My Planner

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I LOVE planners. Everything about them makes me happy. Stickers, post-its, pens, markers, writing, doodling, being organized, making lists, aaaagghhh, it just gets me so excited!

I’m so excited to share how I do my planner and planning each week!

First of all, this is the planner I am using right now…

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It’s a Spartina Mermaid Weekly planner and I am obsessed with it. It’s full of girly, empowering, and cute patters, logos, and quotes. I can’t get enough of it! Plus, it goes from August 2016 to December of 2017 so I can use it now and all of next year! You can order your own from the Spartina website here.

Another great planner is the Erin Condren planner. You can personalize them a lot of different ways. Check out her website here and use the code BKREFITBVUOGJDLA for 20% off your order! (Code expires 12/31/16.)

So let’s get into what I do to plan each week! When you open your planner, there is usually a front page/title page area. This is often called your dashboard because you can keep post-its and other useful things there by sticking them to it or making little pockets, etc. Here you can see that right now, I just keep small square post-its there. I use these “on the go” to add little things I don’t want to forget to my future week, so they’re the only ones I need with me. Plus, notice how cute this planner is. “You are mermazing.” C’mon. This planner is the best.

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Before we keep going, it’s important to know that I keep EVERYTHING that is going on in my life and my family’s life, in my cell phone calendar. That’s what I use when I sit down and plan each week in my planner. Sometimes in my phone it’s hard to really see the whole week and what we have going on. That’s why I like to sit down on Sunday night with my phone, planner, stickers, pens, etc. and plan out what the coming week looks like. It helps me get pumped and prepared for the coming week! Plus, it never feels like a chore. To me, sitting down with my planner and box of planner supplies is ME time! Time to relax and be a little crafty.

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Here’s what my planner week might look like when I sit down to start planning. You can see I have a note to remember that my parents are leaving for vacation, and also my usual things like my Body Back workout class, swim lessons, and TV shows I want to remember to watch. (Please don’t judge me- yes, I may occasionally watch Teen Mom and I do love Pretty Little Liars. I know.)

I keep the “recurring” post-its and when I take them off this week, I just flip the page and move them to the next week. There’s just something about seeing these recurring things there each week that I like and then I’ll add new ones or specific ones as I need to. The purpose of using post-its is so you can see everything you have planned for each day. Then, when you write them in you can make everything fit and look pretty.

Here’s what a finished week might look like…

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The first thing I always do is to add washi tape to the top, bottom, and between each day. If you’re not familiar with washi tape, they are small rolls of decorative tape that you can peel up and move and reposition without it hurting your paper. Be aware, they come in so many  freaking cute designs, you’ll want 20 different ones the first time you ever even look at them. They make each week feel different and festive. You can theme each week based on holidays, moods, events, or just whatever you like. You can pick up washi tape at craft stores, Walmart, Target, and online. I have been using the thinner washi tape that is only maybe half and inch wide and it fits much better. You can see in the photo that the top and bottom are a wider tape than the middle ones.

After washi tape, I add different stickers to accent areas or where I might write in certain events. I have a few different workout stickers so I always add them before I write out “Body Back”. I also always add some stickers with positive quotes on them so when I look at my planner throughout the week it makes me feel good!

Then, I start filling in my week’s events, to-do lists, reminders such as TV shows, deliveries I’m expecting, dinners I’m planning to make, anything and everything! I like to write in different fonts, colors, and sizes. It keeps it interesting.

Last, I add more stickers if I want, some swirly doodles, flowers, or words maybe, and anything else that makes me happy, or anything I love or think it needs.

Here’s a few examples of past weeks…

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The whole reason I enjoy planning like this is because all week long, when I look at my planner, it makes me smile. It love it. It’s pretty to look at and it lets me get a great picture of my whole week. Some weeks are better than others, some weeks stay pretty empty, and some weeks turn out so great that I want to carry my planner around and show it to everyone I meet! It’s just fun.

If you like playing with craft and office supplies and like being organized, this could be something to try!

