Yes, I am a geek for The Sound of Music. So please, say that title with a tune in your head… But I’m also a geek for AWESOME STUFF!!! So I thought I would share 5 things I am currently loving – I’ve found them to be things I can no longer live without. And they’re not all for the kiddos! There is a MUST HAVE product for Mom on there too! Check them out, let me know your thoughts, and please share the things you are loving right now, too!!
- TRAVELING WITH THE LITTLE ONES: FAA CARES HARNESS
I travel with my kid. Like a LOT. When he was tiny he traveled as a lap child (if you need some tips, check out my video on traveling with baby). When he got a little bigger, I panicked – we have the heaviest car seat ever. Now I LOVE this car seat, but part of what makes it safe is that it is steel-enforced and weights 30++ pounds. It would have been really interesting to see me trying to hoist that thing onto a plane WHILE carrying a child!
When I did a little research I found the most awesome thing: the FAA-approved Cares Harness. It’s the bomb (yes, sometimes I say the bomb). It’s about the size of a seatbelt, and turns any airplane seat into 5-point harness! It’s super easy to use – you just slip it over the back of the seat and then run it through the plane’s seat belt, and boom!
It works for kids who are at least one-year-old, weigh 22-44 pounds, and up to 40 inches….ideal for around ages 1-4, depending on your child’s size. Check out all the specs here.
I do a lot of my work from home, which means I sometimes need to entertain a kid for a bit…I start to feel really guilty if I put him in front of the TV or on the iPad for very long. These items are amazing for letting kids play independently while using their imagination and working on those motor skills, and you don’t have to worry about ending up with your own fancy toddler-mural on the wall!
Melissa and Doug Water Wows use JUST water to color/paint. You put a small amount of water into the little pen, and it comes out slowly and leaves color wherever the wet tip touches. The color will disappear once it’s completely dry again, so you can use these over and over. They offer a great variety – from princesses and trucks to letters and numbers.
Crayola Color Wonder markers and coloring books are also mess-free coloring solutions – the markers looks just like regular markers, in all the various colors and everything, but they won’t mark walls or clothing. They will, however, leave bright, vibrant colors on the Color Wonder coloring books! There is a huge variety of books and markers out there for this line – so whether Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Frozen, or Mickey are your thing – they’ve got one for you!
**These happen to be great for travel too! They even make a Color Wonder Travel Tote.
- FOR THE LOVE OF SLEEP: TEACH ME TIME TALKING ALARM CLOCK
When my nephew started waking up at odd hours, my sister came up with a great solution! She found this awesome kid’s alarm clock… the Teach Me Time Talking Alarm Clock is a super cute clock for kiddos, and includes an interactive game that teaches time. But my favorite feature is called the Okay to Wake Night Light – for younger kids, it has a feature that lets you set a certain time when the clock will turn green – letting your child know it’s okay to get up! This has worked like a charm for my sister, and I loved the idea so much I picked one up for my son! For a while he would get up super early and say “but the sun is up!” Now, we will find him sitting in bed waiting for his clock to turn green! The soft yellow glow of the clock during “sleepy time” makes a great night light, and it comes with 3 colored ring choices – so your clock can match your kid’s decor.
- THE BEST BOOKS! HALLMARK INTERACTIVE STORYBOOKS
These books take reading to your kid to a whole new level! Once you turn one of these “Be a Part of the Story” books on, and start reading, it will actually respond to your words, and even let you make choices about what the characters in the book are going to do! My mother-in-law sent us Batman and the Fun House Jewelry Heist (this one is currently out of stock, you may have to search ebay!) even before my son was born….and we were blown away! In the case of these books, “interactive,” does not mean “more work for the parents” – no reading along with a cd (who has a cd player anymore??) or pushing a bunch of sound effects buttons… You just READ, and it RESPONDS!! Your kid can decide whether Batman takes the door or the window, or if the train should take the green or blue track! My son has loved these since he was tiny, and at almost 3 continues to request one every night. They would also make great gifts! So go ahead and help out a train conductor, explore with Jake, or hang with a Fairy Godmother…tons of options! These are a guaranteed HIT with kids and parents!!
- JUST FOR THE MOMS: BEAUTY BY ORGANIC EARTH SELF TANNER
Okay, well, maybe dads want to have a nice glow, too? I’m not judging! But needless to say this is an addition for the parents, and is all about lookin good! 😉 Let’s be honest, as parents, it can be really hard to feel like a human being – my husband recently pointed out that I live in workout clothes. I’ve been working on that…at least they’re Lululemon and not some random baggy semi-clean sweats like the first year of my son’s life! Baby steps.. Anyhow, summer is here folks. For most of us, our bodies are a constant work in progress. For the others of you – we hate you. I kid. But no matter what, it feels good to be tan!! Or at least to not see-through. Back in the day, I had the luxury of getting spray tans, or airbrush tans, or maybe even laying in the sun! But between the cost, the time, and the potential skin cancer, that is a thing of the past.
For a while, I tried some at-home tanners that either left me orange, or were super messy and turned me AND my sheets and hands the color of dirt… then I tried the lotions that claim to give a “glow,” and by glow they just mean they’ll do nothing except be a lotion that smells faintly like BO.
It turns out self-tanning products have come a LONG way in the past couple years, and I found the holy grail of self-tanners. My criteria was that it had to give me a nice, natural, yet SEE-ABLE color, be easy to apply, smell decent, and not be filled with toxic chemicals (cause at that point, why not just lay in the sun?). Well here it is – Beauty by Earth Organic Self Tanner. It’s amazing. I put it on after my shower just like regular lotion, wash my hands, and voila! For my face, I mix a little in with my moisturizer. The color is build-able, so you can use it a few days in a row for a deeper tan, and maintain by using it a couple times a week. A bottle is less than the cost of one spray tan. So now I can go outside in shorts without blinding people, and I’ll feel a little better when I find myself in a bikini, cause at least my love handles are tan!!
So there you have it! My 5 current must-haves. I would love to hear your thoughts and have you share your own favorite products!!!
I also want you to know that I did not receive any of these products for free, and these are not things I was asked to review. These are just things I came across in my real life and paid for with my own allowance – things that are just too good not to share.
Okay, enjoy those goodies!!