Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Back-To-School Heath & Wellness

I think every parent knows that kids going back-to-school also means kids going back into a world of germs, stress, exhaustion and possible unhealthy habits.  However, back-to-school time can also be a great time to start implementing some new healthy habits that you can use all year to promote health and wellness in your entire family.  Here are some of our favorite products to help you stay healthy all year long.
1. Honest Company Fruit & Veggie Wash - Back-to-school is the perfect time to start packing healthy lunches and after-school snacks of fruits and veggies. We love this fruit and veggie wash from the Honest Company. It cuts through any dirt, wax, chemicals, oils and residues found on fruit and veggies and leaves no taste or odor behind.  Plus, it inhibits browning and helps food last longer.  Win/win.  

2. Disney/Pixar Band-Aids - Kids are inevitably going to fall, trip, tumble or take a spill, so why not make treating the ouchie a little more fun with character Band-Aids from their favorite Disney movie. There's everything from princesses to cars, pickles to pirates.  Whatever your child is into, there's an "aid" for that (see what I did there?).  We are really into the Dusty the Plane Band-Aids and god forbid that Mac get ANY other plane than Dusty.  Ugh.

3. DoTerra OnGuard Essential Oil - No worries, I'm not promoting essential oils as having magical hippie voodoo healing powers, but I do like the idea that a natural product could/might/may/possibly/maybe help boost immunity and protect against some environmental threats.  At the insistence of a friend, this past Spring I started rubbing a bit of this OnGuard on the bottoms of Mac's feet in the morning before he went to school and "coincidentally" he didn't get sick at all for the rest of the school year.  I don't know...I'll let you make your own conclusions about this one.  It does smell fantastic, though!

4. Hello Products Kids' Toothpaste* - With awesome flavors like Bubble Gum, Green Apple and Blue Raspberry, your kids are going to love Hello Toothpaste.  Hello Kids' toothpaste prevents cavities and strengthens enamel without preservatives, dyes, microbeads or artificial sweeteners or flavors. Mac's said many times that he doesn't like "grown up" toothpaste because it's too spicy, but he loves the Hello toothpaste.  Bubble Gum is our favorite (both his and mine).  

5. OK To Wake! Alarm Clock and Nightlight - A new back-to-school schedule and long days at school mean kids really need to get their sleep.  Whether you have an early riser or a kid that has trouble waking up on time, this clock can help.  Parents can customize when the clock lights up green to let a child know that it's ok to get out of bed, encouraging kids to sleep a bit longer in the morning (more sleep for you too!).  For older kids that want to get up on their own, this clock acts just like a regular alarm clock and even has a snooze function. 

6. Smarty Pants Kids' Complete Vitamins* - Smarty Pants makes the only children's complete multivitamin with Omega 3s and D3s on the market.  These awesome gummy vitamins are non-GMO, gluten/casein free and contain no HFCS, artificial sweeteners/colors/preservatives.  They're made in California and come in 3 awesome flavors (orange, lemon, strawberry-banana).  My children are CRAZY about these vitamins and beg me for them at every single meal.  They also make adult vitamins, in case you're in the market for a new multivitamin as well.  (Make sure to check out my Facebook page for a chance to win some vitamins for your child!)

7. Babyganics Foaming Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer - I'm really not a germophobe, but I hate being sick (and hate having sick kids), so I absolutely love this alcohol-free foaming hand sanitizer from Babyganics.  I keep a bottle of this in the car and give Mac a squirt of this as soon as he gets out of school, before hopping in the car and touching his baby sister, her toys and eating a snack.  It's non-allergenic and safe for sensitive skin.  It kills 99.9% of germs and smells great - it also doesn't leave a slimy or greasy film/residue on your hands.

8. Honest Company Lip Balm - If your child is anything like mine, they probably LOVE lip balm and are obsessed with using it a hundred times a day.  I can barely keep mine away from Mac, so I found this lip balm from the Honest Company that's gentle enough for kids, but still great for adults too (not overly sweet or juvenile).  It comes in a 3-pack of flavors: Lavender Mint, Sweet Orange Vanilla and Purely Simple.  

What are some of your favorite products to keep your kids healthy?

 *I received this product as part of the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts program. All opinions are my own. As always, this post does NOT contain any affiliate links - just products that I love and use myself.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cabin Camping on the Current River

Is there a statute of limitations on the length of time that passes before a blog post is viewed as way too old/stale/outdated to post?  I finally had a chance to get through some of the photos that I took of of our 4th of July cabin camping trip and I'm embarrassed that it's taken me so long to get them up.  I'm even more embarrassed that I'm still working through all the photos from our beach vacation back in May, which I'd also still like to post here, so long as it's not just sad and pathetic by now.  Yes?  Well whatever...it's my blog and I can be sad and pathetic if I want to.  

Over the 4th of July holiday weekend, we packed up the kids and the dog and nearly everything we own and headed down to the Current River to do some cabin camping.  We found a really cute little place right on the water with a huge yard that was perfect for fishing, swimming, tadpole catching, grilling, s'mores making and firefly catching.  Sounds pretty perfect, right?  However, if you follow me on Instagram, you may remember hearing that while fun, the weekend was anything but easy.  It's one thing to post beautiful photos of your outdoor adventures with kids online and quite another to actually live through it.  

