Felix at Three Months

Posted by Carly Morgan

Poor little Bug Bug. His older siblings were on the blog non-stop during the first few months of their lives but Felix has gotten a little drowned out by all of the activities and outings and crafts we’ve been doing. It’s because he’s just quiet and gives me no trouble. He’s such a good little baby that sometimes I set him down and honestly forget about him for a while! I know, I know, sad third kid syndrome.

I do photograph the little bean all the time but usually it’s just fifty or so iPhone photos a day. Today I pulled the big camera out and really focused on him. Oh, that face! His smile is everything. Nobody has ever been so cute.

Things I don’t want to forget about Felix:

/// I swear he can say, “hi!” He tries so hard to talk when we talk to him and he can usually get a couple of “hi” sounds out before he gets too excited and just starts sticking his tongue out and waving his arms.

/// He lights up with a smile whenever he sees me or Kyle. Or Eva. Or Calvin. Or my mother. OK, whenever he sees another human he lights up with a smile.

/// The little teddy bear suit that was so big on him in the beginning is starting to get downright tight. I think he likes it because he sleeps so well when we let him nap as a bear! I love to cuddle him in it and feel the stubby little tail under my hand.

/// He tries so hard to grab the animals on his crib mobile as it goes around and I swear he’s getting closer every day. Pretty soon that zebra is going down.

/// He’s got  big old completely bald spot on the back of his head surrounded by dark hair. He also usually has a scratch or two on his nose because it took me a little too long to get to him for his morning feed.

/// He’s got stinky little boy feet whenever he’s been out in his plaid snow boots.

/// He’s amazed by blowing raspberries. I can stop any fit just by blowing a few raspberries.

/// He’s almost rolling over. So close. And I swear there are teeth right there below the surface. It’s going so fast!

Popular Kid Subscription Services: Checking Out Bitsbox, Tinytivity, and Bookroo

Posted by Carly Morgan

Disclaimer: I received sample boxes from Bitsbox, Tinytivity, and Bookroo in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts below are my own.

Which childrens subscription service is worth it

Subscription boxes are the hot thing in parenting and homeschooling right now. As we’ve all gotten used to ordering things online and getting them in the mail (raise your hand if you love Amazon Prime!!), it seems like prices on kid subscriptions have gone down and quality has gone up. I used to be involved in a couple of subscription services when Eva was a baby and, not surprisingly, all of those services are now out of business because they didn’t really deliver for what you paid for them.

The good news is that in the last five years, it’s gotten pretty competitive out there and companies are really stretching to make sure that you’re happy with every delivery. So, I wanted to check out some of the most popular subscriptions that my friends are currently signed up for and found three that are definitely delivering bang for your buck!

Bitsbox, Tinytivity, and Bookroo are all monthly subscriptions for kids but they each deliver a very different product and they have their own quirks and perks. As you check out my reviews, see if you can guess which one we signed up for as soon as we opened our sample box…


Bookroo subscription review

Bookroo is a children’s book subscription service (be still my heart!) that delivers either two picture books or three board books each month. The books arrive gift wrapped with a little note that explains that month’s selection. I wasn’t sure how the quality would be since kid books definitely run the spectrum from Maurice Sendak to those stapled coloring books you get at the doctor’s office, but we were so pleased with the books we got!

Bookroo childrens book subscription service

Picture book subscription from Bookroo

I’ll review these books more in depth when I do my book reviews for March but the books are both darling hardcover picture books with really nice illustrations and smart stories. They are definitely heavy on pictures and light on text even though we didn’t choose the board book options, but I wouldn’t say that they were too easy. Eva reads at about a second grade level and both of these are a great pace for her – enough reading that she feels accomplished but not so much that she gets overwhelmed and forgets to check out the pictures.

