Curated Tweets [Volume 12]

November 30, 2016

curated-tweets

@katejbaer

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Five Gift Ideas For Parents With Young Kids

November 28, 2016

Whenever someone asks what I want for Christmas, the only things I can think of are a nap and turkey sandwich from Panera. Given time to think, I can usually come up with a few things though.

Today, five gift ideas for parents with young kids. Whether it’s gifting your spouse, cousin, or daughter-in-law…here are my recommendations from someone who hasn’t slept through the night off and on for five years.

PS: I had this post scheduled for next week, but because it’s cyber Monday, I decided to post it today since the coveted bObi pet (and a lot of other things) are discounted for the next few hours!

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1. bObi Pet.

If you follow me on snapchat, you’ve seen videos of our new pet bObi roaming the house and cleaning up the random piles of graham cracker crumbs littered across the floor. When we first welcomed her home, I was skeptical. The only time I’d seen one of these things was on Parks & Rec when Tom has DJ Roomba.

Now I am a believer.

Things to know:

  • Specifically designed for cleaning up your pet’s hair and paw prints (we don’t have pets, but three kids is equivalent to around 14 dogs)
  • Easy to use with only three touchscreen buttons
  • You can set a personalized cleaning schedule with an included remote
  • Automatically finds her charging station when low on battery
  • 80 Soft touch sensors detect obstacles and softly cushion impacts
  • Quiet
  • Washable dustbin can be fully submerged underwater
  • Simultaneously vacuums, sweeps, mops, UV-sterilizes, and HEPA filtrates
  • Adorable

10/10 star review. Would recommend to anyone. The perfect gift for parents with young kids who would love to get a dog to lick up floor crumbs but don’t actually want to take care of a dog. Literally the perfect pet.

When we released her into her new home of dust bunnies, I asked the kids to name her and they came up with the worst suggestions (baby, mommy, buttcrack)–so I took control and named her “Bertie.”

Welcome to your new home, B. I never love you more than when I’m drinking my coffee and don’t have to stoop down to wipe up the breakfast crumbs.

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Four more gift ideas:

2. Envelope of cash for take-out.

3. Season tickets to a local theater or park.

4. Spa gift card.

5. Babysitting. Guiltless, effortless, already paid for or worry free babysitting. Priceless.

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The bObsweep was given to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much for reading and supporting this blog.

Gift Ideas For Little Kids

This week I am finishing up all Christmas shopping so I can use the rest of the month to stress about other things enjoy the holidays!!!!! Sharing a few favorite gifts for kids and adults today in case you need ideas or want to snag some deals.

Time sensitive deals highlighted in red!

May your life be void of horrible customer service lines and instead filled with easy Internet browsing and Christmas movies starring Macaulay Culkin (trying spelling that without google).

PS: *Asterisksindicates the item was given for free in exchange for a review. All reviews are my honest opinion, for better or worse. Some items were donated directly to children in need. The rest are things we have enjoyed over the years or purchased for this Christmas season, as indicated!

For big kids (2-5)…

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The tot tube.* The toy is SO SIMPLE yet so genius. I can’t wait for the kids to open it this year. The reviews speak for themselves. Race cars and balls down the tunnel track by propping it up against a couch or chair. Buy 2 sets and race side-by-side, or put them together to make one extra long tube. Fits almost any brand of toy car (Matchbox, Hot wheels, Little People, etc) or a small ball. Comes apart in three pieces for easy storage. Sets up in a flash. No screws or tools needed or complicated instructions (bless). Bonus: No batteries required, no flashing lights, or annoying sound effects. Sold. Use the promo code KATEBEAR for 25% off starting at 6pm [EST]! On Amazon only.

Kitty surprise.* ATTENTION NOSTALGIA HOARDERS: this one is for you. Who else had one of these in the 90s? My heart. Eva is going to flip her lid when she finds this pregnant mom cat under the tree this year. Will there be 3, 4, or 5 kittens? It’s a surprise! All you have to do is perform c-section surgery open her pouch to find out. Never have I ever been more excited to give my kid something so uniquely weird and perfect. She’s going to love it.

