Nutrition Explorers – Kids Night In Box Review

“Our bodies are our gardens our wills are our gardeners.” – William Shakespeare 

If we left our kids (most of them) to their own culinary wills, they would eat so many white cheddar cheese puffs, chocolate chip cookies, and fruit snacks, that they would turn into a giant ball of junk food. Even with picky eaters who prefer the unhealthier options, we can teach our kids the importance of well rounded meals. 

Even if he doesn’t want to eat it, we encourage our oldest (four-year-old), to take at least one bite of everything we eat as a family. Sometimes there are wins, but most of the time there are a lot of losses. No matter what, we always champion him for trying. He’s proud of just eating one (yes, that’s right), just one black bean, because he hates them, but at least he tries. 

In this month’s Kids Night In Box – Nutrition Explorers, my oldest has dived into a food expedition. With every Kids Night In Box, there is a special theme. The Nutrition Explorers box was timely, as we have been working on his eating habits. Jam packed with so many wonderful activities, healthy eating was provided a fun platform my son could easily support. 

Eat A Rainbow

The first activity we completed together, as a unit, was the Rainbow Activity sheet. Armed with pastels, we colored in our rainbow and discussed fruits and vegetables that are the same colors. My four-year-old profoundly stated as he colored brown all over the rainbow illustration that the fruits and veggies “turn brown anyway.” I mean…he’s not wrong. The best part of this activity was watching his face light-up as he called our various fruits and veggies. He paced back and forth until the moment he would pause and say, “wait! I know! How about a…a…a…PINEAPPLE?!” It is proudly displayed on our fridge and serves as a reminder to healthy options he can consider when trying to “eat the rainbow.”

Making Mill Mama - Nutrition Explorers 1

Explore Nutrition

One of my favorite classes during my undergrad career was Nutrition. I just found it so interesting and enlightening. I vividly remember sitting down with the My Plate chart to create a meal that satisfied the good fats and cholesterols, dietary needs, etc. With this activity, my son and I filled out our My Plate diagram together. With his crafted binoculars in hand, we examined each provided sticker and placed it appropriately on the plate. He quickly identified was grain, protein, dairy, vegetable, and/or fruit. There were a few items like sushi that teetered between a few areas of the chart – protein, grain, and vegetables. He thought that was hysterical. Once committed to the activity, he quickly took full ownership, telling me what was what. Like our Rainbow Activity sheet, the Explore Nutrition My Plate sheet is proudly displayed on our fridge for the world to see. 

Making Mill Mama - Nutrition Explorers 2

Food Journal

Included in this month’s Kids Night In Box is a My Plate Food Journal. It was the first item my son was drawn towards. He immediately flipped through the pages and demanded my husband sit down with him to fill it out. What I love about this journal is that he can track not only his food intake and exercise, but he can rate his dietary choices and experiences. The other night we had fish tacos with black beans, and I’m not going to lie to you, they received a very poor rating from my four-year old. There were a lot of circled unhappy faces; however, with this said, he tried it and determined on his own (not by assumption) that he does not like fish tacos and black beans. Now, every night after dinner, my husband and son sit down together to fill out his journal. It’s pretty funny to see things through the eyes of a preschooler. 

Making Mill Mama - Nutrition Explorers 3

I say this every month, but the Kids Night In Box, is the box that keeps on giving. Along with the countless games and activities, each box comes with a hand selected children’s book, applicable to the box, and a snack sample for the kiddos to try. If you are looking for a way to bring the family together or to drive thoughtful thinking between you and your child, this is the perfect subscription service. We LOVE Kids Night In! To get your box CLICK HERE

Here’s a quick question for you – what is your favorite family meal? Let me know in the comments below. 

Follow Kids Night In Box:

Instagram – @KidsNightInBox

 Facebook – @KidsNightInBox

 YouTube – @KidsNightInBox

Follow Makings of a Millennial Mama:

Instagram – @makingmillmama

Twitter – @makingmillmama

 Facebook – @makingmillmama

 Pinterest – @MakingsOfAMillennialMama

Advertisements

Lollipop Baby Camera – Millennial Mama Review

I always said I would be a chill parent and never sweat the small stuff. Turns out…I’m not a chill parent. While yes, I tend to go with the flow, I am hyper paranoid about everything. It’s hard to be in my head sometimes. So many thoughts racing through at any given moment. I’m often talking myself down from spaces of high anxiety; searching for the parenting peace of mind. 

 

Well, there has been a shift, the Lollipop Baby Camera has eliminated so much of that parenting paranoia. We received the Lollipop Baby Camera three-weeks ago and to be honest, it’s a real game-changer. We LOVE it (and so do the kids…a little too much). 

