Back To School In Style: Start Shopping Now
I know I’m insane. Summer JUST started, right? There will be plenty of back-to-school sales but if you find things online or in stores that your kids will love than shop now, while there is plenty in stock! Plus items like lunch bags and backpacks can be used all year long. Camping, day camps, field trips, road trips, sleepovers, etc. If I see something at a good price I’m not going to wait three months to buy it. No one should. Check out these ideas for BTS available now.
Insulated lunch bags in all sorts of cool designs by Wildkin. I like the large velcro flap and how wide the bottom of the bag is. Great for teens to fit a whole lunch and snacks inside.
Sydney Paige offers a 2-for-one. Not only are you buying a backpack from them with lots of pockets plus a place for id, padded for a small laptop or tablet and a hook inside for keys… but for each backpack you purchase Sydney Paige will donate one to a child in need. Organic Slammers by Go Gourmet. These are great for kids of all ages to throw in a lunch bag or eat on the way to school. I love how the lids can screw back on, keeping the pouches from leaking. They have no artificial colors or flavors, no refined sugar and have ingredients like bananas, applies, blueberries, strawberries, cherries and more. These are not a drinkable yogurt. They are a pureed superfood snack.
Get younger kids started on sight words, reading comprehension, telling time and more with Hot Dots Jr. Fun touch pen with Ollie- the talking Owl Pen. Great for ages 5-6 as a K-1st grade educational toy. Ollie will tell kids if they answered correct or not and give words of encouragement.
Back To School Shopping For Parents
The Drive To Learn: What the East Asian Experience Tells Us About Raising Students Who Excel. By Cornelius N. Grove. This is a great book for parents that want to push their kids to learn. Learn how other cultures educate differently.
Where Will I Live? By Rosemary McCarney. A great book about refugees from all areas of the world and what the changes mean to them. Very light reading without a lot of details. Good for younger ages to understand acceptance and learn about refugees. Lots of amazing photos too.
Notebook Doodles Go Girl! By Jess Volinski. This is actually a doodlebook for girls but I think it’d be great to tear out page and put one a day in a child’s lunch bag or backpack. Inspirational pages to color for all ages.
5 Great Meal Ideas For Diabetics
Being diabetic can be challenging. Trying to have flavorful food that is healthy and low-carb isn’t always easy. Especially when you have a family that isn’t diabetic. I try to add a salad to lunch and dinners to add extra greens (and vegetables really helps my blood sugar stay low), walk every day and I also love finding new low-carb recipes, especially if they are something the kids will eat too. Check out these ideas to help out with daily meals.
I like having eggs (lots of protein and no carbs) and if I don’t have time than I have Dannon Light and Fit Greek Yogurt (only 9 carbs) with some flax seeds and a sprinkle of Viki’s Granola. The granola adds some texture and is made with whole grains.
I love the new trending recipes that have cauliflower in them instead of flour. I tried the pizzas from Caulipower and they are amazing! I seriously could not tell it was not a regular flour crust. Not only that, a regular cheese pizza is only 37 carbs for 1/2 of a pizza. Choose from Margherita, veggie, three-cheese or plain crust (my daughter made a tofu pizza with the plain crust one). All of them taste great. My son even had seconds. I love that I can have pizza and not worry about having a huge amount of carbs! Check out my round up of Cauliflower Recipes for other great ideas!
The tofu one was definitely different but was still good. I liked the pre-made ones that I could just throw in the oven.
When making meals with flour replace with Almond Flour or Banana Flour. Both are lower in carbs and a health, gluten-free alternative to wheat. The flour can be used inside of recipes, like quiche or for a shake-and-bake meal. They can also be used to replace wheat flour in desserts. They are made by Pereg Foods and are all Kosher.
Snacks, Drinks & Desserts:
1- Add cinnamon. A dash in oatmeal, tea, on top of pudding, etc. Cinnamon is known for reducing blood sugar levels.
2- Replace your regular sugar with Pyure. It is organic Stevia sweetener and comes in resealable bags, packets, powder form, liquid and a stevia blend of granular sweetener. They are all 0-2 carbs per 1/2 tsp and really sweeten up a drink or dessert without all the extra carbs.
