A first aid kit is a household must-have, especially for families with kids. Wouldn't it be great if you knew some doctors, who also happened to be parents, who could recommend first aid kit essentials for you? The new kidSTAT and babySTAT first aid kits are exactly that! Created by three moms who are also emergency room doctors (hence their company name Three Mommy Doctors, or 3MD), these kits contain everything a parent needs to be prepared for almost any emergency situation.
We got to check out a review sample of the 3MD kidSTAT kit, and it's really a fantastic resource, stocked with hospital-grade first aid items and detailed instructions and packaged in a neat plastic case. The case is divided into different sections—"aches + sprains", "bites + burns", and "cuts + scrapes"—and each section is packed with the supplies needed to treat injuries in each category, with plenty of bandages, pads, an instant cold pack, burn gel, ointments, and even a pair of EMT shears. There are 91 items—way more than we can list here, but you can get a complete rundown on their website.
We've been experimenting with making stop-motion movies for a while now, using various tools like our DSLR and iPads, but we recently got a review copy of the new HUE Animation Studio and it's changed our filmmaking world!
HUE Animation Studio is a complete kit that includes almost everything you and your kids need to create your own stop-motion movies, including a 720p USB camera, software for Windows or Mac, and a guidebook. You have to provide the imagination! Great sources for animation fun that you probably have on hand include LEGO minifigs, Playmobil figures, and other toys and action figures, modeling clay, and even drawings.
California law mandates that all kids under 8 must use a booster seat when riding in a car. While it's easy to make sure your kids use a booster seat when you're driving them around, it's harder to make sure they're safe when they're carpooling to school, riding in a friend's or grandparent's car.
This being summer travel season, you also need a booster in rental cars and even taxis, and who wants to haul one of those around? Regular booster seats, with their armrests and cup holders, take up a lot of room, too, as anyone who's had to ride in the back seat with two kids' booster seats will attest to.
Enter the BubbleBum! Before BubbleBum gave me a sample to try out, I had no idea that an inflatable booster seat existed, and in fact the BubbleBum is the first one on the market. Upon unpacking, the BubbleBum doesn't look like much, but free it from its restraining zip ties and unroll it and it begins to take form.
To use it, just unscrew the valve, inflate (it doesn't take all that much air), and thread a seat belt through one of the belt positioning clips on the side. That's it!
The BubbleBum is made using the same advanced inflatable technology used in life jackets and air bags, and uses memory foam for structural integrity. It also meets all US safety testing standards, of course.
Send your kids back to school with stylish, eco-friendly, and non-toxic lunch kits from Kids Konserve! Through October 31, 2011, Kids Konserve is offering Marin Mommies readers 15% off their orders using the coupon code marinmommies.
Kids Konserve offers some great reusable lunchtime products to help make school lunches greener, cleaner, and waste-free:
School's only a few weeks away, and getting organized both for yourself and the kids is a must. Our favorite way to get organized is with the BusyBodyBook!The BusyBodyBook is a stylish and easy-to-use family organizer designed specifically for families. It allows you to keep track of the entire family's schedules at a glance, and it's something I can't live without. BusyBodyBooks personal and family organizers ($17.95) are available for both 2011–2012 school year (August 2011–August 2012) and traditional January–December, 2011 calendar yearversions.
In addition to their organizers, BusyBodyBook also publishes a neat "family central" wall calendar ($14.95) and an undated weekly grid pad ($12.95) that's handy for the fridge, your desk, a binder, or anywhere else that you need to keep track of your busy life.
While reusable bags are a great idea that cuts down on waste, not all of them are created equal. Local Marin company AAH HAA! Inc.'s line of Clean Conscience bags don't just take the place of disposable shopping and lunch bags, but are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, and are (amazingly, in this day and age) made in the USA! Also, unlike many eco-friendly bags out there, Clean Conscience bags are available in fun designs and colors, not just the plain-vanilla unbleached look.
AAH HAA! Inc. was founded by Corie Thornton, the company's "Clean and Green Designer." She's passionate about her mission to not only help clean up the environment, but to provide affordable, good looking, and functional American-made recycled products. “Trash is a terrible thing to waste,” says Thornton. “We’re un-wasting, recycling, and up-cycling plastic trash to convert them into beautiful and durable products that consumers can enjoy. Otherwise, all of the plastic we use in our products would end up in landfills, and plastic remains in landfills for hundreds of centuries before it even begins to decompose.”
One thing that I'm trying to do to help the environment is to use fewer paper and plastic grocery bags when doing my shopping. I've managed to amass a sizable collection of Trader Joes reusable shopping bags (although I haven't yet won that $25 gift certificate), but the big problem with them is forgetting to bring them with me when I go shopping. I think I actually only have them with me maybe 30% of the time. Otherwise they're at home or in the other car.
That's why I was so excited to get a sample of Waste-Less shopping bags. Waste-Less bags are large, lightweight, reusable shopping bags that fold into a very small size—small enough that a set of three fits into a nifty little carrying case that you can put in a purse or jacket pocket. Keep a set on you and you'll never have to worry about forgetting your reusable bags again. The design is pretty stylish, too, and more designs are apparently on the way. Of course, you don't have to use them just for groceries; they make nifty tote bags for beach gear, books, and school stuff as well.
2008 is out and 2009 is here, and now's the time to get organized in your busy life. If you're a regular reader of Marin Mommies, you know that I love my BusyBodyBook! The BusyBodyBook is a stylish and easy-to-use family organizer that allows you to keep track of the entire family's schedules with its handy and easy-to-read Weekly Grid.
BusyBodyBook features include a spacious 5-column layout with enough room to write everyone’s appointments and activities in detail, a planning calendar to record birthdays and anniversaries, a month-at-a-glance for a quick overview, and plenty of space for notes. They're available in both calendar year and academic year versions.
Sometimes getting kids to communicate their feelings can be difficult, but Kimochis, a new line of stuffed toys created by a group of Marin mompreneurs in San Anselmo, are here to help. Kimochi (which means "feeling" in Japanese) toys are cute and huggable characters that come with a set of feelings inside—little dolls that represent feelings like jealous, grateful, shy, happy, and brave. These feelings and the Kimochi characters assist children, parents, and teachers in discussing their feelings, becoming better communicators, and cultivating confidence and character.
Our Kimochi, Bug (an adorable caterpillar with a hidden pair of butterfly wings), was an instant hit with our three-year-old daughter, who insists on carrying it with her just about every place. The different feelings that came with Bug all store in a handy pouch on his tummy, where they can be stored and then pulled out to play with and of course communicate about the feelings they represent. Overall it's a really appealing and well made toy. We're definitely happy to make room for Bug in our home!