 

As a millennial parent, I am constantly drawn towards the new and improved tech savvy product. The Lollipop Baby Camera is just that, but for monitoring your babe during naptime, playtime, bedtime, or anytime. The camera syncs with your Apple or Android device/phone for full monitoring with tons of features perfect for the new parent or seasoned parent. 

Makings of a Millennial Mama - Lollipop Baby Camera 2

From the app you can clearly view your child with ease. There isn’t any of that Ghost Hunters television show night vision happening, but a clear and crisp image. The 4x digital zoom and infrared LED makes this camera stand out above the rest. It also has a cry detection feature. The monitor picks up on your child’s cues and can differentiate between babbling and crying. You will automatically receive an alert if you baby is starting to cry. These occurrences are detailed on an events list, i.e. 30 second videos capturing cries, noise, temperature fluctuations, etc. Is this the dream or what?

Makings of a Millennial Mama - Lollipop Baby Camera 1

The app has additional features, such as data collection. The Public Health major in me LOVES this feature because I can track when my kid is up and down. Who doesn’t love research and evaluation?! Did he need to get up for the bathroom at a certain time? Was he unsettled at any given moment? With this information, I can identify my child’s sleep patterns. PS: Did I mention you can keep it on your personal WiFi for full privacy. 

 

Along with the benefits of the mobile app, you can move and bend the baby-safe silicone camera around for the best angle. It comes with a tree branch wall mount, so you don’t have to ruin your walls or furniture. It also comes in three adorable colors – aqua (what we have), pink, and pistachio. The way parents curate our kid’s rooms these days, we need something that will seamlessly blend into the decor and this monitor does just that.

 

I can talk on and on about the benefits of the Lollipop Baby Camera, but you need to try this one out for yourself. I sincerely love this product! Click this link to learn more and to get your own >> https://store.lollipop.camera/ << 

#lollipopbabymonitor #lollipopbabycamera#lollipopbabycam

What color Lollipop Baby Camera would you pick? Let me know in the comments of this post. 

 

Follow Lollipop Baby Camera:

Instagram – @lollipopbabycamera

Facebook – @lollipopbabycam

YouTube – Lollipop Baby Monitor

 

Follow Makings of a Millennial Mama:

Instagram – @makingmillmama

Twitter – @makingmillmama

 Facebook – @makingmillmama

 Pinterest – @MakingsOfAMillennialMama

Rise Up – Kids Night In Box Review

“Good is not a thing you are. Good is a thing you do.” – Ms. Marvel

              I will be referencing a bunch of Marvel superheroes, so my apologies in advance to the DC fans out there.

One of the biggest tasks I have taken on as a parent, in my opinion, is the responsibility of raising kind souls. As human beings it’s easy for us to default to a negative head space because of the many emotions we hold inside. I envision toddlers and preschoolers in this instance, as little Bruce Banners. They are pint-size people full of big emotions, and sometimes they don’t know where to harness that energy, just like Hulk.

While the vision of a green tiny human with purple shorts sounds cute and quite honestly like the perfect Halloween costume, I don’t want my kids hulking out due to frustration, hurt feelings, or anything in between. In the August 2019 Kids Night In Box – Rise Up, kids and parents are provided the tools needed to have fun and learn how to effectively approach the topic of bullying. I think about this often in regard to my kids. I don’t want them to be the victims of bullying and I especially do not want them to turn into the Thanos of their pre-school. With the support and knowledge from the Home Educators of American, Kids Night In Box, has provided another exceptional box to tackle this important topic.

SUPERHERO STYLE

Each Kids Night In Box comes with a special book themed specifically to that month’s box. In this month’s box, we were given a copy of How to Deal with Bullies Superhero Style, an insightful children’s book written by Wiley Blevins and illustrated by Debbie Palen. In this book, a young boy named Zach transforms into a superhero addressing situations of bullying amongst his peers. In an effort to stand up for what is right, Zach uses his words instead of his fists to better the situation.

KNI Rise Up MakingMillMama 3

My oldest is currently in Pre-K, so Kindergarten is no longer a thought, it is quite honestly right around the corner. I know how sweet his soul is and how empathetic he is to other’s feelings but having conversations around bullying at this very moment is so important. This book has been the perfect introduction and reminder of what we can say when someone is bullying a friend or classmate. I certainly appreciate having this book in our personal library.

BECOME THE HERO

Our FAVORITE activity from this box was the creation of his superhero costume! In the box, your child is provided a superhero mask kit, superhero cape, and superhero ID badge. In an effort to be like Zach from the book, we started our costume making journey with the ID badge. On the badge there is a place to put your superhero name and superhero power. Now, my son went very unconventional during this part of the activity. As a lover of Pokemon, he became “I Love Pokemon” and his power is “Pokemon Blast.” I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right, he is so strong and mighty as “I Love Pokemon.” A true force to be reckoned with.