Side note – I can’t speak for every month but the two we got were distributed from major publishing houses (Penguin and Candlewick Press). I don’t necessarily dislike self-published or small run children’s books per se, but I do think you’re taking more of a gamble with those if you purchase before you read so I was relieved that I recognized these two as coming from vetted, quality brands.

The friend who recommended this service to me is building up a quality picture book library for her daughter and wanted to keep it fresh by adding something new every month. She’s since given subscriptions as baby shower gifts which is such a cute idea because it’s unlikely that they end up with duplicate titles as you might if you buy the classics for baby on the way. I know we ended up with a few different copies of Goodnight Moon when Eva was born!

Winner: Best Children’s Subscription to Give as a Gift



Tinytivity subscription revew

Tinytivity is a monthly subscription services that delivers complete craft kits right to your door. The crafts are themed to the season and designed to be done by the parent and child together with enough flexibility that kids of all abilities can still do them. For example, one of the crafts in the sample box we received involved painting a bird feeder and while I’m going to have Eva do it because she’ll meticulously decorate it, Calvin could have still had a good time with his messy three-year-old style.

Tinytivity craft subscription service

Tinytivity craft box for kids

Because we got a box themed for springtime, the craft above did contain seeds so that was an allergy problem for us that I hadn’t anticipated. The good news is that everything was packaged separately and very neatly so I just took the seeds away and Eva was able to enjoy the rest. This is something that we run into occasionally (we once got a nature exploration box filled with loose pine nuts – yikes!) but it’s probably not something that comes up very often with a craft subscription. The other craft has pressed flowers but that’s not likely to be a problem for us.

Tinytivity monthly craft box for kids

The thing about this subscription service is that it provides an opportunity for at least two moments where you can hang out with your kid without having to worry about planning and prepping a craft project. Prepping craft projects is kind of my nemesis. I have bags of craft supplies hanging out in closets because I always plan big things and then we never get around to actually doing them after I buy the supplies. With these crafts being easy, timely, contained, and prep free, we are much more likely to actually do them.

I should note that Calvin was most excited about the picture books when we opened them but this was the box that Eva was really excited about because she wanted to immediately get her little artist hands busy with the making. I don’t even know if a weekly craft subscription could keep up with that one!

Winner: Best for Grandparents, Babysitters, and Getting Right Into Making Fun Family Memories



Bitsbox kids coding subscription review

Bitsbox is a monthly subscription designed to make kids love coding. Coding is inevitable and unavoidable for kids because it’s the new language they need to be fluent in to keep up with how fast tech is changing. Unfortunately, parents who are my age (shout out to those kids of the eighties!) are at a real disadvantage because we grew up typing but not coding. I didn’t even learn coding in college because it was something only fringe computer geeks were doing and ended up having to go back to take classes at my alma matter after I graduated from law school because by then basic HTML was a lot handier than anything I had learned in college the first time around.

My coding skills are rough around the edges and Kyle’s are basically non-existent so we need some way to start our kids on the coding path without having to lead them ourselves.

Each month, Bitsbox sends out a kit that contains a set of coding activites for kids. The box we received was the deluxe version of the first kit that you get so I was expecting something really basic like flashcards or a nice board book with the ABCs of coding in it and had to admit that I was a little overwhelmed when I pulled all of these brightly colored goodies out of the box:

Contents of the Bitsbox first subscription box

Once I figured out what everything was, though, it’s such a cute little kit! First off, you get an Apper Keeper (eighties kids??) that’s a little binder with a big pocket to hold all of your activity packs, trading cards, etc. You put the activity cards into the binder as you go and each card has a simple coding project that you do on the Bitsbox website to create apps that work on your tablet, phone, etc. So the coding is done on a computer but the product your kid creates can be used on your iPad, if that makes sense.

