Lullabies I actually like, snu:mee Saves the Night

Lullabies I actually like, snu:mee Saves the Night

I was sent a complimentary snu:mee to review in anticipation of the crowdfunding campaign to bring snu:mee to the United States. All opinions are my own. To learn more about my policies regarding reviews and sponsored posts please visit my policies page


I have a secret. I hate lullabies.


Lullabies are ridiculously weird, right? Seriously, the words in most of them make no sense or are things  don’t really want to sing to my sons. We’ve changed a few words around to make them work for our family but, I haven’t found any that I just love to play at night for the kiddos. We recently got a cool little projector for the boys room that came with three lullabies in that general music box sound. While I found it cute at first… about the tenth playing of “Rock-a-bye Baby” and I’m ready to pull my hair out. Of course, my oldest LOVES it and wants to play it all night long.

snu:mee review from A Well Crafted Party - Finally lullabies that I actually like! #spon

Enter snu:mee…


I found out that snu:mee— a music box, mp3 player and baby monitor all in one that has been popular in Europe— was coming to the states with a Indiegogo campaign I instantly said YES I want to be a part of THAT. The three-in-one wonder currently runs about $139, but can be snagged through the campaign for only $79.

The snu:mee comes with some pre-loaded songs and a store of more music. The songs are popular songs made into a music box lullaby. My son now drifts to sleep to lullaby versions of  “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica and “Yellow” by Coldplay. (No words for these songs, because I’m pretty sure Nothing Else Matters as a lullaby might be just as bad as “When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, And down will come baby, cradle and all.”) They do have the classics on there if you want them as well. You can also transfer your own music to the snu:mee or even record your voice for your baby.

You can control your music on the snu:mee itself or, using wifi, control it from your phone. Baby getting fussy and you aren’t able to go right away? Turn on the monitor portion or even talk to baby through the monitor to calm him while you get free.

snu:mee review from A Well Crafted Party #spon

snu:mee features:

  • Baby monitor with up to 300m signal range
  • Feature packed MP3 player
  • Free app for iOS and Android
  • 60 decibel volume limiter for babies’ sensitive hearing
  • Headphone connector
  • Sleep timer allowing you to decide how long the music plays
  • Wi-Fi music streaming
  • Secure connection
  • Variety of cuddly sleeves to choose from! (I chose the star and it is adorable!)
  • 4GB memory, enough for more than 500 songs


snu:mee review from A Well Crafted Party #spon

Aging with the snu:mee


What do you do with your old baby monitors and music boxes when your baby gets older? The snu:mee grows with your baby first turning into a cuddly toy for an older baby by using a snu:mee sleeve and then use it as a MP3 Player for your older kiddo.

I know that this post screams AD like crazy. But, after listening to my millionth music box version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star this little thing has been a very welcome new gadget in our household. We carry it around at night as we are getting ready for bed. The older kid loves it just as much as the younger one. And, I’m ready to get rid of the many other gadgets in our baby’s room that perform one function only. Consider this my very enthusiastic goodbye to my old baby monitor and music box.

If you think the snu:mee is right for you and your family then hop on over to support the crowdfunding campaign and snag your snu:mee for a huge discount. If you aren’t quite there yet, but are ready to listen to new music with your kiddos, check out their free app Baby Stars- rock2sleep on iPhone and Android.

What music solutions have you found for you and your family? Love the classics or have you changed things up?

Real Party: Opal Apple of My Eye Baby Shower

Real Party: Opal Apple of My Eye Baby Shower


Apple Themed Baby Shower for After Baby is Born

My little sister had a baby in January! Since she lives in Oklahoma and I wanted to meet the baby, I decided to wait to throw her a baby shower until after the baby was born. I’m a big fan of Sip & See parties after little ones are born and ready for company. (Check out the awesome Pumpkin-themed Sip & See my sister threw for me.)

Opal Apples had contacted me a few months earlier about the possibility of throwing an Opal Apple party. After trying out their apples and LOVING them I agreed to throw an apple-themed shindig. Luckily for me, my sister and brother-in-law are both teachers so an apple-themed baby shower was perfect for them! The party decor was all supplied by Opal Apples– they sent fun paper lanterns, fans, and poufs that really gave the whole event a celebratory feel.

We decided an “Apple of My Eye” themed open-house-style sip and see where guests could stop in for a light lunch and tasty desserts while they meet the new babe.

awcp-opal-apple-baby-shower02 awcp-opal-apple-baby-shower03

Apple Themed Party Sip & See Menu

We wanted to have a light lunch with healthful options for guests since it was the middle of the day and we were pairing the food with lots of apple-desserts. Our menu included 4 salads, freshly baked croissants, and desserts:

  • Steak Salad with Arugula & Spinach, Thinly Sliced Red Onions, Blue Cheese Crumbles, Opal Apple Slices, and Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Grilled Chicken Salad with Romaine Lettuce, Opal Apples, Dried Cranberries, Parmesan Cheese, & Apple Cider Vinaigrette (check back tomorrow for a recipe!)
  • Chilled Cucumber and Tomato Salad
  • Pasta Salad with Ham & Tomatoes
  • 3 Cheese Croissants
  • Mini Apple Pies
  • Caramel Apple Pie
  • Apple muffins
  • Italian Creme Cake topped with thinly sliced Opal Apples

awcp-opal-apple-baby-shower05 awcp-opal-apple-baby-shower06

Shower Activity

We made the event an open house style party so people could come and go so we didn’t plan a lot of activities for the party. I am not a huge shower-game fan anyways. (Check out the post about the robot baby shower my friend threw for me that had GREAT baby shower activities!) We did want a couple of things people could do if they didn’t feel like chatting.


