Toddler and Child Wearing with Freeloader!

freeloaderYa’ll know I love to baby wear…. Well, Itty Bittums isn’t so bitty anymore and we have had to pass along some of our smaller carriers to new homes. I am sooo looking forward to checking out the new Freeloader!

freeloader3The Freeloader is the First Child Carrier Built Specifically for Toddlers! It is a new, better child carrier. Compact, lightweight and portable, the Freeloader child carrier uses advanced materials and design to create a better experience for parents who love spending time with their kids. Whether you are traveling by air, going to the zoo, or hiking with your little ones, the Freeloader is ready to help carry the load. When not in use, the Freeloader’s integrated aluminum seat folds up neatly to the size of a daypack. The Freeloader is a perfect fit for parents that want a lighter, more versatile carrier. The Freeloader features an easy-to-use, 5-point safety harness. The safety harness is specially designed to fasten securely and safely out-of-reach of your child.
11063893_436296996539685_3379109432765157363_nThe Freeloader provides wide, ergonomic shoulder and waist straps to evenly distribute your child’s weight to your hips and core. The contoured shoulder straps are adjustable and provide extra padding for comfort and support. Padding in the back panel and seat offers extended comfort for your child.
The Freeloader is small enough to carry-on and stows away neatly, making it perfect for air travel, road trips and more! See more at http://www.myfreeloader.com/ and find Freeloader on facebook.

Thanks to Freeloader and the great folks at USFG, you can save on your Freeloader! Freeloader FUN with the Family – 10% off your Freeloader Child Carrier when you enter the code “freeloaderfun” Take your children on the adventures of their dreams!

I’ll be receiving my Freeloader in a few weeks, testing it out, and I’ll report back with my thoughts, as well as some pictures and even a video or two!

 
@usfg

Mom’s Money Summer Saving Tip #1: Keep them Fed!

file0002134801752.jpgIt seems like the second we pull out of the garage, two little voices announce in chorus, “I’m Hungry!!!” It’s not like they go without meals, like some sort of Dickens era soot faced moppet… But there is something about leaving the house that makes kids hungry. Especially when you are out and about during the summer.

To combat the chorus, we have a small backpack (Henry’s Pre-school Cars backpack) that is full of shelf stable snacks and drinks. While we are out having adventures, if the chorus starts up, I can pull out the backpack and soon everyone is happy.

Here are a few of our family’s favorite snacks and other stuff I keep in our snack bag (Amazon affiliate links for some items that you may have never seen):

  1. Re-usable water bottles (I fill them daily). Each child has their own, and I have a larger one. I put lots of ice in mine in addition to water. I also carry extra water in my truck at all times (in case of emergency, but frequently the emergency is just hot, thirsty kiddos).
  2. Powdered drink sticks. Dollar Tree and 99 Cents Only has lots of great flavors to chose from.
  3. Freeze dried Fruit. Bitty Bird likes strawberries, Henry and I love pineapple.
  4. Protein bars, granola bars, goldfish crackers, Beanies (they are for toddlers, but, both kids love them), fruit squeezy pouches, Yogurt squeezy pouches, applesauce cups, individual cups of peanut butter, crackers to go with the PB (usually Ritz), individual cups of water packed fruit and veggies, Pirates Booty, home made trail mix, ziploc bags of cereal, and depending on what is on sale, juice boxes/pouches or sometimes shelf stable milk boxes/pouches.
  5. In a zipper pouch (this one), I keep hand wipes, plastic utensils, straws, and napkins.  I also carry a ziploc bag with extra ziplocs in it, and a few small trash bags.

While the initial outlay of money to buy a backpack and stock of food to keep in the car snack bag and water bottles way be steep (it was about $65 for us), you will save that much money in just a few weeks in the summer. You’ll be able to avoid drive-thru lines, and you can better control what your family is eating.

file0001779824833.jpgWhen we are going to be gone all day, I also pack a small soft sized cooler bag with blue ice and cold treats like frozen tubes of yogurt, berries, cheese, and cold cuts. I like using re-usable plastic containers, instead of zip top bags. They are usually better for keeping food cold and for squishable items like berries in good condition. These are all the same things that we eat for lunch during the school year, so our food budget in the summer does not increase.

Besides keeping your budget in check, there is another upside to having kids that eat regularly (even on the go): Behavior changes, like tantrums, can occur when kids blood sugar dips or they are hungry. Henry frequently doesn’t realize that he’s hungry until he’s OMGOSH SO HUNGRY that he’s Hangry. I offer him snacks every few hours in the summer, as we are so frequently on the go out with friends or at events in the summer during lunch time.

The main reason I use a backpack instead of a box is that I can quickly grab the bag out of the car and toss it into the basket of the stroller when we hit up the zoo, YMCA for swimming, or the park.

I’d love to hear what kind of snacks you take on the go for your summer adventures!

 

Free Diapers at Vons!

Yeah, That’s right!!  FREE DIAPERS!

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 12.04.51 PM.pngGot a Vons card? Click here or log on to the Vons App, and click on baby care under just4U to see if you have an offer for free diapers!

If you don’t have babies, please consider picking it up and donating it to your local Food bank, a neighbor or friend with a little one, or your churches nursery.

Diapers make a great baby shower gift!!

Fun in Nature with Baby Wearing!

 

Recently, I was given the opportunity to try out a new baby carrier. I love baby wearing- It’s a great way to stay close to your little one while being active.