Any planner tips to share, products you love, or questions you have?  Be sure to connect with The Extraordinary Everyday Adventures of a Wife and Mom on Facebook and Instagram! I love hearing from you!

The opinions in this post are entirely my own. No compensation has been given for products featured. 

Jules Roggeman Jewelry GIVEAWAY!

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From the moment I saw it, I fell in love with a gold dipped sea shell necklace that my darling friend Julie had in her jewelry shop. As I was getting ready to go to Hawaii last month I knew I just had to have that necklace to wear on the beach in paradise. It’s dainty, shiny, and flat out gorgeous!

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Since I love my necklace so much, the amazing Julie of Jules Roggeman Jewelry is making it possible for one of my lucky readers to WIN one of your very own! See, dreams do come true!

Here’s how to enter:
1. Follow both The Extraordinary Everyday Adventures of a Wife and Mom and Jules Roggeman Jewelry on Facebook
2. SHARE the Facebook Giveaway post.

For an extra entry: Follow both @eeaofawifeandmom and @jules_roggeman on Instagram and let me know you did in a comment on the FB post.

That’s it! This giveaway ends on Sunday, August 7, 2016 at 11:59pm MST.

Jules Roggeman Jewelry has a great selection of beautiful jewelry including hand stamped, custom pieces! Be sure to check out her Etsy shop here!

This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook or Instagram and all opinions are my own. No compensation has been given for my opinions use of products.

Favorite Things: Summer Edition

Summer is here! The weather is hot and the pools are warm! Even though I’m originally from New York, I’m a west coast girl down to my bones now and I really don’t loathe the heat as do so many other Arizonans. Summer means tank tops, flip flops, the beach, and fun!

Here’s some of my favorite things for summer!

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1. China Mist Passion Fruit Iced Tea- Today just happened to be National Iced Tea Day so it seemed fitting for it to show up on my favorite things for summer. Although, I love it all year, not just during the hot months. This is the same tropical tea you can get at AJ’s and at Pita Jungle. Just hook me right up to an IV of it, because it’s that good. When you buy it to make at home you can save so much money. Plus, you get to drink it whenever you want. Win, win. You can pick it up at Walmart and other grocery stores in the coffee/tea section.

2. Merona A-Line/Easy Waist Dresses from Target- These dresses…I can’t even describe how amazing they are. Comfortable, cute, inexpensive, PERFECT for summer! I {may} have it in 5 different patterns. I just couldn’t help myself! Find it at Target for $19.99.

3. ChapStick Watermelon Splash- This chapstick smells so good and who doesn’t need a good chapstick for summer? I found mine at Walmart in a 3 pack along with coconut and mango too. They’re all perfect for the beach!

4. Amir Argan Oil Touch of Tan Moisturizer- I got this lotion on Amazon because I wanted a moisturizer that would gradually darken to give me a natural, sun kissed glow. I love it. It leaves my skin so hydrated and gives me a great little bit of color. Plus, it goes on like regular lotion so theres nothing to worry about when applying it like there is with actual sunless tanners. It smells good too!

5. James Michelle Necklaces- These necklaces are gorgeous and perfect for the beachy summer look. I have quite a few of her pieces and I love them all. My favorite is the engraved bar which I had made with our anniversary in Roman numerals. My second favorite is the Karma boomerang necklace. They’re simple, sweet, and chic. Check out her website here: http://www.jamesmichelle.com.

As always, tell me some of your favorite things! I love hearing about new products, shows, places, anything!

The Splash Pad: This Mom’s Best Friend

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We love the splash pad. Like LOVE it. I’m not sure if everywhere has jumped on this trend, but here in the greater Phoenix area, they’re everywhere and it’s down right terrific.

There are so many good things about splash pads.

First of all, they’re free. Located in parks, malls, the zoo, and neighborhoods, they are easy to find and don’t cost you anything to get in just to have your toddler run around and stay cool!

Second, they’re free! Just kidding, but it’s a pretty good selling point.

Second, (I feel) they’re pretty safe. The only thing you really have to worry about is your child, who is running full speed through spraying water with their eyes closed, running into another child doing the same thing. For the most part, they can’t really drown, there’s not usually anything to climb up on to fall off of, and I’ve always seen them kept clean.

