Tag Archives: Things

New Years Checklist

December 28, 2016

The week between Christmas and New Years is historically weird. Some of it’s the Christmas tree, just hanging out like the elephant in the room. And some of it is that even though the holiday is over, all our kids are still on break and asking for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at 9:30am.

Three days left of 2016. A few ways to pass the time.

1. Movies. A tiny morale boost: Amazon is offering a special promo right now where you rent any one movie for 99 cents. I think I am going to rent The Secret Life Of Pets tonight without the kids like the worst mom ever and eat all the snacks.

How: First find the movies that apply. Then click “More Purchase Options” and enter the promotional code “MOVIE99“. Once the promotional code has been applied, click “Rent Movie”.

Note: On site pricing will not reflect your discount, but your order history will show the promotional credit applied. Valid once per account. The credit expires January 23, 2017.

2. Music. Spotify has a deal right now where you can sign up for a premium account (NO ADS) for 99 cents for three months. This is an insane deal. Spotify and I don’t work together and I am not an affiliate of theirs, but I thought I’d let you know in case you love their service but cannot listen to one more terrible Home Depot ad. Kicking myself for signing up for last month’s ten dollar deal instead of waiting for this one. Anyways, you can find my playlists here.

3. New Year Reflections. Resolutions are often pointless, but I always appreciate the new beginning-ness of this holiday. A good time to look backwards and forwards and casually glance over gym membership fliers. This year I am looking less at gym memberships and more at the idea of separating my real job (writing) with my side job (blogging). No concrete ideas yet, just thinking out loud about ways to be even more annoying on the Internet.

Happy New Year, friends.

***

Four Ways To Give At The End Of The World…I mean 2016

December 14, 2016

helping

It’s been quite a year, no?

Four ways to give back this season. A time of joy and sorrow.

1. Help the city of Aleppo. From my friend Suzie: I don’t think we have the right to say “never again” regarding the Holocaust anymore. We collectively do not deserve the credit that is implied by that. The credit that we would do anything differently, because it clearly has happened again. The world stood by and watched even as it was live tweeted for us. As my family celebrates Christmas this year, our focus for us and our children is on the fact that Jesus was born a middle eastern refugee. More on what’s going on here

2. Pay overdue lunch accounts at your local public school. School lunch is a big part of the day for students, but some families cannot afford it every day of the school-week. Anonymously paying off overdue lunch accounts at your local schools is a great way to support the community.

3. Support the legal defense of warriors protecting land, water, and human rights by donating and standing with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from ripping through their ancestral homelands. It threatens their water, their sacred places, and the future of their children.

4. Raise awareness for gun violence against children. Four years ago today, 20 children and 6 adult staff members were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. You can donate in memory of Charlotte, Daniel, Rachel and Olivia. Josephine, Ana, Dylan, and Dawn. Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Anne, and Emilie. Jack and Noah, Caroline and Jessica. Avielle, Lauren, Mary, and Victoria. Benjamin and Allison.

***

Photo source

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!

///

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.

///

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.

***

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)…

gift-list-2016

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.

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-3-27-33-pm

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.

***

Birth Was Great But Now I Can’t Sit Down : Five Essentials For Postpartum Care

July 7, 2016

Hello from the other side, friends. A few weeks ago I had my third baby, officially graduating me to the postpartum phase. Since I’ve done this before, I knew to have low expectations and plenty of Senna Lax. It’s been okay. Basically I have three speeds postpartum: totally fine, totally overwhelmed, and totally dead inside. As long as I can keep the last one at bay for the majority of the time, we’ll be okay.

Physical recovery has been fine, too. Nothing can compare to the horror of the first baby, and I know better than to think my body will return to a teenager in five minutes (or ever). We’re taking our time. My advice to anyone about to go through this for the first time is this: Give yourself grace and ask for what you need. If you need someone to come hold the baby, ask for help. If you need your partner to stop watching Game Of Thrones on his iPhone because it’s making you nauseous, ask for help. If you need more of those ice pack pads from the hospital to take home so your vagina doesn’t fall out, buzz your nurse and ASK FOR HELP. You just had a baby, it’s okay to have needs.

It’s also a good idea to take time for self-care, especially if they help make your body (and your brain) feel a little more normal.

