My son recently became obsessed with fish sticks; living in Texas, I've learned you do not turn the oven on in the summer (the end). I've always heard good things about air fryers and faced with the prospect of microwaving fish all summer (BLECH)... I bit.
The Tidylife Air Fryer has been way more than I ever expected. We have found a zillion uses for this dreamboat: from roasted veggies to quesadilla-for-one to elevated grocery store frozen appetizers to the best wings I've ever made at home (big shout out to Stay Snatched for the 5 + 5 + 12 minute approach to get that perfect crisp and juicy wing).
It has become such a staple of our family cooking that we actually packed it for our recent beach vacation. Our friends at the beach house rental instantly fell in love.
The whole term "air frying" is a bit of misnomer; it seems to me like a high powered mini convection oven, but damn, those Ore-Ida waffle fries come out Chick-fil-A caliber.
It cleans up in the sink super fast with the "cage thing" separating from the "catcher tray thingamajig." My only gripe is that is is BIG (and kinda' ugly). It takes up a lot of valuable counter space and resembles a Star Wars knockoff spaceship. I just hide ours on the floor of the pantry for easy access almost daily.
I grew up in the 80s and my childhood hairstyle was courtesy of my mother's Friskars. I always had loopsided, too-short bangs. Clearly, I'm scarred by the whole ordeal. Now that I have a daughter of my own, I promise to never cut her hair at home.
Little did I know how dealing with little girl hair is totally different ball of a wax than my son (wash and go). The tangle situation can cause major meltdowns.
With a lot of trial and error, I think I've perfected the hair care regiment to reduce tangles and hopefully keep Brynne from remembering me as some psycho Mommy-Dearest type.
After shampooing her hair, I've been using this Paul Mitchell Conditioner. I started using it myself to protect my hair color and was amazed how easy it was to brush my hair out after showering. It works just as well on little Miss.
The other remedy that I swear by is this Honest Conditioning Detangler. I spray her hair each morning and it really cuts down on the snags and tears. Just as important as the products is the instrument; I swear by the Wet Brush. Even at three years old, she can do an initial pass through with this brush.
It's been way too long, but I'm back.
Since my last post, lots of updates - including the addition of my darling, daughter, Brynne! Giving the kids a bath last night inspired me to share my MommyEndorsed knowledge.
After Brynne was born, I discovered the Angelcare Bath Support. This simple baby product was a lifesaver and allowed me to give both kids a bath together! Brynne could lounge and enjoy the shallow water in her netted hammock while Bennett splashed and had fun.
Washing a toddler's hair with a newborn in the same zip code is a challenge, let alone in the same tub. This product gives your new addition a safe haven from the flailing limbs of an older sibling and doesn't require the neck support and core strength of some sitting bath products.
It's been a few weeks since we put away the Angelcare Bath Support, and bath time is WHOLE lot crazier. Brynne now likes sitting, standing and walking around the tub; I wish I could convince her bath time is supposed to be relaxing.
If you're expecting baby #2, put this on the top of your shopping list.
If you love it, buy it!
Welcome to the first post in my 'Baby Registry Must-Haves' series! This week, I'm featuring those necessary items for feeding your newborn.
<From the top, left to right, then down - you get the picture>
1. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Travel Bottle and Food Warmer Set
2. Name Bubbles Baby Labels
3. Boon Grass Drying Rack (with accessories)
4. Aden + Anais Snap Bibs
5. JJ Cole Bottle Cooler
6. Dr Brown's Bottles
7. Boon Clutch Dishwasher Basket
I hope this first post in my 'Baby Registry Must-Haves' series helps build your baby registry! Stay tuned for more upcoming posts to complete your registry with road-tested, mommy endorsed products!
If you love it, buy it!
Boon Grass Drying Rack, image from Babies1st, http://babies1st.com/p-145942-boon-stem-grass-lawn-drying-rack-accessory.aspx
Dr Brown's Bottles http://www.buybuybaby.com/1/1/5150-dr-browns-natural-flow-single-8-ounce-bottle-from-dr-browns.html
Boon Clutch Dishwasher Basket http://www.giggle.com/Boon-Clutch-Dishwasher-Basket/0004099128,default,pd.html
aden + anais snap bib http://www.adenandanais.com/en-us/productlanding/4623/baby/bib-burp-cloths/snap-bibs/classic-snap-bibs/snap+bibs.aspx
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Travel Bottle and Food Warmer Set http://www.toysrus.com/buy/infant-care/tommee-tippee-closer-to-nature-travel-bottle-food-warmer-set-522010-4361041
JJ Cole Bottle Cooler http://jjcolecollections.com/bottle-cooler
Name Bubbles baby labels http://www.namebubbles.com/Labels-By-Use/Baby-Labels/Baby-Labels-Pack/Product.aspx?ProductID=140&DeptID=12&AdID=282
The first rule of parenting: DO NOT kill the child.
