Disclosure: We were given a Noggle for the purpose of review. All opinions are strictly our own. There was one time when I fortunate enough to own a high tech vehicle that came standard with air vents stationed throughout the passenger seat areas to provide equal temperature control for every person in the car. Unfortunately, that luxury was short-lived and I was stuck with my 2007 Toyota sedan that only boasted four modest air vents at the front of the car. In the summer time my littles melted while awaiting the air conditioning and in the winter they sat shivering because it’s not safe to harness children into their seats when they are wearing bulky jackets. I would have to arrange my busy mornings preparing to go to school by either preheating or pre-cooling the car so I could put my kiddos in without feeling horrible. Sigh! Then, the Noggle fixed my problem! With its easy flexibility, I can twist and mold it to aim exactly where I want so that my little ones cool down and warm up faster. I wondered what my children would think since it was foreign to them both, so I let my three year old have a go at it. She loves it and occasionally I see her using it as her microphone. Overall I was just impressed that it was user-friendly and fixed my temperature dilemma with virtually no work for me. To install it, I simply used ties (that were included) to clip a small, plastic attachment onto one of my front vents. I then screwed in the hose attachment and it was installed. It was fast and simple, and removes easily if I need to pile things into the front seat. The Noggle has turned our travels into something to enjoy. My three-year-old loves to play with it and control her own air flow. For more information about the Noggle, visit Noggle Nation. Want a Noggle of your own? We are giving one away! a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post contains affiliate links. When I am sick, I crave comfort. A nice comfortable couch, a warm blanket and copious amounts of pain medication are usually what I need to feel better. However, I do have my preferences for certain other products as well. When I was younger, my mom used to make feel better with Ginger Ale. I always remember that and I want to have some “feel better” stuff on hand for my kids as well as myself when illness strikes our home. When I or my family has a stuffed up nose, aches and fever, the last thing I want to do is run to the store. So, in preparation for this cold and flu season, I’ve put together my very own “Feet Better Box.” Here’s what I put in mine: Blanket In my opinion, you can never have enough blankets when you are feeling rundown. Mine bears the name of my hometown and fits perfectly in my kit. Gatorade I have to have the lemon-lime flavor. This is perfect for stomach aches and when you can’t keep anything else down. Always important to stay hydrated when you are sick. Chicken Noodle Soup Protein and veggies in a can. Easy to prepare when all you do is hobble over to the microwave and pop something in. Ramen This is pure comfort for me. I love Ramen noodles so much! It reminds me of my parent’s home and college. Both good memories. Kleenex When I’m sick and have to repeatedly blow my nose, I crave the lotion infused Kleenex. Makes my nose happy. Chapstick Dry chapped lips are par for the course with a cold. Mine like to crack right in the middle. Sometimes a burning lip is so much worse than whatever ailment has befallen me and my family. Kid’s Activities Better to be prepared. If I’m lying prone on the couch, my daughter needs something to hold her attention so that she isn’t asking me for something every five minutes. She loves Hello Kitty so this Crayola Hello Kitty Coloring and Activity Pad with Markers works perfectly. Thermometer I always look to the thermometer to gauge the total extent of any illness. No fever = rest and fluids. Fever = Call the doctor and get seen. This new Braun No Touch plus Forehead Thermometer is very cool! (Disclaimer: I received the Braun nN Touch Forehead Thermometer free from Influenster for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own.) I can hold the thermometer 2 inches away from my kid’s heads and get an accurate reading. I made a video to show you more of its awesome features. If you liked some of the items I included in my Feel Better box, we’ve included some of them below for easy shopping. What do you put in your Feel Better Box?