Today, five things I’ve found that help make this part a bit easier.

You got this.

+

1. Thinx underwear.

thinx

Is it just me or does the bleeding after baby seem to last forever? I’m on week three and still not able to walk around footloose and pad free. Even though I’ve long moved on from the diaper phase of postpartum recovery (praise Jesus), that light bleeding off and on all day and night just keeps on going.

Fortunately for women who hate wearing pads (all women), there is a new way to walk around with your flow. Thinx period panties replaces pantyliners with its built in miracle system and allows you to feel more like a normal human being postpartum. I don’t really understand how it works, but I do know that wearing these special underwears is 100x better than wearing a pad.

Official review: Comfy, convenient, not gross, NOT A PAD. 5/5 stars.

Q&A –> Yes, I’ve heard of the diva cup. No, I don’t want to try it (you can’t use it postpartum anyways). Yes, I’m going to use Thinx for my period. No, I won’t be able to just use them the whole cycle (my flow is too heavy). Yes, they are comfortable. No, it doesn’t feel wet. No, it doesn’t smell bad. No, it doesn’t feel like sitting in your own blood. Yes, you have to rinse them before you wash them. No, you don’t have to change them during the day. Yes, I actually really do love them.

10 bucks off your first pair.

Cheers.

PS: 100 million girls in the developing world fall behind in school just because of their periods, forcing many of them to drop off. See how every purchase of Thinx underwear helps here.

PPS: Their sister company makes pee panties and they were a lifesaver during pregnancy. You can find that review here.

+

2. Miralax.

miralax

Well hello old friend.

We’ve talked about that first postpartum poo before.

Look, I don’t need to ruin your day with my sad tales of anal fissures and crippling constipation–but I will say that for my friends out there who also have this problem after birth: solidarity, sister. The pain is so real and devastating.

This time, the troubles didn’t hit me until 3.5 weeks postpartum. I thought I had avoided it this time, but my body was just waiting to surprise me! All of a sudden the ass glass is back, and now every trip to the bathroom is like a second birth. Please excuse my screams.

Even if you don’t have fissures or hemorrhoids, most women experience some minor poo problems post delivery. Two things I’ve found that help soften things up: Miralax + Senna tablets. Both things help keep things moving without being too hard on your body.

Godspeed.

+

3. Non-maternity clothes.

kimono

My postpartum wardrobe the first two times consisted of ratty maternity clothes, unflattering XL t-shirts, and sweatpants. Not great for morale.

Postpartum wardrobe this time: kimonos, flowy tops, compression leggings (bless), and a few new nursing tanks from Target. Candis from The Jones Market also sent me this shirt, which feels like butter and is so roomy and forgiving.

Look, we all know that after you have a baby, your body feels like a bloated jellyfish. What I’ve learned this time around is that anything that helps you feel like a normal, healthy human being is worth the price. Don’t settle for your stretched out maternity tops that hug in all the wrong places. The morale boost is worth it.

+

4. Peapod grocery delivery.

peapod

A few years ago if you were getting your groceries delivered, you were either a wealthy hermit or Beyoncé. Now you can get them delivered fairly cheaply from your local grocery store. The grocery store that you were going to take two young kids and newborn to while you tried to shove bananas in the cart next to the car-seat (because that’s about all you’re going to fit in with that seat taking up most of the room).

This week I placed my first Peapod order and a day later, all my groceries were delivered to my door without me having to get three kids and myself out the door. Groceries that I took two days to slowly pick out and add to my cart while I looked up recipes and figured out what I want for breakfast. It’s magic, and I definitely ended up saving money because of all the stuff I didn’t get roaming the aisles. I also saved my sanity, which is worth its weight in gold. For new Peapod users, click here to get $20 dollars off your first order (what!) and free delivery for a month (there is literally no reason not to do this).

This is my life now.

+

5. Dry shampoo.

Dry Shampoo

Self-care with kids means doing the most you can with the time you have. And what you don’t have a lot of during the postpartum phase is time. Dry shampoo cuts hair care in half by eliminating washes, dries, and styling (three things I’m hardly doing anyways). It’s especially great for those of us with long hair who only shampoo a few times a week.

A tip from my friend Heather: Apply dry shampoo the night before and wake up with volume and a more even cover.

+

***