Youthful Preservation, 2 Simple Steps

As a parent of a teenager, I know all too well how quickly the years can fly by. Sometimes I take a little joy in the thought of a clean, quiet home free of random crusty socks, but most of the time, I wish I could press pause…if even just for a moment.

Now, with this new product, I can! What is it you ask? Imagine your mom’s Tupperware, now add INSTAVAC technology…and bamo, like magic, it’s Ozeri!

IMG_3670 Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating on the time-force continuum bit, but I *did get him to hold still for a moment. A bigger feat: I captured a photo of that moment! #success

Unfortunately, my children are too far gone to fit in my conveniently stackable Ozeri containers. However, my lunch, leftovers, and most any perishable item (including some very strange slime concoctions) have stayed well preserved for days! Oh, and the dial on the vacuum seal lets me know exactly how long I’m willing to let hunger trump potential spoilage, a game I triumph in most of the time.

Ok, so now you’re shopping Ozeri containers, you’re ready to learn PRESERVATION SECRET #2 …Label Daddy!

Any great parent will tell you the best way to keep and preserve your kids is by first, not misplacing them. No brainer, maybe, but better safe than sorry…so, I use name labels! (So  much more attractive than the black Sharpie! But, I’ll use the Sharpie in a pinch.)

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These handy little stickers have been saving the day(s) for years, and let me tell ya, they can stop bickering between siblings, clearly identify items in lost-and-found, AND they survive even the most brutal torture on the slopes and in the dishwasher, as demonstrated in Honey, I Shrunk the Sippy Cup, a tale of name label heroism.

Now a word (mostly their words) from our sponsor:

Save 25% on Label Daddy labels! Label Daddy is the number one solution for labeling your belongings! Exclusive laminated coating gives labels an extra layer of protection to survive most anything! Go nuts: label all clothing, sports equipment, electronics, and other personal belongings your kids bring to school, camp, sports leagues, day care, vacation, and other places. Your kids won’t think you’re strange at all. I promise 😉 Label Daddy labels keep them from getting lost or mixed up with others – the items, not your kids…but you can label them too! These labels are also great for adults! — Put them on your sunglass/eyeglass case, phone, camera, sports equipment, tablet, e-reader, hats, clothing, and more. Yep, use them EVERYWHERE. You’ll be cooler for it, trust me.

These labels are super durable peel-and-stick, washable labels — they’re washer/dryer safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe and UV resistant! Label Daddy labels are also fun and attractive. You design your own labels! Pick from tons of colors, sizes and logos, including MLB, NBA, and NHL team logos, other sport and fun logos, and more. These labels are made in the USA and shipped directly to you worldwide.

Save 25% on any label order from Label Daddy – this is the best discount available anywhere. Click here labeldaddy.com/usfamily The discount will be automatically applied at checkout.

Photo Credit: Two awesome (but reluctant) kid models
Blogger Appreciation: Thanks to US Family Guide for continually trusting my take on editorial products, and a sincere thanks to #Ozeri and #LabelDaddy for trusting my promotion of their products…which really are quite fantastic, all humor aside. 

Ozeri

Label Daddy

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Fall Frolics with Gregory

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All it took was one, long afternoon in the backcountry, and I knew he was the one.

What’s better than a city escape to a colorful hike at the peak of fall season in Colorado? Testing your NEW backpacking pack and day dreaming of upcoming mountain hut adventures, of course!

WHAT DID WE TRY?
His: Osprey Aether AG 70 Pack
Hers: Osprey Ariel 65 AG Pack

His: Gregory Baltoro 75 Pack
Hers: Gregory Deva 70 Pack

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WHAT DID WE BUY?
Gregory

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Both the Osprey and Gregory packs were ideal for what we were looking for. The true test: packing a little weight and giving it a trial run. The Gregory packs took the win by a small margin, and one feature we both agreed was a must-have: Gregory’s comfortable hipbelt.

Read more about these other hiking backpack options at REI.com

WHY REI?

