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Tips for Taking Your Tiny Baby or Toddler to Disneyland

Tips for Taking Your Tiny Baby or Toddler to Disneyland

The most common question/request we get is asking for tips for taking tiny babies or toddlers to Disneyland. Hamm’s first trip to Disneyland was in October 2017 when he was a little less than 2 months old. Although he will never remember it, we took […]

Slinky Dog Costume DIY, A Complete Step by Step Tutorial

Slinky Dog Costume DIY, A Complete Step by Step Tutorial

Disclosure: This tutorial was sponsored by Primary.com and they provided clothing to create this costume.  This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase anything through these links I receive a small commission that helps support this channel and allows us to continue making videos like […]

A Dad’s Review of the Smart Beat Monitor

A Dad’s Review of the Smart Beat Monitor


Note: This blog post is sponsored by Smart Beat. I received a free Smart Beat monitor in exchange for my honest review. 

As a technology and computer nerd, I am always excited to see the latest trends in technology. It has been especially exciting to see the trend of using technology to help track, monitor and improve personal health. The Smart Beat monitor has helped me monitor the health and safety of my little boy Beckham. Anyone who is a parent knows the stress and anxiety that comes from wondering if your baby in the other room is okay. Even with other monitors, I would find myself still going into the room to check that Beckham was breathing. 

Smart Beat is designed to detect and monitor your baby’s breathing and alert you if something changes. Smart Beat is able to identify more than 16 million shades of color and checks 2 million pixels 20 times per second looking for any changes in color. This feature is definitely not a gimmick, and as long as the monitor is set up correctly it works very well. Overall I was very impressed with the monitor and am especially excited to use it with our little baby girl that is on the way. 

Setup/Installation

The Smart Beat Monitor comes with the following in the box:

  • Camera
  • Mounting kit (Screws, Anchors, Command Strips, Wall Clips to manage cords)
  • Base station
  • Power cords
  • Network cable
  • Instructions

Paper instructions are included in the box but I highly recommend downloading the app first and just walking through the instructions in the app. The app walks you through step by step exactly what to do to get your Smart Beat monitor up and running. Installation and setup went very smooth other than a hiccup with connecting the device to my wifi. However, there was an alternate setup button which then had me connect my phone to the camera’s own wifi and it did the rest from there.

Overall I was super impressed with the setup and installation process and just how easy to follow along it was. The Smart Beat mobile application is available on both iOS and Android. 

Daily Use

Once the monitor is set up, using it is just as easy. All you need is your smartphone with the Smart Beat app installed which you will do during the setup process. To get started with monitoring simply tap the “begin monitoring” button in the app and you will instantly be able to see HD video and track breathing. 

Some of the features include:

  • Motion and Breath Detection – The app will alert you not only about breathing (none, too fast, too slow), but also will detect motion to determine if the baby is asleep or awake. This feature works very nicely, however, if you have a toddler like Beckham who moves around a lot in their sleep you may get a false awake alert. 
  • Breathing Rate Chart – This is actually really cool because you can see how your babies breathing rate (BPM, Breaths Per Minute) trends over time. As I am writing this article Beckham’s breathing rate is around 26 which is lower than the suggested healthy rate. I am guessing this is because he is sick but it will be good to continue tracking.  
  • Pan & Tilt/HD-Video – The camera has an excellent range of motion so I can even check in on Beckham when he is just playing in his room. You can control the pan, tilt and digital zoom directly from the mobile app. The camera also has night vision and  two-way audio. 
  • Data Encryption –  As an IT Professional I know just how easy it can be to hack into a standard Wi-FI camera. However, Smart Beat uses data encryption similar to how banks keep your information secure. This gives me the peace of mind to know that the creeps out there can’t hack into my Smart Beat camera. 
  • Remote Viewing – You don’t have to be connected to the same WiFi as the Smart Beat camera to access the camera. This would be a great feature for anyone who leaves their kids with a babysitter. I just love using it to check-in and see my sweet boy during my workday. It is just a nice reminder of my reason why I work so hard.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend the Smart Beat monitor to any parent who wants to rest assured that their baby is breathing. I think it would be very beneficial if your child was born prematurely or has any other high-risk condition. I know that there are several types of breathing, heart and oxygen monitors out there but most of them require wearing some sort of wearable which can be a hassle and not realistic once your child figures out how to use their hands.  