I'm going to keep it real here and tell you that it was by no means a relaxing weekend.  We started off with a three-hour drive where Mim screamed bloody murder the entire ride and neither kid napped.  Upon arriving we realized we left a large part of our groceries (including the vodka) at home in the garage.  We emptied the car while the kids played on (and fell off) the deck. Mac fed Mim a ladybug.  I found a giant nest of spiders in the baby's room.  We made our way down to the river to cool off and do a little fishing.  Ryan got a hook in his hand.  Mac was throwing some rocks in the water and Sage tried to catch one like a tennis ball and shattered three of her teeth - blood everywhere.  The kids were hysterical. We were freaked out (and very sober, unfortunately).  And we'd only been there an hour. 

The weekend did get better, but vacationing with kids is sooooo not a real vacation.  It's just parenting in a more scenic, yet less convenient location.  Mac went 4 days without a nap and lived off sugar the whole weekend, so he was a real delight at times.  Mim napped great, but wanted to have dance parties at 3 a.m. The locals also thought that the road right next to our house would be the perfect spot to shoot off whistling bottle-rockets for five straight hours every night.  Sage's poor mouth was a mess and she could barely eat, but wouldn't slow down for anything.  At one point she got wrapped up in the fishing line and Ryan went in the river after her, phone and all.  His waterproof case apparently had a hole in it and he lost everything on his phone - all the photos and videos of the kids he'd taken since Mim was born.  So...good times.  

I don't mean to be all negative.  We did have fun.  We did get vodka.  And we did catch fish, eat s'mores, feed the trout, swim in the river and get lots of fresh air and sunshine.  It was nice...at times. :)  Anyway, here are the photos!  
No, but really, even after all the crazy stuff that happened, we had a blast.  Adventures with kids are just that...adventures!  And the great thing is, I guarantee you years from now when I look at these photos and think back about this weekend, I'm not going to remember the lack of naps or the tantrums or the spiders (I will probably remember Sage's teeth because that was seriously traumatizing).  I'm going to remember the look on Mac's face when he caught his first brown trout.  I'll remember how excited he got about s'mores and how obsessed he was with the tadpoles in the creek.  I'll remember Mim's tiny little wet footprints across the deck, her squeals when she splashed in the cold water and the way she buried her face into my neck when she fell asleep at night.  Even just a few months later I'm already thinking about how much fun we had and wondering when we can go back.  That's the great thing about having kids - the highlights are so high you barely remember the lows.  

P.S. Sage is fine, she's had a root canal and now has a very pretty (and ridiculously expensive) silver canine. She's a total badass.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Back-To-School Snacks with Plum Organics

When I wake up in the morning and the alarm gives out a warning and I don't think I ever make it on time...

Oh yeah, you know that song.  Or did I totally just date myself there?  I'm old, I know.  Anyway, summer is ending, the days are getting shorter and it's that time of year again...back-to-school!  As if you could possibly ignore all the adorable "first day of ____ grade" photos on your Facebook feed and the smell of freshly sharpened #2 pencils in the air.  This year I get to officially join in on all the fun because Mac will be attending 3-day a week (half-day) preschool!  Yes, I will cry.  Again.

As you also may know, I'm really excited to be a part of an amazing group of mama-bloggers that get to review fun products and serve as "Product Scouts" for the website/blog Savvy Sassy Moms.  This program is new, but growing quickly because it's been such a big hit.  All the Scouts with school-aged kids received this amazing Back-To-School Scout Box with all kinds of awesome products to try out and review on our blogs!  We're also hosting some really fun giveaways where you could win some of these products, the entire B2S Scout Box or the ultimate #2Cool4School prize package!  If you're interested, head over to the Savvy Sassy Moms website for all the details and to sign up!  And stay tuned here for reviews on all the products included in this awesome box coming over the next couple weeks!  
When we opened our Back-To-School Scout Box, the very first thing the kids went for were the snacks, of course.  I'm googly-eyed over the Sharpies, labels and notepads; meanwhile, the kids are ripping into the box of pouches and stuffing their little faces with the Jammy Sammy bars.  I had to confiscate them immediately just so I'd have something to photograph.  And actually, if I'm being honest here, it took me a couple days to get my act together and get pictures taken and by that point I had to order more Jammy Sammy sandwich things on Amazon because little Miss Mimmy here ate the whole box.  Apparently I forgot to put them out of sight and she screamed bloody murder our nanny, daddy and grandma all gave her one. Obviously, Mim's a BIG fan.  Once I received our replacement order (a whole case!), I let her have one of each for an after-nap snack and she went to town!  
Even though Mim's not the one going back-to-school, she was thrilled to be a part of the Plum Organics review. She ate that Mash-Up so fast and squealed in delight when she saw the Jammy Sammy bars.  These may just be her favorite thing ever.  They're the perfect snack size for throwing in a lunch box, diaper bag, glove box or even your purse (for yourself).  I will admit that I had one on my way home from the office the other day and it was delicious and much more filling than I expected it to be.  
At one point she was sitting in a pile of crumbs and playing with her spilled Mash-Up and I had the nerve(!!) to try to move her, which resulted in that scream-cry above.  I think she thought I was going to take her Sammy Jammy away.  :)  She has trust issues (I blame Mac).  
So yeah, we're BIG fans.  Six thumbs up from all of us on both the Mash-Ups and Jammy Sammy bars.  Plum Organics for the win! 

Have you tried either of these?
What's your favorite on the go snack for kids?

 *I received this product as part of the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts program. All opinions are my own.