Bitsbox Apper Keeper

Bitsbox coding projects for kids

Bitsbox coding kids activities

The deluxe box also included a guide for parents, a fantastic sticker book, and some other goods like stickers and trading cards. I put the smaller goodies aside after I opened the box but when Kyle came home and saw the trading cards he was all over them. Each of the cards has its own coding project so there was even more to do than what we have in our binder. Note: the site and guide make it clear that parents don’t need to have any coding skills beyond basic computer savvy in order to help their kids with the projects. Hooray!

Contents of the Bitsbox coding subscription deluxe box

Bitsbox grownup guide

Paint by Sticker kid Zoo Animals

The age range starts at six years old but after looking everything over I’m not quite sure that Eva (turning six this Saturday!!!!!) is up for these activities yet. I think she’ll be there by early summer for sure so we might do a little coding bootcamp then when she has less going on. It’s also going to take that long for me to get the activities back from her father, who pounced on the trading card and activity binder combo and wanted to know exactly how soon we could get some more because obviously we need to fill the binder and collect all the cards. (Seriously, eighties kids! Up top!)

PS – they gave me a discount code so if you use CLEVERFOREVER you can take 20% off your Bitsbox subscription!

Winner: Best Subscription for Giving Kids Mad Skills You Don’t Have

Bitsbox coding lessons for children


Well, did you guess which one we signed up for? We’re strongly leaning toward getting all three eventually because it was a Goldilocks and the Three Bears situation with all of us getting excited about different boxes BUT the Bitsbox subscription was the one we started right away. The crazy thing is that we didn’t even start it for the kids – Kyle and I want Bitsbox! I wasn’t kidding when I said my coding skills are rough, even after a couple of college courses, because coding is overwhelming and boring when you learn it in a classroom. The Bitsbox subscription is a much more fun place to start and since Kyle is really starting at the beginning we figured it makes sense for us to get the subscription, use it ourselves, and then play with it with our kids after we have a binder full of coding projects for them to do. If they’re lucky, we might even share some of our trading cards with them. Well, the duplicates anyway.

As for the other two, I was really impressed and understood why I have friends with active subscriptions to these services. The only reason I’m hesitating is because we happen to have a huge library of picture books already, so I’m not building one like my friend is, and as I mentioned I have a ridiculous stash of unrealized craft projects hanging out in closets so I want to tackle a few more of those before starting a subscription. That being said, the kids were so excited and it’s not like books and crafts are something you can have too much of in childhood so we’ll see…

Nursery Theme Inspired by Disney’s Moana

Posted by Carly Morgan

I think I’m going to quit my day job and just start designing Disney-inspired nurseries for a living. Think the kids will be ok if I give them my two weeks notice along with the grapes I carefully cut in half?

Moana is out-ish but we’re holding out for the DVD combo pack and haven’t seen it yet. So, in the meantime, I’ll just have to content myself with looking up Moana-ness on Etsy. Fair warning: if you don’t want the soundtrack to be stuck in your head for the next two weeks, you should just stop right here.

Oh, too late. I am Moaaanaaaaaa…

Affiliate Links: How Far I’ll Go – printable wall art /// Moana and Maui Peg Dolls /// The Nautical Quilt /// Vintage Pair Ceramic Conch Shell Table Lamps /// Rag Rug – coastal, ocean, beach vibe /// Dipped White Sea Grass Belly Basket /// Maui’s Tattoos framed art print

Using the Bloomlife Smart Pregnancy Tracker to Track Contractions

Posted by Carly Morgan

Disclaimer: I received this service for free in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts below are my own. 

I can’t believe that Felix is three months old and here we are only about a week and a half from him being four months old. What?? I feel like I found out that we were having a third baby about ten minutes ago…

You might remember that I have a history of rough pregnancies. For this reason, I positively jumped on the Bloomlife smart pregnancy tracker when I heard about it. It’s a contraction monitor that you wear on your stomach and it tracks the strength and length of your contractions and graphs them out on a smartphone app for you. I reached out to see if they would let me try it out and then spent the rest of my third trimester pretty obsessed with my uterus.