I love my baby. I love my dogs. My baby loves dogs (weird). In fact, Bennett is always all over the dogs (and vice versa).
As a good dog mother, I always had applied a once-a-month topical flea and tick treatments. After having my human baby, I did a little research on these treatments. Many options on the market include organophosphates and carbamates that work to kill fleas and ticks by interfering with the transmission of nerve signals.
I learned that I was using one of the 'safer' products on the market, but topical treatments can put children (and the dogs, too) at risk of poisoning and have the potential for long term effects on the brain and nervous system. In no way did I want to put Benny at risk, especially considering he's spends so much time on the floor and smooching his face into the dogs' fur.
Upon discovering NexGard, I have a sense of relief in my child's safety and dogs' health. This amazing little chewy treat kills fleas and ticks. We've only been using this treatment for a month, but let me tell you... it works! We live in the Philadelphia suburbs in a wooded neighborhood loaded with ticks; I've yet to find a tick on any of the pooches since giving them the new treatment.
When using the topical application on the dogs, I was always stressing about the baby touching them (or even my husband or me) and spreading the chemical on our hands. Now I don't have to worry a bit; I just give them a 'treat' and relax for the next 30 days. Believe me, or just ask your vet for all the details.
If you love it, buy it!
I've always considered myself pretty good at only having things in my life that I love and actually use.
When I was single living in Philadelphia, I managed to live in a 400 (ish) square foot apartment with virtually no storage and zero clutter.
Now I have a baby, and the amount of crap this child necessitates is ridiculous! I was convinced while pregnant that I would never be 'that mom' schlepping around multiple bulging bags just to go run a few errands; but, I am. The reason I'm 'that mom,' is because babies need stuff, and a lot of it!
Granted if I'm just running to the supermarket for a quick trip, I'll shove a diaper, wipes and toy in my handbag and call it good. But if I'll be out of the house for more than 45 minutes with my little one, I need to have an arsenal of supplies to combat the litany of scenarios he's already thrown my way while on the go.
Hauling all this crap is a pain, literally, a pain. My handbag and his diaper bag are heavy and the straps dig into my shoulder (making it nearly impossible to tote both and carry him). If I opt to just put both bags in the cart, the basket is half full before I start shopping.
Initially, I had the Buggygear™ Buggy Heart Stroller Hook. This hook is pretty good for a mini-outing (accommodating one, maybe two small to medium sized bags pretty easily). The only issue with this hook is that the heavier items tend to slip the hook to the side of the stroller handle causing the bottom of the bags to end up rubbing on the stroller wheels.
Being a fan of Buggygear™ products, I stumbled across their Boutique Stroller Hooks and figured it was worth a try. After road testing these bad boys this weekend, I'm thrilled to announce that they are awesome!
The hooks are a breeze to attach to stroller handles with rubber straps that clasp shut easily. Also, you can put them anywhere (not just on the top of the handle like most other hooks); this allowed me to put them lower on the stroller braces and helped prevent tipping (this picture was taking without the baby in the stroller and even with my handbag, his diaper bag and a huge Old Navy shopping bag - NO TOPPLING OVER). The double hook feature accommodated everything and eliminated rubbing on the stroller wheels (just a bit of rubbing from that massive Old Navy bag). I can't wait to try them out on a shopping cart (oh, the things motherhood makes exciting).
If you love it, buy it!
After being in 'lock-down' all weekend with our sick little guy, my Sunday needed something fun. So I popped open a bottle of Prosecco to make us some brunch libations (baby Bennett did not partake despite the incriminating photograph).
The problem with sparkling wine is unless you plan to finish it in one serving (not recommended with a sick baby in the house), you're basically going to waste it; since it will go flat a couple hours after the cork's been popped. But not at our house.
