When we were expecting our first child, we were shopping for adventure and outdoor kid gear at a big outdoor chain store and spotted this cool Kelty backpack that looked like a regular backpack, but could also accommodate a child. We thought we would probably purchase that for our first trip, but as soon as we had our daughter and used our Ergobaby (see my review), we let it slip from our thoughts. It popped back into our heads again last year, when we were taking our first plane trip with two kids. Our son was between two and three months old and our daughter was just over two and we already had a lot of gear on our packing list. Not only that, we were going to the island of Kauai in Hawaii, where we thought maybe we would want to take some hikes with both kids. Enter the Kelty TC 2.0, which now, on the Kelty website is called the Kelty Junction child carrier.
Hi! I’m back!
In true web designer fashion, I have done a little redesign to the site (again). I put it on the same Genesis WordPress template that I have been using for my other sites and clients. I love this template system and like using it across the board so I can get better at my programming skills.
What’s coming up in the blog?
We have travel tips of course! We’re not traveling quite as much this year, but have been working around the house a bit more, so I am going to throw in a few of my home and cooking projects if I think they’re interesting. I’m also going to set weekly goals for myself and put them out there for everyone to read. Hopefully this will keep me on a stronger path to accomplishing my goals.
I always try to bring a few creative and different things for the plane ride and our destination and have found that magnetic games are great for traveling. They come in all shapes and sizes. You can make them at home with a small cookie sheet and a few magnets from your fridge, or you can buy a self contained scene for magnet storytelling. I probably read about this in my desperation to find something fun and unique for our early trips with Little C, but it really does hold true. We’ve had a few magnetic toys on trips and they’ve been quite fun and gotten some play time. In the end, I’m not sure we’ve carried them on the plane, but we had a version on our road trip and it proved to be pretty entertaining. We have some that are self-contained and some that are loose that we keep in a bag. For travel, I try to stick with the self-contained scenes, but the bigger, looser, kits do tend to get more play time at home.
Here are links to some of the magnetic toys that we have:
This post contains affiliate links
Today I wanted to thank a few of my advertisers and sponsors. You’ll notice a few advertisers and sponsors around my blog. I also mention them in my posts from time to time. I applied to a few general programs and then to a few specific sponsors that I thought would be a good fit for my readers. These are called affiliate links. In full transparency, if you click through my blog to one of these sites and then buy something, I get a very very small commission from your purchase. This helps pay for website hosting fees. Recently I have added some new sponsors and wanted to take the time to thank them.
I’m really excited to add Patagonia to the mix. They are currently having their huge sale where you can find items up to 60% off. I’ve been a big fan of Patagonia for as long as I can remember, but since having kids, I’ve come to really appreciate the fit and quality of their baby and kids’ apparel. I shopped the sale already and picked up a few things for next fall (and a few things for now).
Icebreaker and the REI Outlet are also new to Kiddos on Board. We have several pieces of Icebreaker gear and always have been completely happy. They’re also having a huge winter clearance. See the graphic for details.
The REI Outlet is one of my first sources for kids’ gear. They grow out of it so quickly, that I often look here first. I don’t always find what I’m looking for, but it’s a great place to start.
Finally, as I’ve written about before, I love Tea Collection. I’m so excited to share with you that from now through 2/14, Tea Collection is offering 15% off sitewide with promo code GOTHERE15. This code can be used on the latest spring apparel, or you can use it to take an additional 15% off already reduced sale items. *Not valid with other offers.
Thank you to my sponsors! And to my terrific readers!
It’s about time I got back to blogging and gave you a Project Organize Your Entire Life (POYEL) update. Even though I haven’t been posting, I’ve been hard at work on POYEL. A few weeks ago, I showed off my massively disorganized kitchen counter. It was the place in my house that gave me great pains to even look at. If it didn’t have a home, it got piled on the counter in a corner that wasn’t visible from the whole great room. When I read Project Organize Your Entire Life (from the author of the blog Modern Parents Messy Kids) several weeks ago, I knew that was the place I had to tackle first.
