Review: Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case

The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case is the newest must-have multipurpose gadget for both children and parents. It protects mom or dad’s iPhone (or iPod Touch) from the wrath of babyzilla– slobber, throwing, banging, biting and the like. Not to mention “baby dialing” and the dreaded pushing of the home button.

I let my kids use my phone every so often. Kudos to you if you haven’t caved yet. My kids each have a folder with pre-approved, learning-based games that they can play although I usually save my phone for last-ditch effort attempts while we are out and about, at a restaurant, while my toddler is in the stroller at the grocery store dangerously close to naptime, or when my 9-year-old has earned some special play time.

Because my older two are beyond the stage of throwing the phone, drooling, and bashing things on the ground, I tested the Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case on my toddler… he’s 21 months old and I swear he was Bam Bam in a previous life or maybe a mad scientist. I really want to love the Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case but I have two minor issues with it. The first issue is that you have to change your default settings, turn the device on, and turn your App of choice on before you place it in the Apptivity Case. The second issue I have is that you have to remove your device from the Apptivity Case to change the App or to turn off your device.

I downloaded the free Fisher-Price Let’s Count App, placed my iPhone in the Apptivity Case and gave it to my toddler. He loved the Let’s Count App and it didn’t go to sleep or turn off if he didn’t touch the screen. He got bored with it after a few minutes and wanted to move on to another App. Because you have to remove the device to change screens, I had to take the Apptivity Case away from him, which caused a huge meltdown. I grabbed a butter knife, removed the back of the Apptivity Case, removed my phone, changed the App, placed it back in the Apptivity Case, secured the back dial with the butter knife and handed it to my pissed off toddler… who then threw it across the room. At least I got to see first hand that it actually does protect the phone extremely well. On a tile floor.

The locking dial and mirror

The other problem I have (and it’s directly related to the fact that you have to turn on your device before placing it in the Apptivity Case) is, unless you only use Fisher-Price’s Apps (because the Fisher-Price Apps don’t go to sleep after being inactive) you have to change the settings on your device to “never” Auto-Lock. By setting your device to never Auto-Lock, you allow the selected App to run constantly instead of the device going to sleep if your child doesn’t touch the screen. This setting drains your battery oh so quickly. And because the Apptivity Case fully encases your device, you can’t charge it, adjust the volume or use headphones without removing it from the case.

So while I really like the Fisher-Price Apptivity Case, I wish they would somehow make the home button accessible to parents but not to children… instead of a fixed piece of plastic over the home button like it currently has. Maybe it’s just my kids but as much as I loathe my toddler pushing the home button on my iPhone, I also need to access it. Or maybe you should start out with the Apptivity Case when you decide it’s time to allow your child to play Apps on your iPod Touch or iPhone. My kids already knew that they could flip back and forth from App to App quickly and easily prior to the Apptivity Case entering the scene so I consider that a disadvantage… for me.

Oh and one more thing… the Apptivity Case is NOT waterproof.

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case and Fisher-Price Let's Count App

So that’s why I don’t love it (I really do hope they improve or change it or maybe offer another version). BUT there are many features that I do like very much. Like I mentioned before, it met face-to-face with the tile floor by the arm of a toddler/wanna be pro baseball player. It survived– the case and my phone. The visual and tactile design is great! My toddler loves the shape, different textures (both by mouth and touch), the fact that he can grip it like a steering wheel, and the large mirror on the back. The thin plastic cover that protects the touch pad of the device is thin enough that you can easily interact but covers it enough so that drool (or whatever else) doesn’t attack it. The volume/sound is really good, too. The volume level is ever so slightly lower than it would be without the Apptivity Case so there’s no need to crank up the volume on your device before using with the Apptivity Case.