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed, and they mean it 😉
  • Expert advice on-site.
  • The 10% member benefits are pretty cool too.

SPECIAL THANKS
ARCTERYX for styln’ sun shade!
Louisville Endurance Race Series for keeping us cool in race tech t-s.

The Intrigue of Google Hex #808080

unnamedAh, Google. Such mystery, such intrigue. What is it that leaves the mind besotted over petabytes of user-generated data?  What stirs feelings of such intrigue? Criticisms of market dominance, violation of privacy, rank manipulation and various other empty accusations; and yet, with enhanced Google interaction, I become increasingly smitten.  

Of the most mystical fantasies of this company: Google X (stylized as Google[x]). It’s allegedly an underground facility owned by Google, located within approximately .5 miles of the corporate headquarters in Mountain View, CA. What happens in this lab is a mystery – a beautiful, speculative secret leaving much to the imagination.

Technology, fashion and mobility: I think I’m in love with Project Glass. It’s one of the rare research and development deliverables to surface from G[x]. Obtaining this augmented reality mobile device wasn’t easy, and much to my demise, remains a degree of separation from my actual possession. Delivery came via numeric code, laser-engraved inside a crystal block. Fortunately, my desk is located inside the walls of the company privileged to house such stealth device.

An unofficial slogan “Don’t be evil” communicates pure intentions and gains consumer trust.  A logo bursting with colors leaves the heart blissfully ebullient. With a market share in the upwards of 65%, it’s clear this giant is fulfilling promises, satisfying customers and leaving a lasting impression on those interacting with the remarkable technological experience.

Oh, the provocateur that is Google. The longing to own Glass of my own. A data powerhouse OSINT-ly sweeping consumers off their feet, leaving them mystified and forever intrigued. The imminence of Google Glass; ‘tis not boring nor dull, and yet somehow, I imagine – despite traditionally, shrewdly revealing auras of the rainbow – the unofficial logo of this Google[x] is resounding in shades of grey.

 

Sticky Tech Trends for 2013

Longtime followers know I’m an avid fan of name stickers…much to my children’s growing dismay. Who knew there would come a day when my little sweethearts might feel they were “too old” for such obsessive labeling? So, when I recently received a full-on eye roll at the mention of a name sticker, I realized we might be growing out of those cute little camp labels and into something far better…um, yeah, I have a plan B!

Introducing: keycals!

kidecalsThe latest and greatest in tech trendy and the perfect balance between “too old for name labels” and “mom has issues with adhesive decor.” This product comes in a variety of styles and colors…AND was recently featured on the Today Show!

A great way to spruce up and personalize an otherwise ordinary keyboard!

Now, I”d like to say I’m going to ease up on the adhesion of names to clothing, water bottles, bikes, toys, camping chairs (yes, I said camping chairs – it’s a problem)…but, with all the adorable options this company has to offer, I’d say that is highly unlikely. Besides, my six-year-old has yet to protest…

I’m thinking pink mustaches.
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Check out these and other creative products at Kidecals.com. Looking for a unique gift idea? They have that! One on my list: chalkboard stickers for the kitchen! (and you thought camping chairs were bad). The ideas are endless, and you may never lose another item again. (or when you do, you will kindly point out to your neighbor that they are in fact sitting in *your* camping chair…as per the name sticker on the bottom. lol!) #labelitdon’tloseit

Now Trending Holiday Gift Guide

There’s nothing wrong with the traditional gift card…um, unless you neglect to put a balance on that small piece of festive plastic. Contrary to the beliefs of my five-year-old, they aren’t just free at the register. However, if you’re going to gift to impress, you might want to do a little research and choose something a bit more thoughtful, unique, trendy…and remember…this season, EVERYTHING is better with a little facial hair. Ya, I just said that.