1:00AM Toddler wakes up. You walk into his room to find him standing in his crib. When you lay him down, he starts his banshee wail which you are positive half the neighborhood can hear. You start singing and within five minutes he starts falling asleep. 1:10AM Toddler is asleep. 1:11AM Toddler sits straight up in his crib. You lay him down and start over again. Repeat 5 times. 2:00AM Toddler is asleep. You sneak quietly back to your room. 4:00AM Toddler is crying again. You nudge husband awake. Tell him, “Your turn” 4:02AM Husband brings toddler into your room. Tells you nothing could be done. The baby only wants you. 4:03AM Toddler snuggles next to you. Ahhh! One blissful moment. Then, toddler sticks finger in your belly button. Toddler grabs your nipple. Toddler kicks his feet against your body. You think that he just needs time to calm down. 4:30AM Toddler has still not fallen asleep. Must be teething related. Give toddler some Tylenol. 5:00AM Toddler asleep. 6:30AM You need to pee. Try to gently disentangle yourself from toddler. As you are closing the bathroom door, you hear toddler scream. He’s noticed you are gone. You stay in bathroom 30 minutes longer than necessary. Your husband can handle this. 8:30AM Husband kisses you good-bye. Toddler is screaming. Five-year-old is watching another episode of Care Bears. Husband says, “Have a good day?”. You offer to go to work and he stay home. Hubby quickly vanishes out the door. 9:00AM You get the kids out of the house. You go to the zoo, grocery shopping, picnic in the park, shopping for new shoes for the five-year-old, wait in line at the DMV to change your address, drop off items at Goodwill, wash the car, hit up library storytime, feed starving children in China and gas up the car. 2:00PM Time for the toddler’s nap. Lay down on the bed with toddler. Five-year-old comes into bedroom because she can’t figure out the TV. You tell her to wait. Toddler wakes up and adds to conversation, “Eh?”. Reaffirm to five-year-old to wait. Mortally offend five-year-old who stomps to her room and slams the door. 2:20PM Toddler asleep. You hear five-year-old try opening the door of her room. Door is stuck. Five-year-old starts imagining she’ll be trapped in her room forever. Starts freaking out. “MOMMMEEEE!”, she cries. “MOMMEEEEE!’ 2:21PM Toddler wakes up. 2:22PM Mommy meltdown. You leave now screaming toddler, abruptly open five-year-old’s door and snap at her for slamming it. You take a time out in your own room. 2:25PM Sit kids in front of TV to watch “Yo Gabba Gabba” while you find your secret stash of Talenti Salted Carmel gelato. Eat stealthily behind them. The chocolate caramel cups are making you feel much better. Text best friend, tell her kids are driving you insane. She admits to locking herself in the bathroom today to regroup. Breathe sigh of relief. Every one else is having a rough time with this parenting gig […]
So you’ve decided it’s time to turn some memories into tangible objects. It’s time for a family photo shoot! It can be a little overwhelming when it comes to planning your family photo session. You want it to be extraordinary and special because, let’s face it, we don’t do this often enough with the busy life of a modern day family. These images need to really capture what it’s like to be “us” – the laughter, the silliness, the love. Who will it be? First and foremost, choose a photographer who has a photographic style you love. This is very important. Every photographer has her own style of shooting and editing. Be sure you love the work you’ve seen by your photographer. If you are after formal, studio style shots and you higher a natural light, lifestyle shooter, you may get beautiful images but be disappointed because it is not the style you were after. Talking to your photographer about your vision for the session is also helpful in really achieving your dream portrait. Dress for Success Choosing what you want to wear in your photos is also important. It’s fun to go shopping for a new look, but keep in mind that these photos are to represent who you are, not your alter ego or whom you wish you could be. Your attire should be a reflection of you, not a disguise or costume. Comfort is key. You will be sitting, lying down, possibly even jumping around, so be sure what you are wearing is comfortable enough to really move around in. Bring comfortable shoes to walk from location to location and then throw on those heels for the shot. Outfits should complement one another, not be matchy-matchy. Any color that suits your skin tone and hair is perfectly acceptable. Lots of color can be great for a shoot if you are after vibrancy. Layering and accessorizing is also a great way to add depth and texture, but we will talk more about that below. Don’t be afraid of pattern, either. Patterns can also add great texture to image, but you don’t want to take it too far and distract from what’s most important – your beautiful face! Large logos tend to be big distracters. Words like “GAP” or “NIKE” running across the front of a shirt will certainly draw attention away from faces. It’s best to avoid any advertisements on clothing for photo shoots. It’s All in the Details Accessorize! Accessories, as touched on a bit above, are a fantastic way to boost your photos. They can add an extra pop of color, texture, and/or pattern. Don’t shy away from those hats, scarves, and fun pieces of jewelry. Pieces of clothing and jewelry aren’t the only ways to accessorize. Props can also bring a lot of fun to a shoot. Blankets, furniture, a child’s favorite toy, signs – these can all be incorporated in really fun ways. Bring Fido! Family pets should not be considered “accessories”. I realize […]
A few weeks ago, Arizona had a rain storm for the records books. Seriously: It rained so much that many schools were canceled, leaving parents scrambling to find babysitters and activities to occupy their kiddos. My children have a ton of energy, so a day stuck in the house was a recipe for disaster. By ten in the morning I could feel everyone’s patience wearing thin, and it was too early for a glass of wine. I was getting to my last nerve and had to think on my toes. Streets were completely flooded so driving for a play date, even indoors was out of the question. Here’s what we came up with for our Arizona rainy day schedule:
Ever see a spectacular idea on Pinterest and then had it implode on you? This is one of those stories…
I like to menu plan. Scratch that. I don’t LIKE to menu plan, but I feel it is the only way I can keep myself and my family eating healthy as well as not go crazy trying to make meal decisions mid-week. My daughter tends to eat more (and complain less) if she gets input in the meal planning process. So, I created a chalkboard menu that we can use, as a family, to plan meals. See the simple instructions on how to create this fabulous menu board at East Valley Mom’s Blog. If you are not a crafter, check out our printable menu.