To insert your device:

  • Use a butter knife or quarter to twist the red dial on the reverse side
  • Remove any case/cover that you currently have on your device (only a bare device will fit in the Apptivity Case)
  • Turn your device on, pick the App you want to use and place the device in the Apptivity Case
  • Angle and push the back part of the case down while locking the red dial at the same time

Turn the phone/App on before placing it in the Apptivity Case

Durable case is compatible with:
iPhone®, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4
iPod touch® 2nd, 3rd & 4th generation

Develop & Learn

Activities to explore
• Help baby practice eye-hand coordination

Textured handles & rattle beads
• Easy for baby to grasp, enhancing fine motor skills

High-quality mirror
• Babies love looking at themselves—a shiny mirror encourages self-discovery!

 

The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case is for children 6 months and up and retails for $15.00 It is currently available online but it will be available in retail stores next month.

 

Disclosure: Fisher-Price didn’t ask or pay me to write a review of the Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case. All words and opinions are my own.

The Red CARpet Safety Event- Spreading National Awareness for Child Passenger Safety

September is not just a special month for me personally, September is also dedicated to a purpose that I am extremely passionate about– National Baby Safety Month.

On Saturday I attended The Red CARpet Safety Event to help bring awareness and spread the importance of car seat safety. The event, held in Pacific Palisades, CA, was presented by SpokesMoms.com, sponsored by BRITAX & Buick, and held in association with Safe Kids USA– a non-profit dedicated to preventing unintentional childhood injury. Safe Kids and BRITAX presented attendees with valuable information, education and continued safety practices for child safety seats and car seat use leading up to Child Passenger Safety Week, September 18-24, 2011.

Event host Ali Landry hit The Red CARpet Event’s red carpet. Ali is due with baby number two next month. Photo Credit: Noah Graham Photography

During the event I listened as certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, celebrity mom and co-founder of SpokesMoms, Ali Landry, spoke about the importance of car seat education and proper installation; I watched the amazing Technicians from Safe Kids USA perform car seat installations and checks (and marveled over their installation check-lists); I drooled over the new Next Generation car seats from Britax and the newest cars from Buick; I met some amazing people all with one common goal– the safety of all children while on the go.

Every year, thousands of children are tragically injured or killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. In fact, motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. are the leading cause of death for children age 3 and older.  Roughly 3 out of 4 child safety seats are not used correctly. Securing children properly is the most effective thing that can be done to protect them in the event of a crash.  Safe Kids USA will host more than 300 car seat checkup events during National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 18-24.  The times and location for these events can be found at www.safekids.org.

In addition to Safe Kids’ efforts BRITAX, along with the celebrity parents that were in attendance, hope to drive national awareness for child passenger safety. Through their combined initiatives, parents will be reminded that,

Head injuries are not only the most frequent injuries that occur during front and side impact crashes, but also the leading cause of vehicle crash-related deaths for children up to 12 years old. (source: Child Injury Led Design and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia 2010)

 

Candace Cameron Bure from “Full House” autographs a Britax car seat that will be auctioned off online for charity. Photo Credit: Noah Graham Photography

  • Many of the celebrities at the event signed Next Generation BRITAX car seats, which will be given away on the BRITAX Facebook Page. Visit the BRITAX Facebook page September 24-29 and enter for your chance to win through the sweepstakes app.
  • You can also visit BritaxUSA.com to enter their I (Love) Head Safety sweepstakes. Three lucky winners will be selected each month and will receive a Next Generation BRITAX car seat. Contest runs September 2011 – December 2011.
  • In addition to the giveaways, BRITAX will make a contribution to Safe Kids USA for every “Birthday wish” to their Next Generation car seats made by BRITAX Facebook fans on their Facebook Page during Car Seat Safety Week September 18-24th, 2011.

 

I was fortunate to meet and mingle with many supporters and advocates for child passenger safety. I also took note that I need to keep an eye on SpokesMoms but more on that later… Everyone at the event was extremely sweet and eager to spread awareness. I just loved the Car Seat Ambassadors and some of their little baby bellies. Yes, Tori Spelling and Ali Landry are in their 9th month but they’re still so teeny and adorable!