KNI Rise Up MakingMillMama 4

After creating the ID badge, together, we followed the pictured instructions for the superhero mask kit. Carefully placing each foam piece, the end result was fantastic! As a lover of the color orange, his perfectly designed purple and orange face mask, gave him the confidence he needed to become the best superhero around.

KNI Rise Up MakingMillMama 2 (1)

Watching my son run around the front yard with his cape, mask, and ID badge, was quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen. We plan to reenact How to Deal with Bullies Superhero Style dressed in his costume and practice how to address different situations he may face at school, swim practice, the park, or anywhere he may potentially encounter a bully.

BULLY VS. BUDDY

One thing I love about each Kids Night In Box, is that they provide critical thinking opportunities. With the Bully vs. Buddy chart, my son was able to identify instances of bullying. I read through a number of scenarios and he had to identify, by circling a happy face or frowny face, if they scenario was an example of someone being a bully. Alternatively, for the older kids, the back of the Bully vs. Buddy sheet allows older kids to right down characteristics of how an individual can be a buddy or how a person can be a buddy.

We work really hard to teach our boys how to be the best buddies they can be and approach each situation with kindness. This is a great tool to learn how different actions can help or harm the people around them.

A LITTLE EXTRA

Each Kids Night In Box comes with a few extra items, so the impact of the box can go above and beyond. In the Kids Night In Box – Rise Up, my son received a pair of bright orange sunglasses. If you know anything about my son, HIS color is orange, so these were perfect. Megan Pruitt, Founder of Kids Night In Box, has labelled these shades as “Bully Blockers” and we are obsessed. My son can put these on as a way to block out the bullies.

These were a few of our favorite activities, but there were so many more ways to have fun and learn how to address the important topic of bullying in children and adolescents with this month’s Kids Night In Box.

I say it each month, but we look forward to receiving our Kids Night In Box. It’s exciting, educational, and engaging! To get your box, CLICK HERE!

KNI Rise Up MakingMillMama 2 (2)

Who is your favorite superhero? Let me know in the comments below.

#KNIRiseUp #KidsNightInBox

Follow Kids Night In Box:

Instagram – @KidsNightInBox

 Facebook – @KidsNightInBox

 YouTube – @KidsNightInBox

 

Follow Makings of a Millennial Mama:

Instagram – @makingmillmama

Twitter – @makingmillmama

 Facebook – @makingmillmama

 Pinterest – @MakingsOfAMillennialMama

Summer Reading with Kids

“Books are a uniquely portable magic” – Stephen King

When I open a book, I am instantaneously thrown into a world of wonder. I am delighted with every turn of the page. I long for others to feel the excitement that I feel every time I pick up a book. It’s magical! I am fortunate enough to have two kids who love the power of a good book.

Reading has become a daily occurrence in our household. Books are read while at school and at home on the weekends, but every night is closed with two books. This is OUR time. While my kids are still young and in school during the work week, we are creating an environment which thrives on the written word. These tactics can transform the summer reader as well.

The Books of Summer

While reading should be the reward, developing incentives for reading can be beneficial to the young reader. We are participating in the 1,000 books before kindergarten challenge with our local library, but this can be transformed into a monthly challenge for kids. A book a day, 10 books a month, 50 books for the summer, etc., these are great options for kids. For each book they read, they will receive a sticker. For every 10 stickers, they will be rewarded for a small toy, experience, etc. A grand adventure ahead!

Create Your Own Story

Tapping into their creative side can be beneficial. Challenging kids to write and illustrate their own children’s book can be a summer-long project. Each day, they can spend 20-30 minutes on their book. By the end of their summer, they can host their own author reading for friends and family. Taking pride in their own creation is but one aspect of the project, by reading from their favorite authors, they can gain inspiration for their own developments.

Invest in Your Own Library 

The summer is the perfect time to build your family library. We have four bookshelves filled with books across our house. We love investing and growing our collection of beautiful and inspiring children’s books. Penguin Random House has released three beautiful books that have been the ideal additions to our storybook collection.

Summer Reading with Making Mill Mama.JPG

PAPER SON  – The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist by Julie Leung & Chris Sasaki 

From China to America with only a few papers in his hands, Tyrus Wong became an illustrator for Disney, using his gorgeous watercolor technique to create the iconic backgrounds of Bambi. Through the enchanting writing of Julie Leung and the illustrations of former character designer for Pixar Animation Studio, Chris Sasaki, Wong’s journey from immigrant to celebrated artist is wonderfully captured. My four-year-old is drawn (no pun intended) to the detailed illustrations of this children’s book. He will sit in his reading corner, flipping from page to page, carefully examining the beauty that is this book.