Wearable contraction monitor

Wearing the Bloomlife smart pregnancy tracker

Tracking contractions with the Bloomlife pregnancy tracker

In all honesty, I was only about 60% sure that the monitor would work because (1) nobody had anything like it on the market except the people making hospital equipment and (2) I’m not thin even when I’m not pregnant so I thought the little tracker might not be able to find my contractions. To be fair, when I’m pregnant I’m pretty much all pregnant belly but I was still happily surprised when it picked up contractions as soon as I had them and even picked up some smaller ones I didn’t know I was having.

I only wore it for about twenty minutes at a time most of the time but the kit that comes with the little tracking device included a stack of stickers and the stickers were reusable for about five times so I didn’t worry about running out. The service works like a subscription and you pay by the month and then return it so it’s not as expensive as it would be if every pregnant woman needed to buy their own tracker.

Bloomlife sticker and wearable contraction monitor

Using the Bloomlife contraction monitor during the third trimester

The one thing I will say is that I had crazy contractions starting from about week 30 and by the time I got to week 35 they were so constant that it wasn’t even worth using the Bloomlife monitor because it just lit up as one big contraction whenever I had it on. (Felix was born at 37 weeks.) I don’t think that would be a problem for most women because that irritable uterus thing isn’t that common and I had a cerclage that kept labor from progressing even with all of those contractions BUT that’s something to keep in mind if you have those issues because you might want to start the service a little earlier than other moms.

Contractions tracked on the smartphone app

If you’re on the fence about signing up to use the Bloomlife smart pregnancy tracker, I would say that if you feel a lot of anxiety about recognizing the signs and being in charge of knowing exactly what’s going on, the app makes it a lot easier. Personally I think there’s so much pressure on moms to understand their own body and be able to tell if something is “normal” even if they’ve never been pregnant before. The app lets the mom (and her partner/family/doctor) see the stats graphed in the app in a way that makes them easy to read and understand so you feel more informed.

I talked more about my experience with the tracker during my third trimester in my review video:

To learn more about the Bloomlife pregnacy tracker, you can visit their website or find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Reducing pregnancy anxiety with the smart contraction monitor

Salt Lake Family: Hill Air Force Museum

Posted by Carly Morgan

Museum at Hill Air Force Base

The Hill Aerospace Museum at Hill Air Force Base is one of those Salt Lake City family outings that most people have done at least once but never think about. An obvious choice for plane enthusiasts, the museum doesn’t have much in the way of family-focused entertainment (no playgrounds or fancy flight simulators here) so even though it’s free admission (donation suggested) and a short drive from Salt Lake City it isn’t usually too crowded.

That being said, I think it’s a little underrated because there’s a ton to look at (more than you’d even think) and the place is well-staffed with volunteers who are happy to chat and ask questions. There’s also a nice area set up for coloring and folding/flying paper airplanes so if you do your homework (i.e. check out the teacher/student resources page provided by the museum), you can turn this into a fun and educational outing. Sadly, I did not do my research for our last trip up there so we failed to create functional gliders and our kids spent their coloring time doing self portraits instead of airplane sketches. Even so, it was a pretty great way to spend a late winter Saturday and the kids have already asked to go back.

Hill Aerospace Museum

Airplane at Hill Air Force Base

Air Force Museum in Salt Lake City

Fun museum outing in Salt Lake City

Weekend activity in Salt Lake City

Day trip from Salt Lake City to the Air Force museum

Family outing to Hill Air Force Base

Kid activities at Hill Air Force Base

The museum is located about 25 minutes north of downtown Salt Lake City and it’s surrounded by places to grab a bite to eat, although I’d recommend bringing a picnic lunch if it’s a nice day. Little tip: call the gift shop at the museum before you head up just to make sure they’re open. Sometimes they have to close down depending on security happenings and what the national threat level is and for some reason the only phone number that consistently gets answered is that line to the gift shop.

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