Third, going to the splash pad completely counts as that day’s bath. Judge if you choose, but it counts.

Fourth, it’s great exercise for kiddos! My little guy can run around like crazy and he doesn’t come home sweaty and smelly. Win!

Also, splash pads get extra bonus points from me if they have shade where the parents can sit, and even more points if it’s all shade so I don’t have to worry about remembering to put sunscreen on my kids.

It’s not even summer yet and we’ve already been enjoying Arizona splash pads! Text some friends with kids, pack some snacks, meet at the splash pad, and have fun while you try to beat the heat! And if you really don’t have good splash pads where you live, maybe it’s time to come visit us in AZ!

Check out this link for a great list of splash pads in Phoenix: Phoenix Splash Pads

I Love You, Hydro Flask

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Welcome to the best water bottle ever. The Hydro Flask keeps hot things hot and cold things cold forever! Up to 24 hours and your water is still cold! I can fill it up with ice and water before bed and then it’s still icy in the morning! Pretty much everyone in Arizona needs one, but no matter where you live, I bet you’ll love it. Here’s the beauty I got…

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You can get the amazing Hydro Flask at Dick’s Sporting Goods, but also on Amazon. If you decide to get one, you might want to also throw a straw lid in your cart. That way you don’t have to unscrew the lid, you can just open it up and hydrate!

As you can see, I’m a little smitten. Ok, not a little. I’m in love! I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!

They’re a little pricy, but I promise, it’s worth it. Mine was the first thing on my Christmas list. If you’ve got a birthday coming up, it’s a great thing to ask for. Bat those eye lashes and work some magic!

I’d love to hear your feedback if you try one out!

 

The opinions in this post are entirely my own. I have not received any compensation for this review.  All images are property of Hydro Flask.

Favorite Things Friday #2

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Here’s a few of my current favorite things. Round 2!

  1. High Fitness– This is an intense workout class that is so much fun! You are moving and dancing around the whole time, listening to great music, and pushing yourself to really feel the burn! You can check out if there’s any classes near you by going to their website at highfitness.com. I am seriously addicted!
  2. Keep Collective Brushed Silver Pendant– I recently became a designer for Keep Collective- a sister company under Stella and Dot.  One of my favorite pieces is this pendant necklace. I have the silver, but the gold and rose gold are gorgeous too! You can choose whatever keys (charms) you want to put on your pendant to fit your personality. I have the script word “love” on mine and every time I look at it, I love it even more. You can check out all the Keep Collective jewelry by clicking here to go to the website!
  3. The Dunkin Donuts app– Dunkin Donuts has proven they are here to push Starbucks around a little bit. If you like coffee and still don’t have their app, you are missing out! They offer a free medium hot or iced coffee the day after our Arizona Cardinals win, and last week I saw that they also give app members a free coffee the day after the Diamondbacks win at home! The app is FREE, you just have to add at least $2.50 to your account when signing up. I’ve also received free coffee coupons for filling out surveys. They are awesome and know how to keep you coming back. My favorite drink choice is the medium iced decaf mocha coconut with cream and one Splenda.  (I know, decaf!? But since I’m still nursing I try to cut back on the caffeine when I can.)
  4. Vans Classic Slip-On baby socks– We originally bought these when M was born three years ago and he wore them all the time. Now H is wearing them and they’re just as cute as ever! Everyone comments on them about how awesome they look. At $28 for six pairs, they are a great little splurge for something fun for your little one or a way cool baby shower gift for a friend. You can buy them online here.
  5. Once Upon a Time– Are you watching this show!? We finally decided to give it a try and we are so glad we did. The fourth season just premiered last week, but we just started watching from the beginning a couple weeks ago. Fairytale characters, great story lines, it’s so much fun to watch. We just began season 2, so don’t give anything away! But really, if you haven’t watched, you can start now and then we can talk about it! It’s on Netflix so get started right away. 😉

I hope you’ll try some of my favorite things, and as always, share some of your favorite things with me!  Maybe I’ll see you at a High Fitness class!