Available for purchase on September 24, 2019. 

Take Your Pet to School Day by Linda Ashman & Suzanne Kaufman

One word can be used to describe this book – FUN! When pets show up at Maple View Elementary School unannounced, chaos ensues and my kids bust into instantaneous laughter. Through Ashman’s skillful rhyming and Kaufman’s captivating illustrations (BIG fans over here), kids can learn the power of classroom etiquette with new friends. This children’s book is perfect for kids and pet lovers alike.

Now available for purchase.

When Sadness is at Your Door by Eva Eland

Dealing with your emotions can be hard. Understanding your feelings as a kids can be even harder. Through her debut piece, writer and illustrator Eva Eland introduces sadness as a welcomed guest; exploring its intention, giving it a name and form, and discovering ways and activities to approach moments of melancholy through mindfulness. It is important to respect the feeling(s). This is truly a beautiful piece which provides thoughtful conversation with the kids.

Now available for purchase.

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

These are just a few ways to encourage summer reading. What are your ideas? Let me know in the comments. I am always looking for new and exciting ways to encourage reading with my kiddos.

Follow Makings of a Millennial Mama:

Instagram – @makingmillmama

Twitter – @makingmillmama

Facebook – @makingmillmama

Pinterest – @MakingsOfAMillennialMama

Just Imagine – Kids Night In Box Review

How many times were you told to “use your imagination” as a kid? I heard it countless times, and do you want to know something? Once I did start to use my imagination, I was able to transform any “boring” (because what does that really mean to someone under the age of 10?) situation into something exciting. I appreciate my parents for challenging me to think outside of the box in order to create my own FUN!

 

We look forward to our monthly Kids Night In Box, because it provides a space for the entire family to engage in fun and exciting activities. This month, the Just Imagine box, relied on the sentiment of just “use your imagination” (see how I brought that full circle?). Each activity, book, recipe, etc. was curated to challenge the mind – to step outside the norm and use that creative side of the brain. While every box has been a hit, this one really hit it out of the park. 

 

Literally a Box Car

 

Something special about the Kids Night In Box is that you can use and reuse every aspect of the box, including the box. In this month’s box there was a delightful activity where you transform the subscription box into a car. With the box, wooden wheels, wooden rods, rubber bands, scissors, markers, and stickers, the boys made a speed racer. I did have to break up a few fights, because they both wanted to take full control over the car, but once they started to share, the fun was endless. They helped decorate their side of the car, and generously handed the mechanic (myself) the tools needed to make their box car. Such a simple and highly entertaining activity for the entire family. 

KNI MakingMillMama 4 (1)

Play With Your Food

 

“Don’t play with you food!” In this case, we threw that statement out the window. Playing with your food, can turn into a moment of pure joy and creativity for the kids. Their Kids Night In Box came with a bag of pretzels, a bag of cheese cracker, and a bag of fruit chews. I laid out all the materials (I may have stolen a nibble or two) for the boys to design with their food. Ro wanted to make a birdhouse out of snacks. Once he completed his masterpiece, he decided to transform into a GIANT bird and eat the birdhouse (the mind of a four-year-old). For our two-year-old, he started to sort and match like pieces together, creating almost an apartment complex of pretzels and cheese crackers. The boys LOVED making with their food. Do you think if I use this with vegetables they will be just as excited? It’s an idea!

KNI MakingMillMama 2 (1)

Wikki Stixs

 

Who remembers playing with Wikki Stixs as a kid? I remember the countless hours of fun I would devote to building and rebuilding unique art pieces out of those malleable wax sticks. With it being summer and their Little Mermaid obsession, we created our own mermaid from Wikki Stixs by thinking outside of the box. Now, she may not look entirely amused (thanks to my four-year-old’s facial construction), but she is really living it up under the sea. She is one fancy mermaid! There was a lot of debate on what we should make at the beginning, but watching the cogs in their minds turn as they developed ideas was priceless. This is a great activity to take on a road trip, to a restaurant, the doctors office, etc. You can’t go wrong. 

KNI MakingMillMama 2 (2)

More Imagination

 

This box had so many exciting activities:

  • A recipe for a Hot Air Balloon Adventure
  • Story Time
  • Board book – Not a Box 
  • So much more!

 

We sincerely love and look forward to our Kids Night In Box every month. When we see our box sitting on the front porch, we can’t wait to dive in, because 1) we know it’s fun 2) we know we will spend time together and 3) we always laugh. To get your own box go to >> https://frstre.com/go/?a=19136-4863f8&s=456886-78ed66 << You can also select from the Date Night In Box, Date Night In Box – Faith, and Kids Night In Box – Faith. All great options for you and your significant other or family.

