Review & Give Away!! Connects by Fathom Company

I am not an obsessive shopper, by any means, but I loooove finding great new toys for Little A and her friends. I was thrilled to receive a collection of Connects, by Fathom-Toys, to review.

Connects are little, colorful, plastic, chain-link pieces that come in sturdy clear containers to keep them corralled. Of course I asked- the plastic is free of BPA, phthalates and lead and is compliant with ASTM F963 and EN71.

I could hardly wait to open the containers. 6 1/2 year-old Little A and her 7 year-old cousin wasted no time getting started. I had a strong feeling that my daughter would love them, but I was surprised to see my very energetic, talkative, very busy nephew sit for 45 minutes working on a beautiful, intricate necklace for his mom- AND THEN HE CAME BACK FOR MORE! It was awesome to see these two little ones, who are usually running around, maybe secretly competing for loudest child in the family, sit together, quietly focused and creating little pieces of wearable art.

Connects: bright, colorful little links

Connects: bright, colorful little links

We’ve had our Connects for about a month now, and they have quickly become one of Little A’s go-to sources of fun and entertainment and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. She loves to sort and count them, make long strands, design and create necklaces, bracelets, spy-belts to hold her clip on spy gear, leashes for her stuffed animals, and more. I like that they are portable- they don’t weigh much and are fun to bring just about anywhere.

I love that Fathom-Company is a mom-owned business. Marcela is a sweet, determined, hard-working mom who started her company with the goal of creating a multi-use toy to engage her daughters- and she did!

“I’ll still use these when I’m a grown-up!”- exclaimed by Little A as she listed all of the things she plans to do with Connects!

Other cool ideas included in her rant:

    • Make a dress
    • Cover my whole body in them
    • Make anklets and knee braces. (??)
    • OMG- I can make ornaments!
    • Make bags
    • Make banners & decorations

She did have one suggestion for improvement as she was cleaning up a big pile of Connects: “I wish that they were magnetic, so I could just use a big magnet to clean them up!” While I think that’s smart thinking, I’m going to disagree with her suggestion. I would be too nervous to have so many tiny magnets in the house with little kids and animals! Sorry kid- you can pick them up the old fashioned way. 😉

If you’d like to try Connects, you can enter to win a Tall Pail- 950 pieces!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’re already itching to start your own collection, you can order online and save 15% with Mommy Business promo code MB2015!

While Fathom-Company did give us a collection of Connects to review, all reviews are always our honest opinions. Plus, I love them so much I’ve already purchased more to give as gifts!

Follow Connects on Instagram for some great ideas for fun projects!

Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter app and notified by October 10 at midnight eastern time. Prize will be shipped directly from Fathom Company.


MSTK bio picMelissa Kaye is a Boston-based green living expert, writer, radio personality, food safety advocate, mom, and wife. She is currently working her way through grief and learning how to live without her would-be 10 year old son, Joshua, who died July 7, 2014 of E. Coli. With her husband and two daughters, she has founded Joshua Kaye Foundation, which will honor what was important to Josh- community, fairness and animal welfare. 

Connect with Melissa at mommybusiness.net or on Twitter @mstkaye and @mommybiz7. 

Review: Enjoy Life Muffin Mix

Enjoy Life sent us a beautiful package with lots of their mixes to try out. It was so exciting to open the box and see all of the yummy options, along with a fancy new oven mitt, pizza cutter, spatula and wooden spoon. Such great packaging and presentation. Enjoy Life knows what they’re doing!

Such great packaging and so many goodies!

Such great packaging and so many goodies!

We have lots of food allergies in our families. Jenn’s kids are allergic to mango, peanuts, tree nuts, pistachio, cashew, and sesame.

At my house, we’ve got Little A with gluten, oats, soy, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, all legumes, cinnamon, sesame and sunflower seed. We keep things very simple and cook & bake with as few ingredients as possible. I’m allergic to clams, gluten, and dairy, and my husband, Andy, is lobster, egg, banana. The great news is that even Andy can have these mixes. ALL OF THEM!! It’s so hard to find safe mixes that don’t include egg, but Enjoy Life has solved that problem! Every box is free of the top 8 allergens. The only ingredients you need to add are: water and the oil of your choice! (I use Kirkland brand organic olive oil from Costco.)

This sweet new wooden spoon is perfect to use with my favorite mixing bowl!

This sweet new wooden spoon is perfect to use with my favorite mixing bowl!

It was rainy and chilly in Boston today, so I spent the afternoon baking! I started with some muffins. I’m sure they would have been good just plain, but I added blueberries and a crumb topping, because Andy likes berries!

Fresh Maine Wild Blueberries- YUM!

Fresh Maine Wild Blueberries- YUM!

The muffins came out great! The flavor and feel is as good as my from-scratch muffins. To make them even more perfect, I would add 1/2-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract next time. And chocolate chips. I love blueberries, but Enjoy Life chocolate chips are my weakness!!!!!

I ate two immediately after taking this photo!

I ate two immediately after taking this photo!

 

A couple of notes:

If you’re going to add blueberries, be sure to toss them in a little gluten-free flour first. This will help them hang out in the muffin without sinking to the bottom.

They’re yummy warm, with a little butter (or Earth Balance soy-free spread) but I think the taste and texture are best after they cool for a bit.

Mmmmmm... warm with butter!

Mmmmmm… warm with butter!

 

My recipe for crumb topping:

3 Tablespoons butter, or butter substitute, very cold and chopped into little pieces

1 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 Cup gluten-free flour

 

Mix with a fork or your fingers until it is blended and crumbly.

Sprinkle on top of muffins, bake, and enjoy!

*As mentioned above, the mixes were sent to us by Enjoy Life, so that Jenn & I could try them and write an honest review. As always, opinions on MommyBusiness.net are our own. You know we always tell truth! -M