seem super child-friendly.
  • There were dirty dishes outside of our room for a full 24 hours, left by cleaning staff.
  • The hotel restaurant offers a children’s menu, but they didn’t have any kid-friendly/non-breakable glasses or cups with straws.
  • The only elevator down to the parking garage was broken when we checked out. We were able to get all our luggage down to the 3rd floor parking garage, but then we had to walk up 3 floors inside the parking garage to get out to the street. At 7 months pregnant and pushing a toddler in a  stroller, this was not a good way to end our visit here.

Overall, the Sheraton Wall Centre was a beautiful hotel and I’m glad we checked it out. I’m not sure it’s the best pick for traveling with a toddler, but it’s probably a great option for business travelers or couples. The location is fantastic and the staff members are extraordinary!

Looking for activities to do in Vancouver, BC?

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