Hospital care cart.* Who else has the Doc McStuffins theme song permanently stuck in their head? Honestly it could be worse (see: Paw Patrol) and really if my kids are going to watch a show, Doc Mcstuffins is one of my favorites for promoting diversity and female leadership (more reasons here). People often ask if I want my kids to follow their father’s footsteps and be doctors and I just want to say, let’s just focus on getting everyone potty trained first, okay? They do love playing doctor though, and they will both love this play set.

Walking animal balloons. My friend Heather gave me this idea for something to stick under the tree that gives a little pizzazz and drama Christmas morning without being expensive or something you ultimately have to store. The kids are going to be THRILLED. This set is also adorable and what I ended up ordering!

Paper plane launcher.* Raise your hand if you also have a five year old who demands constant paper planes for him to dive bomb at his sister. The velocity launcher blasts paper planes up to 100 feet and includes 24 “Do-It-Yourself” Paper Planes and easy-to-follow instructions that his mother will refuse to read and redirect to her co-parent.

Magformers. My friend Mo told me about this deal last night and I ordered them right away! I know everyone goes nuts for Magnatiles, but I was not willing to shell out over a dollar a piece when we already have a zillion legos from Austin’s collection. Bonus: these have great reviews and are super on sale!

Smart watch. Got ours at Costco a few months ago for a lot less than this, but I think they are sold out at our store now. Heard great things from moms who have kids the same age as Waylon. This is the “big gift!”

Walkie talkies. My kids love these and got them as a reward this summer for finishing their sticker charts.

Horse hopper. Last year’s Christmas gift and super on sale today!

 

Custom made cloth dolls. Eva has one and loves it! (And I do too) 15 inches tall, perfect for carrying around, hugging, and playing with. Skin, hair, and eye colors will be customized to your preference; little girls love a dolly that looks just like them! A monogram is also stitched on the back lower right body. Body and shoes are 100% cotton, dress is Liberty of London tana cotton lawn, hair is 100% wool felt. Cannot recommend enough.

New winter hat. The fox hat on my baby fox is my favorite (obviously). Waylon has a tiger one, too! Has remained intact and durable over the years. Highly recommend.

Inside Out. Have you seen it yet? One of the best kid’s movies out there. I cry every time! Also Mary Poppins and Cinderella!

Magnadoodle. Tried and true and always, always a hit. We have two and they are great in the car! Grace over at Camp Patton also recommended these today and I ordered one for Waylon! Super on sale!

Water wow. Mess free and a perfect stocking stuffer. Great in the car, church, or waiting room.

Also Old Maid, this wooden train set, piggy paints, and grabbers!

For babies…

Babies need nothing, but if the grandparents are asking anyway– we love..

img_5623These custom made onesies for newborns from my friend Carrie. They are a great new baby gift and perfect for the announcement pictures or the precious coming home outfit. Use code ‘shopsmall’ this week to get 15% off your custom onesie.

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Activity cube.* This activity cube is one of those toys that looks terrible but ends up giving you 15 extra minutes to make lasagna.

Doorway jumper. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know my babies live in these!

Sophie. Ask any mother on the street who has had a baby in the past five years if this toy is worth it and you will always get the same answer. There are over 6,000 positive reviews on Amazon alone. IT MAKES NO SENSE. IT IS A PIECE OF RUBBER. The power of Sophie is the craziest toy phenomenon of all time.

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PS: Submitted for review

Car carrier truck.* 20” Long Truck, includes 6 semi metal cars and has space to carry up to 28 cars. It has a handle on the top so kids can carry the truck with cars inside. Upon inspection, it looks like it is cheaply made and may fall apart with rough play.

Garbage truck.* Upon inspection, it looks like it might fall apart with rough wear and tear. Also worried it will be loud and annoying, but hoping for the best?