The only negatives I have about this camera are the false alerts and the sometimes glitchy app. The good news though is that like all technology, things will only get better with Smart Beat. Their developers and engineering team are working hard every day to improve the product and software to ensure they provide the best product possible and keep your family safe. It really just is so incredible how it accurately tracks your baby’s breathing. 

Smart Beat is currently available to order from their website for just under $250 and includes Free Shipping. Smart Beat also includes a 90-day money-back guarantee and a 12-month warranty. Smart Beat plans to have the monitors available in retailers starting in 2020.

Easy and Healthy Snacks to Pack for Disneyland

Easy and Healthy Snacks to Pack for Disneyland

This blog post is sponsored by Cuties! I will be honest Disneyland has some of the most delicious snacks. They have churros, ice cream, pretzels, turkey legs, corn dogs, popcorn and so much more. However, the fact that most of these Disneyland snacks start at […]

Five Reasons Why I Loved Disneynature’s Penguins

Five Reasons Why I Loved Disneynature’s Penguins

Disneynature’s Penguins opens in theaters on April 17th (Earth Day) 2019. I had the opportunity of attending an early screening of this movie and I absolutely loved it. Disneynature’s Penguins is a true life story that follows an Adélie Penguin named Steve through his journey […]

Live Action Kim Possible Review

Live Action Kim Possible Review

Disney Channel’s Kim Possible is now available on DVD and Digital.

Kim Possible is just your basic average girl but she was here to save the world in the animated series that ran on the Disney Channel from 2002 – 2007. Now after more than 10 years, she has returned in her very first live-action DCOM (Disney Channel Original Movie). Disney Studios seems to be on a kick with live action recreations and Disney Channel is no exception.

I have loved watching all of the Disney Channel Original Movies since I was a kid, so naturally, I was excited to see this movie. I watched the live action Kim Possible movie the night that it aired on Disney Channel and honestly I was very entertained for the entire 86 minute runtime of the movie.

The movie is based on the line “high school makes saving the world look easy.” On top of trying to battle the diabolical Dr. Drakken, Kim must face her most difficult challenge yet, high school. Just like any typical movie things are a little over dramatized. I know some kids can be ruthless but high school is really not as bad as this and other movies make it seem. Overall I thought the story was entertaining but it was very predictable. I always love to see a good twist but this plot was as predictable as a Hallmark movie.

The acting was good especially for a cast made up of mostly youth. I must say though that the special effects and acting were very cheesy and overdramatized. Honestly, that is kind of to be expected in a Disney Channel Original Movie and part of the reason I enjoyed them when I was little and still do. If anything you will have a good laugh especially during most of the fight scenes.

I really thought the casting was perfect for all of the characters. There was even a super fun cameo appearance from Christy Carlson Romano. Christy was the original voice of Kim Possible when it aired on the Disney Channel. Being an avid fan of the series “How I met your mother” it was great to see Alyson Hannigan play the role of Kim’s mother. Patton Oswald also has a quick role as one of the villains at the beginning of the show.

Ron Stoppable played by Sean Glambrone was by far my favorite character. Ron is Kim’s best friend and sidekick when saving the world. Ron is kind of a goober whose clumsy mistakes always seem to work out for the best. The thing I love about Ron though is his positive attitude and he always knows what to say to make us smile or laugh. I think we can all learn a thing or two from Ron about finding the positive and good of any situation. There is way too much sadness and darkness in the world so let’s all try to remember and focus on the happiness this life has to offer.

Overall I enjoyed the movie and would recommend seeing it at least once. It is a movie that can be enjoyed as a family. I had it on the other morning and even my 18-month-old boy was very entertained and interested in the movie.

The DVD special features contain audition tapes of Sadie Stanley (Kim Possible), Sean Glambrone (Ron Stoppable) and Issac Ryan Brown (Wade). I always enjoy watching these audition tapes because it reminds me that these actors are real-life people too who make mistakes. That being said they are all extremely talented at what they do and were chosen to play these roles because of that.

The DVD also includes a blooper reel because who doesn’t love to laugh at other people’s mistakes. The bonus features include a special Q&A with Sadie Stanley (Kim Possible)  and Sean Giambrone (Ron Stoppable).

If you are looking for more Kim Possible related fun check out these activities below.