For: Mom
 Why just bake cupcakes when you could be wearing them too!? Give that special lady in your life a lovely, flirty adornment for the kitchen and let her know exactly how beautiful she looks as she whips up your favorite eat. Quick tip: hold the stache on this one. Available in children’s sizes – great mother/daughter gift! http://www.flirtyaprons.com/  $25-$35

For: Dad
I don’t think this photo needs a follow-up explanation,  BUT I did find an actual fake testimonial:

“Hector” Tech Support Laguna Beach, CA Hector says, “I still don’t like the fact that Beardo rhymes with Weirdo, but it’s really changed my life. Since I started strapping on the Beardo every morning, I’m finally getting respect. TSA just waves me right through at the airport and guys at the gym can’t figure out if I’m joking. I’m not.”

Yes: better (and warmer) with facial hair. Kid sizes too – perfect father/son gift! http://beardo.bigcartel.com/  $35-$40

For: Baby Sister
Trendy mustache lacking, but these adorable boots will still make winter epic fun! If a bout of inclement weather doesn’t put a damper on your outdoor adventure, you will appreciate this haute look. Just add tatoo stache. http://www.stonzwear.com/Stonz_Booties/Department.aspx?DeptID=7&&&RD=2 $40

For: Baby Brother
A bearded bink and a side of milk: shaken not stirred. Who could ask for anything more? http://www.etsy.com/listing/80024194/crocheted-mustache-pacifier-the-folk $10

From: Santa

Safety is always hip! With these adhesive helmet “fohawx!” in a variety of styles and colors, all of Santa’s good list will be safe and stylish. Spruce up last season’s new helmet…and, hey, who needs a stache when you’re rockn’ this up top? http://fohawx.com/ $20

photo: getkooky

Modern-Day Digital Phonebooth to Spark a Revolution?

Wise words by Christine Lagarde on the topic of career and motherhood resonated loudly with me recently. She explained, in a too often overlooked simplicity, the retort o’ day la touché of the ongoing – and ridiculous – debate of Working Mom vs. SAHM. Ms. Lagarde said, [brace yourselves]…

“We can’t have it all · ALL AT ONCE.”

It was the qualifier that really got me. We all know and somewhat understand the concept – we weigh opportunity costs daily, but to hear a successful, powerful, strong career woman AND MOM explain this profound notion so nonchalantly left me pondering. It’s kinda like Clark Kent and a phonebooth. Now…where can I find a phonebooth these days?

We live our lives knowing that if we spend our days googling at drooly, wide eyed chubby faces, that, no, we probably aren’t going to be engineering the newest design nor actively developing that thing for which we will vigilantly implement to save our planet…ummmmm, YET!

No, we (and I’m including dads here) aren’t defined by what we do in the moment! It’s the big picture that really counts, thank goodness, because I’m most positive that we all fall short sometimes – probably most of the time…AND I’m just thinkn’ that no one plan is the best for everyone. So, we do what we can with what we have and make the best of each situation. AND  *no, we can’t do everything we want* all at once. {though I do admit to trying most of the time #stubbornweakness}

So, as I make my transition back into the career world (school included) I have to admit, this is both trying and exciting. You’ve heard the expression “helicopter mom,” right? I try not to be one. Yet, letting go is a challenge for me at times – and the thought of moving my “office” from a living room to a professional work space, away from my children for hours at a time, well, that’s when I have to face the truth: enroll me now…Helicopter Moms Anonymous.

In my search for comfort in transition, a brilliant solution came my way…no, couldn’t find a superhero phone booth on Craigslist, darn. I did, however, find my modern-day phonebooth…mobile phone app actually. Not shopping the Internet tho – this came to me via Facebook. Yes, I spend an inordinate amount of time with technology these days, but this wasn’t just the digital realm talking…friends of mine from college (techie dads) developed a mobile technology that just happened to fit the very need this self-proclaimed helicopter mom was having.

A way to continually monitor my children while I’m at work!

The digital app is called KidReports. It’s a real time report available from my desktop and mobile phone. This means that I can check my child’s status update, provided by the care facility, the way some people (dads) check the score while in church. So, while I can’t be there every minute, I won’t miss out on the little things I want to know about my children’s day.

The phonebooth is synonymous with Superman the way that mobile phone app is synonymous with KidReports.