Construction bulldozer.* Great reviews on Amazon, but the flashing lights might be irritating.

Push and go trucks.* Marketed as sturdy and has great reviews, although some claim the reviews are fake. Upon inspection, it looks like any other set of plastic trucks. Kids will play with anything in the right environment and would probably enjoy these as much as any other toy.

Lately // November 2016

November 18, 2016

October was about four seconds long, but November has dragged its feet with election sludge and social media feeds filled with links from politicalbuzzinformationImadeup.biz. That’s okay though, we will persevere dear autumn month, but only because you end with mashed potatoes and Buddy the elf.

A few things we’re up to around here:

1. Trying to read a few good articles and ignore all the rest. Really enjoyed A Cup Of Jo’s 5 Ways To Get Involved and When Reportage Turns To Cynicism.

2. Wearing new winter boots now that cold weather is here to stay. Our favorites are from See Kai Run. They sent a pair for the big kids for a review and I can’t get enough of them. Durable, waterproof, comfortable, and easy to get on. The kids always pick them first. 5/5 stars. Waylon’s shoes are especially perfect for a kid who wants to run fast and get messy.

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3. Laughing at If Women Wrote Men The Way Men Write Women.

4. Trying this out to treat my keratosis pilaris (little red bumps on the skin) after someone suggested it on Instagram (I’ll try anything at this point!).

5. Listening to this fall soundtrack (updated monthly). Track one is my new favorite song. This one too.

6. Ordering groceries. After five months of using grocery delivery, I’m never going to the store again. It saves so. much. time. (We use peapod and Amazon)

7. Christmas shopping. So far we’ve gotten this smart watch for Waylon and I picked up a Doc McStuffins doll from a consignment store for Eva. She’s also getting my old dollhouse for Christmas this year. Can’t wait to give that to her.

8. Reading this book for book club (really enjoyed it) and starting this one soon.

9. Missing Leslie Knope, but loving that she came back for a hot second.

10. Laughing at all the Joe Biden and Obama memes. I don’t have to link to it. You know what I’m talking about.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving! We’ll be staying local and doing what we can to enjoy the holidays together in between Austin’s long hours. This year I’m especially thankful for wonderful kindergarten and preschool teachers, cold brew coffee, and my ever forgiving children.

Love and light to you as we head into December. xo

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Post Election Therapy: A List

November 11, 2016

Source Unknown

No matter what happens, the sun will rise in the morning. – President Barack Obama

This is not a political blog, not because I’m not political–but because I’ve yet to find any positive results from discussing politics online. That said, Tuesday was hard and I know I will not be able to move on in this space before addressing that directly.

For some of you, this week was a time of rejoicing. For others who either did not vote or care either way, it meant nothing at all. For the rest of us, it felt like a loss for women, minorities, sexual abuse survivors, LGBT friends, refugees, and our sons and daughters. I recognize this may sound misguided to the parts of the country who were looking to elect change in a different direction. But for me and my family, it was devastating.

First we grieve, then we begin again.

If you are also feeling a loss this week, here are a few things that have helped me. First, this is not the end of the world. Or at least, not yet. We can still be peacekeepers, lawmakers, hope spreaders, and take a passionate stand for those who are threatened and marginalized in 2016 (and beyond). We are also the ones responsible for teaching our children kindness and compassion, not the president.

Second, there is no better time for introspection and retrospection than after an upset like this. I know everyone (and I mean everyone) is sending each other various political links from sources far and wide to either dismantle someone’s belief or further prove their own. This is a good time to acknowledge that media is a double edged sword. We can’t change journalism until we change how we react to it. That includes checking sources and recognizing that algorithms and op-ed pieces disguised as “news” are influencing what we perceive as truth.

Finally, there is a time for real anger and heartache and a time to laugh and play UNO with our cousins from Detroit. Thanksgiving dinner is coming, and even though it might push us to the brink of a brain aneurysm–keeping our ears and eyes open often yields surprising results.

Peace and love to everyone as we move forward.

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They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.