3-Have drinks that are low in carbs or have zero carbs. Water is always the first choice. Soda isn’t good for anyone, even if it is diet soda.
I really like having dessert but it isn’t good for my blood sugar. Especially ice cream! I found a nice substitute is Sunday Cats! They are small frozen containers that are organic, hydrate and come in delicious flavors. With natural ingredients like pineapple juice, apple juice, coconut water, etc. Each one is 5-8 carbs (not bad for a whole dessert, right?) and the come in flavors like Watermelon, Pineapple and Strawberry Lemonade.
Hot Products For Babies & Toddlers This Summer
I love discovering new products on the market. Some are a revamp of colors and others are products I’ve never heard of or are totally new designs. Right now seems to be the time of year when everyone I know is giving birth so I thought I’d share some hot new products on the market. Check out some of these fun new baby and toddler toys, clothing and gadgets and let me know what you think.
- This is a really cool 3-in-1 Gymotion Robo Playland by Yookidoo. My first time hearing of this company. It is great for infants up to sitting-up-age babies and in between too. Great for the park to be able to put your baby down while being entertained. It has a musical mobile, a buggy that moves back and forth on a track, mirrors, things to grab and touch. Even some tummy-time entertainment. I love its red, white, blue and black colors too.
I love educational toys. Especially when they are so fun kids don’t realize they are learning! This is called TotBot. Kids can stack (or unstack) pieces sorted by shape, color and size. Add on the robot’s head and twist them all together. Great for ages 2+ to count, identify shapes and colors, use fine motor skills for the little rachet and for building.
Tried and true! Baby Magic and Boudreaux’s Butt Paste are great for babies. I gave the butt paste (yes, weird name but works great)to my neighbor for a baby shower gift and they said it is the only brand they use! Keep babies clean and their bottoms dry. Baby Magic Hair & Body Wash and lotion are great for people with skin sensitivities since they are hypoallergenic and leave the skin smooth, clean and soft. Sometimes when something has been around for generations there is nothing to change!
I absolutely love this adorable lion shirt by Little Goodall. They have clothing for ages newborn-9 years old plus a few cute adult jackets. This shirt is called Lion in My Pocket and has a vintage look to a fashionable shirt. I can’t wait to see this on my nephew. He’ll look simply dashing in it!
Princess fans all over can enjoy this monthly subscription box from JamBox! Each month you get a new set of pajamas. Cute summer ones. Long sleeve. All sorts of designs to choose from. You can sign up for one, or one a month. (Too bad they don’t have adult sizes). I love these cute summer ones with wands, diamonds and crowns. Perfect for hot nights.
Must Haves For Summer Trips
It doesn’t matter if you are going to a museum that is an hour away for 1/2 the day or driving across the states, there are some must-haves to load up in your car. Some of these are perfect for shorter trips. Ideas to save money, entertain the kids, eat healthier and be comfortable. With summer here that means more and more people will be on the road so be prepared and plan ahead. It is always important to have some essentials. First aid kit, drinking water for everyone, sunscreen and snacks. Here are some more ideas for you to make the best out of your time spent in the car.
- I love these HotLogic bags. I’ve never seen anything like them. Great for being in the car for long hours. For being in a hotel and not wanting to spend money eating in restaurants. For potlucks and picnics. These awesome bags actually heat up! Put food in a casserole dish (the Hotlogic Mini comes with a glass Pyrex container with lid). Pack your food and refrigerate or put in an ice chest. When you are ready to eat simply plug it in. It takes about 60-90 minutes to heat up the food.
For Shutterbug fans check out this Wanderer Holster. It is a great way to fasten a camera to your belt, backpack or harness. Makes it easier to carry a camera without having it bang against your neck or worry about dropping it. It is super easy to grab when you want to take pictures too. Stay hands-free and be ready to shoot photos at the same time. Bonus- it also stabilizes your camera. Drinking lots of water is very important. I try to keep one water bottle for each person and then extra in an ice chest. I love the Multi Flash bottle. Not only can it be used for water but it also can be used for infused water, hot drinks and even has a tea strainer. It is double lined to help keep temperature of your drink constant. If you have a hard time sleeping in a hotel the SleepEasily kit is perfect for you. it is a natural way to get more sleep with audio recordings and some soft eyeshades. The SleepEasily kit includes a mini audio player with instructions on how to guide yourself to sleep quickly each night.Magnetic board games are great for car and airplane travel plus are small enough to throw in a purse or backpack. You can even play them in the hotel room. These games by The Purple Cow are for ages 4 and up and 1-2 player games.Here are Chess, Sudoku and Backgammon. The Sudoku one even has 27 different games.