PicMonkey

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Many people ask me what program or site I use to edit and create all different kinds of images.  My response is always the same…PicMonkey!

PicMonkey is a FREE site that you can use to design, create, and edit images. You also have the option to upgrade to a Royale membership, which I highly recommend, for around $35 a year. As amazing as all the FREE content is, the upgrade gives you even more. I think it’s completely worth it.

Here’s just a few things you can do with PicMonkey…

edit photos– crop, change exposures like brightness and darken, sharpen, soften, add filters, airbrush flaws, reduce wrinkles, whiten teeth, touch up makeup, etc.

create your own designs– using your own photo or starting from scratch, you can create your own images easily. All of the graphics I make for awifeandmom.com are made using PicMonkey. You can add text, images, overlays, colors, borders, anything! They always have the most fun and hip graphics to add to your creations and seasonal extras are always being added and updated. Spooky themes for Halloween and festive ideas for winter. I love them all!

I also use PicMonkey to design invitations and announcements.  Start with a blank design and create with images, fonts, and colors until it’s perfect, then print them out at a photo center in 5×7 and you’ve just made the easiest and most adorable invitations! They also have collage options.

Did I mention that PicMonkey is SO easy to use? I promise you, you can do it, even if you’re less than tech savvy. Go check them out and fall in love with their site and services!
Update: PicMonkey now has a mobile app!! Yessss!

Share with me! Tell me about your favorite creative photo editing program or site!

Image from mommylikewhoa.com
All opinions are my own and I have not received any compensation for this post.

Local Food and Drink Favorites

If you’re local in Arizona, here’s a list for you!  I’ve compiled our favorite local restaurants, old and new, and why we love them.

If you’re not local, I challenge you to compile and share a list of your favorite food and drink spots in  your area!

Budgeting can be difficult when there’s so much good food around! Here they are in no particular order…

af8a39668d7e24ecae40b58a3525aeda1. Mangos– Mangos is located in downtown Mesa on Main Street. It’s right next to Milano’s Music store. I’ve been going there for almost 15 years now and I love it every time. When Josh and I first started dating, I brought him there and it instantly became one of his favorites too. They have the BEST salsa and chips which they bring to your table right after you order. (Any Mexican restaurant that doesn’t give free chips and salsa makes me sad. It’s only the best part.) Back in my meat eating days the shredded chicken tacos were so delicious, and you can never go wrong with a plain old bean and cheese burrito wrapped in a soft flour tortilla. From the Killer Burrito to the fish tacos, you shouldn’t be disappointed!

 

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2. So Cal Fish Tacos– Do you see a theme? Mexican food? We can’t help it. Arizona has Mexican food like nowhere else.  We probably have some sort of burritos, tacos, or quesadillas at least half of the nights in a week. Our quesadilla maker hardly leaves our counter top. But back to So Cal…located in downtown Gilbert, So Cal has not only great food, but the best atmosphere. A laid back, calming, Southern California surf themed restaurant that makes you feel like you’re a mile from the beach, not in the middle of the desert. They even have a great patio in the back. We liked the feel of the restaurant so much, its what we based M’s room on when we moved into our new house. If you go, you have to try the Mexicali Shrimp Cocktail. Tomatoes, onion, cucumber, jalapeño with delicious shrimp served with tortilla chips. Mmmmm.

 

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3. Postino– Postino is a wine cafe and has more than one location. We go to the one in downtown Gilbert, just steps away from So Cal.  Postino is famous for their bruschetta boards. You get to pick four different types of bruschetta and they make up your board. It is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. My favorites are the warm artichoke, white bean hummus, traditional tomato, basil, and mozzarella, ricotta with pistachios and dates, and the brie with apples and fig. I’ve also heard good things about the one with salami and the prosciutto one too. Josh was hesitant the first time we went thinking it was going to be food that he wouldn’t care for based on what I had told him. He ended up loving it and now we spend quite a few date nights there. Just thinking about it makes me want to get in the car and drive there right now. But the sleeping baby and toddler with no pants on tells me otherwise.