 

So, tell me, what’s one way you create outside of the box? Leave your response in the comments below. 

#KNIJustImagine #KidsNightInBox

Follow Kids Night In Box:

Instagram – @KidsNightInBox

Facebook – @KidsNightInBox

YouTube – @KidsNightInBox

Follow Makings of a Millennial Mama:

Instagram – @makingmillmama

Twitter – @makingmillmama

Facebook – @makingmillmama

Pinterest – @MakingsOfAMillennialMama

5 Tips for a Pool Day with the Kids

“Expect the unexpected” has been my life since I’ve had my boys. I’m always thinking ahead. Whenever we go somewhere, I take the obvious necessities and then some. You never know what cards they are going to draw day-to-day. A simple trip to the neighborhood pool requires tactile decision-making on my part. While it’s just a two-minute car ride, a lot can happen from point A to point B.

When it’s 90+ degrees outside, I want to make sure our trip to the pool is enjoyed by all parties (i.e. mom, dad, kids, and our fellow neighbors). With this said, here are my five tips for a great pool day with the kids!

Toys and backup toys: My kids want…no require pool toys to survive a day at the pool. There are obviously toys they enjoy using over and over again, but they will randomly become bored of the packed toys. Some would say, make them suck it up, and to that I say, I pick my battles, and this is a fight I do not want to pursue. In the back of the car I have tub filled with backup pool toys. I quick jaunt to the parking lot and we are back on track. Did I mention earlier, that I always expect the unexpected?

Backup snacks: My kids have three go-to snacks 1. Fresh fruit (watermelon, strawberries, and mandarins) 2. Organic white cheddar puffs from Aldis and 3. Fruit snacks. From time to time, they’ll turn on me and refuse the snacks they “love.” Most parents would panic, but not me! I have a backup stash of goldfish, veggies, fruit bars, etc. If that doesn’t work, I have backup to the backup.

Change of clothes: My kids love playing in the pool, but when it’s time to go they want their wet clothes off immediately (in particular my four-year-old)! I mentioned earlier that our house is a two-minute drive, if that, from the pool, but the thought of sitting in their swimsuit is a crime against humanity in their eyes. A quick trip to the locker room with their change of clothes and we are good for the (short) journey home.

Bring an umbrella or two: When it’s a really hot day, the pool is packed. When the pool is packed, the shaded areas are ALWAYS taken. While I am excessive with the sunscreen, my gingers require some extra protection. We have an umbrella or two tucked away in the car, just in case the boys need some shade on an overly crowded day.

Accept that mom bod: For me, I carried two kids in this body. It is flawed, but I am proud of it. We unfortunately live in a society where we are always giving and receiving judgement to/from the person next to us. The pool deck is the perfect cesspool for this type of behavior. For me, I have too much on my mind taking care of the kiddos to worry about what anyone else thinks. Rocking a solid swimsuit, like this high-waist bandeau bikini set from ROVLET, gives me the extra boost of confidence I need as I chase my kids around the pool. If you go to >> https://www.rovlet.com/beachwear/swimwear.html << you can get the suit perfect for your day at the pool. Use the code LOVELY10 for 10% off your order. Looking good girl!

ACS_0399

Maybe you already use some of these tactics and maybe you don’t, either way, taking kids to the pool can be an adventure. What tricks do you have up your sleeve? Let me know in the comments below.

Make a successful splash this summer!

Follow Makings of a Millennial Mama:

Instagram – @makingmillmama

Twitter – @makingmillmama

Facebook – @makingmillmama

Pinterest – @makingsofamillennialmama

Let’s Stay Connected:

 

Made for the Minimalist Millennial Mama – JORD Watch + Giveaway

What’s the saying? A little bit of country, a little bit of rock & roll! Well this girl is a little bit earth mama, a little bit sporty, a little bit Gwen Stefani in No Doubt circa 1995, while mixed in with a minimalist perspective. I like my wardrobe to be simple, easy to wear, but also packed with a little bit quirkiness. I often neglect to accessorize because I’m always in a rush or I get overwhelmed with the decision. I have recently found the one item that makes accessorizing easy and stylish – JORD (pronounced Yode) watches.

JORD Watch

Keep reading for your chance to get $100 off any watch of your choice.

JORD watches are a gorgeous mix of natural, and largely reclaimed materials (cue an eco happy dance), combined with quality movements and components. My JORD, the FRANKIE is made of dark sandalwood with a smoke face; a watch made for the minimalist soul. It literally goes with everything…like EVERYTHING! I was walking around the office the other day and my co-worker, a gentleman, was so complimentary of my watch. The great thing about the FRANKIE, in particular, is that it’s a versatile timepiece, perfect for anyone to wear. If you’re looking for a certain style, JORD has so many stunning options to choose from.