We had a great time celebrating my brand-new nephew and getting to see friends and family throughout the day. A big thank you to Opal Apples for the great party decor and for introducing me to the tasty, yellow apple.

This post was sponsored by Opal Apples. The thoughts and words in this post are my own. More information about Opal apples: Opal is a bright yellow apple that is like none other with its beautiful appearance, distinctively crunchy texture, floral aroma and a sweet, tangy flavor. But one of the most incredible, and natural features of this non-GMO apple is that it does not brown after cutting so it stays crisp and fresh in your salads and your kids’ lunchboxes.

A Well Crafted Man: My Whole30 Experiment and Shurky Jurky Review

A Well Crafted Man: My Whole30 Experiment and Shurky Jurky Review
Creative Commons Photo via Stephen Oung's Flikr

Creative Commons Photo via Stephen Oung’s Flikr

Cleaning out the system…

In January I changed my diet. I hadn’t been eating foods that would generally be thought of as unhealthy, so I didn’t think this would be a very disruptive experiment. My wife and I had been directed to the Whole30 idea, which basically boils down to eating:

  • meat, pasture-fed and natural, if possible,
  • veggies, in-season are best,
  • some fruit, the higher percentage of water content the better (watermelon has less fructose than mangoes),
  • and a handful of nuts.

Slightly stricter than the Paleo diet it’s based on, it rules out all:

  • sugar,
  • dairy,
  • grains,
  • and legumes.

You’d be surprised how sneaky soy and sugar infest nearly everything in the grocery store. You may also be shocked at how expensive it is to shop for meat and produce, even cutting out those expensive processed foods, and alcohol.

The Whole30 program works like a detox: eliminating food groups that are the usual suspects for food allergens for 30 days, then reintroducing them one at a time. Some symptoms I looked forward to getting rid of: congestion in the mornings, overall fatigue, and once a month headaches. With some skepticism, we decided the pros outweighed the cons, and started the day after New Year’s Day.

We struggled through the first week without too much complaining. Going without half and half in our coffee was a tiny challenge with a nice boost of pride. “Room for cream?” the barista asks. “None for me, thanks; I like it black,” I would smugly say. Going without a glass of wine at dinner was less satisfying, and cutting out beer made me sad. I think I compensated for my lack of beer by over doing the caffeine. My next detox diet will be to go 30 days without caffeine – crazy, I know.

What was most noticeable during the month was the fact that I was always thinking about my diet – even when I wasn’t hungry. It became a part of my identity. I was someone with dietary restrictions. With no history of known food allergies, I’d never had to really think about what I ate. Now, every bite was first mentally reviewed, and queried with the database of “compliant” foods. When my son left a good spoonful of yogurt uneaten, I had to catch myself from finishing up after him. But I felt good – I had clear sinuses each morning, steady energy levels all day, and I felt confident because of my self-discipline.


Snack, snack, snacking…

When you cut out most carbohydrates – and rice, bread, and potatoes previously made up a large portion of my meals – you’re often left hungry. It takes a while for your body to look to proteins and fat for quick energy, when it’s used to getting its fix from carbs. The Whole30 authors also encourage refraining from over-snacking. Somehow, I was supposed to get by on three filling meals and be done with eating. Maybe someone with a slower metabolism could hack that, but I need to eat!

For snacks, I chose:

  • bananas
  • avocados
  • almonds
  • tuna
  • boiled eggs, until they became part of my very essence (seriously, the return on investment for owning chickens has got to be undeniably high).
  • Yams, which are very easy to cook in the microwave.


Snackable Whole30 Compliant Protein from Shurky Jurky

But it was difficult to find snack-able proteins. I liked the idea of finding a good beef jerky for snacking. However, most beef jerky in grocery stores have sugar, added flavors, preservatives, and on and on. With serendipitous timing, the guys from Shurky Jurky had recently sent us a sample of their Whole30 compliant beef jerky. If you want to be adventurous, there’s also their chocolate covered jerky. I’m highly tempted to order their monthly subscription – monthly meat, delivered to my door. I’m not usually a fan of jerky – I find it too peppery and spicy – but this was different. It was chewable, smoky, and delicious beef. And it filled the gaps between meals.

Back to Reality…

January is over, and I can go back to eating whatever I want. It’s a little scary, to be honest. Even though I had to follow a restrictive regimen, my body felt good, and I didn’t have to guess what was causing annoying symptoms, aches, and fatigue. I weathered the gentlest cold virus ever over the last week. I’m not going to attribute mystical healing powers to the Whole30 (c’mon, you gotta admit diet programs can be a little cult-like). But I do think my immune system was strengthened. I’m looking forward to spring in the Pacific Northwest, and testing my immunity against the evil hay-fever. I think my body adjusted to higher amounts of protein from beef, pork, chicken, fish, vegetables, and nuts, and lower amounts of starchy foods. And I don’t want to ruin all my hard work. I’m in a difficult position of deciding how to proceed.

Do I want to keep certain food groups out of my diet, even though my experiment is over? Who does that make me – Brian, who doesn’t eat grains or drink beer anymore? Now, I get to choose.

A Well Crafted Party received a complimentary package of the Whole30 Compliant Shurky Jurky for purposes of review. All opinions are those of  A Well Crafted Man. The portable protein snack is created from beef, bison, turkey, or pork. It is Paleo, Gluten-Free, Primal, & Whole30 compliant. Check out the Shurky Jurky website for more information and to purchase your own gourmet jerky.

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