If you read my first post, you know that POYEL was born out of a post from Steph at Modern Parents Messy Kids. She wrote a wishful post where she had planned the meals, organized photos, cleaned the toy bins, etc, etc, and was even fitting in time for regular exercise and a date night. Her post went viral because it’s what so many of us wish for (herself included – it wasn’t a true post – just wishful thinking), but can never seem to get to. From that point in early 2012, she started POYEL as a regular series with her readers. Even though I’m a regular reader of MPMK, I didn’t follow the steps or recommendations of POYEL until I read the eBook.
We’re a pretty organized household, but there are some great tips throughout the book. Obviously every house, organized or not, has some weak spots. For me, it is for sure the kitchen counter (and a few other places). The first step is to go through everything and sort.
Should it even go there?
Does it have a different home?
Is it trash?
Should it be donated?
Then reassess the space and find or buy the proper storage containers. For me, I needed to re-purpose our hardly used front coat closet into storage for a few tools and some craft items. Then I found a large cubby container that I had purchased months prior for my daughter’s room, but never used, and filled that with all the pens and regularly used items. I added our work-in-progress household binder and some paper for my daughter’s “projects” and it seems to be working really well. We’ve had it in place for about 3 weeks now and I’m in love with the new system. I also pushed a few of the other less used items to our home office, which is still in a bit of chaos, but has also had some reorganization.
POYEL has a lot of great tips for conquering the chaos in your household. I admit, I’ve still been working up the time and courage to tackle the out of control toy bins, but that is next. There is some great advice for that as well. In other sections of the book, Steph has some great tips for cleaning and meal planning, which also take up another huge portion of our time. I’ll be taking a look at those over the next few weeks.
Interested in the Project Organize Your Entire Life eBook.? Click here to purchase your own copy.
This version comes in PDF. Did you know you can read a PDF eBook on your iPad? Follow this link for my how-to on reading eBooks on your iDevice.
Today’s quick tip is all about swim diapers. Most people who are not frequent swimmers probably use disposable swim diapers. Did you know that they make reusable swim diapers? We are frequent swimmers, so we’ve been through quite a few between our two kiddos (not because they wear out so much but because of colors or sizes). They are really cost effective and, in my opinion, easier to get on and off than a disposable swim diaper. This is the one we’re using right now, but if you read any of the reviews on amazon.com or diapers.com, you can find a good one that will keep the icky stuff in.
I hate to admit this, but our little guy has definitely tested this and so far, it’s been working like a champ. I throw this diaper in the washing machine with everything else and hang dry it. It’s been washed dozens of times and been used in a pool that has a pretty high chlorine level and still looks pretty good and has kept its shape. Consider a reusable swim diaper for your next trip to the pool.
We’re kind of a middle of the road household when it comes to screen time and our kids. While the kids are awake, the tv gets turned on for the occasional show, but other than that, it’s usually off until after they go to bed. When it comes to iPad and iPhone use, we have certain places that our oldest is allowed unlimited use (the airplane, the doctor’s office, etc.), but other than that, it’s also limited to a few blocks of time a few times a week. Our youngest is only 13-months old, so he notices the tv, but isn’t really captivated by it. Nor has he had much use of the iPhone. He’s so young! Well, today we were stuck at the doctor’s office with an ear infection. I had forgotten to bring something for him to play with and, because it was a Saturday and limited hours, our wait time was nearly an hour. I pulled out my phone and rediscovered some of Claire’s earliest and most favorite apps…Peekaboo Barn and Peekaboo Wild. There’s also a Peekaboo Forest app that we don’t have, but is similar. I find that the sounds can be a little too much for a public place like the doctor’s office or a plane so I mute it and quietly tell my child what animal is in the barn or the grass. Matthew got a kick out of “opening” the barn to see the animals. I was happy to rediscover these apps on my phone today. They are educational and fairly simple so a really young child can be amused and still start some of the action or movement. I originally purchased these as a “just in case” for a set of plane trips when Claire was just older than a year. They definitely came in handy!