FRANKIE – JORD Watch

If you’re looking for a more personalized option, JORD has your back. Most watch backplates can be engraved, including ALL Cedar humidor presentation boxes. Dare I say, this is the perfect gift for a birthday, graduation, or holiday – Father’s Day will be here before you know it (wink, wink). If you want to take the personalization even further, you can mix and match woods and faces. Additionally, sizing your JORD is super easy! Each watch can be sized for the individual wearer.

JORD also saved this mama in a moment of crisis. Have you ever experienced the moment when you think your phone is charging through the night, but in fact it’s not and then the phone dies and you’re left in panic? I woke up the other morning from a restful night’s sleep only realize my phone was DEAD! It was a week day! The power had gone out overnight, so my phone and all the clocks in the house were off. My panic didn’t last long, because my JORD watch was on my nightstand ticking away.

Not only does JORD compliment my own unique style, but it’s dependable. With top notch customer service, JORD watches were made for YOU! Exchanges and returns are free, with standard worldwide shipping is provided to all customers.You can’t go wrong with JORD.

Now you know how amazing JORD is, so here’s your chance to get $100 off any watch of your choice. Simply enter through this link >> https://www.woodwatches.com/g/makingsofamillennialmama <<. The winner will be emailed following the conclusion of the giveaway. If you don’t win, no need to worry. All entrants will receive a 10% off discount code.

Redefine your look and gear up with JORD by following them on social:

Instagram – @jordwatches

Facebook – @JordWoodWatches

Twitter – @woodwatches_com

Pinterest – @JordWoodWatches

Follow Makings of a Millennial Mama:

Instagram – @makingmillmama

Twitter – @makingmillmama

Facebook – @makingmillmama

Let’s Stay in Touch:

 

<a id=”woodwatches_com_widget_article”  ishidden=”1″ title=”Wooden Wrist Watch”>Wooden Wrist Watch</a>
<script src=”//www.jordwatches.com/widget-article/|”  type=”text/javascript”></script>

Goodbye Germs – 4 Ways to Keep Illness Away

So, I don’t know about you, but the cold, flu, allergies, stomach bug, really whatever you can think of, has plagued our home over the past couple of months. When you have kids in daycare, I think the chances of passing along germs spreads 100 times faster…just from my own experience. I’ve been on a personal crusade against germs and have found 4 fail-proof ways to keep illness at bay.

Here are the 4 H’s to keep in mind:

 

  1. H2O – Water is our friend. Water is our friend. Water is our friend. Say this mantra over and over again and keep hydrated. Adults should drink roughly 2 liters (eight 8-ounce glasses) of water daily. I try to keep water in my kids’ hands at all times, especially when they are at home. I carry my CamelBak with me to work every day and the boys have their own water bottles they trucked around everywhere we go. We LOVE water and staying hydrated actually keeps the sickness away.
    I would check with your pediatrician in regard to how much water your little one should drink on the daily. 
  2. Hotspots – Finding a good cleaner that is safe for the kids and pets as well as keeps the house free of germs is almost impossible to find, until now! CleanWell is a miracle brand keeping families safe from harsh chemicals as well as creating a healthy environment. We love the Botanical Bathroom Disinfectant, Botanical Disinfectant All Purpose Cleaner, and Botanical Disinfecting Wipes. These awesome products kill up to 99.9% of household germs including Influenza A, Rhinovirus, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, and so much more. Cleaning with these in illness hotspots – those places where germs grow at a rapid rate – like toilets (also handy when you have boys), sinks, desks, doorknobs, etc. can help eliminate the spread of germs. I honestly can’t get enough these products. They make cleaning easier without needing to rinse and there is no harsh chemical residue floating through the air. Go to their website >> cleanwelltoday.com << to find a store near you who sells these AWESOME products or check them out on Amazon. Three cheers for CleanWell!

    Clean Well Botanical Bathroom Cleaner

  3. Hands up – My kids are so use to me saying “hands up” when we are in a public bathroom, battling sickness in the house, or maneuvering through a store. Germs are everywhere and I’m all about building the immune system, but keeping their hands off of hotspots can make a big difference. The CDC has notated how viruses, like the flu, can live on a hard surface for two to eight hours. Yikes! With the way things spread through daycare, taking extra steps when out and about is necessary. My kids know not to touch a handle without me wiping it down.
  4. Hot (really warm) water – Ya’ll we should all know this one, but soap and hot/warm water is the way to go. When you have kids their idea of washing hands is to throw them under the running faucet for half a second, wipe off excess water on their pant leg, and move on with their lives. By finding a catchy song or rhyme that lasts around 20 seconds can keep them washing their hands for the allotted amount of time. They should be washing their hands every time they leave the bathroom, before they sit down to eat, as well as when they come home from school/park/outings. CleanWell has a wonderful foaming hand soap that comes in four scents – Spearmint Lime, Ginger Bergamot, Lavender, and Orange Vanilla. I LOVE the Spearmint Lime; it is divine!