Honorary Car Seat Ambassadors Tori Spelling and Kyle Richards, with host and friend Ali Landry. Photo Credit: Noah Graham Photography

In attendance at the Red CARpet Event were a group of honorary “Car Seat Ambassadors” – celebrity moms who have shown their dedication to bettering the lives of children.  They included Tori Spelling, Kyle Richards, Ali Landry (above), Garcelle Beauvais (below), Samantha Harris, Constance Marie, Alicia Coppola, and Sarah Drew.

Honorary Car Seat Ambassador Garcelle Beauvais of “Franklin & Bash” Photo Credit: Noah Graham Photography

 

Friday Recap

My brain is fried from the busy week (school still hasn’t started yet)(but I’m counting down the days) so I’ll pretend to be all newsy-like today and share some cool stuff/not so cool stories with you. And now, without further adieu…

Here are some noteworthies for your Friday. Or at least I think they are noteworthy.

PS. Happy Friday (11 more days till school starts)

  • I was faced with Birthday Party Invitation etiquette this past week. and? Ouch. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be on me, I mean my son. Read some more about the Children’s Birthday Party Invite etiquette that I found over on Rated by Mom.
  • A shaker hit the East Coast this week. The entire West Coast was trying to tell the entire East Coast to chill but I say you can never be too prepared (and now that goes for everyone). Read my Earthquake Kit Tutorial for Parents HERE.
  • Hurricane Irene is coming to the East Coast. I don’t have anything for you on that one… but I will say that this is a bad week for the East Coast. (*Note: I will never tell anyone to chill over a hurricane)
  • Steve Jobs stepped down at CEO of Apple. I think this is a cute video from iJustine (and I think she may have a teensy crush on the old guy).
  • We’re getting ready for back to school so I shared a parenting tip (about positive encouragement in regards to Back To School) and I’m also doing a giveaway (go enter HERE.)
  • I received an awesome rug from Mohawk Home yesterday. I also almost threw my back out trying to move that (heavy) console table, twice, by myself. I’m so happy with my random little room space behind our family room now. Here’s the before and after:


Say Wow Not Ow with a Private Yummie Tummie Style Session (FINALISTS announced)

Do you dream of being comfortable and stylish in clothing that not only makes you look good but also makes you feel good? Do you imagine clothes that smooth, slim and shape your natural curves? Do you long for Slimmers and Shapers that you can wear all day… things that make you say “WOW” not “OW”?

Then I may have just made your day a Yummie day…

What: Say Wow Not Ow with a Private Yummie Tummie Style Session during BlogHer San Diego

When: Saturday, August 6th

Why: Because you are Yummie and we love you!

Who: One lucky winner will win a head-to-toe wardrobe and style session from Yummie Tummie

 

Congratulations to the six (the judges had an extremely hard time picking only five) finalists!

aaaaand in no particular order…

Laura from An Uncommon Family

Eileen from Bringing up Bronwyn

Mandalyn from Mandalyn and the Stinky Cheese

Lisa from Nickels-n-Dimes

Vixen from Vixen’s Den

Melanie from Mel, A Dramatic Mommy

 

The (Yummie) Details:

  • Follow the Official Rules (detailed below)
  • Be creative! Tell us your story– why you want, deserve and/or need a style session with Yummie Tummie! Include some of your favorite pieces from the Yummie Tummie site, tell us about your stubborn areas, and anything else you’d like to include (see the rules below for additional blog post requirements).
  • On Friday, July 29th, 2011 five (5) finalists will be selected. Finalists will be notified via email and announced on the Yummie Tummie Facebook/Twitter page.
  • All finalists must confirm their sizing (directly from the Yummie Tummie site– top of the page “Sizing Chart” ) and supply the information to me once selected as a finalist.
  • The winner will be announced Thursday, August 4th, 2011 on the Yummie Tummie Facebook Page and Yummie Tummie Twitter page. Make sure you follow along with the Twitter hashtag #YummieChristina for updates!
  • Yummie Tummie will select the winner.
  • One (1) winner will receive a head-to-toe wardrobe and private style session from Yummie Tummie and me.
  • Winner must be available Saturday, August 6th, 2011 at the Marriott Marquis (in a private room). You must be able to attend one of the two time spots- 10:30AM or 3:00PM

