Category Archives: Tried and True

Products I have used and recommend!

The waiting game


How often do you find yourself in a doctors office waiting room or a crowded restraint waiting for your food to arrive when you start seeing the warning signs of restless kids? At the moment, that is where I send this post from. I’m waiting in a waiting room for the person I’m with to complete an ultrasound – and I’m surrounded by little kids being watched by a hospital attendant who looks like she’s moments away from pulling her hair out. I’ve been asked to move my coffee several times as they migrate from one area of the waiting room to another. As a single mom, this has been me many times and I can easily recognize now the signs of stress in my children and the adults around us when this type of behavior occurs. It starts with the inability to sit still, their voices get louder/whinier, the banging of silverware on the table ensues ….

To avoid these type of situations which can be disturbing to the people around you and embarrassing for you in general – try making what I like to call a “waiting game” kit. Items for this kit would be small so they can fit in your purse or diaper bag, but are also things you know can keep your children engaged for at least 30 minutes. Bring three different options and have one be sensory motor engaging. Some examples of things I often carry around with me are:

Crayons and small coloring books. You can even fold up coloring book pages or just blank paper. This is a classic activity that is engaging. I’ve gotten in the habit of just packing blank paper because that way if they don’t want to color, we can make a treasure map instead or whatever else our imagination conjures up. Another item that would be good is a small “role-play” toy like small dolls or actions figures. This allows kids to use their imagination and work out some impatience in free-play. Finally, something I’ve never gone wrong with is a deck of cards (unto, old maid, go fish, etc.). These are usually small enough to carry in a purse and engage you with your kids in order to pass the time.


Fair Trade jewelry


fairtrade jewelry

One of my favorite fair trade companies is Unique Batik. I bought a bracelet last year that told the story of how fair trade effects their village, each product sold brings revenue into their village to build homes and send their children to school, and keep them connected to world markets.



1. Alba Botanica Exfoliating Scrub    This is marketed as a facial exfoliation product, however I actually use it for my feet.  I have sensitive skin, and it was causing my face to break out.  I am phasing it out of my shower because it leaves large chunks of gooey-sand that dry and stick to the tub.  I never seem to notice them when I’m showering, but whenever my daughters take a bath or I’m cleaning the bathtub, I really notice how much this product builds up in the tubs basin and on the ledges.

2. Aveno’s Simply Radiant   This product is amazing.  It smells wonderful, leaves my face glowing, soft, and best of all feeling healthy.  I usually apply this after my facial cleanse (#3).  My face has never felt better!

3. Nuetrogena’s Stress Releif Acne Scrub   I have very sensitive skin and it’s been hard to find a cleanser that actually gets the job done.  When things get really stressful my face tends to break out, and this scrub has been remarkable.  It has stopped the breakouts and cleared up any spots of acne that have already appeared.  I follow it up with a skin toner (#2).

4. Up&Up’s Soy Shave gel   This product is found exclusively at Target.  You’ll hear me talk about the Up&Up brand a lot because I’m a big fan of it.  They are low cost good quality products.  This particular product leaves my skin smooth with a nice natural scent to follow.

5. Yardly’s Mango Shower Gel   I give this a thumbs down because while it does smell great, I am phasing it out of my shower.  It doesn’t really leave a fresh feeling or fragrance behind, but rather lathers and disappears completely leaving the experience completely unmemorable.  I’m still scouting for that perfect body wash that leaves my skin feeling soft and smelling good!

6. Garnier Fructis’s Sleek and Shine Shampoo and Conditioner   I have used this product for years.  It smells wonderful, leaves my hair feeling healthy and strong, and best of all it doesn’t give you that waxy buildup that other products do but does give you all the shine!

7. Massagers   This are a good add to any shower, especially after a long day.  Warm water and something to work out the kinks in your lower back and shoulders is just what the doctor ordered!  Can usually find these in your bath isle at your local retail chains.

8. Exfoliating Glove   These are wonderful to use for your feet, elbows, knees, and any other place you get dry skin.  I usually apply some body wash and work it into a lather using this glove.  Goodbye dead skin, hello good feelings!

9. Munckin tub cup    This handy tub-cup is made of a very flexible rubber.  This is super helpful for when you need to rinse out the shampoo from your kids hair (press the cup to their forehead and it bends to ensure water will not get into their eyes).  I store mine upside down from my shower caddy to ensure it dries and does not collect mildew and standing water.

10. Crayola color-changing loufas   This is a very fun way to get your kids excited about lathering away their dirty day.  These loufas change color when they heat up (from pink to white).  It’s fun to put a little magic into bath-time.

Shower essentials