Book Review – Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age

In Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age, author Maya Thiagarajan examines not only the whys but also the hows that lead to the creation of academically-intense cultures. She provides a unique first person account of living and experiencing education in three cultures. […]

Caboo

Caboo Products offer a range of sustainable products creatively manufactured with keeping our environment in mind. By using bamboo and sugarcane – fast-growing grasses and not hardwoods – as sustainable alternatives, the company produces kitchen roll towels, toilet paper or bathroom tissues, baby wipes, facial tissues, travel wipes, and table napkins.

I recently had the opportunity to use and review Caboo Products‘ Essentials Pack that included a 4-pack Bath Tissue, Facial Tissue Pocket Packs, Baby Wipes with a Flip Top, and a Travel Wipes pack.

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Chalk Markers, Chalk Pens, Chalkboard Pens, Chalkboard Markers, or Dry Erase Markers…by any name are just a lot of fun to use and enjoy. I recently had the opportunity to review Chalk Markers by Chalkola and now having used it for a few days, and seeing just how much my little boy and I enjoy using them and discovering new surfaces to try them on, I know for a fact that these are really cool to use.

I received the following for review and TJ and I were very excited to start using them.

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Chalk Markers – Pack of 10 neon color pens. For Chalkboard, Whiteboard, Window, Labels, Bistro, Glass – Wet Wipe Erasable – 6mm Bullet Tip – This packet included 10 medium size markers and a bonus 6 metallic markers’ set.

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Chalkola Chalk Markers & Metallic Colors – Pack of 16 chalk pens – For Chalkboard, Whiteboard, Window, Labels, Bistro – 5.5mm Bullet Tip with 8 gram ink – This packet included 8 thicker jumbo sized markers.

Once you open the lid, you have to tap the pens into a slate/writing surface a few times to get the ink/liquid chalk flowing. This took a little while and a lot of taps, more than we expected. While Aaron and I were okay with this, TJ was losing patience trying to get the ink to come. I would recommend that adults get the flow on the tips going before letting a kid know about the markers or handing over to them if patience is a concern.

(You can see in the picture above (L) the plain tip of the Purple marker prior to tapping to get the ink flowing and you can see the saturated nib of a Red marker, after the many taps.)

Otherwise, TJ loved just tapping the pens so much that even now, when there is no need to tap them, he still just likes doing the taps (something of which I don’t approve because that just wastes the ink).

We were enthralled by how bright and smooth writing with these markers felt.

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In the picture above, A, B, and C was written when the green liquid chalk ink had just started to flow. E and F were written progressively as the ink saturated the nib. The ink dried quickly but I did need to use a wet cloth when a dry one did not get everything off completely. Even after using a wet cloth, it left some shadow residue on the slate (see below). The Black regular marker was a little more reluctant to leave the slate surface and we still have it there (you can see it somewhat in the small red tapping picture above)

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I have tried the markers on different kinds of surfaces but I am yet to explore its many possibilities. So far, I have used the markers on a slate board, regular painting paper for kids, a dry-erase board, window glass, and a plastic storage container. I have also used them to date hard copies of photographs. All of the surfaces have proven perfect for the Chalkola markers and the markers, to their credit, have been incredibly resilient, staying strong until wiped away with a wet cloth.

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I have really enjoyed using these markers. I wasn’t even aware that such things existed until I had the opportunity to review this product and honestly, I really am thrilled about them. The only reason I don’t use them much is because I don’t want to run out of the chalk-ink. Hehehe.

TJ loves using these. We have tried all the different colors and they are just so vibrant! I am always thinking of new non-porous surfaces to try them on next. They clean off really easily from everywhere we needed them off of – from my child’s shorts that he had on when we started using them to his skin to our rug. The variety of colors is just right and although I haven’t tried this yet, I do plan on mixing some of the colors to create even more. Another thing I haven’t done but want to, is use the different sides of the angled tip to write/design/draw with different thickness points.

The metallic colors, which don’t need to be tapped and come ready-to-use from the pack, are gorgeous too but I prefer the exuberance of the regular colors. The difference in tips can be seen in the image below.

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Final Thoughts

I really, really LOVE these Chalkola Chalk Markers. I am really excited to use and try them on different kinds of surfaces. My almost-three-year old loved using them too but they are better suited for someone who is perhaps 4 years or older or just someone who can handle the excitement of using them better 🙂
They are odorless, non-toxic, vibrant, and smooth. I love that they come off of surfaces you don’t want them on. You are only limited by your creativity in how you choose to use them. I am not much of an artist but if you are or know someone who is, these are great gifts. 


 

Special to my readers: If you are interested in purchasing a set of Chalkola Chalk Markers, use the code: 20OFFSTR during checkout at Amazon.com. Enjoy!

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you use my links to make a purchase, I get a little commission based on your purchase. Thank you for your support.

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I have to say, the idea behind this product is absolutely genius!! Had I known about this product when I was pregnant with either of my kids, I would have, without doubt, bought one or two different packs to see what works for my little ones as newborns. Now, I plan on giving these as baby shower gifts. Curious, yet? Read on.