When playing, you tap the barn to reveal the animal.
When playing, you tap the grass to reveal the animal.
When I decided to start a blog, I researched other blogs to see what people were writing about and what they had in their designs and pages. One of my absolute favorites that I read regularly is Modern Parents Messy Kids. The author tries to stay on top of life while managing a household with two young children, and a part-time job (the blog). The crafts, the projects, and the organizational tips really align with things I have going on in my own life.
One reason this blog stood out to me is that I came across a post where the author, Steph, managed to finally organize her entire life. The meals were planned. Thousands of photos scanned and organized. With her new, organized, schedule, she was able to fit in regular exercise. She also managed to set a regular date night her husband. You name it, it was organized and crossed off the list. I was immediately in awe of this program. Sign me up! It took me a few moments to realize this was a dream…one which we all wish for, but never seem to accomplish. It was from there that Project Organize Your Entire Life (POYEL) was born.
I’m an avid reader of MPMK, but it’s only been the last few months that I can really see the time opening up in my schedule to accomplish some of these organizational tasks. So, when the e-Book came out, I eagerly read it with great excitement. It brings the last year of POYEL posts together into one place that makes it easy to start.
Near the beginning of the book, Steph says:
“I went straight to the laundry room and started dumping, sorting, and organizing. It was by no means the most visible space in our home, but it was the spot that frustrated me most.”
We’re a pretty organized household, but I have a few places that still make me feel frustrated and stressed. Number one for me is the corner of our kitchen. Oh, how I hate to look at it. I’m starting here. It’s going to take me a few weeks to get it organized and put away because our closest place for organizational supplies is Walmart, which is not my most favorite place to shop, so I have to wait for a trip into the city.
Each section in the book tackles a different problem area that many families with children face. Step one is to organize your stuff. Step two is to get a cleaning routine. Step 3 attacks the daily grind and most specifically meal planning. I’m starting to be a convert to planning our meals. The conclusion helps put everything together. I think I’ll be reading and rereading this book quite a lot as I tackle different areas of our life.
Check back in a week or two, when I hope to have a new, totally organized kitchen corner.
Interested in the Project Organize Your Entire Life eBook? Click here to purchase your own copy.
This version comes in PDF. Did you know you can read a PDF eBook on your iPad? Follow my link for my how-to on reading eBooks on your iDevice.
*This post contains affiliate links.
This tip is not so much a travel tip as a tip I use when traveling. I got a Kindle for Christmas three years ago and haven’t looked back. I still pick up the occasional book, but I mostly read on my iPad now. (For me, I don’t read often enough to have both, so since getting an iPad, I passed along the Kindle to my husband.) On a quick side note, did you know you can read your Kindle books on your iPad or iPhone? I read from both the Kindle app and the iBooks app. I like both, but sometimes books are only available on one or the other. Now back to my main tip…
The easiest way to get a book published these days is to publish an eBook. Sometimes your favorite blogger may have written an eBook, but it only comes as a PDF document. I don’t know about you, but since they often read like books, I hate to sit on my computer and read them. I download the PDF documents when I purchase the book. After that, I open iTunes and select “Add to Library” which is found under the File menu. (I have a Mac, so sorry if the exact directions are a touch different for PC owners). Once the dialog box opens, I find where I saved my PDF file, select it, and then click on “Open”. Now your eBook has been added to the Books – PDFs section of iTunes. Sometimes the names aren’t great. If you want, you can right click and “Get Info” to change the title of the PDF or book. As long as you synchronize your books, you should now be able to read PDFs on your iPad or iPhone. Just choose “collections” from within iBooks and change it to PDF.