A few years back, I discovered the most amazing $7.00 solution, the The Rabbit Wine & Champagne Sealer from Metrokane. This little gadget is awesome! Just twist it on to any open bottle and it will stay fresh (and bubbly) for weeks - seriously. Awhile back, I bought a bottle of blueberry desert wine from Duck Walk Vineyards. It was absolutely delicious, but there was no way I could drink more than a few sips with my cake. I put the sealer on the bottle and nearly a month later it was still fresh and perfect!
Also, my hubs loves to use the sealer on big bottles of craft beers. He'll pour a glass from the oversized bottle and just seal up the rest in the fridge so it stays carbonated.
If you love it, buy it!
Most baby toys on the market are awful for newborns. There are tons of (overpriced) toys that small babies can't even play with. I didn't know this until recently, and I'd venture to say most people don't know this.
When Bennett was born, we had and received a lot of very cute toys for him, but I quickly learned that newborns really can't play with much. A lot of toys are hard to grasp with tiny fingers (paired with lacking motor skills) and also are just too heavy for bity arms. There were two toys Bennett got in his first few months that are perfect for very young babies. The first is the Green Toys Twist Teether and the second.... well, you'll just have to keep reading!
So, my mom signed Bennett up to received monthly Citrus Lane gift boxes when he was born. These awesome packages arrive every four weeks packed full of cool products based specifically on your child's age and gender.
In his first box from Grandma, there was the Twist Teether from Green Toys. He immediately was able to grasp it! Then within a few days, he was able to shake it! As a first time mom, this was HUGE. I think I have about 30+ minutes of video footage and hundreds of photos (one shown above) with him shaking this toy (ahh, the things my second child will never have to haunt him/her).
Another awesome toy for little ones, is the Innobaby Teethin' Smart™ EZ Grip Teether & Rattle Flower. Scrolling through my Instagram feed from Bennett's first few months, this little green flower is everywhere. The soft design and tiny rattle feature in the bloom make it a big hit with newborns. In fact on Christmas morning, my little guy was surrounded by tons of super cool toys and only wanted to shake his little green flower.
Now as a nearly eight month old 'big boy,' he still loves playing with the Twist Teether and Rattle Flower. These are both go-to-toys for the diaper bag since they're not too big (or too terribly noisy). If you're putting together a baby shower gift package, you have to include at least one of these awesome toys!
If you love it, buy it!
When my husband and I were building our home, I had one request. I begged him not to let the house talk to me. I married a tech geek and have been terrified that his adoration of technology would one day rule our life.
Well, apparently that day has come. We recently bought the iRobot Roomba 620 Vacuuming Robot, and it is amazing! And by amazing, I mean truly, absolutely amazing.
This little guy boogies around our house like Rosie from 'The Jetsons' (but better). The Roomba 620 has a great battery life, sensing features to ensure it stays on-track, a sweeper/sucker combo, and 'off roading' wheels that really just blew my mind (please, note: I highly doubt the manufacturer references any of these features as I do).
What I love most it that it actually picks up dog hair (even stubborn fur from our Yellow Lab)! Hallelujah! The little bin fills up fairly quickly so I wouldn't recommend the Roomba unless you plan to use it regularly. Our new morning routine now just includes starting up the robot before heading out to work. The little guy just goes back to the docking station if the battery's getting low or the bin is full (it is a bit like a drunk stumbling into walls and furniture trying to find its way but for me, this just adds to the entertainment value).
There have been a couple of times it gets itself stuck somewhere (on the bath mat once and on one of Bennett's toys) but lesson learned (pick up a little first). I figured the dogs and baby would be terrified of it, but they actually aren't. The dogs now just ignore it roaming around the house, and Bennett thinks it is hilarious. The Roomba is gentle enough that it nudges him while vacuuming and doesn't even knock him over.
The price on the iRobot Roomba 620 Vacuuming Robot is a bit spendy. I found it online at Kohl's during a Kohl's Cash earning period and used a 20% off coupon; so it was $312.05 with shipping and handling (but I earned $50 in Kohl's Cash so my mom math makes the 'real price' only $262.05). Despite the steep price tag, it is a miracle machine! I used to drive myself crazy trying to Swiffer or run the vacuum every couple nights to keep up on the annoying dust bunnies and dog hair; now, my robot buddy takes care of it every day while I'm at the office (talk about a great working relationship).
If you love it, buy it!
MommyEndorsed.com is a blog dedicated to helping you know what products work and are the best purchases to make life easier for the whole family.