Now these are just four ways to keep the germs away, so I want to know, how do you keep your house protected from sickness? Let me know in the comments below.

Also, make sure you check out CleanWell >> www.cleanwelltoday.com << They will have the product or products you are looking for to keep your house safe and clean.

Follow CleanWell:

Pinterest –  @cleanwell

Instagram – @cleanwelltoday

Facebook – @cleanwell

Twitter – @cleanwell

Follow Makings of a Millennial Mama:

Instagram – @makingmillmama

Twitter – @makingmillmama

Facebook – @makingmillmama

Let’s Stay In Touch:

2018 Gift Guide – Preschooler Favorites

Let’s face it, our kids change their holiday list, especially if they are a toddler/preschooler, over and over again. Anticipating what your kid(s) will want for the holidays is almost nearly impossible.  My oldest, who is three, has one constant item on his list this year, OCTONAUTS. Something tells me Santa is going to fulfill those dreams this year but finding other gifts can be tricky. You may or may not be in the same boat, but either way, I can give you some insight to gifts your youngster(s) will LOVE!

Build Me ToysThe Take Apart Firetruck

I am always on the search for toys that challenge my children, but in a fun way. Build Me Toys wraps creativity, problem solving, and hours of fun into each of their toys. Perfect for the little builder, dinosaur connoisseur, or lover of motorized vehicles of all types, Build Me Toys has the perfect (and affordable) toy for you! My oldest spent an entire uninterrupted hour building and taking apart his Take Apart Firetruck. For a three-year-old that is amazing! He was focused on making the best firetruck for his favorite Paw Patrol, Marshall. He proudly displays his Take Apart Firetruck on his bookshelf and looks at it with admiration every single day.

Use the code IG10 for 10% off your order and check them out @buildmetoys on Instagram.

Via Build Me Toys

Mega Bloks

What’s the one toy you can never go wrong getting for your kids? Mega Bloks! For over 30 years, Mega Blok has provided topnotch fun for kids and their parents. On rainy days, we always pull out our Mega Bloks and make towers, forts, or the Great Wall of China. Whatever you can imagine, we’ve probably built it together. Mega Bloks is perfect for all ages and assists in learning colors, counting, and hand eye coordination.

Check out their HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE We recommend both color schemes of the Big Builder Bags (we have both!).

Via Mega Bloks

All Are Welcome – Alexandra Penfold a& Suzanne Kaufman – Penguin Random House

All Are Welcome is an enlightening book that follows a group of young children through their school day “where everyone is welcomed with open arms.” Not only does it show that school is a safe and caring space for everyone, but it highlights kids from various backgrounds. We LOVE this book in particular, because it shows how they come together to learn from one another. They embrace aspects of life different from their own, such as the celebration of the Lunar New Year, with understanding and appreciation. The illustrations are beyond captivating and my three-year-old wants to read it all the time. This is a book you NEED in your child’s personal library.

Via Penguin Random House

Miffy Night Lamp

I cannot and will not stop talking about the Miffy Night Lamp! My three-year-old who is plagued with night terrors relies on the warm and comforting light of the Miffy Night Lamp to get him through the night. You can pick from different color schemes, classic Miffy blue, yellow, or in our case, my son’s favorite color, ORANGE! With thousands of hours of light, this is a must have for your kids. It’s also adorable.

For fun crafts, games, and songs, check out MiffyFun.com and @miffy_official_usa on Instagram

Via Walmart

V-Tech Activity Touch and Learn Desk

This is really the all-in-one “toy” you need for your kid when it comes to numbers, letters, music, writing, etc. The V-Tech Activity Touch and Learn Desk has really helped us in working with our oldest as he creeps closer and closer to becoming a Kindergartener. With over 200 touch and learn activities and interchangeable activity pages, the amount of fun and learning to be had is endless.

You can now get this bad boy at one of the three mothership locations – Walmart, Target, and Amazon.

Via V-Tech Electronics

Candy Land – Hasbro Games

Who loves a classic game night? I do and now my three-year-old does too. Our go-to game is the childhood classic, Candy Land. He is so determined to make it all the way to King Kandy’s Kastle and gets heartbroken when he doesn’t make it. These classic Hasbro Games such as Candy Land, HiHo! Cherry-O, Chutes and Ladders, etc. are perfect for a family night with your little ones. What’s your favorite board game? Let me know in the comments?