 

Official Rules:

  • You must complete a post on your personal blog (minimum of 250 words) telling us why you would like to win the Say Wow Not Ow Private Yummie Tummie Style Session at BlogHer
  • Entry deadline is Friday, July 29th, 2011 at 11:59PM PST
  • You must email the link to your post to: Christina {at} MommyLovesCoffee.com with the subject: “Say Wow Not Ow Yummie Tummie Style Session”
  • You must sign a release to be photographed and video taped for use by Yummie Tummie
  • Open to all entrants but you must be attending BlogHer 2011
  • You must include the Yummie Tummie Facebook page, Yummie Tummie site link and Yummie Tummie Twitter page in your entry post– and encourage friends and family to “put in a good word” on Facebook and/or Twitter for you! (Note: Winner will not be selected based on Facebook or Twitter interaction)
  • You MUST be available at one of the two time spots provided (10:30AM or 3:00PM)

 

Be creative, have fun and Live. Shape. Happy. with Yummie Tummie!

 

I’d like to thank Yummie Tummie for being my sponsor for BlogHer and… for being so awesome.

 

 

 

I’m going to be Yummie at BlogHer 2011!

 

I’m happy, no thrilled actually, to announce that I’ll be sponsored by Yummie Tummie at BlogHer in San Diego on August 5th and 6th, 2011!

This comes at a perfect time considering I put a goal in place, oh… back in May to drop a certain amount of weight before my 3oth birthday (which just passed). I really don’t know what I was thinking because that “certain amount of weight” which I gracefully decline to announce was not exactly realistic. But more importantly, I had a revelation a few weeks ago.

 

I am a mother of three children.

 

Okay, that’s not the revelation. Obviously.

But this is… It is okay if I’m not the 21-year-old Christina I once was. I have three beautiful, healthy children to show for and slipping into my pre-pregnancy jeans after I pop out a child is just not in the cards for me genetically. I have also learned that I’m not alone. And that most of us mothers carry our weight in really stubborn places.

Now, I believe in living healthy and feeling good about myself. Not only for myself but for my husband and my children, too. So I sometimes begrudgedly schlep myself to the gym and watch what I stick in my mouth cause, you know, I want my kids to grow up seeing mommy be conscious of her health, see mommy being physically active and see that mommy takes care of her body. In hopes they follow suit. It’s that whole catch-22: you only live once. Live it up but remember that this is your only body to live it up in. I’d also like to take this moment to thank my genetics for packing on weight in stubborn areas all because I had a baby (or three). Doesn’t seem fair, huh? I digress.

The truth (for me at least) is… it’s hard. It’s hard to fit in exercise (and stay motivated), it’s hard to eat healthy (when all I want is sugar and salt) and it’s hard when I have bad days (usually prompted by trying to wear something other than my yoga pants). It’s even harder when I’m hormonal (but I don’t need to elaborate on that one).

I know I’m making the steps, I know I’m trying, so instead of beating myself up about it, I’m just thankful to have Yummie Tummie.

I showed my husband the difference and he said it perfectly. This is what he said,

It’s not a miracle worker, it doesn’t make you lose the weight, but it makes you look good!

And I took it as a compliment. Cause it’s true. But most of all, I think he saw my confidence level shine through in my attitude, posture and smile when he saw that I was not only looking good but feeling good while wearing the Yummie Tummie shaper under my clothes. And like I mentioned before, I can now fit into a lot of my old clothes without getting a tummy ache from pants that dig into my belly or without buying only empire waist tops to hide the muffin that is my hips.

So when you see me at BlogHer 2011, come say HI, check out what I’m wearing and you just might want to follow the hashtag #YummieChristina because I’m known to do/give some cool stuff. But that’s all I can say… for now at least.

PS You should follow Yummie Tummie on Facebook and Twitter, too. Go ahead and tell them I sent you…

 


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