I might be a mommy superhero after all, ha. Or…maybe I’ll eventually learn to let go…and maybe I’ll send my children to college with KidReports. We shall see!

With the changing seasons of life and young children growing up far too fast, I’m beginning to accept the fact that I can’t have it all…same time/same place that is. There’s nothing wrong with cheating just a little, right!? (Thank you KidReports!) Ok, now to contact Christine Lagarde for her thoughts on the superhero paradigm change made possible by modern mobile technology, wink! Continue reading “Modern-Day Digital Phonebooth to Spark a Revolution?”

The End of the LEGO Obsession (or just the beginning!?)

Sunday morning, 2:30 a.m., I awoke to thoughts of the LEGO KidsFest review that I had yet to write #myweekofprocrastination…and in those wee hours of the morning I heard my daughter tossing, turning and mumbling in her sleep. As I listened closely, I made out the distressed words, “No more LEGOS.”

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So, you might be wondering why I’d share that with my readers when the clear goal of this editorial review is to help *promote* LEGO KidsFest…but stay with me here 😉

I got to thinking about all that the KidsFest had to offer: build areas, the BIG brick pile, monochromatic bricks, mosaic LEGO art, race ramps, games, challenge zone, LEGO friends, Brickscapes, the marketplace and much, much more…and I realized something – this KidsFest is a LEGO lovers dream come true! One small problem for my sweet little Noelle, she’s just not quite old enough to have really caught on to the LEGO brick obsession. AND that was the problem…

Scared of small, toy bricks of immense creative capacity, no.
Intimidated by a life-size LEGO Hulk creation, maybe.

I think the real fear was derived from the fret over a simple, red LEGO t-shirt. Because she hadn’t quite caught the LEGO bug yet, not a single toy set in the marketplace quite suited her fancy. What she was looking for (obsessed with) was one of the raffle t-shirts (which she did not win). Unfortunately for her, it was time to leave and not a single LEGO t-shirt in sight. Oh the travesty.

I can just imagine my sweet baby girl – all grown up – sitting on the psychiatrist’s couch explaining the night terrors, images of enormous LEGO monsters and an insatiable desire for one, simple red LEGO-imprinted t-shirt. Ya just never know how ya might really mess up in this parenting stuff, hee hee.

The Lorax, Dr. Seuss ~ Movie Review

What do you do with an animation alluding – possibly a little too much – to controversial issues of conservation, politics, religion and various other propaganda distracting from the message in the original text? You pay a little extra to watch it in 3-D!

Let LOVE save the world…I think Dr. Seuss might like it. Is it really so bad that Ted might find his passion for a green initiative in school-boy twitterpation? What better reason is there!? He heard “I’d probably marry him right on the spot”  …in the voice of Taylor Swift. That was a boy on a mission – he can’t help it that he might save the world too – give him a break, movie critics.

AND if you don’t care for the twists in the movie plot or silly, creative animation, you certainly won’t care for the funky tunes ~ but you might like this humorous video!

Ode to the criticism of a greed-driven capitalistic system and the evils of excess (caution against putting me into a socialist/semi-socialist box, wink)…a massive ruse alluding to the absurdity of, um, bottled water (don’t pay for what ya might find for #free)…and yes, for goodness sake, plant a tree (the ladies will love ya for it!). I should also admit: I cried, yes real tears, at a 3-D animated film – which was made it a little more difficult to notice all the welling up of tears #benefitofhuge3-Dglasses. See the flick, hug a tree, call me a hippie (grandpa) but I loved this film!

The Lorax – Movie Quotes – Fav Picks:

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. The Once-ler

A tree falls the way it leans. Be careful which way you lean. The Lorax  

‘Cause when a guy does something stupid once, well that’s because he’s a guy. But if he does the same stupid thing twice, that’s usually to impress some girl. The Once-ler

Its not about what it is, Its about what it can become. The Once-ler

 

Best Winter Gear for Kids! (WIN Obermeyer Ski Coat/Pants & Name Bubbles)

Whether you’re hitting the slopes this winter or building snowmen in your backyard, you are going to want to bundle up – and with these top winter gear picks, your kids will be properly protected AND in great style!