Kim Possible Pendant Necklace DIY

Save the world like Kim Possible in a cool, new Kim Possible Pendant Necklace! Make it yourself while you watch the Live-Action Kim Possible movie on DVD today!

Dr. Drakken’s Milkshake Recipe

Looking for something sinister to quench your thirst? Whip up a KIM POSSIBLE treat in the form of Dr. Drakken’s Milkshake! Grab the recipe right here and dig in!

A Dad’s Review of Disney’s Live Action Dumbo

A Dad’s Review of Disney’s Live Action Dumbo

“You’ve seen a horse fly. You’ve seen a dragonfly. You’ve even seen a housefly. But you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen an elephant fly!” —Baritone Bates, “Dumbo” Everyone will have their chance to see an elephant fly as Dumbo soars into theaters on March […]

Q & A with Toy Story Dad and Family

Q & A with Toy Story Dad and Family

I just wanted to write a little post so you could get to know us a better. Below are the questions we are most frequently asked. Where did you and Rachel meet? -To make a long story short we met each other in high school […]

DIY No Sew Peter Pan Costume

DIY No Sew Peter Pan Costume

If you are looking for an easy costume idea, then this Peter Pan costume is exactly what you need. The best part about this costume is that no sewing is required. All you need for this costume is faith, trust and a little Pixie Dust (aka hot glue). If you would like a video tutorial for this costume, check out our segment on Good Things Utah.

Materials Needed:

  • Green T-Shirt
  • Green Pants (Sweats, Leggings, or Tights will do)
  • 2 Sheets of Green Felt
  • A Red Feather
  • Brown Ribbon
  • Permanent Marker
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Fabric Scissors

Making The Hat

To start making the hat take one of your green sheets of felt and draw a hill shape. Note: Depending on the head size of the person who will be wearing the hat, you may need a larger sheet of felt. You will want the width at the bottom of the hill shape to be at least half the diameter of the subjects head plus a couple inches.

Once you have the shape drawn on one piece of felt, use your fabric scissors to cut it out. You can use that shape as a stencil to draw the shape on the second sheet of felt.

Now that you have both pieces of felt cut out, it is time for the that magical Pixie Dust aka hot glue. Start at the bottom of one end and slowly start glueing down as close to the edge as possible. You will want to press down the edges as you work your around the hill shape. DO NOT glue the flat bottom edge of the hat.

Once you have glued around the edges, gently press down with your finger and let the glue set for a few minutes. Once the glue is set, gently reach inside from the bottom and grab the top of the hat to turn it inside out. Once the hat is inside out, fold the bottom edges of the hat up about an inch.

As you can see the hat is just about finished. We just need to add the finishing touches by adding a red feather with a little hot glue.

Making The Shirt

If you have seen any Peter Pan movie, you will know his shirt has triangles on the arms, along the bottom, and at the collar. We can achieve this same look with some scissors. Turn your shirt inside out to draw the triangles on the edges of the arms and bottom of the shirt as shown in the picture below. Turning the shirt inside out will keep the front looking clean if you don’t cut perfectly on the lines.

Now simply cut out all these triangles. A trick we have learned is to start at the bottom and cut up from both sides. This makes it a lot easier and quicker to cut the shirt. One thing to note is that with a thin t-shirt like this, the triangles will begin to start curling up. We have been able to combat this by ironing down the triangle edges with liquid starch.

Congratulations, the hard part is done! Now all you have to do is throw on some green pants with the shirt and hat. The final touch is to tie a piece of brown ribbon around the waist and you are done. Now give yourself a high five and go take some fun pictures with this new costume. If you end up making this costume, I’d love to see it. Just tag @ToyStoryDad on Instagram!

Planning Your Disneyland Vacation

Planning Your Disneyland Vacation

We are Annual Passholders to Disneyland from Utah. Because of this, we are often asked how we plan our trips. The secret really is in the planning ahead. There is nothing better than an impulse trip to Disneyland, but in reality, these trips do take […]

Disney Movies You Won’t Want to Miss in 2019

Disney Movies You Won’t Want to Miss in 2019

As a die hard Disney fan I was so happy with all of the amazing movies Disney Studios blessed our lives with in 2018. Incredibles 2 was the perfect sequel and helped me realize just how much my little boy Beckham is exactly like Jack […]