Non-seasonal, Parenting, Summer, Tips and Tricks, Travel

Helpful Packing Tips When Traveling with Small Children

I hope you get the chance to travel together this summer, locally or abroad. These tips are great for flights or day trips and even a night at Grandma’s when traveling with small children. Safe travels!

Buy the RIGHT luggage

The fun monkey head suitcase is adorable, but I hate to tell you that many children luggage brands are not practical. Don’t get me wrong, there is a brand or two out there that does children’s travel cases well, but I ditched the cute stuff years ago with our 10 year old because I needed to fit more and stay organized with it all.

What do I use? We happen to use the Expanse Wheeled Duffel Carry ON by Eagle Creek. I use an Eagle Creek wheelie myself as well as the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter On Board toiletry bag. Shout out to Eagle Creek in this post, they seriously do a great job with their bags and I recommend them for you and the kids!

Use Ziploc Bags for Clothing

I’ll never forget the look I got from my Mom when I dropped my son off for a stay with her years ago and as we opened the suitcase she saw my gallon Ziploc bag packing job. But, let me say that when I picked him up, they were all neatly re-stacked and refilled, dirty inside.

As I pack, I lay the bottoms, shirt, socks, underwear (in that layered order), fold all together in one set and put in a gallon ziploc and seal with air released. Put it in his duffel and repeat for all outfits. It is not only a folding space saver where I can stack many outfits neatly, but it is a time saver every morning. I (or whomever he is visiting and now himself) can grab a bag and head to get changed. It is all there. He shoves his dirty clothes back in, presses and seals. Smelly clothes are sealed and stay away from clean clothes and repacking to leave is so easy! Try it!

1 Bag + 1 Blanket + 1 Present

This is what comes on planes with us to the seat. I have one small backpack (bright colored so you can spot them if they get ahead of you) that he can wear and help me carry less with his snacks, entertainment, headphones and a small (noiseless) toy when younger. Now it is a tablet, his phone, book and chargers plus snacks. He carries his blanket and I always have a gift when he was younger to make the ride start off pleasant. The last one I bought him was a Pokemon neck pillow. He never took it off all flight or the next flight…..

Your Luggage Front Pocket

Chances are one of your luggage bags has that extra front pocket you never really know what to use it for. Grab 1 ‘special’ treat per child and a new thin book. Once you are done with the hassle off the plane, to a car or taxi, into a hotel lobby and finally checked in to your room you (and they) are beat! You have an urge to get organized, freshen up and plan the rest of the day and you have some exhausted kids.

Just wait for the magic as you unzip that pocket, pull out that special pick-me-up snack and quiet book(s). It will buy you some uninterrupted time. If you got in early enough a child or two may just doze off. Let them rest a moment or 2 and use that time! Then you’ll all be more relaxed, rested and ready to start your trip.

My Travel Items


Disclaimer: Thank you Eagle Creek for partnering with us on this feature. All opinions are 100% my own

Pets Products, Tips and Tricks

Bringing Home a New Puppy – Tips by Dana Humphrey “The Pet Lady”

Bringing Home a New Puppy

Bringing home a new puppy should be a bit of a chore. If you have put the thought and preparation into bringing him or her to your home then that is half the battle. A new puppy is an adjustment and sadly many puppies get re-homed because the first family just was not prepared enough.

Here are some great tips by Dana Humphrey “The Pet Lady”. Make sure you can share these with anyone you know who is preparing to bring home a puppy.

1. Get a good pet carrier. I always say “bark buckle up”. It’s important to transport your new puppy home in a safe carrier. Plus, they can cuddle up in there as it is important with a lot of new stimuli to try to limit  their world. Limit the amount of space that the pet has access to at first. Limit the number of people and animals the pet meets at first too.

2. ID Tag: It’s important to get an up to date ID tag, as whether it’s a rescue pup or a new puppy, pets have been known to escape most within the first 3 days of being in a new environment. You want to make sure you have an identification on them if you haven’t had time to microchip them yet.

3. Harness and Lead. You are going to need to get out and take them for a walk, pretty much right away. Buddy Belts makes an awesome leather harness and lead set that is gentle on their chests, doesn’t pull on their trachea like a collar and has some cute stylish options. It is easy to put on and makes walk time a great experience all around.

4. Wee Wee Pads. If you live in the city, wee wee pads are a must. Train your pet to piddle on the pads so that your home can stay as clean as possible. Urban dogs and small dogs can easily be trained to use these for relieving themselves. You want to put them in the same place for consistency and not to confuse your pup.

5. Toy. All puppies want to play! Avoid having them rip up your sofa or shoe collection and give them their own toys to play with. A toy box or a toy area where they know those are for them can help save your personal items. It’s great to stimulate and engage your new pet with some chase, fetch or tug of war.

Our furry friends are precious and special so we must provide them with the health, safety and love they deserve!

Dana Humphrey, AKA “The Pet Lady” travels coast to coast scouting out the best pet products, brands and pet experts. She is also a professor and program facilitator at FIT, the fashion institute of technology and teaches in the pet product marketing and design department. She was recently awarded by Pet Age Magazine 40 under 40 and Women of Influence. The Pet Lady website:Www.thepetlady.org

Easter, Education, Healthy Living, Kids, Parenting, Tips and Tricks

Zendoway Cubes: Relaxation and Stress Management Tools

These 14 soft and colorful cubes provide simple suggestions for kids and adults to nourish the mind and body throughout the day.   They also squeeze for stress management and release! 

Zendoway Cubes: Relaxation and Stress Management Tools

The themes of these cubes include:

  • Happy (Gold Cube)
  • Gratitude (Orange Cube)
  • Positivity (Light Blue Cube)
  • Affirmations (Red Cube)
  • Breathing (Blue Cube)
  • Coping Strategies (Purple Cube)
  • Feelings (White/Blue Cube)
  • Nourishment (Yellow Cube)
  • Play (Earth Pattern)
  • Principles (Green Cube)
  • Questions (Black Cube)
  • Yoga Poses White/Orange Cube)
  • Chakra (Multi-Color Cube)
  • Stressed Out (Light Green Cube)

These make excellent Teacher and Counselor gifts for your child’s school. Sometimes kids just need simple release. Like adults, kids can benefit from calm activities that just help them refocus and reorganize their thoughts.

With my son I always keep that in mind. At 10 years old he is very well adjusted and is an excellent friend and student. We always read before bed every night since he was an infant. He goes in and out of phases being an independent reader, but I mainly have kept reading before bed as a traditional me-time and a way to de-escalate at night.

I also give him days off! For sports season and school he gets a certain number of free passes ( 1 per semester at school and 1 per sport season). His free pass can be used at anytime he wants which means he gets to wake up and for no real reason say “not today”. He does not abuse it and has learned through the years to SAVE his free days when he looks ahead and realizes an event may happen where he wants or needs that day. Why? Because sometimes we just need to self care and to call in a day but not in ways that it becomes bad habits. I gave them to his step brothers when they were younger too and they remember it. Both older boys are excellent employees today and this ‘time off’ did not create bad habits for them but they learned to ‘slow down’ and ‘take a day’.

These Zendoway Cubes are excellent tools and every home and classroom should give them a try.

Comment: I was sent sets of the Cubes for feature. All opinions are my own