(photo: Sheer Bliss Coat in Anthracite)

Obermeyer’s novel “I-Grow” System allows for your children’s winter wardrobe to grow right along with them. It is one of the most brilliant l ideas I have come across in my search for epic winter wear. Simply snip the colored thread at the wrists and ankles to extend the length up to two inches, allowing for an extra season (or two!). High waters will be a thing of the past with this original design. Another ingenious devise by Obermeyer – the “goodie pocket,” perfect for a healthy snack when you are too busy having fun to take a break…a favorite pick at our house: organic Wacky Apple fruit leather.


(photo: Mini McGyver Jacket)

From prim and proper to rugged yet refined, this military inspired casual wear will make a fashionable statement this winter. With quality materials and ultra- sturdy assembly (even the buttons are anchored on for a lifetime of wear,) these garments are ideal for little outdoor enthusiasts. Matching parent/child styles are absolutely adorable and perfect for a mild weather day on the slopes or an après ski hot cocoa and s’mores.
  


Frosty fingers and foggy goggles can quickly ruin a day on the slopes and choosing sunglasses over ski goggles can result in sunburned eyeballs (not fun) due to the glare reflecting from the ground up. Gearing your children up right will not only protect them from the elements but will ensure a great experience for the entire family. Gordini technology takes winter gear technology seriously – effectively balancing the body’s natural heat production with the loss experienced in cold temperatures. Quality ski gear is important…even for our tiny learners.  Don’t risk spending your winter vacation juggling uncomfortable hand warmers and making frequent defrost stops at the lodge.

This local, family owned company specializes in kid-sized snowboards and equipment. With fresh designs, free demos and a respectful vision for the moral of the sport, this young company is pioneering a new generation of little shredders. Start skill building early and avoid the pain of adult learning – I think I’m still recovering from a Winter Park boarding lesson last season…I’ll stick with skis for a while.

  
After carefully selecting your winter gear, you will want to protect it from the ominous lost and found…and help your children recognize their valuable belongings in the heaps of skis, boards, helmets, coats and other items at the lodge. These fashionable stickers are not only visually appealing, they are amazingly durable – laundry and dishwasher safe – read about by inadvertent home test on this product: Honey, I Shrunk the Sippy Cup.
 
 

ENTER TO WIN at Mile High Mamas! 

 

Contest deadline is January 29, 2012.

 
 
 

A Hop Back in Time…Thanks to Air Pogo

Flashback circa de 1988 to scrunchie-held side ponytails, layered socks and stonewashed, pinch rolled denim. It was the stage of life where a transition from childhood tomboyish tendencies into a seemingly well-mannered young lady is a mandatory progression if one is to survive scrutiny of the unyielding judgments projected from hormonal preteens…particularly of the female sort.

It was my escape. An acceptable means of releasing a pent up need to just be silly – play, jump, laugh till your tummy aches kind of fun. I could jump rope with it, experiment with the forces of gravity with it on the trampoline – braving the no-net, dauntingly exposed spring edged rectangle of fun – or use it as intended…and my proper development into preteen maturity was not doubted by any.

So, you can imagine my delight when I received this product for review. The Air Pogo Jumper…my children’s pogo ball. It was just as I had dreamed but increasingly innovative. This Pogo Jumper arrived in a box with a pump. Assembly was easy: insert the red ball into the center, pump to desired firmness…and bounce.

My eight-year-old son was a natural. My four-year-old found it to be more of a challenge (it helps to let some of the air out so she can balance,) but that makes sense considering she’s a bit young for the recommended age…but don’t think she’s going to give up that easily…we’re still recovering from our summer At the Rodeo!

CReaTIvE ExeRCiSE…and we’ll be trying this out on the trampoline once the snow melts. *Not a recommended use but with safety nets, padded springs and the convenience of 911 on the cell phone what could go wrong, right?