I looove this little pillow monster by Pebble Child. It is a World Fair Trade item made in Bangladesh. The pillow is super soft, even the face, and the back unzips so the cover can be washed. It is perfect for a soft headrest in the car or for an extra snugglie pillow for a hotel room. You can get Books with matching stuffed animals from Kohl’s Cares for only $5. The proceeds are donated to non-profit organizations too. Right now you can choose from four different books:
- 3 in 1 book collection featuring The Poky Little Puppy with puppy plush
- 3 in 1 book collection featuring The Shy Little Kitten with kitten plush
- 3 in 1 book collection featuring Tawny Scrawny Lion with lion plush
- 3 in 1 book collection featuring The Saggy Baggy Elephant and Scuffy the Tugboat with elephant and tugboat plush.
Each book has one stuffed animal that goes with one of the stories. These are great for bedtime stories and having a stuffed animal, or four, to act out the stories or snuggle with.
Bring a movie for the car ride! All new Disney’s Tangled: Before Ever After is a great movie for all ages. Follow the adventures of Rapunzel and her friends as she makes up for lost time, trying to explore and learn more of what she missed out on in life.
I love card games and Hasbro has some fun ones from when I was a kid including Water Words: The Original Leaky Pipe Card Game and Moose Caboose, a fun train game. Both games are easy to play but have some challenges that prevent an easy win. They are both family games for ages 6+ and are both 2-4 players.
No matter what your adventures are this summer plan ahead and be prepared. Always make sure you have water and snacks in the car. Pack cell phone charges with bases for hotel rooms. Don’t forget to be open to adjustments and changes in the schedule. Always have fun!
What summer adventures do you have planned?
Summer Care For Tweens & Teens
Summer is among us and that means treatment for sunburns, dry skin, packing for road trips, days at the beach. For a tween or teen they might have different needs than an adult. Here are some great summer care tips for them.
1- Monthly Box subscription for menstruation cycle. You can pick they type of your child likes to use (pads, tampons and how thin, thick) and the box will come with a week supply. Great way to avoid running out and them having to ask you to run to the store (great embarrassment at that age). The subscription even comes with an ’emergency chocolate.’ I ‘sampled it’ and didn’t give it to my daughter. The MG or Monthly Gift box comes in a discrete black cardboard box too.
They can enjoy Yum!Spa products made for kids but smelly and sparkly for teens! With products like Tutti-Fruitti 2-in-1 shampoo & conditioner, lotion and body mist. Great for after a day at the pool or beach. I like that they are hypoallergenic and have ingredients like aloe and Jojoba. Add shimmer to skin while moisturizing.
Village Naturals from Aromatherapy has fun products like bath bomb balls, bath teas and bath bars that look like a chocolate bar. With relaxing ingredients like lavender they are a great way to end the day and have a good night’s sleep.
The Jojoba Company has skin care items for all skin types. They have all natural products, made in Australia. I love all their products and picked out these four for my teen.
Spot-On Pimple Control. Intensive control for individual spots. Has ingredients to draw out impurities and dry excess oil on the skin.
Cucumber & Guava Firming Eye Balm (reduces the appearance of fine lines and puffiness). This is more for the teens to do at slumber parties and I’m going to use it too. Why slice a cucumber from the fridge when you can use this instead!
Lemon & Coconut Hand Cream. Great to keep in a purse or backpack for dry skin when on the go. Scent is refreshing and lotion is hydrating. Skin stays soft even after washing hands.
100% Natural Makeup Remover. Gently dissolves hard-to-remove makeup. Even mascara. I love how only a tiny bit is needed and it removes makeup very nicely without harmful ingredients, artificial colors or fragrances.