 

EhsxLQrS4. The Soda Shop– This one is brand new and has become an instant crowd pleaser. The Soda Shop is located in Milbert (the border of Mesa and Gilbert) at Greenfield and Baseline. It’s in the same plaza as the new Fat Cats amusement center. They have all sorts of sodas, flavors, fruit purees, etc. that are mixed into the most wonderful creations. The last one I got was the Life’s a Peach- I think it had Dr. Pepper, mango, peach, and half and half. And you can make your own! They also sell heavenly cookies which I hear are from the Sweet Tooth Fairy Bake Shop, also located in the same plaza. Such a great place to go for a date, after school treat, or just whenever! Oh, and they also have a drive thru which makes me love them a hundred times more because no one has to get out of their car seats! Yessssss!

 

6. Burgerfi5. Burger-Fi– First of all, you can order their fries in a size called a bucket or whatever they call it and you can order them either limp (soft) or crispy, and you can get them with cheese. They also offer other toppings for fries like salt & vinegar, parmesan & herb, cajun, and chili. The fries are all I really need, but since their veggie burger (made with vegetables and quinoa) is amazing, of course, I get that too. Burger-Fi has become one of my favorite places over the last year or so. The first time I went I thought, “Yeah, it was good.” The next time I thought, “Wow, that was even better than last time.” and by the third and fourth times, I was so looking forward to it and it just kept getting better. Their “Fi-sauce” is full of flavor and is one of the best parts. I even get extra on the side to dunk my cheese fries in. They also have hot dogs and dreamy custard shakes and treats. There’s 75 locations, but only one in Arizona located in Mesa on Val Vista right across from Dana Park.

 

0906407c-8659-4eb2-89d8-c17507cb3a92.jpg6. Salsa Cabana– Again, Mexican food. Sorry, not sorry. Salsa Cabana is one of those small, hidden gems with the BEST burritos. They are well priced and portions are huge. I’ve never heard anything other than great reviews about their food and some of our favorites are their breakfast burritos, the Burrito Mexicano, the fish tacos, and the taco salad. My favorite is the Burrito Mexicano. You can call in your order and pick it up right on your way home. Or even if it’s not on your way home like me, you just go get it anyway. Located on Greenfield and Brown.

There you have a few of our favorite places to eat. Have you tried any of them before? What’s your favorite things to order?

If you’ve never been to these places, maybe it’s time you try something new! Let me know how you love them!

Mangos photo from mangosmexicancafe.com

So Cal photo from @dished_out on instagram

Postino photo from East Valley Tribune

Salsa Cabana photo from ezlocal.com

Modern Wrap- Nursing Cover

 

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You guys. I am so in love with my new nursing cover and have to tell you about it.

Let’s go back to a little over a month ago…we were at the bowling alley using our POGO PASSes to bowl our free game for the week (if you’re interested in the POGO PASS and want more info on how to get yours for 60% off, you can read that post here) and I saw a woman with an amazingly simple, yet perfectly designed, nursing cover. I asked her where she had gotten it and she told me Modern Wrap.

I knew I was hooked and I hadn’t even looked at their site yet!

I headed to the Modern Wrap site and saw that each nursing cover was $58. That’s a pretty good chunk of change. Since we’re a one income family and I am trying really hard to live on a budget, I was trying to be strong and not make any frivolous purchases. But…I have very little willpower and I just couldn’t stop thinking about how much I needed that nursing cover! I rationalized with important points such as “I’ve still got months and months left of breastfeeding, I should get it now before too much time passes!” and “It doubles as a carseat cover too, so it’s really double duty!” Both are true and so I ordered one.

It shipped quickly and on the very day I got my shipping confirmation, they posted on their Instagram that you could get 40% off your order by reposting. WHAT!? I felt like I was being punished for making an unnecessary purchase. Here’s the best part…I commented on their Instagram that my order just shipped and I couldn’t believe I missed the sale by such a small amount of time. They immediately replied and told me to email them and they would  see what they could do.