Via Hasbro

If you’re struggling on what to get your kiddos or a child in your life this holiday season, these items are a great place to start and approved by a picky three-year-old 😊

What are your go-to gift recommendations? Let me know in the comments below.

Follow Makings of a Millennial Mama:

Instagram – @MakingMillMama

Twitter – @MakingMillMama

Facebook – @MakingMillMama

Finding Balance in a Life of Chaos

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony.”
– Thomas Merton

The word balance ironically makes my body wobble back and forth from anxiety. I am at a phase in my life where I have more than enough going on (we all feel like this at some point). On top of being a wife, mom to two little boys, full-time employee, I am also pursuing my master’s degree, which means my evenings are consumed with class and schoolwork. If this schedule gives you a case of the sympathetic anxieties, I certainly understand and appreciate your concern.

Before I graduated high school, back in the day, I was pretty chill and let everything (for the most part) roll off my shoulders. When I started college, I assumed unexplained anxiety and started wearing the weight of the world on my shoulders. No one asked me to; I just felt like I needed to take on the task. Now that I have a family, work, and a continued pursuit of higher education, I am now the mom running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

I often look insane and probably scare away any of the other parents who have their lives together (at least externally). Let’s get real though, social media does not help the overworked and exhausted mama, because only the best is captured by my fellow parents. I am guilty of this as well, but I will take a moment to share a snapshot of finding my one-and-a-half-year-old eating a crayon because I trusted he would be fine in the playroom by himself. Why was he in the playroom by himself? I had to answer a work email on a Saturday. I say all of this because I want, no, I NEED balance.

On this journey of balance, I’ve had a few realizations. Here are the five things you need to do to get started re-balancing your life –

  1. Call on the village: You don’t have to do this on your own. Call on your village to help when needed. Lucky for me, I have a great life partner who steps up all the time. I sure do appreciate him and all that he does, but sometimes he can’t be there because of work or coaching, so I have my family right around the corner to offer additional support. My family drops everything to help pick up the kids, watch the boys when I have a company call later in the evenings, take the boys on adventures when I have school work that has piled up, etc. We are lucky to have them. Don’t feel less than if you need help. We all need help at some point in our lives.
  2. Don’t compare: For many of us, we digest content through social media. For me, I am a lover of Instagram. I love snapshot content. As I mentioned earlier, we cannot put ourselves down if we are not like the Insta moms who have 50K followers, crisp white backdrops, and their cherub babies in perfect poses with rosy red cheeks. I’m lucky to capture a picture of my kids without having to tell them to stop hitting each other, not to pick their noses, to go clean their face, etc. In the same realm, we can’t compare memories made. The memories made of arts and crafts, playing on the playground, visiting the pet store, etc. should not be looked down upon compared to those of parents taking their kids to Disney World, Hawaii, or Time Square in NYC. You are still a great parent, so don’t compare yourself to others. Your kids are going to cherish the time together, no matter what you’re doing.
  3. Maximize your time: Who else loves a planner and calendar? This mama is obsessed. I love to have everything laid out in an easily consumed format. My husband has even tapped into this obsession and created a digital family calendar. We know at the start of everyday what to anticipate. When there are moments of down time, fill them with productive activities, like one-on-one time with the kiddos. I try to make an effort to spend down-time with my kids. If it’s down time during the work day, use the time to look at your to-do lists, consume a podcast, or read for grad school. If you’re like me, I am always concerned that I am using my time effectively, so using your time to care for yourself, spend quality time with the babes, or prep for the future is a great way to not feel guilty about having free time.
  4. Self-care: Take care of yourself! You can’t be a great partner, mom, employee, student, etc. if you’re not taking care of yourself. I make a point to have at least 30 minutes of me time daily. If it’s watching a YouTube video, taking a therapeutic bath, or watching re-runs of the Great British Bake Off (my guilty pleasure), you are becoming the best version of yourself. You are not shellfish; you’re thinking about everyone around you. It’s OK. Go take a bubble bath.
  5. Keeping working: Balance is a hard thing to achieve, so think of this as an effort of achieving fulfillment. Are you living a fulfilled life? Once you feel fulfilled, balance will follow. This is a process, just buckle up for the ride and take everything in stride. You can do this!

Do I currently balanced? No, but I’m getting there and I’m not doing it alone. I have the best group of folks supporting me through this journey. If you don’t think you have the support system you need, I’m here for you! We’ll find balance together.

Follow Makings of a Millennial Mama:

Instagram – @MakingMillMama
Twitter – @MakingMillMama
Facebook – @MakingMillMama