We hike, play, and have adventures all while babywearing. I am able to take Lil’ Man out on hikes to places that aren’t quite good for unsteady toddler feet. We can hike Cowles mountain, explore Old Mission Dam, and even pop out to the tide pools!

Screen Shot 2016-12-28 at 8.44.18 AM.pngYou can check out the carrier on Amazon here. 

It’s got a ton of pockets, which is great for stashing keys and snacks.

The kiddo rides pretty high because of a plastic saddle type insert.

Bitty Bird totally loved being up high and snuggled onto my shoulder and fell asleep.

You can also wear this as a backpack to back carry, which I love for long distance wearing, like when we go for hikes.

Pros:

  • It’s cotton, and machine washable.
  • It’s easy to put on and take off by yourself.
  • Tons of pockets

Cons:

  • Because it was made overseas, the waist strap is kinda small. If you wear over a size 20 US ladies dress size or a mens pant size 44, the waist band will not fit you.
  • (this may not be a con for some people) The child rides really high, so they are in your face.

If you like to try out this carrier, I am happy to offer a coupon code! 20% off coupon code UPWX8RBS.  This deal expires on 12/31/16.

 

Help kids play with Ikea’s Let’s Play for Change!

play_for_changeIf you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you saw all of my crazy posts this morning from Ikea San Diego. A group of bloggers (and our kids) enjoyed breakfast in their cafe and learned out Ikea’s winter Good Cause Campaign, Let’s Play for Change, which highlights the benefits of play for all Children.

Honestly, the best part of being a kid is free time to play and learn. Children learn through play: social skills, emotional development, and so much more. Anyone shopping for the holidays at Ikea stores world wide can help the cause! For every children’s book and toy sold through November 20- December 24, 2016, the IKEA Foundation will make a donation of €1 (that’s about $1.10 USD) to projects in some of the poorest communities in the world. And you can help twice- Each store has a drop box where you can drop off purchased toys. If you buy toys at Ikea, that’s a double dip for the cause!

You can learn about the campaign by watching the video:

Ikea has partnered with Handicap International Federation, Room to Read, Save the Children, Special Olympics, UNICEF, and War Child. You can learn more about the Ikea Foundation by visiting their website.

And if you hasn’t visited Ikea lately, check out their awesome Ikea Family savings card! It’s free to sign up and you score all kinds of great deals and perks every day!

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-3-50-18-pmIn addition to those perks, you score family only prices on tons of items each month. It’s definitely worth signing up. It’s free and easy to do.

Review: Daniel Tigers Neighborhood – LIVE

img_9919
The Tiger Family!

Last Friday Lil’ Man and I had a great date night! We had dinner at Olive Garden and then sang and danced along with our friends, O, Daniel, Miss Elena, and Katerina Kittycat! Trolley is even in the show, helping our friends get all over town! Daniel Tiger LIVE was a fun night out.

It was a img_9923 img_9922great show! Lots of fun music, dancing, and audience interaction!

There were lots of kids from little tiny to Kindergarteners.

If you missed the show, they’ll be back real soon! And don’t forget that you can check out episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on your local PBS station, and the PBS kids app too.

Here is a video I shot with some of the fun!

Review: Little Red Howse Soaps!

IMG_5601
Now we have no excuses- No stinky Hewes Family!

There are few things I love more in this world than helping other women succeed at what they love. And one of my friends has blossomed at what she loves: making natural body care products that are cruelty free, artificial fragrance and dye free, and most of the products are vegan! Little Red Howse is a locally owned, female run company with awesome products!

Chiffon makes a full line of all natural bath and body products for the whole family. This includes handcrafted artisan soap, hand cream, sugar scrub, bath tea & salts & bombs, lip balm, baby soap & bum balm, essential oils (singles + blends), herbal salves.

Chiffon gave me a whole lot of great products to try- The only one not pictured above is the baby soap. I took it into the bathroom and used it in the kids bath as soon as we got home from camping. Those kids were DIRTY! The baby soap is perfect for delicate and sensitive skin! It’s unscented and makes tons of bubbles/lather, which is important when you have a baby who loves to play in the bath!

Henry’s Favorite soap is the “lemon scrubby soap” aka the Loofah soap. It’s got lemon essential oil in it, and a slice of loofah in it. He told me that it makes him feel “Soft and pink”. Little boys have gross elbows and knees and after his bath, both were soft and pink, just like he said! Honestly, I haven’t tried anything I didn’t like.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 7.31.00 PMThe baby butt balm is a big hit too- Bitty Bird gets diaper rash if you look at her sideways and most of the creams we had tried didn’t go anything. I’ve stashed the tin in my purse, so it’s always with us!

Little Red Howse can be purchased online through their Facebook page, or events all over San Diego. They always have sales and specials too!

Right now, The specials include 3 Oz bath bombs $3, soaps $5, lip balms 2/$5, hand creams $6. Military Discount 10% off year round. And wholesale pricing available for 25+ bars. Mother’s Milk (breastmilk) Soap 12 bars for $50. Only 15 oz of mother’s milk is needed (you’ve gotta supply that yourself!).

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 7.48.36 PMThese products make awesome gifts! If you are looking for baby or bridal shower gifts, a bar of soap, a bath balm and a lip balm would be great tucked into a gift bag! A tube of lip balm or a bar of soap would make a great shower favor.

Check out Little Red Howse on Facebook or Instagram!

Talk-Back: What scent helps you relax?