After emailing them and letting them know my situation, they happily took the 40% off my order, refunded me the difference, and I have a nursing cover that I absolutely love.

This company is wonderful and I could tell they care about their customers. They didn’t have to honor the sale for me, but they did. They wanted me to be happy so I’m spreading the word!

Now, let’s talk about the cover! It’s so soft and light weight. My little man doesn’t get too hot and sweaty underneath it and I’m not dying having to wear it in the Arizona heat. It’s stylish and keeps every part of me completely covered. And don’t forget, it’s also a cover for your carseat to keep away the sun, wind, or sweet old people from touching your baby! Modern Wrap also has other items such as baby wrap carriers and swaddle wraps. Check them out. If you make a purchase, I know you’ll love your items just as much as I love mine!

Take a look around their site: modernwrap.com

Let me know if you buy anything!

 

Favorite Apps for Kids

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As much as I’d like to be the mom whose children don’t spend more than a few minutes a day watching TV or staring at an iPad, it’s just not always how it is.  Sometimes, as a mom, dad, or care giver, you just need some quiet, down time. Time to yourself, time to get dinner started, time to feed the baby, etc. and allowing my {almost} three year old to watch shows and play games on his iPad (yes, he has his own, go ahead and judge me) is easy. There are some days when “easy” is the best you can do.  Mason uses his iPad to practice his letters, numbers, fine motor skills, colors, shapes, to learn songs, animals,…a ton of great things. So when he watches Paw Patrol or Curious George, I have to know that’s OK too.

We go outside, we play with toys, we build forts, we get creative with art supplies, and we watch TV. It’s just part of what we do.

So, I decided to put together a list of our favorite apps for babies, toddlers, and children. Many are free, and some are not. I know these are all on the AppStore, but I can’t say if they’re on Android as well. You’ll have to let me know if you’re an Android user.

endless-reader-1-l-280x2801. and 2.  Endless Numbers and Endless Reader– These apps are great. Endless numbers works on number recognition, counting, fine motor skills as you child “catches” the number and drags it to where it belongs. It also incorporates addition. Endless Reader is the same format, but children become familiar with words and the letters that make up each word. They also incorporate sentence structure, not just isolated words. If I remember correctly, you can start off with a small amount of numbers for free, but then you have to purchase additional numbers. Definitely worth it though.

icon180x1803. Pretty much all of the Fisher Price apps – These are all free and awesome for babies and toddlers. They have storybook ones that include nursery rhymes such as Pat a Cake, Hickory Dickory Dock, The Animal Fair, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Buckle My Shoe, and Itsy Bitsy Spider. They also have a counting one called “Let’s Count” that incorporate animals and their sounds as they cover the numbers 1-10. All of these apps also have fun bright colors and sounds to engage and peak the interest of babies and toddlers.

the-wheels-on-the-bus-100-l-280x2804. The Wheels On The Bus – This app has grown with us. You can listen to and sign along with the song, play a memory matching game, drive the bus on a racing type game, and more. At first I thought it was cheesy, but Mason has always enjoyed it and the fact that theres multiple things to do within it.

88x88xICON_Disney.png.pagespeed.ic.YiuVVfaRS85. Disney Junior Appisodes – This app is free, but you have to purchase any “appisodes” that you want to actually play. They have Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc McStuffins, etc. You are watching an episode, but it becomes interactive and your child gets to help the characters, click on stuff, and play little games as part of the episode. You can get the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally Appisode for free. Honestly, I think they’re too expensive, but they are fun. I have purchased one or two for Mason after we got iTunes gift cards, but they’re not something we purchase often.

These are just a few of our favorite apps, in addition to the regulars like Netflix and NickJr. Mason also watches anything that involves big trucks, buses, firetrucks, and trains. If you have boys and want to know more about our favorite truck apps and shows, just let me know.

Maybe the next time you’re stuck in the car or doctor’s office and your kiddos are trying really hard to be good, you’ll give one of these apps a try.  Share your favorites too! I’d love to hear what apps your children are loving right now!

*These opinions are entirely my own and were not sponsored in any way.