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I recently had the opportunity to use and review CheekyTummy’s “Jesse” Diaper Bag Backpack. My review is based on my first impressions of the bag and experience after using it for two weeks.

I was contacted by email and asked if I may be interested in reviewing the Diaper Bag to which I agreed. The product was then sent to me via Amazon.com.

At the very outset, as soon as you open the box to dig out your Diaper Backpack, you get a sense of just how sturdy the bag and its construction is! There was a little bit of a chemical smell when I first opened the bag which may be expected from any new product of this kind but it did not last very long.

My immediate impressions of the bag were that this is one bag that is build to last multiple kids and many years of wear.

Front & Back: The Backpack has a glazed (somewhat shiny) black polyester exterior with the brand’s name on one of the front pockets. The front exterior has three generously spaced pockets. At the back of the Backpack are thick padded shoulder straps which are a must for any diaper bag just because these bags can get excruciatingly heavy as most parents know. To add to the comfort, the back of the bag that rests on your back when you carry it is also padded, which makes perfect ergonomic sense. As someone who has a bad back, I appreciate this feature a lot.

Sides & Pockets: As I turned the Backpack 360 degrees, I couldn’t help but notice the many (11!!) pockets and got more and more impressed with just how much thought had gone into designing this bag.

The images above are the two sides of the Backpack. As you can see, altogether, there are 4 pockets that meet multiple needs. On the left side, there is an open zippered side pocket, ideally suited for diapers, and another one for wipes. Of the two pockets on the right, one is insulated for carrying bottles of milk or formula. The second and bigger one is a multipurpose utility pocket that can easily fit empty bottles, measured formula, feeding spoons and food pouches, and so on.

In addition, there are THREE front pockets for the many, many little things we have to carry in our diaper bags.

The picture on the left is of the topmost pocket (I love the inner yellow lining. What a soft gender-neutral color!). In the second picture, I am holding the openings of the first two pockets, one secured with velcro and another with a zipper.

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Finally, the inner main pocket includes a black changing pad and a utility or sundry pouch. The pad is soft and a decent size, enough for a newborn. With kids who are now 7 months and 2 years, I don’t see myself using this pad. Instead, I carry a large absorbent sheet (like the ones they give you at the hospital after you give birth – white with blue edges) that fits all restroom changing tables.

The pouch is not insulated but it is perfectly handy for all the its-and-bits that we need to carry that may not fit into the other pockets.

After using the Backpack for two weeks, there are a number of things I really like about it.

First, I like how light weight it is even after carrying diapers in two sizes, a receiving blanket that doubles as a mess-cleanup cloth, change of clothes for two kids, a giant pack of wipes, a sippy cup, numerous other wipes (Boogie Wipes for the nose, Hand & Face Wipes, and Antibacterial Wipes), a water bottle, and snacks. I don’t need to carry as many things as maybe parents of newborns who need to carry more diapers given more frequent changes or extra change of clothes but I do need to carry a decent amount of things for 2 kids so this amount of space is really great for my needs.

Second, I appreciate the many pockets. Pockets to a diaper bag are what cup holders are to a car. Essential. Absolutely essential. The more, the better and you can never have too many. This Bag has three on the front exterior, two on each side of the bag, three interior pockets, one of which is a zippered closure and a spacious main pocket to hold the majority of your diapering needs.

Third, and something I haven’t mentioned yet, are the stroller straps that come designed into the Backpack. I have slung the bag using its grab handle as well as the stroller straps and prefer the latter because the first way brushed the bag against the wheels of my jogging stroller.

Given the sheer number of diaper bags on the market today, you have a lot to choose from. The Jesse Diaper Bag Backpack is definitely a pleasure to carry because of its light weight and many, easily accessible pockets. Although it lacks a designated “Mommy” pocket, I could use any one of the exterior pockets for all of my things like a cell phone, water bottle, keys, a credit card, ID, and some cash which is usually what I carry.

My height falls under the ‘petite’ category so the bag does look a little bulky on me when seen from the back but I am not carrying a diaper bag for fashion and have no twisted notions of wanting to look fashionable carrying a diaper bag. If that is your thing, then you may have to weigh what is more important to you – how YOU look in a diaper bag or a diaper bag that is actually useful. I pick the latter. A backpack diaper bag is perfect.

The only things I can think of that would make this product even better are little bag feet at the bottom of the Backpack in case I have to put it on a dirty floor for whatever reason. I understand it is a shoulder Backpack and not supposed to be on a floor (any bag/purse for that matter). Still, it would be good to have this option.

Final Thoughts

If you are the practical, everyday mother who needs a diaper bag while hauling one or more kids back and forth from activities and early preschool, you wouldn’t find a better fit than the Jesse Diaper Bag Backpack by CheekyTummy. It costs around $59.95 which is much, much lower than some pretty looking but generally non-spacious diaper bags. Shipping is free over $75. The website’s description of the product and images are really helpful in understanding better just how user-friendly this bag really is. This is a really great product at a very reasonable price and if you are in the market for a diaper bag, definitely consider this one. 

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